It was a busy 2 weeks in Washington as constituents from Kentucky's fourth district traveled to D.C. to advocate for a variety of important issues. Meanwhile, Congress debated government funding, the American HealthCare Act and other legislation.
Speaking at Russell Middle School
Before heading to D.C., I had the pleasure of joining 8th graders at Russell Middle School, with State Representative Danny Bentley, to discuss our Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and the three branches of government.
I explained to the students the powers of the legislative branch and how the Jefferson Manual provides an outline for the rules in the House of Representatives. I also provided a copy of the Constitution to all the students present.
Meeting with the Passenger Vessel Association
I met with Captains Alan and Terri Bernstein, owners of BB Riverboats in Newport, Kentucky. They are in Washington on behalf of the Passenger Vessel Association, of which Terri is a past president. We discussed the burdensome regulations imposed upon BB Riverboats and other passenger vessels, as well as potential regulatory relief for these small businesses.
Meet and Greet with the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives
I enjoyed meeting with the Kentucky Association of Electric Co-op’s, where we discussed their concerns relating to rural electric co-ops.
Meeting with Shelbyville’s Cornerstone Christian Academy
I had the pleasure of catching up with 8th graders from Shelbyville's Cornerstone Christian Academy while they were on a tour of the U.S Capitol. I took some time to quiz the students on how the Federal Government works just before saying goodbye on my way to go vote on the House Floor.
Speaking at the Cato Institute
I joined the Cato Institute for a forum discussion on the role the Federal Government should play in education. I detailed H.R 899, my bill to eliminate the Federal Department of Education, and took questions from the audience.
During the discussion I explained how programs currently administered by the Department of Education could be moved to other agencies, or better yet, administered by the states.
Ashland Safety Patrol D.C. Visit
I took a group of about 250 Ashland School Safety Patrol students to the floor of the House of Representatives.
The Ashland School Safety Patrol was in the area for their 51st Annual Safety Patrol Trip to Washington and I always have a great time showing them around!
I'd like to thank the group for letting me participate in their visit and a special thanks to Lieutenant Jason Moore for organizing the trip!
Meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
The Kentucky congressional delegation and I had the pleasure of meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I look forward to working with Secretary Chao and her excellent staff at the Department of Transportation to address the urgent transportation needs of Kentucky's 4th district.
Meeting with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
I met with representatives from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to discuss connecting people to jobs, workforce talent and inclusion, tax reform, regulations and economic development. The mission of the NKY Chamber of Commerce is to promote and support the development of strong businesses and a vibrant economy in the Northern Kentucky region, through leadership and advocacy, resulting in a better quality of life for all.
Military Service Academy Days
As your United States representative, I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of qualified candidates to attend one of the U.S. Service Academies. The honor of attending a Service Academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.
Almost 100 students and their parents attended my fifth annual U.S. Service Academy Day today, to learn more about the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the Coast Guard Academy.
The U.S. Service Academies offer an opportunity for young men and women to serve their country while improving all facets of their character through a rigorous scholastic curriculum and a disciplined moral and physical regimen. Competition for entry into a Service Academy is high, and nominees are chosen based on several factors including character, leadership, academic excellence, physical aptitude, and extracurricular activities.
Congratulations to Adam Redfield (United States Military Academy), Mollie Bushelman (United States Air Force Academy), Bray Zimmerman (United State Naval Academy), Cameron Miller (United States Naval Academy), Logan Franxman (United States Naval Academy), Mason Rice (United States Naval Academy), William O'Loane (United States Naval Academy) and Marcos Valdes (United States Naval Academy) for accepting their appointment to one of the Academies! To all of the attendees who are veterans or active duty - thank you for your service! Thank you to all the students interested in serving their country.
Congressional Art Competition
We have a winner for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition!
Our judges have selected “Koi Pond” by Maria Bossert of Covington Latin as the 4th district of Kentucky’s Congressional Art Competition winner!
20 student-artists participated in the competition. After narrowing the entries to the top four, our judges selected Maria’s piece as the winner.
A big thanks goes to Ms. Laurie Risch (Executive Director), Mr. Gary L. Johnston (VP of the Behringer-Crawford Museum Board of Directors) and Kim Gehring-Cook (Education Director) for judging the work.
The judges were very impressed with the art work this year and it was tough choosing between the different pieces. “Koi Pond” stood out to the judges due to it’s attention to detail, compelling use of complimentary colors, and the dynamic and life-like quality of the piece.
Congratulations Maria! Maria gets two round-trip tickets to Washington D.C. for the unveiling of “Koi Pond," which will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for a full year. The exhibit in Washington will also include artwork from other contest winners nationwide.
Thank you to all of the talented students of Kentucky's 4th district who submitted their artwork!
PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Massie Votes Against Omnibus Continuing Resolution
America’s national debt is nearing $20 trillion, yet today Congress passed a $1.163 trillion omnibus spending bill (H.R. 244). This legislation exceeds congressional spending caps by over $90 billion and contains full funding for the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood.
Congressman Massie voted against H.R 244- the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2017
“House Leadership and the media have led the public to believe that passing one giant omnibus every year, at the last minute, is a legitimate way to fund the government and that anything else will result in a total government shutdown. Both are false,” Congressman Massie explained. “We should write, debate, amend, and pass 12 separate appropriations bills as the law prescribes, so that if any one bill fails to pass, only 1/12th of the Federal government shuts down.”
H.R 244 passed the House of Representatives 309-118, with 178 Democrats and 131 Republicans voting in favor.
Rep. Massie's Statement on American Health Care Act "No" Vote
As recently as a year ago, Republicans argued that mandates were unconstitutional, bailouts were immoral, and subsidies would bankrupt our country. Today, however, the House voted for a healthcare bill that makes these objectionable measures permanent.
The former Democrat Speaker of the House was rightfully derided for imploring Members to vote for a healthcare bill to “find out what was in it.” Yet today, we voted on a healthcare bill for which the text was available only a few hours before the vote. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office had no time to even provide Congress with a preliminary estimate of the full cost of this bill.
By repealing a small number of Obamacare mandates, while leaving others in place, this bill runs the risk of destroying what remains of the individual health insurance market. The option in this bill that allows States to apply for waivers from some Obamacare mandates is well-intentioned. However, it falls far short of our promise to repeal Obamacare. There also remains the risk that State legislatures, like our federal legislature, are unable to withstand the political pressure from lobbyists who defend Obamacare, and the pressure from those who receive Obamacare’s welfare handouts.
This bill should have included measures that allow Americans to take charge of their own healthcare and get the government out of the way. These measures include allowing the deduction of health insurance costs from income taxes, giving everyone the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, and allowing individuals to band together through any organization to purchase insurance.
In weighing my vote, I heeded the wise advice that “one should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” If this bill becomes law, it could result in worse outcomes, fewer options, and higher prices for Kentuckians who seek health care. In summary, I voted against this bill not because it’s imperfect, but because it’s not good.
Massie in the Media
I joined Kennedy on Fox Business to discuss my support for President Trump’s newly released tax reform outline. You can watch the full interview here.
I discussed my "no" vote on the AHCA with Glenn Beck. You can listen to the full interview here.
Thank you for reading my newsletter!
Congressman Thomas Massie