News from Representative Smucker

   

Thank you for subscribing to my E-Newsletter! This week I want to update you on: my legislation ending the hidden student loan tax, national defense policy, my efforts to stand up for life, why I oppose the reckless minimum wage increase bill, and a conversation on higher education policy. I’d also like to recognize some local leaders addressing the opioid crisis and share some news from the Smucker Service Corner.

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 170,000 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 constituents. More than 4,400 individuals and families have been helped, and more than $3,525,165 has been returned to constituents.  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.


                                         Legislative Updates

Introducing Legislation to End Hidden Student Loan “Tax”

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Congress needs to streamline the Federal Direct Loan Program and student loans. I’m proud to join my colleagues Rep. Susan Davis & Sharice Davids in offering bipartisan legislation that would eliminate student loan origination fees, which is a hidden $1.7 billion tax on students each year. This step is a small but good one towards streamlining the Federal Direct Loan program to assist students.

Click here to read more about this legislation.

House Democrats Play Partisan Politics with National Defense

Last week, I voted against the House’s version 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which sets our nation’s defense and national security policy.

I did so because the House Democrats took a very partisan approach – for the first time in decades -- to drafting this important bill. It contained many of what Washington calls, “poison pills”— in other words, controversial policies that eliminate consensus on an issue.

The House Democrats’ bill underfunded troop pay, benefits, and housing by $1.2 billion. It also prohibited existing funds for being used to secure our southern border. And shockingly, House Democrats wanted to allow known terrorists responsible for the loss of American into our communities from Guantanamo Bay.

Click here to watch a video of my thoughts on the legislation.    

National security policy has always been a bipartisan issue, until Speaker Pelosi put forth the House’s version of the NDAA this year. By contrast, the United States Senate, with a 53-47 divide, passed its version of the NDAA in a very bipartisan fashion, 86-8.

The House Democrat bill simply undercut America’s military and places our nation at a competitive disadvantage with Russia, Iran and China, who are rapidly developing and modernizing their militaries.  I simply couldn’t vote for this bill because it is just irresponsible.

I am hopeful that the House will consider the Senate’s bipartisan NDAA, or at least a conference bill that strips these bad policies, because supporting the men and women that put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy should not be a partisan exercise.

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Standing Up for Life

Last week I went to the House floor to request unanimous consent to bring up the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This bill ensures that a child who survives an abortion procedure is provided medical care. It was the 71st time members of the House Republican Conference have asked to bring up this commonsense legislation. On the floor, they cut off my mic and silenced my urgent plea to bring up this bill.

Watch to the end of the video to see how much Speaker Pelosi’s Caucus values life and those that stand up to fight for it. I will continue to fight in Congress for the lives of the unborn and for the lives of those who survive abortion.

Click here to watch my thoughts and the video of my request on the House floor.

Opposing Reckless Minimum Wage Increase

The Democrats’ proposed minimum wage hike – a bill that more than doubles the minimum wage with additional planned future increases -- would eliminate nearly 4 million jobs across the country, and more than 120,000 in Pennsylvania.  Additionally real household income would fall by nearly $10 billion—because that’s what the independent Congressional Budget Office reported earlier this month (link to website with report). Small businesses will be hurt and employees will lose both hours and take-home income with the proposed change (link to letters in opposition to bill).

We need to support programs to help American workers gain the skills they need to secure family-sustaining jobs, not passing mandates which hurt families’ checkbooks. I opposed this reckless measure which hurt those it intends to help.

Click here to watch my comments from the Floor of the House.

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Click images for greater detail
 
Higher Education Policy Reauthorization 

Recently I had a great meeting with Toby, a teacher of students with disabilities, to discuss Congress’s upcoming work on higher education policy reauthorization. We discussed the critical need to make our higher education policies work for everyone. As the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this important issue this year.  But I’d like to share Toby’s words --

“It was a glorious, sunny day in Washington, D.C., a perfect day for me to visit PA Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s office, located in an old stone office building very near the Capitol Building.

The Congressman had adjusted his schedule to meet with me since he had to catch the train to attend his daughter’s graduation that evening…” Read Toby’s op-ed on our meeting here!


                       Honoring York & Lancaster County Leaders                                                  Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

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York and Lancaster County are leading the nation in their community-wide collaborative approach to help neighbors struggling with addiction. I’m thankful for leaders like those in the York County District Attorney's Office, led by Dave Sunday, and Coroner Pam Gay for leading the way in York, and also for Commissioner Josh Parsons and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Director of Community Health, Alice Yoder, for their work with Joining Forces in Lancaster County.

Click here to watch my speech from the floor of the House.


                                   Smucker Service Corner

Helped a York County constituent receive their nearly $3,000 tax return which was held-up in processing!

Assisted a constituent from Lancaster County with a $20,000 incorrect billing error by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. 

Helped a Lancaster County constituent receive a refund on an over $19,000 overpayment they were due from the IRS.  

Helped a York County constituent receive over $21,000 in owed Social Security benefits.

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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