7-14-2017 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

  • Keeping America Secure
  • Ending the Scourge of Human Trafficking
  • State Solutions for Early Childhood Education
  • 2017 Women's Summit


Keeping America Secure

President Trump has made restoring America's military might one of his top priorities.  To accomplish this, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017.  This legislation provides our troops with the resources, care, and pay they need, and deserve, to protect our country.

The NDAA will allow the Air Force, Army, Navy, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard to increase in size to continue protecting our nation.  This bill will improve the training our military receives, and will modernize our nuclear weapons, missile defense programs, and military vehicles.  The bill also preserves prohibitions on transferring our dangerous detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States without Congressional approval.

The NDAA makes important reforms to broken Washington bureaucracies that will ensure our warfighters are served efficiently.  To be a good steward of taxpayer dollars, the bill tackles wasteful spending by reforming oversight of service contracts.  The bill calls for reforms to contracts that require more specificity in explaining their funding amounts.  Rather than rely on a potentially long and expensive bidding process, the NDAA allows our armed services to directly buy commercial-off-the-shelf goods at fair market rates by using online merchants like Amazon (which has a facility in Plainfield). 

Ending the Scourge of Human Trafficking

On Wednesday, the House passed legislation to stop human trafficking.  Human trafficking is a heinous crime that jeopardizes the safety and security of our country and our children.  Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received 145,764 reports of trafficking.  Last year, there were 7,572 cases reported.  In most cases, the victims were women and children forced into prostitution, child labor, and pornography.

To stop trafficking, the House passed three bills on Wednesday that address this scourge:

  • The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act, which reauthorizes and strengthens the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2010.  The bill addresses prevention of the crime, protects victims, and ensures prosecution of traffickers.  The State Department will accurately report the trafficking situation on the ground in countries and will not distort results for the sake of diplomatic, economic, or political considerations.
  • The Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Actensures that the Department of Labor can effectively train its employees to spot trafficking.  The DOL will have a clear framework to assist law enforcement in prosecution and will provide an annual report to Congress on their efforts to combat human trafficking.
  • The Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act expands the eligibility for Department of Justice grants to allow local law enforcement agencies to qualify for federal funding when developing and executing programs that fight sex trafficking.  Local government and law enforcement are better placed within communities to identify and address trafficking.


State Solutions for Early Childhood Education

As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, I want to give parents and our local communities a voice in Washington.  That is why, on Thursday, I chaired a hearing titled “Opportunities for State Leadership of Early Childhood Programs.”  We heard about local solutions from leaders across the country.

The full hearing on "Opportunities for State Leadership of Early Childhood Programs" can be watched on YouTube.

Finding an early childcare or education program is an important decision for many working parents and families.  The federal government should not be making the job of navigating the system more difficult through a confusing maze of federal programs.  State governments can and have stepped up to the plate.  Recently, we have seen states take the lead in operating early childhood programs, as well as increasing funding for this area. For example, Indiana has launched a promising new pilot program aimed at helping low-income Hoosier children access a free, high-quality Pre-K education.


2017 Women's Summit

On Friday, August 18, I will be hosting my annual Women's Summit.  The program will start at 9:30 AM at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds Conference Complex in Danville.  Attendees can expect to hear knowledgeable speakers lead conversations about the national opioid epidemic, human trafficking, personal safety, internet safety, and the cultural need for personal relationships.

For more information and registration information, please contact my Danville District Office at (317) 718-0404.


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


Todd Rokita