News from Representative Smucker

   

Thank you for subscribing to my E-Newsletter! This week I want to update you on some new bills I've introduced, tell you about an event I attended on criminal justice reform, share my recent interview with ABC 27 and highlight some of the ways my district office has been helping constituents like you.  

I enjoy hearing from you and responding to your questions via email, phone calls and letters. If you'd like to share your concerns or opinions with me or if you have questions about legislation or specific votes, you can send me an email here.  

Since taking office two years ago, I've responded to more than 161,000 contacts from you. To stay up-to-date on my work in the district and Washington, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out my YouTube page where there are 100+ videos, many of which are direct responses to your questions.  

I'm also very proud of the help my office has been able to provide for constituents. More than 3,200 individuals and families have been helped, and more than $1,038,000 has been returned to individuals. If you need help with a federal agency, my office can help cut through Washington's red tape and bureaucracy. I encourage you to contact my district office at (717) 393-0667 and at (717) 969-6133 if you need assistance.


NEW BILL: Keeping the Internet Open and Free

The internet should be a free space. Commonsense regulation can be helpful and protect consumers but oppressive federal strong-arming benefits no one, especially when involving the internet. 

Many of you reached out to me during the last Congress about net neutrality and I know how important these issues are to you. That's why I introduced the Open Internet Preservation Act, which prohibits blocking and throttling of the internet. This bill would also codify the new transparency requirements adopted by the FCC’s 2017 Internet Freedom Rule to promote internet openness and growth. These are the same FCC requirements that guided the growth of the internet from 1996 until 2015.

Ensuring freedom for the internet and to broadband providers leads to faster internet speeds and improved access to the internet. This is especially important in our district, which has many rural areas.

Internet speeds rose nearly 36 percent in 2018 following the elimination of the 2015 Title II regulations, which restored the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to protect broadband subscribers from unfair and deceptive practices.

When we encourage competition through the free market, we encourage business and individual growth as well as affordable, accessible internet for all Americans.


Speaking on Criminal Justice Reform in Lancaster

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With Johnny Berry, who was wrongfully convicted of a murder he didn’t commit in 1994. Justice and Mercy helped Johnny get his sentence overturned. 

I was incredibly honored to speak about criminal justice reform this week in Lancaster at Justice and Mercy's annual Chocolate Cross Day luncheon. Justice and Mercy is anon-profit organization founded by Tom and Helen Zeager in our community, dedicated to decreasing the effects of crime, increasing public safety and ministering and restoring both crime victims and offenders.

Since 1980, our federal prison population grew from fewer than 25,000 inmates to 183,000 inmates. Most of these inmates don't stay in prison forever. When they are released, they go back to the outside world. Unfortunately, what we see far too often is that many prisoners commit more crimes after leaving prison. 

But we have found if we equip inmates with education and skills, these people can find jobs and transition back to becoming productive members of society. Last Congress, I was proud to support the FIRST STEP Act to give inmates a second chance. The First Step ACT recently became law and reforms the criminal justice system, providing programs, education and religious programs for inmates to grow their skills and faith, greatly easing their return to the outside world.

This law increases good time credits for inmates who complete these programs, which really incentivizes them to participate in education programs and skills training. 

Ultimately, these things lead to better lives for inmates. Recidivism rates can be reduced and these inmates will end up spending less time in the criminal justice system as a result. 

It was wonderful to spend time with Justice and Mercy. I am happy to support their mission and I'm excited to follow the work they do in the future. 


WATCH: Speaking About the Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act with ABC 27

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Click to watch!

Did you catch my interview with ABC27? We talked about the newly-signed Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act, which designated York and Lancaster Counties as a National Heritage Area. 

NHA designations recognize important natural, cultural and historic landscapes and help celebrate the nation’s diverse heritage. They also help our local economy by providing jobs through increased recreation and tourism.

Our community is filled with so much history and natural beauty that needs to be maintained. I am proud to call our district home. This new law highlights that beauty -- and it was great to speak with ACB27 about it.


On Democrats' Increased Spending Plan

Earlier this week, House Democrats approved an increase in government spending caps. They did this through a procedural motion -- not an open debate or via legislation -- all to increase our spending by $177 billion over the next year. 

Our budget process was already broken and now it’s gone completely off course. Democrats haven’t even proposed a budget this year and instead raised spending caps through this procedural motion, all without even offsetting the cost of operating our government.

As a former member of the House Budget Committee, I know how important a budget is. Democrats didn’t even attempt to write one, which truly exemplifies a failure to govern and an irresponsibility with taxpayer dollars.

Under the Democrats’ plan, the national debt would increase by an additional $2 trillion over 10 years compared to current law.

Beyond that, our debt is continuing to increase. The U.S. is more than $22 trillion in debt – a number that is quite frankly far too high to justify that spending increase. I’ve said it before: We need to seriously rein in Congress’ spending problem – before we pay the economic price.

 


NEW BILL: Holding Federal Employees Accountable for Misconduct

This week, I introduced legislation to hold federal government employees accountable for misconduct

The Department of Labor Accountability Act and the Department of Education Whistleblower Protection Act (sponsored by Rep. Francis Rooney from Florida) give the two departments more authority to discipline or fire employees who have engaged in misconduct and would shorten the appeals process, which often lasts several years.

The bills also grant the department Secretary the authority to revoke bonuses for underperforming employees and in some cases would reduce the pensions of executive-level employees disciplined by the department.

Employees deserve proper protections and the freedom to report misconduct – and employees at fault shouldn’t be receiving bonuses after behaving badly. This bill is a step to end the bureaucratic status quo resisting reforms and rewarding bad actors for their poor behaviors.

President Trump has been very vocal about the need to promote accountability in federal agencies and to remove federal employees who undermine public trust. I support the President's efforts -- and I believe these bills are a step in the right direction to promote faith in our government. 


Smucker Service Corner

My district staff recently helped a constituent receive their Employer Identification Number from the IRS within 24 hours so they could open their business by April 1. 

If you need help with a federal agency, please call my district office at (717) 393-0667. 

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter! You can stay up-to-date on what I'm doing in Washington and Pennsylvania by following me on Twitter and Facebook.

Sincerely,

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Lloyd Smucker

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