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Banks Named Technology Modernization Subcommittee Chairman; Hollingsworth Bills Pass in JOBS and Investor Confidence Act; Young Leading Bipartisan Effort on Retirement Security

2018-07-20T14:33:45+00:00July 20th, 2018|

– Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) was recently named chairman of the newly established Subcommittee on Technology Modernization. The subcommittee will provide oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) electronic health records transition and other enterprise technology modernization projects.

“I am honored (House Veterans’ Affairs Committee) Chairman Phil Roe has entrusted me with leading the subcommittee and I look forward to serving our country’s veterans in this capacity,” said Rep. Banks. “Service members and veterans deserve a seamless, lifetime medical record and an electronic health record system that supports the highest quality care.

“The goal is worthy and the strategy incorporates years of recommendations by technical experts, most recently the Commission on Care. However, I have no illusions about the challenge confronting VA in this monumental undertaking. I am committed to asking the tough questions and challenging the bureaucratic status quo. Veterans and taxpayers expect nothing less.”

– On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018 (S.488) by a vote of 406 to 4. The bipartisan package of legislation is aimed at helping America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs while protecting investors.

This legislative package contained three bills introduced by Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09), including the Fostering Innovation Act (H.R. 1645) to ensure costly regulations don’t stand in the way of successful biopharmaceutical research, the Senior Security Act (H.R. 6323) to strengthen protections for senior citizens’ lifelong savings and investments, and the Developing and Empowering our Aspiring Leaders Act (H.R. 6177) to improve access to capital for startups.

“By passing the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act, we’re empowering Hoosier confidence to invest in growing American firms,” said Rep. Hollingsworth.

– On Thursday, Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-05) introduced H.R. 6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to pass the bill, sending it to the House floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives. Watch Rep. Brooks’ remarks at the committee.

PAHPA is a bipartisan effort to ensure that our nation is prepared to respond to public health emergencies resulting from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks from other nations, natural disasters or emerging infectious disease. Congress must pass this reauthorization legislation this year to keep PAHPA programs funded past September 30, 2018.

– This week, Sen. Todd Young joined Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in introducing a bipartisan package of common sense bills aimed at helping to boost retirement security for individuals and families during a time when nearly half of all American families do not have any retirement account savings.

The senators’ bills would make needed reforms to improve retirement security for individuals and families, especially as the costs of health care, education, home ownership and other expenses have continued to rise, squeezing families financially. One of the specific proposals would be to expand access to workplace retirement plans by giving small employers more flexibility when setting up 401Ks for their employees. Click here for a summary of the bills.

– Senator Joe Donnelly has joined a resolution unveiled this week that would allow the Senate’s legal counsel to represent the Senate in Texas v. United States regarding pre-existing health care conditions. Democrats are hoping to put pressure on Republicans to support the resolution.

In February, Indiana filed a lawsuit with 19 other states arguing that the health care law should be struck down, including essential coverage. The lawsuit argues that the Affordable Care Act is now unconstitutional since Congress repealed the law’s individual mandate late last year.

– Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) released the following statement after voting in support of increasing transparency as described directed in the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act (H.R. 50):

“American families and businesses already must deal with the challenges and costs of complying with Washington red tape as a result of legislative and regulatory action, and imposing costly and burdensome unfunded mandates adds to the burden they already face. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) was passed in 1995 to help reduce the burden of unfunded mandates by requiring information that would help Congress and the Executive Branch make informed decisions before passing on unfunded mandates.

“Unfortunately, despite passage of the UMRA, far too many unfunded mandates have still managed to be passed on as a result of loopholes or insufficient analysis. The Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act will close these loopholes, improve the analysis available for policymakers, and hold the federal government accountable for considering the costs of unfunded mandates – all with the goal of ensuring the laws created by the federal government help uplift local governments and the private sector rather than burden them with unattainable expenses.”

– Congressman Todd Rokita, chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, released the following statement this week after chairing a hearing on Examining the Summer Food Service Program:

“I believe that our focus should be on helping those who truly need this program, with a goal to make the need for government assistance temporary,” said Rep. Rokita. “We shouldn’t be in the business of giving out free meals to families who have or should have the resources to provide for their kids. Additionally, it is incumbent upon policy makers to identify other places where resources are not well spent, and use those to fund top priorities, like the Summer Food Service Program

– Luke Messer (IN-06) invites local job seekers to the 6th Congressional District Job Fair on Thursday, August 9, at Ivy Tech Community College in Lawrenceburg. Local employers looking to hire will be at Ivy Tech’s Lawrenceburg campus from 1:30-4 p.m. All members of the public are invited to attend. U.S. military veterans are encouraged to come early at 1 p.m.

“This year’s job fair should be another great event, with many area employers recruiting workers for high quality, good-paying jobs,” Rep. Messer said. “We invite anyone looking for a job or new career to join us, and see what the Lawrenceburg community has to offer.”

Resource: Greg Ellis at (317) 264-6881 or email: gellis@indianachamber.com