4-20-2017 Rokita Report

Apr 20, 2017 Issues: Education, Tax Reform, Veterans

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

  • $86 Billion in Regulatory Relief for Taxpayers
  • Howard County Military Foundation
  • Visits Across Indiana
  • Honoring Hoosier History - Branch McCracken    


$86 Billion in Regulatory Relief for Taxpayers

This week, the American Action Forum (AAF) released an analysis showing that President Trump and a unified Congress have saved taxpayers $86 billion through regulatory rollback initiatives.  Regulations are driving the costs of business up and are costing taxpayers money as agencies expand.  These savings were accomplished through the use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a regulatory relief tool that provides for expedited Congressional consideration of resolutions to repeal regulations.  Congress has passed, and the President has signed, 13 of these CRAs.

The AAF recognizes that "easily the largest rule was the Department of Education’s “Accountability and State Plans” final measure, implementing the 'Every Student Succeeds Act.' (ESSA)  The regulatory burdens were notable ($73 million in costs and 930,000 paperwork burden hours), but the fiscal imposition could have topped $86 billion alone."  I was the author and sponsor of the resolution that repealed this rule.  As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, I coauthored ESSA to minimize the federal government's role in education, not expand it as the Department of Education's proposal would have done.  We wrote the rule specifically saying that states were in charge and the Wall Street Journal recognized ESSA as "the largest devolution of federal control to states in a quarter-century.'”

AAF recognized that regulatory relief has taken many shapes during the Trump Administration.  We will continue to rollback the red tape that threatens Hoosier jobs and hurts the American economy. 

Howard County Military Foundation

This week, I addressed the Howard County Military Foundation's monthly meeting.  The Military Foundation exists to "recognize and support all military personnel, veterans, their families, and military organizations in Kokomo/Howard County and surrounding areas."  It was an honor to address so many of our warfighters and to let them know about the work that we are doing for them.

My office can be your voice to navigating the federal government, including with the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA).  If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out directly.  Since I was first elected to Congress, over 50 veteran-focused bills have become law.  These bills address a wide range of issues including need reforms after the VA scandal and providing better mental health for returning veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Just this week, President Trump signed legislation allowing veterans to seek care outside of the VA system.

I provided remarks to the Howard County Military Foundation and expressed my optimism that President Trump will stand for our veterans.

As Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee, I am carefully reviewing the President's budget requests, which include an increase in spending for the VA.  In addition, I have taken note that President Trump is restoring American leadership on the international stage, a sign of confidence in today's warfighters and in the sacrifices of those who served before. 


Visits Across Indiana

Last Saturday, I attended the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast and did a diner stopped at Blondies Diner in Crawfordsville.

In attendance at the legislative breakfast were State Representatives Dr. Tim Brown and Sharon Negele.  I joined these local legislators in a lively discussion on issues that include healthcare and infrastructure.  I let those in attendance know that Congress is working with President Trump to carry out the limited government agenda that we promised the American people we would.  Hoosiers want America to lead again and that is what President Trump is doing.  In the Fourth District, President Trump received an enormous outpouring of support in November and he is carrying out those promises.

I provided an update on my work for Hoosiers at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast.

At Blondies Diner, we had a very positive reception, I was told that "everyone really loved" our event.  It was a great chance to hear directly from Hoosiers on the issues that matter to them.  I always appreciate the chance to hear directly from Hoosiers.

Sondra is Blondie herself at Bondies Diner and it was great to see her last Saturday.


Honoring Hoosier History - Branch McCracken

On Wednesday, Morgan County gained it's fourth historical marker to celebrate Branch McCracken, the famed basketball player and coach who hails from Monrovia.  The full text of the marker says that Branch is an: 

"Esteemed basketball player and coach Emmett Branch McCracken was born in Monrovia in 1908. He led Monrovia High School to Tri-State Tournament wins in 1925 and 1926, as two-time MVP. McCracken played for Indiana University from 1927-1930. He led IU in scoring for three years and became a three-time All-Big Ten Team member. Inducted into Naismith Hall of Fame in 1960. McCracken coached Ball State basketball, 1930-1938. Hired as IU head coach in 1938, his team won the 1940 national championship. He served in the Navy during WWII; returned to IU in 1946. He coached Bill Garrett, the first African American regular starter in Big Ten basketball, 1948-1951. In 1953, he led IU to another national title. Retired in 1965; died in 1970."

The idea to recognize Branch started just over a year ago in Monrovia High School Teacher Steve Reeder's American history class.  Mr. Reeder wants his students "to take on a local history project to instill pride in the community" and one of his students Hunter March submitted the request for this marker.  Hunter is an excellent student and I am proud to hear that he will be attending my alma mater, Wabash University, this fall as an Eli Lilly Scholar.  Hunter is believed to be the youngest person to ever submit a historical marker in Indiana.  Thank you Hunter and Mr. Reeder for helping keep Hoosier history alive.


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


Todd Rokita