5-26-2017 Rokita Report

May 26, 2017 Issues: Education, Spending Cuts and Debt, 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

  • Memorial Day - Honoring Those Who Served
  • President Trump Unveils Budget
  • Defending School Choice
  • Prayers for Manchester


Memorial Day - Honoring Those Who Served

Monday is Memorial Day.  This is a day we have set aside to remember and honor our fallen service members.  Throughout our nation's history, there have been calls to serve to defend our nation.  Many who have answered this call made the ultimate sacrifice.

There are memorials of these wars in our communities and in our nation's capital.  This week, I greeted Hoosier veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. as they were participating in an Honor Flight visit.  Honor Flight is a program that flies veterans to their national monuments and gives them the hero's recognition they deserve.  These men and women put everything on the line for our country.  They deserve our thanks and admiration.

Coming to our memorials is always an emotional visit because each memorial represents both those with us today and those who never came home.  It’s our duty as Americans to show these veterans that we appreciate them—this is something that crosses political lines because our vets deserve the admiration and appreciation of every American.

Harold served in the army during World War II and it was my honor to welcome him to Washington DC and to the monument built to recognize our World War II Veterans and their enormous sacrifices.

As we head into Memorial Day, I hope all Americans will take the time to honor our servicemen and women as well as their families. They should always be thanked, especially on this weekend.  Our nation is grateful for their service and to best honor them we must keep the values of the Republic for which they sacrificed so much. 

President Trump Unveils Budget

Our nation needs leadership and President Trump and Vice President Pence are providing it by submitting a budget that makes tough decisions—in other words, they lay out priorities.  As this Administration is striving to make our nation great,  now it’s Congress’ time to embark on our Article I duties.  Specifically, the responsibility and power of Congress to appropriate federal government spending.

We need to stop spending and borrowing beyond our means from China. We need a budget with clear priorities.  Trump's budget appropriately prioritizes on issues like tax reform, protecting our seniors, strengthening our infrastructure and economy, and rebuilding our military to confront grave foreign threats and keep Americans safe.  Our children and future generations of Americans need us to do our job because they are the ones who will suffer most.  They will be crushed by our nation’s debt if we do not take action now.

I was encouraged to see that the Administration's budget would provide states with access to Medicaid block grants.  As Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee, I stood up to include this idea in both the House Better Way proposals and in the American Health Care Act.  This would ensure that states are able to innovate for the benefit of seniors and the most needy.

This week, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney testified about the President's budget proposal.  I supported his efforts to balance the budget and asked questions about proposals contained in the budget, including one to privatize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Defending School Choice

On Monday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the administration's school choice plan in Indiana.  Indiana has been a leader in educational choice and I am proud my home-state is where Secretary DeVos has chosen to lay out the administration's vision.  With Secretary DeVos's speech, the administration made clear that things have changed, it will not be a Washington-knows-best approach but rather real input will come from the states, parents, teachers, and the local community.

I firmly believe every child can learn and every child should have the opportunity to receive an excellent education regardless of zip code.  Ensuring children receive the education they deserve is a priority of mine not just because of my role as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, but because I am the father of two beautiful children each with unique educational needs. Parents are the best advocate for their child’s needs—their voice must be heard and I am proud to bring the voice of Hoosier parents to Washington.

My team was on hand to hear directly from Secretary DeVos in Indianapolis.

We have made the voice of Hoosier parents louder in education decision-making through the passage of landmark legislation,the Every Student Succeeds Act.  This bill, which I coauthored, was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as the largest devolution of federal power in 25 years and ended many of the programs started by No Child Left Behind.  Earlier this year, I authored a bill that kept the Department of Education from using regulations to expand its powers.  President Trump signed this bill into law.


Prayers for Manchester

Monday night's terrorist attack in Manchester, England was a heinous reminder of the enemy we face.  Radical terrorists aligned with ISIS attacked those exiting an Ariana Grande concert.  Ariana Grande is an American artist whose fans are young children.  Both Kathy and my hearts ache for all of the victims.  The victims, their families, and all of those impacted by this terrible attack are in our prayers.

The attack reminds us of how critical it is to secure our country and prevent terrorists from infiltrating our nation.  These terrorists know no bounds--their intent is to create fear throughout our entire world and to destroy lives.  The terrorists took the lives of children targeting the most vulnerable.  These senseless attacks must stop. I stand in full support of the United Kingdom, an important friend of the United States and ally in the war against terrorism.


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


Todd Rokita