2-17-2017 Rokita Report

Feb 17, 2017 Issues: Congressional Issues, Education, Tax Reform

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

  • Juvenile Justice Reform Hearing with Chief Flannelly
  • My Strong Support for Judge Gorsuch
  • Protecting Taxpayers From Paying For Abortions


Juvenile Justice Reform Hearing with Chief Flannelly

This week, Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly testified before the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, which I chair.  He testified at a hearing titled "Providing Vulnerable Youth the Hope of a Brighter Future Through Juvenile Justice Reform."

Today two million young men and women across the country are involved in the juvenile justice system.  That includes children as young as ten all the way to those on the cusp of adulthood. That’s a noteworthy number on its own, but it doesn’t even include the countless others who are at risk of becoming involved in the system because of circumstances such as poverty, homelessness, or difficulties at home.  Youth who have been incarcerated are 26 percent less likely to graduate from high school than their peers and 26 percent more likely to engage in other unlawful activity and return to jail as adults.

Lafayette Police Chief Flannelly testified at a hearing titled "Providing Vulnerable Youth the Hope of a Brighter Future Through Juvenile Justice Reform" that you can watch here.

With Chief Flannelly and other witnesses, we discussed the collaborative effort between parents, teachers, and local community members to improve our juvenile justice system.  I will take this information to determine what steps the Education and Workforce Committee can take to help state and local leaders better serve vulnerable youths in their communities.

My Strong Support for Judge Gorsuch

On January 31, Judge Neal Gorsuch was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump.  Judge Gorsuch is an excellent and immensely qualified nominee.  He has a long record of commonsense decisions that respect the original intent of the Constitution, a document that is at the foundation of American Exceptionalism.

To show my strong support for this nomination, I led a letter to the Senate urging the confirmation of Judge Neal Gorsuch.  82 of my House colleagues joined me in signing this letter.  The letter was sent today to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley and to the Committee's Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein.

Last year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the American people would be given a voice in the process to replace Justice Scalia.  On Election Day, the people voiced their demand for a Justice like Judge Gorsuch to replace Justice Scalia. 


Protecting Taxpayers From Paying For Abortions

This week, the House passed H.J.Res 43, which provides for congressional disapproval for the Obama Administration's Title X Rule.  This rule would prevent states from redirecting Title X funds away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.  The resolution passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 230 to 188.

The federal government has no business mandating how states spend their healthcare dollars on providers of abortion.  H.J. Res. 43 will allow states to once again separate funding for women’s healthcare from funding for abortion providers, protecting taxpayers and undoing another overreaching federal mandate from the Obama administration.

The enactment of this resolution would ensure states have again the freedom and flexibility to distribute Title X grant money in a way that serves the needs and moral beliefs of their citizens.  To support the culture of life that Hoosiers value, we must keep the federal government from penalizing states that actively protect the unborn, who are the most vulnerable in our society.


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


Todd Rokita