Perspective: Challenges ahead for Congress

Meeting with constituents throughout the 3rd District during the most recent District Work period, I returned to Washington with an even stronger commitment to an America that works to improve the lives of all of its citizens.

In order to get America working again, Congress must first provide an environment for economic growth and job creation. In addition, Congress must act to embrace policies that encourage robust economic growth and job creation; reform our health care system by replacing the president’s health care law with policies that improve patient choice, access to doctors and hospitals, and lower costs; and, lastly, ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed by accessing quality education.

In the next month, the House will focus on putting forward solutions to several issues. The House is expected to consider the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act that will modernize our current charter school programs by consolidating two federal programs into one. Through conservative reforms, we will reward high-performing charter schools at the state and local level and permit states more flexibility to allocate federal funds to start charter schools. Under this legislation, states also will have the ability to expand and replicate high-performing charter schools. Every child, no matter their place in life, deserves the opportunity to advance in a school that works.

The House has continued to have discussions about comprehensive tax reform that would create a simpler and fairer tax code so Americans can keep more of their hard-earned money. I truly believe the tax code should incentivize good paying middle class jobs and the development of technologies we have not even dreamt of yet. Since it was created in 1981, the research and development tax credit has existed as a temporary provision. To date, it has expired eight times and has been extended 14 times. This has created a lack of certainty and has prevented investment by the private sector. That is why the House will consider a permanent research and development tax credit bill to put American companies, especially American manufacturers, on par with their international competitors whom already have permanent incentives. This bill is not only about manufacturing, it is also about the pure sciences and medical research that will jumpstart our economy.

And finally, starting this month, the House Appropriations Committee will begin working on the primary job of the House which is to report out spending bills. In keeping with the House Republicans’ commitment to the American people, this will be an open process that will allow us to focus on prudent spending of your hard-earned dollars. The first appropriations bill the House passed was the military construction and the veterans affairs legislation. I was proud to support this legislation as it would ensure that our nation’s veterans have quality medical care and important job and training medical programs.

Time away from Washington provides me with an opportunity to re-charge and gather information from you, about your concerns. With the House back to work, we have several opportunities to put our country back on track. As always, it remains my hope that the Senate and the White House will join us in getting America working again.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., represents the state’s 3rd District, which includes Jefferson City. His local office phone is 573-635-7232.

Web link:

luetkemeyer.house.gov

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