Bruce Poliquin Committee Assignments For 113th

Tax Reform Means Choices

2018/03/05

In recent weeks, I have seen countless articles and polls highlighting tax reform: according to a CNBC poll, confidence in small businesses is at an all-time high; 4 million workers and counting have received more than $3 billion in bonuses; 90 percent of Americans saw more money in their paychecks this month as the new withholding tables took effect. 

But I did not need polls and articles to know why the majority of Americans are supportive of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law last year.  I have heard from constituents right here in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District that are reaping the benefits and excited about their economic prospects. 

On Main Street, small business owners and job creators are more confident than ever before in the future of their businesses.  But there is optimism not just for those who already operate their own businesses.  Many aspiring entrepreneurs, like Carolyn from Grove City, are excited about tax reform because it not only puts some startup money in her pocket, but because the simplified tax code has removed many barriers to entry that new businesses face.  The tax code is now fairer, simpler, and allowing more people to pursue their American Dream. 

Ohio’s businesses, small and large, are also doubling down on their commitment to help their employees pursue their Dreams.  R+L Carriers, an international shipping company based in Wilmington, is offering all 13,000 workers bonuses of up to $1000.  Nationwide Insurance is increasing their contributions to 29,000 employees’ 401(k) plans.  These companies have long been partners in our communities, and I am glad that the tax reform bill is giving them the tools they need to help stimulate our local economies and support their employees and their families.

Most importantly, 90 percent of Americans now have a bigger paycheck, and while the extra income represents something different for each of them, they are all able to make day-to-day choices that are best for them and their families.  Tamela in Amanda has been able to breathe a little bit easier – she says she has used her money for everyday expenses, like groceries.  Nathaniel, from Hilliard, is excited to save the extra cash for a rainy day, in case of an emergency or for a larger purchase.  Regardless of how they choose to spend their money, their ability to make a choice is proof that tax reform is working. 

Tax reform means more money in your pocket.  More money means more choices, more opportunities, and more people pursing their American Dream.  If you have a story about how tax reform is helping you and your family, I invite you to share it with me on my website at www.stivers.house.gov.

Additionally, if you have questions about how tax reform will affect you or if you have questions about any other issue facing our country, I invite you contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.

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Issues with Federal Agencies? My Office Can Help

2018/02/26

It is an honor to serve you in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of the most important roles of my office is providing critical assistance to the constituents of Ohio’s 15th District. Specifically, my office has caseworkers that can help constituents navigate the issues they face with federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Social Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). While I am not able to override decisions, my office can cut red tape to help answer questions, check on claims, and find solutions to a variety of issues you may be having.

An issue that is becoming more common – particularly for seniors – is instances of fraud. In fact, the Columbus Dispatch recently reported on a new tax scam involving false tax refunds being deposited into taxpayers’ accounts. The criminals pose as either a debt-collection agency acting on behalf of the IRS, or an IRS agent requesting personal information and money to be transferred. Personal information is often originally obtained through phishing emails with links or attachments that contain malware, or software intended to affect the security of your computer. It is important to note that the IRS rarely initiates business over the phone, and you should always be cautious of giving your personal information over the phone or clicking on emails from accounts you do not recognize.

Instances of fraud also happen in the Social Security Administration. In fact, last year, a constituent from Columbus named Tim reached out to my office when he discovered that someone had applied for Social Security benefits under his name, receiving over $10,000 of his benefits. Fortunately, my office was able to help Tim report the incident to Social Security and resolve the issue quickly.

If you suspect fraudulent activity on any of your accounts or have any questions about how to protect your identity, please contact any of my district offices. My caseworkers would be glad to help connect you to resources to help protect your identity and answer questions. You can also find helpful tips and information to keep you identity safe at the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/identity-protection.

In addition to fraud cases, my office can help with other issues you may be facing with federal agencies. For example, my office can check on the status of claims at both Social Security and the VA, assist with Social Security and Medicare enrollment, and even expedite a passport renewal.

For more information on the services available through my office, I invite you call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049. You can also view frequently asked questions for specific agencies on my website at www.stivers.house.gov.

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Rep. Stivers Announces Event to Help Constituents with Tax Issues

2018/02/23

WASHINGTON, DC – In the midst of tax season, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) has announced that his office will be hosting an IRS Mobile Office on Thursday, March 8 in Grove City.  The mobile office will have experts on hand to help constituents with questions and issues they may have with their taxes or about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in general.   

WHAT: IRS Mobile Office
WHERE:  Grove City, City Hall Building
                   Council Chambers
                   4035 Broadway
                   Grove City, OH 43123
TIME: Thursday, March 8, 11:00am to 2:00pm
IN ATTENDANCE:  Will be caseworkers from Stivers’ office, as well as representatives from the IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service, to provide the following services:
 
            -  Help resolve any specific tax issues
            -  Discuss any systemic problems with the IRS
            -  Generate Tax Transcripts
            -  Provide information on the Earned Income Tax Credit
            -  Discuss the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program
            -  Explain the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program
            -  Provide tips for identity theft prevention
            -  Provide tax forms
 
This event is open to the public. Any further questions can be directed to Stivers’ Hilliard District Office at (614) 771-4968.

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Reps. Stivers, Beatty Make First Stop on Civility Tour at Cristo Rey High School

2018/02/22

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) made the first stop on their Civility Tour, speaking to students from Cristo Rey Columbus High School at the Columbus Metropolitan Library about the importance of civility and respect in everyday life.

The kickoff event follows Stivers and Beatty’s announcement last month creating the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus, which encourages all Members of Congress to act with civility and respect in their political discourse in their congressional districts and in Washington. To amplify and spread this message, Stivers and Beatty will be visiting high schools and civic organizations in Central Ohio to promote the use of a respectful dialogue on tough issues.  

“This Caucus is all about setting an example for the next generation, encouraging dialogue on tough issues, and showing that you can disagree without vilifying one another,” Stivers said. “Speaking to students at Cristo Rey Columbus High School was a great first stop on our Civility Tour, and I look forward to continuing to spread our message of bipartisanship, civility, and respect throughout Ohio and the rest of the country.”

“Too many Americans are no longer expressing their disagreements in a respectful way,” Beatty said. “That is why I am teaming up with Congressman Stivers to show that although we may not agree politically on many issues, we can disagree without being disagreeable.” Beatty continued, “We want more people to do the same—especially the next generation of leaders—so that is why Congressman Stivers and I are sharing our message with students all across Central Ohio.”

Stivers and Beatty talked to the students about their bipartisan work, and why civility is important at school, work, home, and in the community. Following the joint presentation, Stivers and Beatty invited students to share ways they can be more civil and treat each other better.

Since the 113th Congress (2013-2014), Stivers and Beatty have served in neighboring districts in Central Ohio, working together to take on a multitude of issues, including homelessness, veterans’ issues, and financial literacy. Both are members of the House Committee on Financial Services and serve as co-chairs of the Financial Literacy Caucus.

The Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus currently has 12 Members, and each member has made a commitment to find opportunities to lead similar bipartisan discussions on civility and respect in their own districts.

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Rep. Stivers Applauds R+L Carriers’ Announcement of Bonuses up to $1,000 for all Employees

2018/02/16

WILMINGTON – On Monday, Wilmington-based global transportation company R+L Carriers announced that it would be issuing bonuses of up to $1,000 for all of its employees, citing the economic benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“R+L Carriers are just the latest company we’ve seen invest in their employees as a result of tax reform,” Stivers said. “For folks in Wilmington and across the country, these bonuses can be used for everyday needs, pay for a car repair, or be put in a savings account.  This money can make a real difference for families, and I applaud R+L for their commitment to their employees.”

Family owned and operated, R+L Carriers began in 1965 with Ralph L. “Larry” Roberts Sr.’s purchase of a single truck.  Today, the company serves all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and many Caribbean islands with nearly 15,000 tractors and trailers and over 12,000 employees. As they have grown, they have maintained their core principles of treating employees like family and are “always looking for new ways to show our employees how important they are.”

There are now over 3.5 million hard-working taxpayers who have received a bonus, raise, or increase in 401(k) as a result of tax reform. To view a list of employers who have re-invested in their employees, click here: https://atr.org/list

 

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Stivers' SAFE Transitional License Act Passes House

2018/02/16

WASHINGTON – This week, the SAFE Transitional License Act, introduced by Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH), passed the House of Representatives as part of a package of bills from the Financial Services Committee (H.R. 3978).  This bill changes the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE) by providing regulatory relief for loan originators in an effort to make a smooth employment transition between bank and non-bank entities.  Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) joined as cosponsors of this bipartisan legislation.

“An unintentional consequence of the current law is inhibiting job mobility and putting independent mortgage lenders at a considerable disadvantage in recruiting talented individuals,” said Stivers. “Rather than leaving a job on a Friday and starting a new job on a Monday, as most of us do, a loan officer who moves from a federally-insured institution to a non-bank lender must sit on their hands for weeks, even months, while they meet the SAFE Act’s licensing and testing requirements.  This is despite the fact that they have already been employed and registered as a loan officer.  This is simply unfair, and I am hopeful this bill will be considered by the Senate soon.”

Currently, the SAFE Act requires mortgage loan originators (MLOs) employed by non-bank lenders to be licensed, which includes pre-licensing and annual continuing education requirements, passage of a comprehensive test, and criminal and financial background reviews conducted by state regulators. These MLOs are also registered in the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS).  By contrast, MLOs employed by federally-insured depositories or their affiliates must only be registered in the NMLS, and do not have to meet testing and specific education requirements.

Stivers’ legislation would make a minor change to the SAFE Act to require states to issue transitional licenses to individuals who were employed by a financial institution and are a registered loan originator.  These individuals would be able to continue originating loans for 120 days after being employed by a state-licensed non-depository entity.  Similarly, a state-licensed loan originator in one state who takes a similar position in another state would have a 120-day grace period to obtain a license in the new state.

This bill is a simple solution that would allow these individuals to continue working and underwriting loans, while in no way weakening the important consumer protections of the SAFE Act.

Last Congress, a version of this bill introduced by Stivers passed the House of Representatives, but was not considered by the Senate. Read more about this legislation by clicking here.

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Statement from Congressman Steve Stivers

2018/02/09

The following statement can be attributed to Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH):

“While this bill was not perfect, it included important provisions, such as increased funding for our nation’s military to address the threats we face, additional funding for infrastructure and combatting opioids, and extended funding for community health centers. I was proud to vote for this bipartisan agreement and reopen the government.”

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Moses makes an impact on Washington, D.C.

2018/02/09

LOGAN — There are two types of people in this world — doers and watchers.

The doers step up to the plate and find a way to get the job done, while the watchers think of themselves as doers, but don’t have the time to actually “do” what needs to be done.

Hocking County Municipal Court Judge Fred Moses is by all means a “doer” — while the county is in the middle of a huge drug epidemic, Moses steps up to educate everyone on the subject and goes after every dime and penny he can in order to help the county fight the war against drugs.

 

Recently, he had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. with Congressman Steve Stivers, as his guest for the President’s State of the Union address; however, Moses’ agenda was more than that.

While this was a once in a lifetime experience for the judge, it was also an opportunity for Moses to educate legislators on what’s happening across America in the war against drugs. Moses sees this battle daily in his courtroom and during the weekly Vivitrol meetings with those who chose to fight the battle with him.

“The opioid epidemic is taking its toll in communities across the country,” stated Stivers. “Judge Moses has been an instrumental partner in fighting the opioid epidemic in Southeast Ohio, establishing one of the most successful and innovative drug courts in the state. The key to the success of his court is not just the type of medication people are given for treatment; it is the wrap-around treatment that comprehensively helps them deal with their addiction.”

During his visit to Capitol Hill, Moses first met with Senator Rob Portman, and talked about the opioid issues and what kind of funding that could be created to help areas across the country, but more importantly what funding could be funneled into Ohio, and small communities such as Hocking County. He also talked about the criminal justice system and how the county is faced with exorbitant jail bills each month.

While some of the issues may seem minimal to others, Moses takes these issues to heart because they are affecting the community in a negative manner — the community where he lives and is raising his family.

He also spoke with Portman’s staff that is in charge of the opiate issue and drug intervention about new treatment methods coming into play; how things are done here in Hocking County; how the Vivitrol program is handled and is progressing; and funding available for the opioid epidemic.

His next meeting was with Representative Joyce Beatty’s opiate specialist. According to Moses, Beatty’s specialist didn’t have much knowledge on the Vivitrol program, but was well informed after their discussion. He also met with Senator Sherrod Brown, who appeared to be very interested in the Vivitrol program. Unlike Stivers, Brown has never visited the Vivitrol court; however, Moses extended an invitation to the Senator.

“I thought I helped educate them on a lot of things they didn’t know,” stated Moses. “That’s kind of my role — is to educate the people of what’s going on here on the ground. I’m here in the trenches dealing with it — I’m kind of like the private on the ground and they’re (legislators) like the general, and I’m trying to find a way to pass information up to them, so a face-to-face meeting with them is a big deal.”

Moses said the meetings kept him running from office to office, but he didn’t mind as long as his voice was heard and those of higher forces heard the struggles that small communities are facing daily with the opioid crisis. He connected with as many people as he could in the short time he was in Washington, including Stivers’ office and staff members.

“I also did some interviews with the Congressman for TV, he’s very proud of what we’ve done here in the district — there’s no politics that come into play when it comes to these issues,” Moses remarked. “He asked me to come talk to people — I got to meet a lot of representatives, got to sit with the new director of health and human services, who was just appointed that morning and confirmed. We had some dialogue about the opiate issue and he was very receptive to what we spoke about.

“It was amazing — I got to sit with some ambassadors that night at dinner,” he continued. “Congressman Stivers is really proud of what we’ve done in this district. This is what we need in our country — we need bipartisan people working together to try to combat this issue and I think he has done an excellent job of opening people’s eyes and working with me to help with funding and the problems surrounding the opiate issue.”

Not only is Stivers proud of what’s been accomplished in Hocking County, Judge Moses is also very proud of the fact that the Vivitrol program has an 82.5 percent employment rate of graduates, with only four cases of recidivism in six years. The drug court has helped many recapture their lives from the grip of addiction; and serves as a model across the country.

“I was there as a representative of Hocking County to let them know what we are seeing and one of the issues that keeps coming up is the grandparents are raising their grandkids now,” Moses commented. “That seemed to hit home with a lot of people. It was a humbling experience to talk to these people and have them actually take an interest in what we’re doing and how we’re doing things and — listen to someone from small Hocking County. So that was very humbling. I was very proud that they would take the time to listen.

“Congressman Stivers — he really treated me well — he took me everywhere. Everyone seemed very interested in the program (Vivitrol) and what we’re doing here in Hocking County — they are willing to work with us to help with the opioid problem,” Moses added.

Throughout the years, Congressman Stivers and Moses have formed a relationship and bond over the concerns of drug addiction in Hocking County. Stivers is a strong advocate of the Vivitrol Drug Court and has worked with Moses to bring awareness of the program and the issues surrounding opioid addiction.

 

“Spending time with Judge Moses and hearing about what he is seeing on the ground only further affirmed my commitment to taking the next steps to stop drug abuse,” Stivers commented.

“I want to thank Judge Moses for joining me at the State of the Union address and sharing his perspective. I look forward to working with him and other leaders in the community to take the next steps in the fight against drug abuse,” he concluded.

“It was really an honor and privilege to get to go to this event and to be able to talk to all of the legislators,” Moses continued. “I can’t speak more highly about what the Congressman does to work together with people. In politics we’re never going to agree on everything, but we need to work together and that’s what we’re doing. What I took out of this is — there is a group of people who are really trying to work together with this issue.”

Moses said the State of the Union address was quite the experience — being a judge, there were a lot of restrictions on what he could and could not do. For example, there were a lot of times, he was not permitted to stand and applaud as others did. He could not take his cell phone into the room and was stripped of his watch before entering. He was told to follow the protocol of the Supreme Court judges, and he did.

“It’s a piece of history,” he said. “The chamber is not as big as you think it is — it looks much larger on TV. It was interesting to watch the dynamics of the individuals and the parties coming into speak. It was a great experience — something that I would never trade for the world.”

Moses is hoping that with his presence in Washington, and the discussions he had with legislators, the community will eventually see more funding coming in to help fight the opioid crisis and to treat the people in Hocking County.

“That’s my goal,” he remarked. “That’s why I went there — that’s what I wanted to do. I hope something comes out of it for the county. I hope they start listening to those who are dealing with this on a daily basis.”

Moses wanted to make an impact on Capitol Hill, of how desperately small communities, such as Hocking County, are in need of funding to help battle the addiction problem that kills hundreds of people daily throughout the country — it’s evident if nothing else, his voice was heard.


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Next Steps Needed to Address Opioid Epidemic

2018/02/07

The opioid epidemic is taking its toll in communities across the country. In Ohio alone, drugs overdoses killed over 4,300 in 2016, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics. This is unacceptable.

Last week, I was joined by one of the leaders on the frontlines of this crisis at President Trump’s first State of the Union Address: Hocking County Municipal Court Judge Fred Moses. Judge Moses has been an instrumental partner in fighting the opioid epidemic in Southeast Ohio, establishing one of the most successful and innovative drug courts in the state. The key to the success of his court is not just the type of medication people are given for treatment; it is the wrap-around treatment that comprehensively helps them deal with their addiction.

For example, many in his program suffer from mental illness and have not been to a doctor in years. Using the court as an enforcement mechanism, the program gives people the complete treatment they need so they can rebuild to live healthy and productive lives. Simply put, as Judge Moses says, they treat everyone in the program as human beings – and the approach is working.

In fact, the program has an 82.5 percent employment rate of graduates, with only 4 cases of recidivism in 6 years. His drug court truly helps people reclaim their lives from the grip of addiction, and can serve as a model for not only Ohio, but for the rest of the country. Spending time with Judge Moses and hearing about what he is seeing on the ground only further affirmed my commitment to taking the next steps to stop drug abuse.

During the State of the Union Address, the president reiterated the need to address this issue, and I have been encouraged by the Administration declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. However, we need to do more than just declare an emergency. We need to actually fund the initiatives that will holistically help our communities. This means supporting programs that are making a difference in the areas of treatment, prevention, housing, employment, and criminal justice.

In addition to funding, success will require coordination among all involved. There is not one single solution to this crisis that will work in all parts of the country. That’s why our ability to coordinate our efforts at the state, federal, and local level is important in ensuring each community is getting the unique assistance they need.

I want to thank Judge Moses for joining me at the State of the Union Address, and sharing his perspective. I look forward to working with him and other leaders in our community to take the next steps in the fight against drug abuse.

If you have any questions about my efforts to address the opioid epidemic, or any other issue facing the federal government, I invite you call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049. I also encourage you to subscribe to my email newsletter at stivers.house.gov.

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Reps. Stivers, Beatty Announce Creation of the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus

2018/01/31

WASHINGTON, DC –Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) recently announced the creation of the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus. The Caucus will encourage all Members of Congress to act with civility and respect in their political discourse in their congressional districts and in Washington. Initial Caucus members include Congressman David Joyce (R-OH-14) and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI-06) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ-03) and Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01), Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07) and Congressman Steve Knight (R-CA-25), Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) and Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN-07).

Over the next year, Representatives Stivers and Beatty will be visiting high schools and civic organizations in Central Ohio to promote the use of a respectful dialogue on tough issues.  Other members of the Caucus will find ways to lead similar discussions on civility and respect in their own districts.  

The announcement was made at a panel discussion on civility at the Columbus Metropolitan Club, where Stivers and Beatty spoke to members of the community about the importance of bringing civil discourse back into politics, and gave updates on the issues they are working together to tackle.  

“Joyce and I don’t always agree on how to solve the issues facing our nation, but we find common ground where we can. More importantly, when we do disagree, we don’t vilify one another,” Stivers said. “I am proud to call her both a colleague and a friend, and I believe that we have an excellent model of bipartisanship, civility, and respect that Congress and the rest of the country could learn from. This is about more than just a Caucus, this about creating a movement to show you can disagree without being disagreeable in government.”

“Although Congressman Stivers and I hold entirely different political beliefs, we respect one another and are committed to finding opportunities to work together,” Beatty said. “Unfortunately, our bipartisan relationship in Congress is the exception rather the norm.” Beatty continued, “That is exactly why we are launching the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus. Steve and I both know the value of civility, respect and open dialogue, and we urge our fellow Members of Congress to do the same.”     

Since the 113th Congress (2013-2014), Stivers and Beatty have served neighboring districts in Central Ohio, working together to take on a multitude of issues, including homelessness, veterans’ issues, and financial literacy.  Both are members of the House Committee on Financial Services and serve as co-chairs of the Financial Literacy Caucus.

Here is what other original members of the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus are saying:

•    Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01): “As a father of three and grandfather of two, I’ve always aimed to lead by example with civility and respect. Republicans and Democrats are inevitability going to have policy differences, but we can disagree without being disagreeable to one another. I believe that by working together we can advance bipartisan solutions on the issues that matters to America’s families: growing jobs and wages, improving education, and providing security for our nation and in our neighborhoods.”

•    Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ-03): “There are many tough issues facing our nation and our best chance at solving them is for members of both parties to respect each other more, trust one another, and be willing to compromise. That is how I try to carry myself in Congress and have always worked to achieve bipartisan solutions to issues facing our community. Congressman Donald Norcross is someone I have worked on many critical issues facing South Jersey including protecting and strengthening Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, ensuring our veterans receive quality health care, fighting the addiction crisis, and standing up for the hardworking men and women in the New Jersey Building Trades. While we certainly don’t agree on everything, we have always treated each other with respect, and it’s great for South Jersey that Donald and I will be joining the Civility and Respect Caucus together.”  

•    Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07): “Bipartisanship is not easy, but that’s what the American people expect from their leaders in government. I’m proud to join the bipartisan Civility and Respect Caucus, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve the lives of the people we represent.”

•    Congressman Steve Knight (R-CA-25): “I’m proud to join Representative Stephanie Murphy as partners in the Civility and Respect Caucus. Too often in today’s political climate, people divide us into our camps of Republican and Democrat. While we may disagree on policy ideas, it’s important to remember that we are all working for the common goal of ensuring America remains prosperous and free. Civil discourse is the bedrock of our democracy, and I look forward to working with my fellow Caucus members from both sides of the aisle to deliver solutions to the American people.”

•    Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12): “Too often in Washington and across the country, we have a problem talking across divides because we don’t slow down, listen and have conversations with those who hold opposing views. The Civility and Respect Caucus will bring diverse members together to have difficult discussions, to debate and to find solutions to the challenges we face. We have to remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. United we stand, divided we fall.”

•    Congresswoman Fred Upton (R-MI-06): “While Republicans and Democrats may disagree on certain policy issues, we should always make a point to keep open the lines of communication. Bipartisanship, civility, respect, and open dialogue are an important part about being an effective public servant. I’m proud to join the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus and look forward to working with colleagues across the aisle to promote these important ideals.”

•    Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03): “No one party has a monopoly on good ideas and I believe this caucus will help foster an environment to cooperate, work together, and find common ground on solutions that help Minnesota and our country.”

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Not to be confused with Jim Hines.

James Andrew Himes (born July 5, 1966) is an Americanbusinessman and U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 4th congressional district, serving since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party and Chairman of the New Democrat Coalition.[1][2]

The Fourth Congressional District incorporates portions of Fairfield and New Haven counties in Southwestern Connecticut, including the cities of Bridgeport, Westport and Stamford.

Early life and education[edit]

Himes was born July 5, 1966 in Lima, Peru,[3] to American parents, where his father worked for the Ford Foundation.[4]

His father, James R. Himes, also worked for UNICEF,[5] being the director of the Unicef Innocenti Center, a research institute on child development in Florence, Italy.

His mother, Judith A. Himes, was, until recent years, the director of board activities for the New Jersey Board of Higher Education in Trenton.

He spent his early childhood in Lima and Bogotá, Colombia.[4] After the divorce of his parents, Jim, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Pennington, New Jersey,[4][6] where Himes attended and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School.[5]

Himes attended Harvard University as an undergraduate where he was the captain of the Lightweight crew and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1988.[3] Himes studied for a degree in Latin American studies as a Rhodes scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford[4] and graduated with a Master of Philosophy in 1990.[3] He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Bridgeport on May 5, 2012.[7]

Professional career[edit]

In 1995, Himes began working at Goldman Sachs[8] as a banker in Latin America and New York. He was eventually promoted to vice president. In 2003, Himes began working for the non-profit Enterprise Foundation (currently Enterprise Community Partners), and later began running its metropolitan New York operations. In 2007, he was named vice president of Enterprise.

Himes was appointed a Commissioner of the Greenwich Housing Authority in 2002, and served for two years as chairman of the board. He has also served as a board member of Aspira of Connecticut in Bridgeport, a board member of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and as an advisory board member of Family Assets, LLP of Bridgeport.

He was also an elected member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation and served as the Chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Legislation[edit]

Himes has sponsored 32 bills, including:[10]

111th Congress (2009–2011)[edit]

  • H.R. 2600, a bill to prohibit any state from imposing income taxes on nonresident individuals for any period in which the individual is not physically present in or working in the state, introduced May 21, 2009, reintroduced in the 112th Congress as H.R. 5615, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 4085.
  • H.R. 3973, a bill to award competitive grants to school systems that are implementing innovative early-education curricula, introduced October 29, 2009. Himes introduced a similar bill in the 112th Congress as H.R. 3322 and two similar bills in the 113th Congress as H.R. 3983 and H.R. 3984.
  • H.R. 4106, a bill to create a grant and loan program for retrofitting homes with renewable energy technology, introduced November 18, 2009.
  • H.R. 5779, a bill to terminate and reduce payments for various agricultural programs, introduced July 20, 2010.

112th Congress (2011–2013)[edit]

  • H.R. 1965, a bill to increase from $1 to $10 the shareholder registration threshold for issuing securities, and to require any bank or bank holding company to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission if its assets exceed $10 million and include a certain class of equity security held of record by 2,000 or more people, introduced May 24, 2011. H.R. 1965 has passed the House of Representatives but has yet to become law.
  • H.R. 3283, a bill to exempt from regulation under Title VII of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (WSTAA) any swap dealers who are either a U.S. corporation or a subsidiary of a U.S. corporation and report such swaps to a swap data repository registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to subject swap dealers to any regulations established by the CFTC to prevent evasion of WSTAA requirements, and subjects to WSTAA requirements any non-U.S. swap dealer who engages in swaps with any U.S. corporation, introduced October 31, 2011.
  • H.R. 6187, a bill to increase efforts to cure HIV/AIDS, introduced June 25, 2012, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 3630.

113th Congress (2013–2015)[edit]

  • H.R. 4552, a bill to establish minimum safety standards for equestrian helmets, introduced May 1, 2014
  • H.R. 5004, a bill to promote renewable energy technology for multi-family homes and to make grants available to establish or expand energy savings plans that reduce total energy, water, or gas consumption by at least 20% for multi-family homes, introduced June 26, 2014
  • H.R. 5674, a bill to award grants to higher education institutions that carry out new or existing programs designed to graduate students at significantly lower student costs and within shorter time periods than traditional programs, to create minimum affordability, accessibility, and value accountability standards for higher education institutions, and to financially punish higher education institutions that do not make improvements in such standards, introduced September 19,20-12

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Issues[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Planned Parenthood gives Himes a 100% pro-choice rating.[12] He voted against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the Affordable Health Care for America Act that was intended to prevent any federal funds from paying for any health care plan with abortion coverage.[13][14]

Defense[edit]

Himes states that "we should reduce our presence in Afghanistan as rapidly as possible and reshape our mission to focus exclusively on counterterrorism", yet requiring "presence in the region, but one considerably smaller than that required by our present strategy of nation-building."[15] He believes in a world free of nuclear weapons, and readily supports sanctions against Iran. He voted for the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.[15] He supports a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.[15]

Education[edit]

Himes believes that early childhood education is "the most intelligent investment a nation can make in its future," and voted to double funding for Early Head Start Program.[16] He stated in 2008 that No Child Left Behind "is well-intentioned because it focuses on education, but it must be reformed."[17] Himes also co-authored an amendment to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that promoted the financial literacy of students.[18]

Environment[edit]

Environment America has given Himes a 100% rating.[19] He believes that "By creating the right set of financial incentives and supporting a broad range of research and development, we can deliver the energy our economy requires to thrive while protecting our planet."[20] He also voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act.[14]

Financial services[edit]

On March 6, 2013, Himes co-sponsored H.R. 992 [21] which rolls back provisions in section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Citigroup's recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House Financial Services committee's 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word.[22] According to the Congressional Budget Office[23] "H.R. 992 would allow certain financial firms to retain financial portfolios containing swaps while remaining eligible for assistance from the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)."

Himes vorted for H.R. 922., the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act.[24] He also voted for H.R. 2374, the Retail Investor Protection Act.[25]

Gun issues[edit]

Himes voted against H.R. 627 which allowed loaded guns into national parks.[14] The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gives him a 100% lifetime score for his support of more gun regulations.[26]

Health care[edit]

Himes supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He believes in preserving Medicare and Medicaid and says we must be "prepared to equitably reform these programs to address the challenging problem of rising health care costs and ensure that these important safety net programs are here to help this generation and the next."[27]

The Fourth Amendment[edit]

Himes voted against H.R. 2397 which was to defund the NSA domestic phone metadata spying program.[28] As one who is against the NSA's metadata spying program, Himes states that he voted against H.R. 2397 not because he objects to the principle of limiting the NSA's power, but because the bill was created in a reactionary manner and stripped the NSA of too much power.[citation needed]

Transportation[edit]

Himes co-sponsored H.R. 402, The National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011, which would objectively fund national infrastructure projects. According to Himes, it would also "attract private investment and facilitate private sector partnering with regions, states and localities to borrow from the Bank while adding its own private equity to projects."[29] He has helped bring money to the 4th district, such as "over $70 million for safety improvements, resurfacing, enhancements, and bridge improvements to the Merritt Parkway; over $11 million for infrastructure improvements at the Steel Point project in Bridgeport that will generate thousands of new jobs; and $30 million for upgrades to Metro North’s Danbury Branch line."[29]

Animal rights and wildlife issues[edit]

In 2009-2010, the Society for Animal Protective legislation gave Himes a rating of 100% for his support of animal protection. In 2009, Himes was given a rating of 100% by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund for his position on wildlife action.[30]

LGBT rights[edit]

In 2009-2010, the Human Rights Campaign gave Himes a rating of 100%.[30]

Immigration[edit]

In 2009-2010, the American Immigration Lawyers Association gave Himes a rating of 100% for his stance on the defense of immigrants in the U.S.[30]

Electoral College and presidential selection[edit]

Himes lobbied the Electoral College to refuse to vote for Donald Trump and to instead elect Hillary Clinton.[31] On December 12, 2016, in an interview on CNN's New Day, he said that he was troubled by several actions by the president-elect. The issue that "pushed me over the edge" was Trump's criticism of the CIA and the intelligence community. The Congressman did admit that Trump won "fair and square," but he said that Trump proved himself unfit for public office. He cited the intentions behind the creation of the electoral college and he argued that it was created for an instance such as the election of Trump.[citation needed]

Political campaigns[edit]

2008[edit]

Main article: Connecticut's 4th congressional district election, 2008

Himes faced the ten-term Republican incumbent Chris Shays in the 2008 congressional election, along with Libertarian nominee M.A. Carrano, a professional philosophy writer and systems consultant, and Green Party nominee Richard Duffee. Winning by a margin of 51 percent to 47 percent,[4] While Shays won 14 of the district's 17 towns, Himes won all three of the district's large cities—Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford. Ultimately, he owed his victory to swamping Shays in Bridgeport, winning a staggering 80 percent of the vote there.[32] He was also helped by Barack Obama's massive win in that district; Obama carried the 4th with 60 percent of the vote, one of the largest margins Obama recorded in a Republican-held district.

Himes took office in the 111th United States Congress on January 6, 2009. He is the first Democrat to represent the district since Donald J. Irwin left office in 1969, and only the second since 1943. Shays was the sole Republican congressman from New England, and Himes's win made New England's House delegation entirely Democratic for the first time in history.[33]

2010[edit]

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Connecticut, 2010 § District 4

In the 2010 election, Himes won reelection against Republican challenger State SenatorDan Debicella. Along with the three towns that he won in 2008, Himes also won Redding, Weston, and Westport, and won Fairfield by nine votes.[34]

The campaign raised $3,660,497.57, $3,603,727 of which was spent.[35] Only 4% of that came from small individual donors, while 60% came from large individual donors. The remaining donations came mostly from Political Action Committees (34%). Himes did not self-finance at all.[35] The majority of his money, 74%, came from in-state. Only 26% came from out of state.[35] Rep. Himes disclosed 97.9% of his donations.[35]

Personal life[edit]

On October 16, 1994, he married Mary Linley Scott,[36] of Toronto, a daughter of Janet and Michael Scott. The ceremony took place at Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and was performed by the Rev. M. Jane Watanabe, an Anglican associate priest.

His wife was an assistant designer at Dorf Associates, a retail design firm in New York. She graduated from McGill University and from the Parsons School of Design. Her father retired as the vice chairman of Scotia McLeod, an investment bank in Toronto.

Himes lives in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich with his wife and their two daughters: Emma and Linley.[37] His daughter Emma attends the University of Pennsylvania. He is fluent in Spanish.[38] He is also a Member of Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.[38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^"Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  2. ^http://ctmirror.org/2016/12/01/himes-to-head-centrist-dem-group/
  3. ^ abc"Himes, James A". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  4. ^ abcdeHalbfinger, David M. (2008-11-09). "'Bullheaded' and a Rhodes Scholar, and Now Headed to Capitol Hill". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  5. ^ abCongressman Jim Himes : Biography
  6. ^"Himes Reaches Out to War-Weary Republicans"Archived 2010-10-21 at the Wayback Machine., Jim Himes for Congress. Accessed February 15, 2011. "He was raised by "a working single mom" in the small town of Pennington, N.J., and attended 'a decent public school.' When he brought home an A minus, his mother would ask, 'What went wrong?'"
  7. ^Rep. Jim Himes, D-CT, to address graduates at University of Bridgeport's 102nd Commencement on May 5
  8. ^Wall Street's Favorite Democrat April 26, 2012
  9. ^Officers | Greenwich Democrats[dead link]
  10. ^"Representative Himes's Legislation". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  11. ^"Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 13 March 2018. 
  12. ^Planned Parenthood Action
  13. ^Congressional Record
  14. ^ abcOffice of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
  15. ^ abcRep. Himes' Platform: DefenseArchived 2011-10-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^Rep. Himes' Platform: EducationArchived 2011-10-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^Vote Smart Project: Stamford Advocate
  18. ^Thomas, Library of Congress
  19. ^Environment America
  20. ^Rep. Himes' Platform: Energy and EnvironmentArchived 2011-10-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr992ih/pdf/BILLS-113hr992ih.pdf
  22. ^Lipton, Eric; Protess, Ben (May 23, 2013). "Banks' Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills". The New York Times. 
  23. ^"H.R. 992, Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act - CBO". Cbo.gov. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  24. ^[1]
  25. ^"H.R.2374 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): Retail Investor Protection Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress". Beta.congress.gov. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  26. ^Vote Smart Project: Brady Campaign Evaluation
  27. ^Rep. Himes' Platform: Health CareArchived 2011-10-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll412.xml
  29. ^ abRep. Himes' Platform: Transportation
  30. ^ abc"Jim Himes' Ratings and Endorsements - Project Vote Smart". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  31. ^Daniel Halper, "New York Post," "Congressman begs Electoral College voters to block Trump," December 12, 2016. https://nypost.com/2016/12/12/congressman-begs-electoral-college-voters-to-block-trump/
  32. ^Elections Results from the Connecticut Secretary of State
  33. ^Jon Lender & Mark Pazniokas (November 5, 2008). "Jim Himes Defeats Christopher Shays in 4th District". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  34. ^AP Election Results - Courant.com
  35. ^ abcdOpenSecrets.org
  36. ^"Weddings; Mary L. Scott, James A. Himes". New York Times. October 16, 1994. 
  37. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-25. Retrieved 2015-12-25.  From One House to Another
  38. ^ ab"Meet Jim". Archived from the original on March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 

External links[edit]

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