5-6-2017 Rokita Report

Dear Fellow Hoosier,

Thank you for the opportunity to update you on the work of the 115th Congress.  I trust this finds you and your family well, as we work together to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington.

For daily updates, please take a moment to "Like" my Facebook page by clicking here  or follow me on Twitter if you prefer  @ToddRokita.

 


In this week's Rokita Report

  • Fixing Our Broken Health Care System
  • Christening the USS Indiana
  • Supporting President Trump's Agenda

 


Fixing Our Broken Health Care System

Whether piece by piece, or all at once, I will continue fighting to repeal the insidious Obamacare law because it has hurt so many people. Many, many more than it ever pretended to help. I'm proud to support President Trump and our collective efforts to fix the healthcare system for the American people. I was able to do so on Thursday by voting for the American Health Care Act, which passed the House 217 to 213.

Obamacare is hurting Americans, particularly small businesses and the middle class, by increasing premiums, reducing access to doctors, and creating a one-size-fits-all Washington dictated health care system. It is clear that we need a new direction like the American Health Care Act provides.

As Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee, I fought to include major reforms to Medicaid by ending the current open-ended system that encourages waste and fraud, and instead gives states the flexibility and authority to run their own programs.  These changes originate from my bill, the State Health Flexibility Act, which gives states complete control and sets funding levels for each year to cover nondisabled, nonelderly adults and children.

The American Health Care Act, H.R. 1628, will repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and create a new patient-centered approach that will improve care for all Americans.  We passed American Health Care Act to comply with reconciliation, a unique legislative process that allows Congress to consider legislation without having to overcome a Senate filibuster.  The Budget Committee can write reconciliation instructions and instruct the relevant committees to draft legislation to hit a specific budget target.  A limitation of the reconciliation process is that the final bill can only contain provisions that have a budgetary impact, specifically tax, spending and debt.


Christening the USS Indiana

On April 29, Vice President Mike Pence christened the Navy's newest submarine, the USS Indiana at the Newport News Shipyard in Virginia. The USS Indiana is a fast-attack submarine that will house 134 enlisted officers and men. The ship will be our state's first namesake ship in more than 70 years and is the first submarine named after our state.

Across our state, over one hundred Indiana businesses manufacture components for the submarines in our Navy fleet. As Ray Shearer, the Chairman of the USS Indiana Commissioning Committee said "Hoosier hands have indeed built the Hoosier boat."

A member of my team was on hand for the christening of the USS Indiana.  I wish the ship and crew well in their service to our nation.

The first USS Indiana (BB-1) was commissioned in 1895 and served in the Spanish-American War before being decommissioned in 1919. The ship was the lead ship of her class and the helped established the US Navy as one of the finest in the world. The second USS Indiana (BB-58) was a battleship launched in 1941 and served as part of the arsenal of democracy in World War II in the Pacific theater. The new USS Indiana (SSN-789) will serve in open-ocean and shallow water missions.  The submarine is designed to be in service with the US Navy until 2060.

 


Supporting President Trump's Agenda

On Wednesday, I voted to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year. This vote helps President Trump by keeping his agenda moving forward.  The bill passed 309 to 118.

As Vice-Chairman of the Budget Committee, I can confirm that the funding bill keeps the federal government within the budget caps. This helps ensure fiscal discipline.  Equally important, we broke the Democrat’s long-standing priority on a dollar for dollar match for defense and non-defense discretionary spending, which before now, allowed some programs to have an out-weighted influence over limited funds.

While keeping spending flat, this bill re-prioritizes existing funds to keep Americans safe, reauthorizes school choice programs and enhances border security.  The funding bill has important wins for Hoosiers and conservatives:

  • Prioritizes defense with a $25.7 billion increase in defense spending from FY 2016, helping keep Americans safe.
  • Includes $5 billion for urgent combat needs and $10 billion for beginning to restore military readiness.
  • Targets terrorism and the increase of foreign threats.
  • Funds the authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for military personnel, instead of the 1.6 percent raise requested by the previous administration.
  • Denies the request for a troop reduction that had been made by the Obama administration, protecting our army and Hoosier facilities like Grissom Air Reserve Base and NSA Crane.
  • Provides the funding that I requested on behalf of the Indiana National Guard for the National Guard’s Cyber Protection Teams.
  • Enhances border security with the largest investment in a decade, including $1.5 billion in emergency border security funds.
  • Provides no new money for Obamacare and no insurance company bailouts.
  • Fully funds the 2015 transportation law to date, bringing $986 million to Indiana, a $20 million increase.
  • Protects life by prohibiting federal funds being used for abortions.
  • Limits EPA overreach by reducing staffing levels to pre-Obama, back to 1989.
  • Fights against the opioid epidemic, helping community’s like Austin, Indiana.

 


Thank you for your continued interest in Congress and for supporting my efforts to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington. Take care.  

 

Sincerely,
 
Todd Rokita