Smucker in the News

November 1, 2018
Lancaster online
Fact check: U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker doesn’t mention half his campaign funds when talking about his out-of-state money

Does U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker receive more campaign funds from outside Pennsylvania, or does his opponent, Jess King?

Both candidates have said it’s important to “follow the money” — to trace who they’ll be “working for” in Washington, D.C., as they represent Lancaster and York counties in Congress.

But after three debates and a month of attack ads, it’s clear that Smucker, the Republican incumbent facing an aggressive Democratic challenger, is not painting a full picture when talking about his campaign funds.

Before voters head to the polls on Nov. 6, LNP fact-checked a few of the most heated claims during the 11th Congressional District candidates’ third and final debate, held at Eastern York High School in Wrightsville on Tuesday.

For a fact-check of some of their other previous debate claims, click here.

Where the money comes from

Claim 1: Smucker said 60 percent of King’s campaign funds have come from outside Pennsylvania. King said more of Smucker’s funds — 70 percent — come from out-of-state, and that hers “is like 55 percent out-of-state.”

Claim 2: King said 52 percent of Smucker’s funds come from political action committees while hers “comes from people.”

Claim 3: Smucker called her figures “absolutely incorrect.” He said she gets a “significant portion of her dollars” from “literally liberals, leftists” in San Francisco and New York. Voters, he said, should visit OpenSecrets.com, which he said does “a good job identifying where candidates’ dollars come from.”

First off — both candidates get the majority of their campaign  funds from outside the district and outside Pennsylvania. That’s far from abnormal in today’s politics.

And while it’s tricky to get a full picture of where all their money is coming from, it’s clear that Smucker is leaving some major pieces out of the conversation about his own finances.

On the first claim, Smucker was roughly correct when speaking about King’s out-of-district donations, and how a significant portion has come from places like San Francisco and New York. King isn’t denying that, and she accurately said her out-of-state donations make up 55 percent of her account.

But when Smucker called her claims “absolutely incorrect,” he was wrong. He pointed out the Open Secrets website — operated by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics — and continued to promote it on social mediaafter the debate.

There are a couple issues here.

The website, and therefore Smucker, singled out only half of his total campaign funds.

It shows about $800,000 of donations to his campaign, with 53 percent inside the state and 47 percent outside. What it doesn’t include (and this is mentioned in the footnotes) are donations under $200 that don’t need to be disclosed and, more important for Smucker, political action committee donations.

Smucker has received about $880,000 more from political and corporate committees, according to Federal Elections Commission reports. Those committees are almost entirely from outside Pennsylvania. They include some local groups like Lancaster General Health and the Hershey Company, but they are still almost entirely made up of groups based outside of Pennsylvania — from Exxon Mobil to Koch Industries.

Even Google, which is based in that same Silicon Valley city that Smucker is criticizing King for getting donations from, has a PAC based in Washington and it donated $2,000 to him.

King doesn’t take any money from corporations’ political action committees. She has received about $41,000 from other kinds of political committees — so Open Secrets is missing that PAC money from her.

But it is also missing the smaller donations, which accounted for roughly $631,000 of King’s $1.6 million raised. While the campaigns aren’t required to disclose the details of those smaller donations, King’s campaign spokesman said that when they’re accounted for, 54 percent of all her funds come from out-of-state and 46 percent from within Pennsylvania.

Smucker, for his part, has raised just $14,300 from donors who gave less than $200, according to campaign finance reports.

The caravan

Claim: Building a case for President Donald Trump’s proposed southern border wall, Smucker said the caravan of Central American immigrants approaching the border includes 7,000 to 10,000 people. He compared it to “the entire city of Columbia coming across the river to York County.”

Claim: The congressman implied the caravan “would be a perfect opportunity” for people who “want to harm us, want to enter our borders, who intend to harm us.”

In Smucker’s first public comments about the caravan, he roughly doubled its actual size. The Mexican government estimates there are now about 4,000 migrants in the caravan, down from as many as 7,000 earlier in their journey.

So, it’s less than half the size of Lancaster County’s 10,300-resident river town.

The caravan has been widely reported to contain mostly impoverished Hondurans seeking asylum in Mexico and the United States. Trump has repeatedly claimed there are criminals in the mix, and the Department of Homeland Security recently said there are “gang members” or those “with significant criminal histories” but has not offered examples or evidence.

According to U.S. law, the migrants may apply to enter the country and seek asylum if and when they arrive.

Abolishing ICE

Claim: Smucker said King “wants to disband ICE,” the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that some Democrats plan to abolish. “She’s part of a group that calls ICE a terrorist group,” he said.

Smucker has been citing King’s endorsement from a national progressive group called Justice Democrats to make this mostly false claim. He said King made a “pledge” to agree with their platform when she asked for their endorsement — and their platform does include abolishing ICE, which it calls a “state-funded terror group.”

King has correctly said the only “pledge” part of the endorsement was to not take corporate PAC money (which she doesn’t do). As for the rest of the platform, Justice Democrats said its candidates would “generally agree” with it, and King has consistently said she does not support abolishing ICE.

Medicare and Social Security

Claims: Smucker and King both made similar claims to what they’ve said previously on Medicare and Social Security. King said “Medicare-for-all” would save $2 trillion by replacing consumers’ current health care costs, and Smucker said that would mean “doubling our tax rates.” King said Smucker voted to “cut half-a-trillion-dollars” from the programs while Smucker called that incorrect. Check LNP’s previous fact-checks on those claims here.

Claim: Smucker, trying to rebuff the idea that a single-payer system would work in the U.S., said Canadians with that type of system wait an average of 20 weeks for “medically necessary benefits.”

Smucker correctly named a study from the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute that detailed Canada’s average wait time. The finding was the result of an annual survey of physicians, according to the group’s website.  Source

Oct 29, 2018
Lancaster Online
Jess King and U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker clash over campaign ad during Democracy Day forum

Democratic congressional hopeful Jess King said in a public forum Monday that U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker was trying to stoke fear and “tell lies just to get elected” while the incumbent defended his controversial television ads and called her criticisms “naive at best.”

The forum, designed for high school students from across Lancaster County to engage with the 11th Congressional District candidates, touched on a range of issues while diverting multiple times to the latest attack ads.

“This is part of the problem in the political moment. Congressman Smucker knows that I’m not for legalizing heroin,” King said, referring to Smucker’s ad that claims a progressive group that endorsed her supports legalizing all drugs. “Like, you know me and you know my character. The fact that that is something that he OK’d to put on TV — I truly don’t understand it.”

Smucker defended his ad, accurately saying the website for the national group, Justice Democrats, previously stated its platform was for “legalization and regulation” of drugs.

Smucker did not say, however, that the website never specifically mentioned legalizing heroin — or that the website has since changed to specify the platform is about legalizing marijuana. A Justice Democrats’ spokesperson also told LNP last week that it was “laughable to suggest” they want to legalize heroin.

“What I don’t understand is why you would specifically fill out the questionnaire and ask for the endorsement of the group that you do not agree with,” Smucker maintained.

The back-and-forth was the most heated moment of the candidates’ second public debate this month. (Watch a replay of the event below.)

They will meet for a third time at a forum Tuesday night in Wrightsville.

Monday’s event was part of the first-ever Democracy Day hosted by LNP Media Group and the Lancaster Chamber at Garden Spot High School. After a morning session where students from 26 public, private and parochial high schools gathered to develop questions, seven students were selected to pose them on stage to the candidates.

Smucker, a West Lampeter Township Republican, is seeking a second term on Nov. 6. King, a Lancaster Democrat, is an economic development nonprofit director running for office for the first time.

The discussion focused on everything from immigration and election security to school safety and agriculture as the students posed their questions.

‘Fear-based politics’?

In the ongoing discussion of the ad, King also called it “patently false” to claim she supports “open borders” and abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — which the ad does with a dramatic voiceover and flashes of black-and-white images of tattooed men and drug paraphernalia.

“I would like you to not stoke fear in the way that you are,” King said. “I mean, honestly, we look at the conditions of this country right now and you can argue what happened in Pittsburgh was a result of our fear-based politics. We have to stop. And to talk about facts. That’s my request of you. To stop throwing on labels and to actually talk about what’s actually real in this moment. So I don’t support open borders. I never said I’m in support of abolishing ICE.”

Smucker responded, “To say that I’m stoking fear when I’m talking about individuals who want to come into the country to harm us is naive at best. We know what happened on 9/11. We know that ISIS is out to destroy us. We now that terrorists from other countries are out to harm American citizens and as I said one of the top roles of the federal government is to ensure we can all feel safe.”

On the issues

Responding to the students’ issue-based questions, the candidates revealed their divisions.

Smucker said school safety efforts should focus on identifying mental health problems and at-risk students early. King talked about mental health care but first mentioned comprehensive gun background check reform and banning weapons like bump stocks.

On the job market and education, Smucker said more resources should be available for high school students to know about college majors and the availability of jobs, many of which don’t need four-year degrees. King spoke about her support for debt-free public colleges by investing in public higher education.

On actual immigration reform, King spoke mostly about the importance of resettling refugees — an effort that the Trump administration has significantly scaled back. Smucker said securing the border should come first, and then lawmakers can talk about legal immigration like securing a permanent legal status for young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Asked what they’d propose as a 28th constitutional amendment, Smucker said it should be one to balance the federal budget. King picked campaign finance reform to lessen the influence of “special interests” in Washington.

And, at the end, answering a question about the polarized nature of “entrenched party politics,” Smucker talked about having respect for the opposing party while King said the conversation should focus on bipartisan solutions.

Moments later, they were arguing again over Smucker’s latest ad.  Source

May 3, 2018
Lancaster online
Fact-checking the attacks and critiques in the U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, Chet Beiler debate

During Monday night’s Republican candidate forum, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker and primary challenger Chet Beiler traded barbs over dirty campaign tactics and how often the incumbent has voted in a “conservative” way.

But how much of what the candidates said is accurate?

And how much was “hyperbole in creative ways” — which his how Beiler put it during a similar debate in 2016, during the pair’s last matchup.

Federal investigation?

One of the most contentious exchanges came when Beiler held up two campaign mailers that he said “have no basis in reality.”

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He accused Smucker of sending the mailers, which have vague mentions of Beiler having been investigated by the FBI and being charged by the state attorney general for an election law violation, among other allegations.

“Those particular mailers I was not aware of before they went out,” Smucker said in reply. “In fact, I don’t even know who’s sending them.”

After eliciting some groans from Beiler’s side of the crowd, Smucker went on to say he “was aware that Chet had been investigated by the FBI.”

“That’s not true,” Beiler said during their cross-talk.

Beiler was, in fact, charged by the state attorney general for violating state election law when he was chairman of the county Republicans before the 2000 election. The committee had planned to pay workers $4 for every new voter they registered, which was illegal under a 1995 law.

Beiler was charged with a misdemeanor “solicitation of registration.” He agreed to a plea deal and the charge was dismissed after he served 50 hours of community service.

Whether the FBI was involved is unclear.

According to an October 2002 Lancaster Newspapers story about the so-called “Votergate,” FBI investigators had been probing the matter and whether former state Rep. John Barley played a role in the case. There was no indication Beiler was the subject of an investigation at that point, and he declined comment when contacted for the 2002 article.

The attorney who represented Beiler in Votergate told Lancaster Newspapers then that he had spoken with federal investigators. He said they had asked about Barley and other officials, who were not charged with any wrongdoing.

Mailer from Smucker?

The mailers themselves say they are paid for by Citizens for a Strong America, Inc. — not any of Smucker’s campaign committees.

The group is a registered political action committee, according to federal campaign finance records. It is not associated with any candidate, so it must work independently, without coordinating with campaigns, as it supports or opposes candidates.

It spent $37,266 on direct mail to oppose Beiler, according to campaign finance filings this week.

In the last year, it has raised $3.1 million in mostly large, six-figure donations; and its spending has focused on a select few races in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas.

Those major donors include billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, who gave the largest contribution at $400,000; and Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox, and who gave $200,000.

Citizens for a Strong America did not return a request for comment through an email listed on their federal campaign filings

Voting record

During the debate, Beiler repeatedly called Smucker “liberal” —focusing much of the attack on a vote to keep the government funded in early May of 2017.

Beiler criticized the vote because it raised the national debt ceiling and kept funding for Planned Parenthood, which Republicans have routinely tried to strip of federal aid because of its abortion services.

Smucker did cast a “yes” vote on that bill. In doing so, he said he supported that it included the Hyde Amendment that prevents the use of federal funds specifically for abortion.

“I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record,” said Smucker, who has a 0 percent rating from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which scores members of Congress on votes related to women’s health issues.

Beiler also accused Smucker of having a poor rating with conservative groups — like The Heritage Foundation, Freedom Works, The Club for Growth and Conservative Review.

According to those groups’ websites, Smucker does have mere 46 percent to 66 percent ratings, and most are slightly below average for Republicans.

Smucker, on defense, said those groups have scored only a select few of the 860 votes he’s taken, and overall he’s voted in-line with President Trump 96 percent of the time.

Beiler compared him instead to Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, who represents the neighboring Harrisburg-based district.

“If your voting record would be anywhere close to his I wouldn’t be even challenging you,” Beiler said.

According to ProPublica, Smucker and Perry have voted in agreement 92 percent of the time.
Source

April 22, 2018
lancasteronline.com
Forum was an example of democracy in action

On April 7, Lancaster County high school students hosted a “Town Hall for Our Lives” public forum around gun violence and invited all elected officials and candidates running for office from Lancaster County.

It was notable that, in addition to me, the only elected officials or candidates who came were state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-96th District, and state House Democratic candidates Michele Wherley, Sue Walker and Dana Hamp Gulick.

This was a missed opportunity for our democracy and our community.

The student forum was truly a bipartisan conversation. National Rifle Association members, Republicans, independents and Democrats were in attendance. The students planned the entire gathering. It was productive and civil. Students masterfully facilitated, including cutting off elected officials 40 years their senior to remind them of the rule of “one microphone at a time.” I was one of the last people to leave the coffee hour that followed the forum, along with a group of conservative constituents who stayed to the very end.

The gathering was a face-to-face forum to discuss a life-and-death matter that our youth are keeping front and center this election season. Earlier that week, students at Franklin & Marshall College invited Congressman Lloyd Smucker and me to a forum on gun violence that he also declined to attend. So I fielded questions from the audience for more than an hour by myself.

I believe that running for office to represent this community means showing up and hearing from people who may disagree with me. To date, we’ve hosted more than 50 public events to talk with voters, and about as many house parties and community events. Is it easy to show up for debate and dialogue in the public sphere? From my experience as a first-time candidate, it is not easy at all. Is it part of the job? Absolutely.

I’d like to extend an invitation to groups, even those that may disagree with my stances, to host public discussions for those of us running to represent this community in the U.S. House of Representatives. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss and debate faith, family and values in houses of worship, economic development and business policy with business groups, education policy with our schools, and 21st-century gun policy with the NRA.

After all, the title of the job is “representative,” which includes showing up and hearing from diverse constituencies. Smucker has been in office for more than 460 days and has yet to hold a public, nonticketed event where political questions and discussion are allowed. If he can’t show up to talk with groups of constituents at home, how can we expect that he’ll reach across the aisle in Washington to advocate for policies that work for all of us?

Our Founding Fathers designed our government as a deliberative democracy — requiring it to include reflection, reason and responsiveness to the public to work effectively. Differences of opinion were meant to be worked out through dialogue, debate and engagement in the public sphere. Smucker owes the public some discourse on the issues discussed at the April 7 forum. Because most Americans support comprehensive background checks prior to obtaining a firearm, he should explain his positions on the matter and why the corporate firearms lobby spent more than $200,000 to help him get elected. But rather than speaking to his constituents directly, he defends his positions in one-sided op-eds in LNP, like his March 4 “We need common sense, not hyperbole, to guide guns debate.” It misled voters about how much the NRA actually spends to keep status quo gun legislation and sell more guns (he said $1 million, when it actually spent more than 50 times that influencing elections).

At the end of the student-led forum, I asked an NRA member who attended what his takeaways were. He shared candidly that he was surprised by the commonsense perspectives of the panelists (all Democrats, as no Republicans accepted the students’ invitation). He came in expecting that we’d each have “radical” positions, but left saying he has a lot of respect for the positions he heard and could even envision supporting them. To me, this is what democracy looks like. We engage in more public, in-person conversations and step away from our partisan echo chambers to hear what others are truly saying, why they’re saying those things, and leave with a deeper sense of what we hold in common.

Jess King is a Democrat running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 11th District. She lives in Lancaster.  Source

 

April 22, 2018
lancasteronline.com
Smucker avoids dissenting voices

Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s detailed accounting (April 8 Sunday LNP op-ed, “Constituent contact takes many forms”) of miles driven by him and his staff, telephone calls made, private meetings and meaningless form letters responding to thousands of concerned constituents is pure deceit.

The outreach he itemizes was carefully choreographed to avoid dissenting voices. Safe meetings with people who agree with him, photo ops with no challenging questions.

He’s congressman for the people he visits, not the rest of us.

His craven excuse for not holding a single public meeting since his election: People with different opinions will want to be heard.

He’s afraid of average Lancaster Countians opposing his plans to cut Social Security and Medicare.

He’s afraid of children, parents and grandparents questioning why he chooses huge National Rifle Association donations over the safety of children and families.

He’s afraid he’ll be challenged on his votes to take health care from millions of families, his complicity in ending environmental protections for our air and water, and his tax bill vote betraying working people.

The “paid political activists” his office gripes about are, in fact, a handful of our Lancaster County friends and neighbors who work many hours for little pay to help nurture the grass-roots organizations born here in 2016.

Do his staffers, pushing his agenda, work for free? No. His “paid political activists” are paid by taxpayers — us.

Politician Smucker has hidden from his constituents for more than a year. What is more cowardly than that?

Mary Wells

New Providence
Source

 

April 2, 2018
witf
How would Pa.’s U.S. House delegation react if Mueller is fired?

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017 file photo, Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs the Capitol after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Undated) — President Donald Trump’s recent public criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election has raised concerns he may be laying the groundwork to derail the probe.

While the president and members of his administration have consistently denied any action would be taken to silence the investigation, top Republicans in Congress don’t seem too concerned. They have said they won’t back legislation to protect the special counsel.

Other members of the House and Senate have avoided answering questions about the topic.

So, where does Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation stand?

WITF teamed with our public media colleagues at WESA in Pittsburgh, WHYY in Philadelphia, and WPSU in State College to find out what your elected congressman would do if Trump made a move against Mueller.

We contacted all 18 members, with a request they answer three questions. They were initially given a deadline of at least three days, which was extended for some that expressed an interest in responding.

1. How would you respond if President Trump fired Robert Mueller?

2. Would you take any specific actions and, if so, what would they be?

3. Should the president be able to fire Mueller?

Our reporting shows more than half of the House members from the commonwealth refused to answer any of the questions. Eight of the 18 members (six Republicans and two Democrats) simply did not respond to multiple requests for comment. A few issued statements. A handful were willing to talk about their views on tape.

How Pennsylvania's U.S. House Delegation Responded

Find out how your congressman responded below:

congressman_bob_brady.jpgRep. Robert Brady, D-PA (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

1st District:  Democrat Bob Brady represents parts of Philadelphia, the city of Chester and parts of Delaware County.

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

2nd District: Democrat Dwight Evans represents parts of Philadelphia and portions of Montgomery County.

How would you respond if the Trump administration fires Robert Mueller?

“He is obstructing justice if he attempts to do that, and I believe that’s more than cause for him to be impeached.”

Would you take any specific actions and, if so, what would they be?

“I would seek articles of impeachment…Last December, I voted not to table a house resolution calling for the impeachment of Trump. I voted for it twice when it came up.”

Should the president be able to fire Mueller?

“I do not believe that he should be able to fire the special counsel that is investigating him. I believe that is not acceptable…. I signed onto a discharge petition to support the special counsel’s integrity. It’s called house resolution 4659, which would prohibit the removal of the special counsel without cause.”

3rd District: Republican Mike Kelly represents the Armstrong, Butler, and Mercer counties and areas of Clarion, Crawford, Erie, and Lawrence counties.

Kelly’s director of communications emailed WESA this statement:

“I spoke with Rep. Kelly about your questions and he has decided to respectfully decline your request. Considering that does not serve on the Judiciary Committee and that each question is based on a hypothetical situation, he does not believe that he is in a proper position to issue a public response at this time.”

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Photo by AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

GOP Congressman Scott Perry

4th District: Republican Scott Perry represents Adams and York counties, as well as parts of Cumberland and Dauphin counties.

“I’m not going to speculate on hypothetical situations. Factually, it’s within any President’s jurisdiction to fire a Special Counsel. The Mueller investigation should be allowed to run its course, but it clearly has turned into a fishing expedition prompted by the illegal use of federal surveillance powers and discredited information that was bought and paid for by operatives related to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign.  I’ve said previously the scope of this investigation should include such actions undertaken by the Clinton Campaign and the Obama Administration. The truth is the truth and it should have no agenda.”

 

5th District: Republican Glenn Thompson represents Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Huntingdon, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties and parts of Clearfield, Crawford, Erie, Tioga, Warren and Venango counties.

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment

 

ryan_costello.pngCongressman Ryan Costello. Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News

6th District: Republican Ryan Costello represents portions of Philadelphia, Montgomery and Berks counties.

How would you respond if the Trump administration fires Robert Mueller?

“At this moment in time, knowing what I know, if Mueller were fired, I would take issue with that. I think he should be allowed to proceed with the investigation as he has been charged to do by the department of justice.”

Would you take any specific actions and, if so, what would they be?

“It’s difficult to say what actions I would propose taking if he were to be fired, because number one, it’s a hypothetical, and number two, I don’t know what basis would be alleged to have him fired. Without knowing those two elements, it’s difficult to provide any more clarity. But I think he should be allowed to continue with his investigation.”

Should the president be able to fire Mueller?

“My view is that whatever is customarily or constitutionally prescribed should remain…If we make changes to the independent counsel, it should be done at the conclusion of this investigation, not in connection with this investigation. I think that would only further politicize or poison an already very controversial situation.”

 

7th District: Republican Pat Meehan represents portions of Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lancaster counties.

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

How Democrats Responded
How Republicans Responded

8th DistrictRepublican Brian Fitzpatrick represents Bucks County and parts of Montgomery County.

How would you respond if the Trump administration fires Robert Mueller?

“I called for the appointment of a special counsel, and I have fully supported the decision to appoint former FBI Director Mueller – who I served under as an FBI Special Agent – as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election. The special counsel must see his investigation through to the end.”

Would you take any specific actions and, if so, what would they be?

“I would join Congress in voting to have the special counsel resume his operation. As I’ve said before: At the FBI, all of my colleagues – regardless of our role – put the pursuit of the truth and the defense of our nation above all else. Our mission was to follow the facts wherever they lead, and to report those facts with unimpeachable integrity. Congress should follow that lead.”

Should the president be able to fire Mueller?

“Although the President has executive authority to do any number of things, it is Congress’ job to provide checks and balances to that authority. As DAG Rosenstein noted at the onset of the investigation: ‘Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the public must be assured that government officials administer.”

 

9th District: Republican Bill Shuster represents Bedford, Blair, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton and Indiana counties, as well as parts of Cambria, Greene, Huntingdon, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland counties.

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

APtommarinoPax1200-768x475.jpgRep. Thomas Marino. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

 

10th District: Republican Tom Marino represents Mifflin, Juniata, Snyder and Union counties and parts of Perry County.

His office provided the following statement:  “Unfortunately, Congressman Marino cannot comment on if something will happen but is happy to speak to you when something does happen.”

 

11th District: Republican Lou Barletta represents Bradford, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union and Wayne counties and portions of Lackawanna, Monroe, Northumberland, Perry and Tioga counties.

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

12th District: Republican Keith Rothfus represents of Beaver County and parts of Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset and Westmoreland counties.

Representative Rothfus’s communications director told WESA in a phone call that the Congressman does not wish to speculate during this time. While she initially said Rothfus might have further comment, the office did not respond

 

13th District: Democrat Brendan Boyle represents Montgomery County and parts of Philadelphia County.

How would you respond if the Trump administration fires Robert Mueller?

“If the President were to fire the special counsel Robert Mueller, I would file an article of impeachment. That would constitute obstruction of justice.

It would be an exact replay of what President Nixon did in October of 1973, which has been subsequently referred to as the Saturday night massacre, when President Nixon was attempting to end the Watergate investigation. He fired the special counsel and it was after that event that you saw the first articles of impeachment filed against President Nixon.”

Would you take any specific actions and, if so, what would they be?

(see answer to #1)

Should the president be able to fire Mueller?

“No president should be able to obstruct a criminal investigation of any kind, especially an investigation into his own conduct.”

 

14th District: Democrat Michael Doyle represents portions of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

How would you respond if President Trump fired Robert Mueller?”

“Well, I think if he does that it would be the beginning of the end of his presidency. What the president needs to do is stop making himself look guilty by his behavior and let the special counsel do his job. If he’s done nothing wrong, he has nothing to fear from the special counsel.

Robert Mueller is a man of integrity unquestioned on both sides of the aisle. He’s a Republican and he has a reputation for fairness and thoroughness, and the president just needs to let him do his job.

And the president should do his job and not spending most of his time Tweeting about how unfair this is that there’s an investigation going on.”

Would you take any specific actions if President Trump decided to fire Mueller? If so, what that would they be?

“Well, I wouldn’t take any specific actions personally, but I think the Congress would. I think if he would [fire Mueller], this would trigger serious action by the House and Senate leadership.

I think it would be joined by members of both parties in the Congress. As to what specifically that is, I wouldn’t be the one that would be formulating that. That would be formulated by the leadership in the House and the Senate.”

Should the president be able to fire the special counsel?

“I mean the president has the power to do that. So it’s not a question of whether or not he’s afforded that power but in this particular instance where he is the one being investigated, it would certainly, I believe, spark many different kinds of actions against him.

So I think, you know, if he were smart, he would stop what he’s doing and he would focus on the job that people elected him to do … This is a distraction that’s not good for him and it’s not good for the country.”

 

600X340-charlie-dent-AP.pngRep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa.. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

 

15th District: Republican Charlie Dent represents Lehigh County and parts of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon and Northampton counties.

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

16th District: Republican Lloyd Smucker represents Chester County and portions of Lancaster and Berks counties.

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

17h District: Democrat Matthew Cartwright represents Schuylkill County and parts of Carbon, Monroe, Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Northampton counties.

“I agree with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: the special counsel should be allowed to finish his job. That investigation has already yielded guilty pleas from three individuals, a grand jury indictment of another, and prosecutor indictments of 13 Russians for allegedly trying to undermine our national democratic process.  This investigation predates Robert Mueller, and Mueller has a reputation for only being interested in the facts.  Both Congress and the president should allow him to get to the bottom of the issues underlying the indictments that are within the scope of his assignment.”

conor_lamb_win.jpgCongressman Conor Lamb. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

18th District: Democrat Conor Lamb represents parts of Greene, Washington, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. 

Did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Source

 

Feb 27, 2018
The Hill
House members allowed to use taxpayer funds for bulletproof vests, security personnel

A House committee voted Tuesday to pass a resolution that would allow members to pay for bulletproof vests and security personnel using taxpayer funds.

The Committee on House Administration passed the measure by voice vote, amending the Members’ Congressional Handbook to define bulletproof vests for members as a “reimbursable” expense.

The amendment allows members to use taxpayer dollars to hire security personnel for events like town halls, to accompany them “during the performance of their official duties” or to be stationed at their district offices.

The resolution defines “security enhancements” like bulletproof glass for district offices as not reimbursable, but says that the costs can be incorporated into the monthly rent of the office.

The new resolution comes amid a national conversation on safety and security in public spaces, namely schools, after a shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month.

It also comes just weeks after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) returned to the Capitol following recovery and multiple surgeries after being shot at a congressional baseball practice last summer.

Last year, the House passed a measure granting lawmakers an extra $25,000 to pay for security needs at their offices or public events in the wake of the GOP baseball practice shooting.
Source

Feb 25, 2018
Reading Eagle
Deciphering the new congressional map

The new boundaries present unexpected and perhaps unprecedented challenges for candidates.

Imagine an election with no incumbent advantage.

It’s easy if you look at the congressional district shuffle in Pennsylvania, now that the state Supreme Court has issued a new congressional map. Candidates seeking re-election are suddenly running in new neighborhoods and voters don’t know what districts they live in anymore.

“We’re talking about the biggest congressional change in modern history and we still don’t know if it is going to hold up,” said Dr. G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College. “Millions of Pennsylvanians are going to be in a new district. Six representatives are not seeking re-election; 12 are, but 35 to 45 percent of their districts are new to them.”

The new map has the potential to flip more seats from Republicans to Democrats and could help Democrats nationwide as they try to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican lawmakers have filed legal challenges of the new map.

In January, the state Supreme Court threw out the 2011 congressional map, saying its districts are unconstitutionally drawn to favor Republicans. Critics have said Pennsylvania’s old map was a textbook example of gerrymandering.

A three-judge federal panel declined Friday to temporarily hold up implementation of the map but laid out a schedule for the parties to elaborate on their legal positions, including a hearing on March 9.

Congressional candidates have been running under the 2011 map for the last three congressional elections. A new congressional map is drawn about every 10 years, soon after the census.

The court ordered the state General Assembly to redraw the map by Feb. 9. State Republican leadership whipped up a new map. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf rejected it and drafted his own map.

Ultimately, the state Supreme Court, which has a Democratic majority, drew its own map. It cuts Berks County into three congressional districts, compared to the previous four.

This is the new map for Pennsylvania.

For now.

Republican legislative leaders have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the new map and go back to the 2011 version.

In addition, eight Republican congressmen, including Reps. Ryan Costello and Lloyd Smucker, have filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“I think congressional candidates are confused and voters are confused,” said Joseph Rudderow, Berks County Republican Committee chairman. “We are trying to follow our current congressmen and the numbers are changed.”

Rudderow thinks he knows the motivation behind the push for a new map.

“There is a group of people not happy with the 2016 presidential election,” Rudderow said. “They were fine with the map until the 2016 election. If the presidential election had been anything other than Donald Trump, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

Berks County Democratic Chairman Kevin Boughter says the new map is better but he had hoped Berks County would be part of just one district.

“It is a world better than the old map was,” Boughter said. “The other side is saying it’s gerrymandered for us (Democrats) but anything close to being fair, they are going to say is gerrymandered because theirs was gerrymandered so badly.”

Who will represent whom

​Click on a district number for details

​The state Supreme Court has issued a new map for Pennsylvania’s congressional districts. Federal and state Republican officials are seeking to block the court’s map and retain the boundaries used for the last three congressional elections. The larger map shows the new congressional districts; smaller maps show the location and number of the old districts.
View interactive maps here

The legal challenge

Costello, a Chester County Republican, now sits in a district that includes all of Chester County but adds the Democratic city of Reading. Costello’s old district included portions of Berks but it didn’t encompass Reading.

Political analysts have said Costello faces a more challenging path to re-election.

“The new map was purposely designed to take me out,” Costello said in a phone interview. “Nobody disputes that.”

The congressional legal challenge filed in federal court in Harrisburg notes the impact of the new map on Costello’s campaign.

“In the new map, almost the entirety of Berks County will reside in a different (6th) district and the Township of Exeter will now be split,” the court filing said. “This has destroyed any incumbency advantage that Congressman Costello may have once held and the Congressman’s district now contains a majority of voters from the Democratic Party, where it once was a majority Republican district. He has been actively campaigning for re-election, having participated in numerous forums and town-hall meetings, and raising over $1.6 million for his candidacy. “Congressman Costello spent approximately $450,000 for his re-election in 2017, of which over $220,000 was spent in efforts to engage with voters he will no longer represent.”

The filing also cites the impact on constituent services.

“Costello is currently providing services to 325 constituents in order to resolve various issues with the federal government,” the filing states. “Approximately 144 of these constituents will find themselves in new districts which will likely delay the resolution of those issues.”

In a phone interview, Costello talked about services such as helping veterans process difficult disability claims and advocating for those navigating challenging Social Security Disability cases. They will have to explain their stories to a new case manager.

“It’s extremely frustrating for constituents,” he said.

Analysts say the new 6th District leans Democratic.

“I think it is tougher for Costello than it was before,” Madonna said. “He has a lot of money in the bank and he has not been a total Trump loyalist. But he is facing Chrissy Houlahan, so it’s game-on. The district is more Democratic now than it was before.”

Costello and other Republicans are taking a wait-and-see attitude, hoping a U.S. Supreme Court challenge will allow them to go back to the old map.

Most Democrats like Houlahan, a Chester County Democrat and former Air Force officer seeking to unseat Costello, are embracing the new map that is more favorable to them.

“I would say it is a more fair map,” Houlahan said. “Before it was hostile to letting people’s votes matter and now I would say it allows people’s votes to matter.”

“I’m a little bit lucky,” she acknowledged. “I know there is a bit of uncertainty for many candidates, but for me there is definitely clarity. I am running in the 6th and against Ryan Costello. Some candidates got drawn out of their districts. I don’t have that decision to make.”

Making decisions

Dr. Gary Wegman, a Reading Democrat and a dentist, does have a decision to make. He was running for the House in the old 16th District, which included Lancaster County and the city of Reading. He could run in the new 6th District, since he has a home in Reading, or the 9th District (central and northern Berks County and several neighboring counties). He owns a farm in the 9th, in Oley and Exeter townships.

“We are working to decide where Gary Wegman runs strongest,” he said. “We don’t know if this (map) is carved in stone yet. I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation.”

Wegman said he is glad the map is being changed, although it is costing him money.

“This process has to take place,” he said. “It was always going to be painful. It just happens to be in the 11th hour.”

Republican Scott Uehlinger, a retired Navy/CIA officer from Topton, had been running in the old 15th District, served by retiring U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, a Lehigh County Republican. He will now run in the 9th District where there would be no incumbent.

Around the state, candidates in different contests are abruptly moved into the same race. Uehlinger will face Republican Andrew Shecktor in the primary.

Shecktor, going for the new 9th, had been running in the old 11th District served by U.S. Rep Lou Barletta, a Hazleton Republican who is now running for the U.S. Senate.

A Berwick Republican working in technology sales, Shecktor said the new map benefits him.

“I was going to have a hard time in the 11th. That’s why the Republican party is so mad. Their map eliminated competition,” Shecktor said. “The Republican map (rejected by Wolf) was drawn so their globalist machine politicians would win. I like the Court’s map better. I hate losing seats, but I also hate seeing the same stodgy politicians run every time, cutting the little man out.”

Madonna predicts the new 9th District will go to the Republicans.

“The new 9th is heavily Trump,” Madonna said. “I don’t see a Democrat there. I think that is a Republican seat. But Democrats are more likely to vote this year and they are raising more money than in previous times. We might see a Democratic wave.”

Madonna considers the new 4th District, which includes most of Montgomery County and the Boyertown area in Berks County, extremely favorable for Democrats. All the candidates who have emerged for this seat are Montgomery County Democrats.

At the moment, candidates are cautiously moving toward the new map while awaiting word on the legal challenges.

“Unfortunately, we are stuck with this mess until it gets sorted out,” Rudderow said.
Source

Feb 22, 2018
brandenton.com
GOP congressmen challenge new Pennsylvania district map
BY MARK SCOLFORO
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, PA.
Pennsylvania’s highest court overstepped its authority in drawing new congressional district lines and did not give state lawmakers enough time to produce a map of their own, eight Republican congressmen said in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The complaint in Harrisburg federal court argued against the legality of the map put in place Monday by the state Supreme Court, and said a 2011 Republican-crafted map should remain in use this year.

The plaintiffs are suing top elections official under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, asking for an injunction to prevent the Department of State from implementing the new plan.

“Far from being free of politics, it appears every choice in the court drawn plan was to pack Republicans into as few districts as possible, while advantaging Democrats,” the plaintiffs alleged.

The Philadelphia-based Public Interest Law Center, which helped argue the successful case against the 2011 map in the state courts, on Thursday called the Republican lawsuit “baseless” and in a federal court filing said independent analysts found the court’s map shows no sign of partisan bias. The law center also said that Republicans who control the state Legislature never tried to pass a replacement map in the time allotted by the court.

A separate legal challenge to the new map by two senior Republican legislative leaders is currently awaiting action by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A spokesman for Wolf said he and the elections agency “are complying with the court’s order to implement the remedial map and assuring the commonwealth is prepared for the primary election.”

The 2011 map is widely considered among the nation’s most gerrymandered, a mélange of jagged lines and odd shapes that include one likened to the cartoon character Goofy kicking Donald Duck. Some Republicans acknowledge the map was gerrymandered, but say that is not unconstitutional.

It has proven to be a political winner for the GOP, helping the party maintain a 13-5 edge in the state’s congressional delegation over three straight election cycles. Democrats have about 800,000 more registered voters and a recent winning record in statewide elections, although Republicans hold wide majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. Republican President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania in 2016.

An analysis conducted through PlanScore.org concluded the state court’s redrawn map would eliminate “much of the partisan skew” favoring Republicans on the old GOP-drawn map, but not all of it.

Democrats hope a new map in Pennsylvania will help them retake majority control of the U.S. House this year. Six congressman elected in 2016 are not running again, an unusually large number that has helped draw a slew of would-be candidates seeking to replace them.

The plaintiffs include seven Republican members of Congress who are expected to seek re-election: Reps. Ryan Costello, Mike Kelly, Tom Marino, Scott Perry, Keith Rothfus, Lloyd Smucker and Glenn Thompson.

Not among them is U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican from the Philadelphia suburbs who wants to turn over redistricting to an independent, non-partisan commission.

Incumbents said they have already spent money on re-election campaigns in their existing districts, and that ongoing work to help constituents they may no longer represent is likely to be disrupted.

The federal lawsuit was filed the day after Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the court-ordered map from being implemented. Some of the same lawyers worked on both filings, and the approaches are notably similar.

In throwing out the 2011 map in January, all five Democrats on the state Supreme Court sided with Democratic voters who challenged the map, saying it ran afoul of the state constitution’s guarantee of free and equal elections. One of the Democratic justices, Max Baer, has been critical of the compressed time frame. The new lawsuit drew heavily from the minority opinions in the state case filed by Baer and the court’s two Republican justices, Thomas Saylor and Sallie Mundy.

The legal scramble comes on the eve of a very busy time for congressional candidates hoping to get on the May 15 primary ballot. Congressional candidates have from Feb. 27 to March 20 to collect and submit enough signatures to qualify.   Source

Feb. 16, 2018

Facebook
Concerned Citizens of Wake County

Hello! My name is Lloyd Smucker. I’m a Congressman from Pennsylvania, in a town called Lancaster outside of Philadelphia. I just want you to know the NRA spent $221,736 on me to make sure I stay silent and do nothing as our children are murdered.

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Jan 27, 2018
Reading Eagle
GOP grapples with fallout over U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan

A day after U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan announced he will not seek re-election, party leaders were working on a plan-B to help them hold on to the suddenly vulnerable seat in the 7th Congressional District.A Delaware County Republican who represents part of Berks County, Meehan dropped out of the race amidst the outcry over reports that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint lodged by a former aide. He abandoned his campaign three days after the state Supreme Court ordered state lawmakers to draw new boundaries for Pennsylvania’s congressional districts in time for the 2018 primary.

“The timing is terrible,” said U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, an Allentown Republican representing part of Berks County.

“The redistricting will complicate matters because of the uncertainty that has been injected into the situation,” Dent said. “If they draw a new map, people will have very little time to make up their mind if they are going to run.”

Val Digiorgio, chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, called it an unprecedented challenge for Republicans, brought on by a hyper-partisan judiciary.
“You have a compressed amount of time to see if there is someone interested and vetted enough to be endorsed – someone with a good resume and ties to the community. With the right candidate, we have a good chance of holding on to the seat.” Digiorgio said.

The state GOP will file an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court next week asking it to issue a stay in redistricting until after the 2018 election, Digiorgio said.

‘It’s just disappointing’

A former federal prosecutor, Meehan had planned to run for a fifth term. But last week, Meehan lost his seat on the House Ethics Committee after The New York Times reported on the settlement of a sexual harassment claim. The committee has launched an investigation of Meehan and House Speaker Paul Ryan said Meehan should repay any taxpayer money used in the settlement.

Initially, Meehan said he was still going to run despite the controversy and some calls for his resignation.

But in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Meehan described the former aide as his “soul mate” and acknowledged he had strong feelings for her. He said he never pursued her romantically and denied ever harassing her. Nonetheless, political analysts said the interview and a letter he released describing his fondness for his former aide derailed his chances of weathering the storm.

“Before the interview maybe he could have survived,” said G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College. The “soul mate” comment made it appear he was smitten with her, Madonna said.

Meehan, 62, a married father of three, announced Thursday night he would not seek re-election.

“That is a personal choice. He knows the details behind the decision better than anyone else,” said state Sen. Bob Mensch, a Montgomery County Republican. “It is not necessarily a sign of guilt.”

Dent said it is appropriate for the Ethics Committee to investigate Meehan and he would let that process take its course. Dent is retiring and not seeking re-election, leaving his long-held Republican seat in the 15th District also without an incumbent. Now, two of the four congressional districts in Berks County won’t have incumbents on the ticket in November.

“I’ve been a friend of (Meehan’s) for 30-years. He has been a friend on many issues,” said Dent. “The situation is what it is. He has been a guy I’ve grown to respect and admire. We have worked together on a number of matters.”

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, a Lancaster County Republican who represents part of Berks County, said in an email statement that Meehan made the right decision to not seek another term.

“It was disturbing to learn of Congressman Meehan’s behavior, and frankly it’s just disappointing. Everyone needs to be treated with respect at all times, and members of Congress should be setting that example,” Smucker wrote.

Joe Rudderow, chairman of the Berks County Republican Committee, had a similar message in an email statement.

“The Berks County Republican Committee believes that our elected officials need to always preserve the public trust and be good financial stewards of the offices that they hold. Without exception, their actions and deeds need to always be honorable and forthright. Congressman Meehan’s decision not to seek re-election is the right decision for himself, his family and the voters of the 7th Congressional district,” Rudderow write.

U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, a Chester County Republican who represents part of Berks County, said he does not want to pile on to the situation, but it should be investigated by the Ethics Committee.

“Obviously the situation is a serious issue,” Costello said. “I do think that when you look at his 30 years of public service, he did a lot of good as district attorney of Delaware County, as U.S. attorney in the Eastern District, and he has been an effective legislator.”

The 7th Congressional race is unpredictable not only because there is a short time to find a candidate, Costello said, but the state Supreme Court decision to invalidate the map also causes additional confusion about what the district might ultimately look like.

Across the state, candidates may have invested time and money into running and could find, after a new map is drawn, that they live in a different district and face a new incumbent.

The 7th district is now a prime target to be reshaped, Madonna said, because Republicans have no incumbent to protect.

“Given the state Supreme Court’s order that to redistrict you can’t create all these funny fingers (on the map), there is a good likelihood that the district will have more Democrats,” Madonna said.

In the spring, Joseph Billie of Aston Township in Delaware County filed as a Republican primary challenger to Meehan. He didn’t get too much attention but suddenly his phone is ringing off the hook.

“People are reaching out to me,” said Billie, 45, a machine operator working in paper manufacturing. “I’ve been running for months and I’ve had people come to me quietly. Now people from the party had been meeting with me. I had been getting a little bit of support but nothing like now.”

Billie was at an event for U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Hazelton Republican, Thursday night when he learned that Meehan is out of the race.

“I kind of expected it, but not now,” Billie said. “I thought it would happen later. My whole game plan is changed now. I’m still in the process of waiting to see who will come in. We will deal with that in May.”

Sean Gale, a Plymouth Township attorney, is exploring a run for the Republican nomination. Gale is the brother of Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale.

“I’m very happy Pat Meehan has decided not to run,” Gale said.

“If Pat was going to run, I was going to run. I always thought he was a fraud. He runs like a Republican and votes like a Democrat,” Gale, 26, said.

Gale is going to wait to see how redistricting goes and to see if there is a candidate he can get behind.

Digiorgio said the party will sit down with interested candidates and pick the best one to endorse.

There are five Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nomination: attorney Dan Muroff of Springfield Township, Montgomery County; Molly Sheehan, 31, a biochemistry researcher from Delaware County; Elizabeth Moro, a Chester County real estate agent; Drew McGinty of Jenkintown, who works in Information Technology; and state Rep. Daylin Leach of Upper Merion Township.

Leach was recently accused of sexual harassment and said he was stepping back from his campaign but he has not dropped out of the race.  Source

Jan 12, 2018
Lloyd Smucker Website
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s reported comments on immigration:

“If true, the president’s comments are inaccurate and unhelpful. I am part of many ongoing and productive discussions to fix our broken immigration system. We cannot let this distraction impede the progress being made in Congress. Furthermore, this sort of rhetoric does not reflect the decency of our community.”   Source

Jan 5, 2018
Lancaster Online
Paul Ryan-affiliated super PAC opens office in Lancaster County to help Smucker

Smucker and Ryan 1

From left, Lloyd Smucker, Paul Ryan and Barry Shaw at a campaign event held at Wenger Feeds in Rheems in October 2016.

DAN MARSCHKA | Staff Photographer

A major national political organization with ties to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has opened an office in Lancaster to bolster U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s re-election campaign.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC designed to elect Republicans and maintain the party’s control in Washington, announced Thursday that Lancaster County is home to one of its 27 new field offices nationwide.

By identifying the Lancaster-based 16th Congressional District as a “key congressional district,” the organization’s move is another sign that the traditionally Republican-held seat could be competitive this year.

“CLF is taking nothing for granted as we focus on our mission to maintain the House Republican majority,” CLF Executive Director Corry Bliss said in a statement.

Smucker, of West Lampeter Township, will be seeking his second term in 2018 after defeating Democrat Christina Hartman last year. He won by 11 percentage points in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats 45 percent to 39 percent.

Hartman, a nonprofits consultant from Lancaster, is looking to challenge Smucker again and will potentially face three others in her party’s primary — former nonprofit director Jess King, dentist Gary Wegman and city resident Richard Griffiths Smith Jr.

Hartman and King raised big money — roughly $200,000 and $100,000, respectively — and gained national attention in their first few months of campaigning in 2017. The winner of the primary will likely go on to benefit from outside help by national Democrats.

The Congressional Leadership Fund could aid Smucker in a similar way outside his own campaign team.

Its Lancaster County office will have a full-time staffer, interns and volunteers to promote — via door-to-door canvassing and phone calls —Smucker’s work in Congress.

The organization gave Smucker a late boost  in 2016 with $100,000 worth of direct marketing and get-out-the-vote efforts leading up to Election Day. An organization related to it spent $700,000 on Smucker ads at the same time.

The group opened offices in two other Pennsylvania districts: U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello’s 6th district and Brian Fitzpatrick’s 8th district, both in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The 16th district covers most of Lancaster and parts of Berks and Chester counties.  Source

Dec 6, 2017
wfmz.com
Berks congressman: Decision on Jerusalem ‘the right one’
US Rep. Lloyd Smucker traveled to Israel in August

WASHINGTON – At least one of Berks County’s four congressmen is applauding President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania’s 16th District, was part of a congressional delegation that traveled to the Middle Eastern country in August for a firsthand understanding of regional challenges and America’s strategic relationship with Israel.

Smucker released a statement a short time after the president made his announcement at the White House on Wednesday.

“When I traveled to Israel in August, I met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and had a discussion about moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem,” Smucker said. “The city is at the core of the nation’s foundation and history. President Trump’s decision to move our embassy is the right one. I will continue to support and defend our decades-old friendship and strengthen our alliance.”

U.S. allies in the region and beyond have expressed fears that the Trump administration’s move could stymie the peace process and increase security risks in a region that is already on edge. Source

Dec 6, 2017
The Hill
House passes concealed carry gun bill     

Two months after the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, the House on Wednesday passed legislation that would allow people to use permits for carrying concealed handguns across state lines while also boosting the background check system.

Despite bipartisan support for enhancing background checks for gun purchases, the bill passed along party lines, 231-198, due to Democratic opposition to the concealed-carry reciprocity measure.

Six centrist Democrats voted with Republicans to approve the package: Reps. Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Ron Kind (Wis.), Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.).
Fourteen Republicans voted “no,” including a mix of conservatives and centrists.
Conservative Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) held the mirror opposite position of Democrats who voted against the legislation: he supports concealed-carry reciprocity but didn’t want the background check measure attached.
“It throws millions of dollars at a faulty program and it will result in more law-abiding citizens being deprived of their right to keep and bear arms,” Massie wrote in a Facebook post ahead of the vote.

The gun policy measures were originally two separate bills. But House GOP leaders opted to combine them so that lawmakers only had to cast one vote.

Attaching the concealed-carry reciprocity measure puts the bipartisan measure to beef up background checks in jeopardy in the Senate.

The legislation as passed by the House faces an uncertain future in the upper chamber, where Democrats are sure to block the concealed-carry measure, but a bipartisan coalition has enough votes to break a filibuster on enhancing background checks.

Under the House legislation, people with permits for carrying concealed handguns could do so in any state that allows concealed weapons.

People could only use their concealed-carry permits in other states that allow the practice if they are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID and are lawfully licensed to possess a concealed handgun. They would still have to adhere to established state and local laws.

Concealed-carry reciprocity is a top legislative priority for the National Rifle Association, which has resisted proposals to restrict access to guns in response to mass shootings.

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), the author of the concealed-carry bill, compared the concealed-carry reciprocity measure to how driver’s licenses and marriage licenses are recognized across states.

He gave an example of a single mother in south Philadelphia who had twice been mugged and purchased a handgun to protect herself. But she traveled to New Jersey, which didn’t recognize her Pennsylvania concealed-carry permit.

“If I get married in North Carolina but I move to Arizona, I’m not a single man again. They recognize that marriage,” Hudson said during House floor debate. “The concealed-carry permit should be recognized the same way.”

Gun reform groups lobbied against the concealed-carry measure. Mark Kelly, the co-founder of a group named after his wife, ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), said that the policy doesn’t work if people aren’t properly trained.

Kelly recalled how a well-intentioned man with a concealed gun almost shot one of the people responsible for wrestling the shooter who nearly killed Giffords in a 2011 shooting to the ground.

“The situation that played out in the Safeway parking lot that day shows the potential for tragedy and bloodshed when untrained people carrying loaded guns react to a crisis. Even with the best intentions, an armed person without the extensive firearms training that is required to respond under pressure in a crisis will risk making the situation worse, not better,” Kelly wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

States have varying requirements for carrying concealed weapons, like gun safety training, age limits, and prohibitions on individuals known to have abusive pasts.

The package also included a bill from Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) that would ensure authorities report criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and penalize agencies that don’t report to the FBI.

Democrats supported the background check measure but balked at including the concealed-carry reciprocity.

“Unfortunately, the dangers posed by the concealed carry reciprocity portion of the bill greatly outweigh the benefits of the NICS improvements,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), the acting ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

The shooter responsible for the Nov. 5 massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was prohibited from buying or possessing a gun due to a domestic violence conviction while serving in the Air Force. But the Air Force failed to enter the criminal record into the federal database used for gun background checks.

Another provision in the bill is in direct response to the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas, which killed nearly 60 people and injured more than 500 others.

Law enforcement authorities found a dozen devices known as bump stocks, which are used to make weapons fire more rapidly, in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room.

The measure would require the Justice Department to report to Congress on the number of times a bump stock has been used in a crime. It’s far less stringent than bipartisan bills introduced in Congress since the Las Vegas shooting to prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of the devices.

But ahead of Wednesday’s vote, the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced on Tuesday that it is considering a possible ban on certain bump stocks.

Lawmakers had been pushing for the Trump administration to clarify whether bump stocks violate the ban on fully automatic weapons manufactured after 1986.

“The regulatory clarification we begin today will help us to continue to protect the American people by carrying out the laws duly enacted by our representatives in Congress,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) introduced a bipartisan bill after the Las Vegas shooting to ban bump stocks. He voted against the Wednesday legislation, citing the lack of an effort to prohibit the devices.
“[T]he refusal to meaningfully address dangerous bump stocks in this legislation ‎is inexplicable and contrary to the position held by most Americans and the overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners,” Curbelo said in a statement.  Source
Chester County’s two vulnerable Reps Costello and Meehan voted no. Smucker, who is not
considered vulnerable vote yes. See votes here

 

Nov 19, 2017
LancasterOnline
Tax plan filled ‘with pretty cruelties’
Opinion

Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s Nov. 12 Sunday LNP op-ed, “Done the right way, tax reform is a game-changer,” demonstrates where his priorities are and, ultimately, who will benefit most from his vote on the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

The congressman describes “the real faces of tax reform”: Chris Buck, a teacher and father from northern Lancaster County; Cinthia Kettering, a Lancaster businesswoman; Travis Eby and his brother Nick, operators of a business in Lancaster; and CEO Tom Duff, a Mount Joy business owner.

Smucker’s idea of the “real faces” of tax reform is largely corporate America, and that’s who the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts benefits.

According to GOP talking points, a family of four making $59,000 per year will save $1,182.

How does that “relief” reconcile with the burden of an average American family making $59,000 a year? It doesn’t.

— $1,494: The median monthly cost of owning and living in a mortgaged home, according to the Census Bureau.

— $1,064: The average cost to feed a family of four for a month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

— $958: The average cost of two car payments, according to thebalance.com.

— $3,900: The cost of one semester of tuition at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

— $3,000: The average cost of braces, according thenest.com.

— $4,580: The average cost of a vacation, according to Forbes.

— $5,122: Average credit card debt in the Lancaster area, according to valuepenguin.com.

— $204.88: An average credit card payment per month.

The Tax Cuts and Job Act isn’t for middle-class America, it’s a gift to corporate America. The Los Angeles Times said it best: “The GOP tax plan is filled with petty cruelties aimed at the vulnerable and the middle class.”

Brett Dolente
Kennett Square
Source

Nov 16, 2017
money.com
House vote on taxes: Here’s what’s in the bill Republicans just passed

House passes GOP tax bill, Senate plan unclear

House Republicans on Thursday passed a bill along strict party lines that would revamp the U.S. tax code and affect every corner of the U.S. economy.

Passage of the bill comes just two weeks after it was first unveiled by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady.

It also comes the same week that the Senate Finance Committee is wrapping up work on its own tax overhaul bill at breakneck speed. Eventually any legislation approved by each chamber will have to be reconciled into one plan.

The House bill would mean tax cuts on average for all income groups in 2018 and most income groups in 2027, but the biggest benefits go to those at the top, according to the Tax Policy Center.

But that doesn’t mean everyone in every income group would pay less. The TPC estimates that next year about 10% of middle income filers and 20% of the highest income households would pay more. Those percentages rise to 30% for each group by 2027.

Here are some key provisions in the bill.

FOR INDIVIDUALS

Reduces income tax brackets: There are seven federal income tax brackets in today’s code that are taxed at 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6%.

The House bill consolidates those into four brackets:

12% (up to first $45,000 of taxable income for individuals; $90,000 for married couples filing jointly)

25% (over $45,000 to $200,000 for individuals; over $90,000 to $260,000 for married couples)

35% (over $200,000 to $500,000 for individuals; over $260,000 to $1 million for married couples)

39.6% (over $500,000 for individuals; over $1 million for married couples)

There is also a 6% surtax or “bubble rate” that applies to adjusted gross income over $1 million ($1.2 million for couples) until it effectively claws back the benefits of the 12% bracket for the highest income households.

Doubles the standard deduction: The bill raises today’s standard deduction for singles to $12,200 from $6,350 currently; and it raises it for married couples filing jointly to $24,400 from $12,700.

That would drastically reduce the number of people who opt to itemize their deductions, since the only reason to do so is if your individual deductions combined exceed the standard deduction amount.

Eliminates personal exemptions: Today you’re allowed to claim a $4,050 personal exemption for yourself, your spouse and each of your dependents. The House bill eliminates that option.

Related: Senate tax cuts permanent for business, temporary for you

For families with three or more kids, that could mute, if not negate any tax relief they might enjoy as a result of other provisions in the bill.

Expands child tax credit: The bill would increase for five years the child tax credit to $1,600, up from $1,000, for any child under 17.

But that $600 increase won’t be available to the lowest-income families if they don’t end up owing federal income taxes. That’s because unlike the first $1,000, the extra $600 won’t be refundable. Refundable means that if your federal income tax bill is zero, you get a check from the government because of the credit.

The bill would let more people claim the child tax credit. The income level where the credit starts to phase out would increase to $115,000 for single parents, up from $75,000 today, and to $230,000 for married parents, up from $110,000.

Creates a new $300 family tax credit: Taxpayers may claim a $300 non-refundable tax credit for themselves as well as any nonchild dependent — for instance, a son or daughter over 17 whom you’re supporting, an ailing elderly mother or an adult child with a disability.

So a family of four — two parents, a 12-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son — could reduce their tax bill by up to $2,500, said Elaine Maag, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute. They could claim the $1,600 child tax credit for the daughter, the $300 nonchild dependent credit for the son and a $300 credit for each parent.

The income thresholds governing the family tax credit are the same as for the child tax credit.

The family credit would expire after five years.

Kills state and local income tax deduction, limits property tax break: The prospect of fully repealing the state and local tax deduction, which lets filers deduct their property taxes as well as their state and local income or sales taxes, has been met with strong opposition from lawmakers in high-tax states and cities.

So the House bill preserves an itemized property tax deduction for property taxes but only up to $10,000.

Limits deductible mortgage interest: The bill preserves the mortgage deduction as is for existing mortgages. But for newly purchased homes, you would only be able to claim a deduction for interest you pay on mortgage debt up to $500,000, down from $1 million today.

But since the bill doubles the standard deduction, only 4% of filers would still claim the mortgage interest deduction, down from 21% today, according to Tax Policy Center estimates.

How do you think tax reform will affect you? Share your story with CNNMoney here

Repeals many other deductions: These include those for medical expenses, tax preparation fees, alimony payments, student loan interest and moving expenses.

Repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax: The AMT, originally intended to ensure the richest tax filers pay at least some tax by disallowing many tax breaks, but it most typically hits filers making between $200,000 and $1 million today.

Those who make more usually find they owe more tax under the regular income tax code, so end up having to pay that tab instead.

Repeals the estate tax: The estate tax today affects just 0.2% of all estates, and only those with more than $5.49 million in assets (or $10.98 million if you leave a spouse behind).

Nevertheless, Republicans are still pushing to repeal it. The House bill, however, would delay repeal until 2024, and in the meantime doubles the exemption levels.

Given that the White House and Republicans have been pushing tax reform as a boon to the middle class and given that the estate tax exemption levels already protect the vast majority of family farms and businesses from having to pay it, this provision may face a steep climb to the finish line.

FOR BUSINESSES

Lowers corporate tax rate: The bill would permanently cut the corporate rate to 20% from 35%.

Republicans argue that corporate tax cuts are good for the middle class because they will increase investment, jobs and wages. The White House even asserts that a corporate tax cut will result in at least a $4,000 boost in annual income for households.

But a lot of economists push back on the idea that the middle class will see a big raise soon, if at all.

Creates territorial tax system: U.S. companies owe U.S. tax on all their profits, regardless of where those profits are earned.

Many argue that this “worldwide” system puts American businesses at a disadvantage to foreign competitors. That’s because those competitors come from countries with territorial tax systems, meaning they don’t owe tax to their own governments on income they make offshore.

The House GOP bill would switch corporate taxation to a territorial system. That way, American companies would owe U.S. tax only on what they earn here. Their offshore profits would only be taxed by the country where the money is made.

Taxes existing overseas profits: The House bill would impose a one-time rate of 14% on existing foreign profits if they’re being held offshore in cash. Foreign profits that are invested in noncash assets offshore would be taxed at 7%. Companies would have up to eight years to pay what they owe.

The measure would raise revenue from income that has so far escaped U.S. taxation. Under current law, companies pay U.S. tax only when they bring the money home. But it’s also meant to entice companies to invest some of the foreign profits stateside.

Lowers tax rate on pass-throughs: Most U.S. businesses, large and small, are set up as pass-through businesses, not corporations. They’re called pass-throughs because their profits are passed through to the owners, shareholders and partners, who pay tax on them through their personal returns.

The House bill would lower the top income tax rate on pass-throughs’ profits to 25% from 39.6% today.

It would also offer a phased in lower rate of 9% for businesses that earn less than $75,000. That’s below the 12% bottom bracket in the House bill and below today’s 10% bracket.
Source

Nov 16, 2017
New York Times
How Every Member Voted on the House Tax Bill

The House on Thursday passed its version of a tax bill, largely along party lines. Every Democrat voted no, but so did 13 Republicans, many of whom represent districts in high-tax states that could be particularly hurt by the repeal of the state and local income tax deduction.

H.R.1 – TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT YES NO Not voting
Republicans 227 13 0
Democrats 0 192 2
Total 227 205 2

The Senate is working on its own tax bill, and Republicans say they hope to pass a reconciled version through both chambers by the end of the year.

Republicans Who Represent High-Tax Districts

Most of the Republicans who voted no represent districts with a high average state and local tax deduction, which would be scaled back significantly under the House plan. Taxpayers would no longer be able to deduct state and local income and sales taxes, and the property tax deduction would be limited to $10,000.

District Representative Average state and local deduction Share taking the deduction Yes No
NJ-7 Leonard Lance $21,276 46%
N
NJ-11 Rodney Frelinghuysen 20,124 42
N
NY-2 Peter T. King 20,111 48
N
CA-48 Dana Rohrabacher 18,200 37
N
CA-45 Mimi Walters 18,200 37
Y
NY-1 Lee Zeldin 17,686 46
N
NJ-4 Christopher H. Smith 16,912 45
N
CA-25 Steve Knight 16,723 33
Y
CA-49 Darrell Issa 16,524 35
N
CA-39 Ed Royce 15,575 33
Y
MN-3 Erik Paulsen 15,021 40
Y
IL-6 Peter Roskam 14,830 38
Y
IL-14 Randy Hultgren 14,453 43
Y
CA-23 Kevin McCarthy 14,370 29
Y
NY-11 Dan Donovan 13,769 36
N
VA-10 Barbara Comstock 13,562 49
Y
PA-6 Ryan A. Costello 13,218 40
Y
MN-6 Tom Emmer 13,123 39
Y
PA-8 Brian Fitzpatrick 13,090 44
Y
CA-50 Duncan Hunter 12,808 34
Y
NY-19 John J. Faso 12,501 31
N
NE-2 Don Bacon 12,484 33
Y
PA-7 Patrick Meehan 12,456 38
Y
NY-24 John Katko 12,140 29
Y
NY-27 Chris Collins 12,125 29
Y
NJ-3 Tom MacArthur 11,987 43
Y
NY-21 Elise Stefanik 11,865 23
N
CA-4 Tom McClintock 11,802 36
N
Source: Tax Policy Center

The changes in the bill would primarily hurt higher-income taxpayers who deduct more than the higher proposed standard deduction ($12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples) and those who currently deduct more than $10,000 in property taxes.

How Each House Member Voted

Republicans Yes No
Total 227 13
CA-4 Tom McClintock
N
CA-48 Dana Rohrabacher
N
CA-49 Darrell Issa
N
NC-3 Walter B. Jones
N
NJ-2 Frank A. LoBiondo
N
NJ-4 Christopher H. Smith
N
NJ-7 Leonard Lance
N
NJ-11 Rodney Frelinghuysen
N
NY-1 Lee Zeldin
N
NY-2 Peter T. King
N
NY-11 Dan Donovan
N
NY-19 John J. Faso
N
NY-21 Elise Stefanik
N
AK-1 Don Young
Y
AL-1 Bradley Byrne
Y
AL-2 Martha Roby
Y
AL-3 Mike D. Rogers
Y
AL-4 Robert B. Aderholt
Y
AL-5 Mo Brooks
Y
AL-6 Gary Palmer
Y
AR-1 Rick Crawford
Y
AR-2 French Hill
Y
AR-3 Steve Womack
Y
AR-4 Bruce Westerman
Y
AZ-2 Martha E. McSally
Y
AZ-4 Paul Gosar
Y
AZ-5 Andy Biggs
Y
AZ-6 David Schweikert
Y
AZ-8 Trent Franks
Y
CA-1 Doug LaMalfa
Y
CA-8 Paul Cook
Y
CA-10 Jeff Denham
Y
CA-21 David Valadao
Y
CA-22 Devin Nunes
Y
CA-23 Kevin McCarthy
Y
CA-25 Steve Knight
Y
CA-39 Ed Royce
Y
CA-42 Ken Calvert
Y
CA-45 Mimi Walters
Y
CA-50 Duncan Hunter
Y
CO-3 Scott Tipton
Y
CO-4 Ken Buck
Y
CO-5 Doug Lamborn
Y
CO-6 Mike Coffman
Y
FL-1 Matt Gaetz
Y
FL-2 Neal Dunn
Y
FL-3 Ted Yoho
Y
FL-4 John Rutherford
Y
FL-6 Ron DeSantis
Y
FL-8 Bill Posey
Y
FL-11 Daniel Webster
Y
FL-12 Gus Bilirakis
Y
FL-15 Dennis A. Ross
Y
FL-16 Vern Buchanan
Y
FL-17 Tom Rooney
Y
FL-18 Brian Mast
Y
FL-19 Francis Rooney
Y
FL-25 Mario Diaz-Balart
Y
FL-26 Carlos Curbelo
Y
FL-27 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Y
GA-1 Earl L. “Buddy” Carter
Y
GA-3 Drew Ferguson
Y
GA-6 Karen Handel
Y
GA-7 Rob Woodall
Y
GA-8 Austin Scott
Y
GA-9 Doug Collins
Y
GA-10 Jody B. Hice
Y
GA-11 Barry Loudermilk
Y
GA-12 Rick W. Allen
Y
GA-14 Tom Graves
Y
IA-1 Rod Blum
Y
IA-3 David Young
Y
IA-4 Steve King
Y
ID-1 Raúl R. Labrador
Y
ID-2 Mike Simpson
Y
IL-6 Peter Roskam
Y
IL-12 Mike Bost
Y
IL-13 Rodney Davis
Y
IL-14 Randy Hultgren
Y
IL-15 John Shimkus
Y
IL-16 Adam Kinzinger
Y
IL-18 Darin M. LaHood
Y
IN-2 Jackie Walorski
Y
IN-3 Jim Banks
Y
IN-4 Todd Rokita
Y
IN-5 Susan W. Brooks
Y
IN-6 Luke Messer
Y
IN-8 Larry Bucshon
Y
IN-9 Trey Hollingsworth
Y
KS-1 Roger Marshall
Y
KS-2 Lynn Jenkins
Y
KS-3 Kevin Yoder
Y
KS-4 Ron Estes
Y
KY-1 James Comer
Y
KY-2 Brett Guthrie
Y
KY-4 Thomas Massie
Y
KY-5 Harold Rogers
Y
KY-6 Andy Barr
Y
LA-1 Steve Scalise
Y
LA-3 Clay Higgins
Y
LA-4 Mike Johnson
Y
LA-5 Ralph Abraham
Y
LA-6 Garret Graves
Y
MD-1 Andy Harris
Y
ME-2 Bruce Poliquin
Y
MI-1 Jack Bergman
Y
MI-2 Bill Huizenga
Y
MI-3 Justin Amash
Y
MI-4 John Moolenaar
Y
MI-6 Fred Upton
Y
MI-7 Tim Walberg
Y
MI-8 Mike Bishop
Y
MI-10 Paul Mitchell
Y
MI-11 Dave Trott
Y
MN-2 Jason Lewis
Y
MN-3 Erik Paulsen
Y
MN-6 Tom Emmer
Y
MO-2 Ann Wagner
Y
MO-3 Blaine Luetkemeyer
Y
MO-4 Vicky Hartzler
Y
MO-6 Sam Graves
Y
MO-7 Billy Long
Y
MO-8 Jason Smith
Y
MS-1 Trent Kelly
Y
MS-3 Gregg Harper
Y
MS-4 Steven M. Palazzo
Y
MT-1 Greg Gianforte
Y
NC-2 George Holding
Y
NC-5 Virginia Foxx
Y
NC-6 Mark Walker
Y
NC-7 David Rouzer
Y
NC-8 Richard Hudson
Y
NC-9 Robert Pittenger
Y
NC-10 Patrick T. McHenry
Y
NC-11 Mark Meadows
Y
NC-13 Ted Budd
Y
ND-1 Kevin Cramer
Y
NE-1 Jeff Fortenberry
Y
NE-2 Don Bacon
Y
NE-3 Adrian Smith
Y
NJ-3 Tom MacArthur
Y
NM-2 Steve Pearce
Y
NV-2 Mark Amodei
Y
NY-22 Claudia Tenney
Y
NY-23 Tom Reed
Y
NY-24 John Katko
Y
NY-27 Chris Collins
Y
OH-1 Steve Chabot
Y
OH-2 Brad Wenstrup
Y
OH-4 Jim Jordan
Y
OH-5 Bob Latta
Y
OH-6 Bill Johnson
Y
OH-7 Bob Gibbs
Y
OH-8 Warren Davidson
Y
OH-10 Michael R. Turner
Y
OH-12 Pat Tiberi
Y
OH-14 David Joyce
Y
OH-15 Steve Stivers
Y
OH-16 James B. Renacci
Y
OK-1 Jim Bridenstine
Y
OK-2 Markwayne Mullin
Y
OK-3 Frank D. Lucas
Y
OK-4 Tom Cole
Y
OK-5 Steve Russell
Y
OR-2 Greg Walden
Y
PA-3 Mike Kelly
Y
PA-4 Scott Perry
Y
PA-5 Glenn Thompson
Y
PA-6 Ryan A. Costello
Y
PA-7 Patrick Meehan
Y
PA-8 Brian Fitzpatrick
Y
PA-9 Bill Shuster
Y
PA-10 Tom Marino
Y
PA-11 Lou Barletta
Y
PA-12 Keith Rothfus
Y
PA-15 Charlie Dent
Y
PA-16 Lloyd K. Smucker
Y
SC-1 Mark Sanford
Y
SC-2 Joe Wilson
Y
SC-3 Jeff Duncan
Y
SC-4 Trey Gowdy
Y
SC-5 Ralph Norman
Y
SC-7 Tom Rice
Y
SD-1 Kristi Noem
Y
TN-1 Phil Roe
Y
TN-2 John J. Duncan Jr.
Y
TN-3 Chuck Fleischmann
Y
TN-4 Scott DesJarlais
Y
TN-6 Diane Black
Y
TN-7 Marsha Blackburn
Y
TN-8 David Kustoff
Y
TX-1 Louie Gohmert
Y
TX-2 Ted Poe
Y
TX-3 Sam Johnson
Y
TX-4 John Ratcliffe
Y
TX-5 Jeb Hensarling
Y
TX-6 Joe L. Barton
Y
TX-7 John Culberson
Y
TX-8 Kevin Brady
Y
TX-10 Michael McCaul
Y
TX-11 K. Michael Conaway
Y
TX-12 Kay Granger
Y
TX-13 Mac Thornberry
Y
TX-14 Randy Weber
Y
TX-17 Bill Flores
Y
TX-19 Jodey Arrington
Y
TX-21 Lamar Smith
Y
TX-22 Pete Olson
Y
TX-23 Will Hurd
Y
TX-24 Kenny Marchant
Y
TX-25 Roger Williams
Y
TX-26 Michael C. Burgess
Y
TX-27 Blake Farenthold
Y
TX-31 John Carter
Y
TX-32 Pete Sessions
Y
TX-36 Brian Babin
Y
UT-1 Rob Bishop
Y
UT-2 Chris Stewart
Y
UT-3 John Curtis
Y
UT-4 Mia Love
Y
VA-1 Rob Wittman
Y
VA-2 Scott Taylor
Y
VA-5 Tom Garrett
Y
VA-6 Robert W. Goodlatte
Y
VA-7 Dave Brat
Y
VA-9 Morgan Griffith
Y
VA-10 Barbara Comstock
Y
WA-3 Jaime Herrera Beutler
Y
WA-4 Dan Newhouse
Y
WA-5 Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Y
WA-8 Dave Reichert
Y
WI-1 Paul D. Ryan
Y
WI-5 Jim Sensenbrenner
Y
WI-6 Glenn Grothman
Y
WI-7 Sean P. Duffy
Y
WI-8 Mike Gallagher
Y
WV-1 David B. McKinley
Y
WV-2 Alex X. Mooney
Y
WV-3 Evan H. Jenkins
Y
WY-1 Liz Cheney
Y
Democrats Yes No
Total 0 192
AL-7 Terri A. Sewell
N
AZ-1 Tom O’Halleran
N
AZ-3 Raúl M. Grijalva
N
AZ-7 Ruben Gallego
N
AZ-9 Kyrsten Sinema
N
CA-2 Jared Huffman
N
CA-3 John Garamendi
N
CA-5 Mike Thompson
N
CA-6 Doris Matsui
N
CA-7 Ami Bera
N
CA-9 Jerry McNerney
N
CA-11 Mark DeSaulnier
N
CA-12 Nancy Pelosi
N
CA-13 Barbara Lee
N
CA-14 Jackie Speier
N
CA-15 Eric Swalwell
N
CA-16 Jim Costa
N
CA-17 Ro Khanna
N
CA-18 Anna G. Eshoo
N
CA-19 Zoe Lofgren
N
CA-20 Jimmy Panetta
N
CA-24 Salud Carbajal
N
CA-26 Julia Brownley
N
CA-27 Judy Chu
N
CA-28 Adam B. Schiff
N
CA-29 Tony Cardenas
N
CA-30 Brad Sherman
N
CA-31 Pete Aguilar
N
CA-32 Grace F. Napolitano
N
CA-33 Ted Lieu
N
CA-34 Jimmy Gomez
N
CA-35 Norma J. Torres
N
CA-36 Raul Ruiz
N
CA-37 Karen Bass
N
CA-38 Linda T. Sánchez
N
CA-40 Lucille Roybal-Allard
N
CA-41 Mark Takano
N
CA-43 Maxine Waters
N
CA-44 Nanette Barragán
N
CA-46 J. Luis Correa
N
CA-47 Alan Lowenthal
N
CA-51 Juan C. Vargas
N
CA-52 Scott Peters
N
CA-53 Susan A. Davis
N
CO-1 Diana DeGette
N
CO-2 Jared Polis
N
CO-7 Ed Perlmutter
N
CT-1 John B. Larson
N
CT-2 Joe Courtney
N
CT-3 Rosa DeLauro
N
CT-4 Jim Himes
N
CT-5 Elizabeth Esty
N
DE-1 Lisa Blunt Rochester
N
FL-5 Al Lawson
N
FL-7 Stephanie Murphy
N
FL-9 Darren Soto
N
FL-10 Val Demings
N
FL-13 Charlie Crist
N
FL-14 Kathy Castor
N
FL-20 Alcee L. Hastings
N
FL-21 Lois Frankel
N
FL-22 Ted Deutch
N
FL-23 Debbie Wasserman Schultz
N
GA-2 Sanford D. Bishop Jr.
N
GA-4 Hank Johnson
N
GA-5 John Lewis
N
GA-13 David Scott
N
HI-1 Colleen Hanabusa
N
HI-2 Tulsi Gabbard
N
IA-2 Dave Loebsack
N
IL-1 Bobby L. Rush
N
IL-2 Robin Kelly
N
IL-3 Daniel Lipinski
N
IL-4 Luis V. Gutiérrez
N
IL-5 Mike Quigley
N
IL-7 Danny K. Davis
N
IL-8 Raja Krishnamoorthi
N
IL-9 Jan Schakowsky
N
IL-10 Brad Schneider
N
IL-11 Bill Foster
N
IL-17 Cheri Bustos
N
IN-1 Peter J. Visclosky
N
IN-7 André Carson
N
KY-3 John Yarmuth
N
LA-2 Cedric L. Richmond
N
MA-1 Richard E. Neal
N
MA-2 Jim McGovern
N
MA-3 Niki Tsongas
N
MA-4 Joseph P. Kennedy III
N
MA-5 Katherine M. Clark
N
MA-6 Seth Moulton
N
MA-7 Michael E. Capuano
N
MA-8 Stephen F. Lynch
N
MA-9 William Keating
N
MD-2 C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
N
MD-3 John Sarbanes
N
MD-4 Anthony Brown
N
MD-5 Steny H. Hoyer
N
MD-6 John Delaney
N
MD-7 Elijah E. Cummings
N
MD-8 Jamie Raskin
N
ME-1 Chellie Pingree
N
MI-5 Dan Kildee
N
MI-9 Sander M. Levin
N
MI-12 Debbie Dingell
N
MI-13 John Conyers Jr.
N
MI-14 Brenda Lawrence
N
MN-1 Tim Walz
N
MN-4 Betty McCollum
N
MN-5 Keith Ellison
N
MN-7 Collin C. Peterson
N
MN-8 Rick Nolan
N
MO-1 William Lacy Clay
N
MO-5 Emanuel Cleaver II
N
MS-2 Bennie Thompson
N
NC-1 G. K. Butterfield
N
NC-4 David E. Price
N
NC-12 Alma Adams
N
NH-1 Carol Shea-Porter
N
NH-2 Ann McLane Kuster
N
NJ-1 Donald Norcross
N
NJ-5 Josh Gottheimer
N
NJ-6 Frank Pallone Jr.
N
NJ-8 Albio Sires
N
NJ-9 Bill Pascrell Jr.
N
NJ-10 Donald M. Payne Jr.
N
NJ-12 Bonnie Watson Coleman
N
NM-1 Michelle Lujan Grisham
N
NM-3 Ben Ray Luján
N
NV-1 Dina Titus
N
NV-3 Jacky Rosen
N
NV-4 Ruben Kihuen
N
NY-3 Tom Suozzi
N
NY-4 Kathleen Rice
N
NY-5 Gregory W. Meeks
N
NY-6 Grace Meng
N
NY-7 Nydia M. Velazquez
N
NY-8 Hakeem Jeffries
N
NY-9 Yvette D. Clarke
N
NY-10 Jerrold Nadler
N
NY-12 Carolyn B. Maloney
N
NY-13 Adriano Espaillat
N
NY-14 Joseph Crowley
N
NY-15 José E. Serrano
N
NY-16 Eliot L. Engel
N
NY-17 Nita M. Lowey
N
NY-18 Sean Patrick Maloney
N
NY-20 Paul Tonko
N
NY-25 Louise M. Slaughter
N
NY-26 Brian Higgins
N
OH-3 Joyce Beatty
N
OH-9 Marcy Kaptur
N
OH-11 Marcia L. Fudge
N
OH-13 Tim Ryan
N
OR-1 Suzanne Bonamici
N
OR-3 Earl Blumenauer
N
OR-4 Peter A. DeFazio
N
OR-5 Kurt Schrader
N
PA-1 Robert A. Brady
N
PA-2 Dwight Evans
N
PA-13 Brendan F. Boyle
N
PA-14 Mike Doyle
N
PA-17 Matt Cartwright
N
RI-1 David Cicilline
N
RI-2 Jim Langevin
N
SC-6 James E. Clyburn
N
TN-5 Jim Cooper
N
TN-9 Steve Cohen
N
TX-9 Al Green
N
TX-15 Vicente Gonzalez
N
TX-16 Beto O’Rourke
N
TX-18 Sheila Jackson Lee
N
TX-20 Joaquin Castro
N
TX-28 Henry Cuellar
N
TX-29 Gene Green
N
TX-30 Eddie Bernice Johnson
N
TX-33 Marc Veasey
N
TX-34 Filemon Vela
N
TX-35 Lloyd Doggett
N
VA-3 Robert C. Scott
N
VA-4 A. Donald McEachin
N
VA-8 Don Beyer
N
VA-11 Gerald E. Connolly
N
VT-1 Peter Welch
N
WA-1 Suzan DelBene
N
WA-2 Rick Larsen
N
WA-6 Derek Kilmer
N
WA-7 Pramila Jayapal
N
WA-9 Adam Smith
N
WA-10 Denny Heck
N
WI-3 Ron Kind
N
WI-4 Gwen Moore
N
FL-24 Frederica S. Wilson
WI-2 Mark Pocan

Source

Oct 28, 2017
DLN
County officials debate opioid epidemic at Coatesville VA

State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, joined U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, officials from the Coatesville VA Medical Center (CVMAC) and other state, local, and federal representatives and officials for a panel discussion on the opioid epidemic and what the VA is doing for veterans.

The panel, which also included U.S. Reps. Llyod Smucker, R-16, and Patrick Meehan, R-7, Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline and Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, heard from VA addiction specialists, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers and local law enforcement, as well as two veterans who are in recovery.

Last year, nearly 20 out of 100,000 people in Chester County died of a drug-related overdose, according to recently released figures by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. And it’s worse in nearby counties. In Delaware County, nearly 37 out of 100,000 people died, and in Montgomery County, nearly 29 out of 100,000 people died of drug overdoses.

In Chester County last year, 97 people died of drug-related overdoses, said Cathy Vaul, program specialist for Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. The vast majority of the victims – 77 percent – were white males.

Lori Craig, a veteran who is in recovery and works at the Coatesville VA, recounted her experience battling opioid addiction after she was prescribed pain medication following a car accident.

John Kruzel praised the team at the Coatesville VA and the credited the inpatient treatment he received in aiding in his recovery after he became physically dependent on and addicted to opioids.

“I don’t know what it is about this VA, but all the people care,” he said. “When you come here, you really feel like you’re part of a family.”

Dinniman proposed increased cooperation between the Coatesville VA and the greater Coatesville and Downingtown area in sharing information and working together in the fight against opioid addiction.

“There is no doubt that this is an epidemic,” he said. “We need to also reach veterans in our homeless shelters and those who may be incarcerated, as well as other members of the community who are suffering from addiction. There are some great things going on at the VA and we need to share information, methods, and strategies on what works in helping our residents on the path to recovery.”

Secretary Shulkin and CVMAC officials endorsed Dinniman’s proposal and the idea of increased cooperation with the community across the spectrum of public health, social services, law enforcement and recovery services in assisting those suffering from addiction.

Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, also said he was interested in sharing information with the CVMAC involving the treatment of trauma as he is spearheading efforts at the state level to address the impact of trauma on students in the classroom.

Upon a request from CVMAC, Dinniman and Levine also pledged to help get the anti-opioid overdose drug Narcan (Naloxone) into the hands of social workers.

Shulkin praised the Coatesville VA and its staff for providing extensive treatment options and a continuum of care that is both unique and effective in combating opioid addiction.

“In the private sector, with the way our reimbursement system works, this continuity of care just doesn’t exist,” he said. “Here you have people who not only have the strength to seek help, but that help is available here.”  Source

Oct 27, 2017
LancasterOnline
Members of Congress talk tax reform at Lancaster County Republican dinner

Tax reform is a top priority for Republicans in Congress who are hoping to get it over the finish line in the House by Thanksgiving, six representatives from around the country told Lancaster County Republicans on Thursday.

The members of Congress — invited by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker to speak to the GOP committee’s annual dinner — said they were optimistic even though the debate will be fierce.

“We’re going to hit the rocky road here for the debate around tax reform. No question about it,” said Smucker, who represents most of Lancaster County with the 16th Congressional District. “But this is different than what we went through in health care in a number of ways.”

Congressman Lloyd Smucker addresses the crowd at the Republican Committee of Lancaster County’s 2017 Fall Dinner at the Eden Resort & Suites Thursday evening October 26, 2017.

The official legislation is expected to be introduced next week, allowing Americans to see how the tax structure would shift, including the loss of some deductions, Smucker and others said.

“(We’re asking) for folks to look at the overall picture. Yeah, you may be concerned about one particular deduction, but take some time and look at the whole package and see how it will impact you, and think about how it will affect the country in a broader scale,” Smucker told the crowd of a few hundred at the Eden Resort and Suites in Manheim Township.

Hosted by the Republican Committee of Lancaster County, the annual dinner typically features a nationally known keynote speaker for its fall banquet but decided to go with a more informal panel discussion this year. Read more

Oct 27, 2017
readingeagle.com
Two Berks County commissioners oppose nixing federal deduction

As part of its effort to overhaul the federal tax system, Congress is debating whether to eliminate the long-standing federal deduction for state and local taxes and use the extra revenue to reduce tax rates across the board.

And two of the Berks County commissioners are speaking out against the proposal.

Commissioners Chairman Christian Y. Leinbach and Kevin S. Barnhardt announced at their weekly meeting Thursday that they will send a letter to the county’s congressional delegation, President Donald Trump and leaders of the House and Senate urging them to oppose repeal of the deduction, known by the acronym of SALT, stating that it reduces federal taxes for more than 60,000 households in Berks County.

Commissioner Mark C. Scott refused to sign the letter.

He argued the federal subsidy mainly benefits the wealthy and eliminating it would help reduce the national deficit. A 2016 report from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center showed ending the deduction would save the federal government $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

“If we do not offset the increased standard deduction with the elimination of the state and local tax deduction, the national debt will continue to rise,” he said. “I understand the argument on the other side but you can’t have it all. Some of these reforms which are meant to simplify the process will entail some sacrifice.”

But Leinbach pushed back on that argument.

He argued that the deduction is double-taxation and fundamentally violates the principal that taxes should be based on real income. He said the idea of preventing the federal government from taxing money that citizens must pay to state and local tax collectors goes back to the Civil War, and the deduction was included in the original income tax legislation.

“If the state and local tax deduction is eliminated it will have a $1.3 trillion impact on taxpayers nationwide,” he said. “Overwhelmingly, the people who take advantage of this are working-class folks. The statistics are crystal clear.”

The National Association of Counties estimates that 61,480 households in Berks County claimed the deduction in 2015, resulting in deductions of $635 million. The nonpartisan organization found that nearly 75 percent of those deductions benefitted households where residents were making less than $200,000.

But by the time lawmakers receive the letter from commissioners, it may be too late.

While the board was debating the merits of sending the letter, the House of Representatives voted to move forward on a budget that would eliminate the deduction. Those representing Berks County – U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello, Pat Meehan, Charlie Dent and Lloyd Smucker – voted to advance the legislation.

In other business, representatives from the United Way of Berks County stopped by the meeting to remind county residents that the Pennsylvania 2-1-1 hotline offers information and referral service that connects users with health and human services.

Tammy White, president of the local United Way, told commissioners that since the service was launched in 2011 it has greatly reduced the time it took residents to connect with the services that were needed.

She reported that Berks callers in 2016 were most interested in rent assistance, food pantries, utilities assistance and community shelters. The service referred callers to 92 different agencies. The top five were: Opportunity House, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Catholic Charities, Berks Community Action Program and Family Promise.

Source

Oct 25, 2017
LancasterOnline
Puerto Ricans coming to Lancaster need help

Thank you to LNP for a timely editorial: “We cannot abandon Puerto Rico, now or in the future,” (Oct. 13, LancasterOnline). I agree. I also appreciate Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s words: “It’s going to take long-term funding from Congress, and long-term aid. … We’re going to have to stay committed to doing that.”

You urged Smucker to lead this effort in Congress, and I concur.

You reported that he has encouraged his constituents to support organizations aiding those devastated by hurricanes. I know many organizations and individuals in Lancaster have already been doing this. There is no doubt that we will continue rallying to support our fellow Americans.

While doing the urgent work of sending aid to Puerto Rico, we need to know that many Puerto Rican Americans have been arriving in Lancaster ever since Maria — a hurricane beefed up by climate change — devastated their homes and communities. Understandably, they are fleeing a place with little clean water, power, security, medical services, etc. Most arrive with the clothes on their back and little else. Winter is coming. They need warm clothing. They need affordable housing. The children need to be educated. At least 25 have already enrolled in our local schools.

These are not refugees. They are displaced Americans, and many more will come.

Congregations may need to open their buildings for temporary housing.

The School District of Lancaster employs a coordinator for families in transition. Her name is Jasmyne King-Smith. Reach her at jskingsmith@lancaster.k12.pa.us. If you, your congregation or other organizations want to discuss how you can help, please contact her.

Jerry Lee Miller
Manheim Township

Source

Oct 20, 2017
The Inquirer
As Trump undercuts Affordable Care Act, Democrats go on offense in Pa., N.J.

WASHINGTON — After years of absorbing attacks over the Affordable Care Act, its rocky roll-out and early flaws, Democrats are on the offensive.

With Republicans now holding the White House and Congress, and President Trump taking steps to undercut the law, Democrats are pounding GOP incumbents over the results, particularly in the Philadelphia area.

A potent example came earlier last week, when Pennsylvania and New Jersey regulators approved steep rate increases in the states’ insurance markets for individuals, a response, officials and insurers both said, to Trump’s decision to end roughly $7 billion in federal payments intended to hold down costs.

Attacks rained down on local Republicans, as campaign promises to destroy the law turned into real-world actions.

“In the Trump Administration and House Republicans’ never-ending quest to repeal and sabotage the ACA, they are hurting Pennsylvania families,” said a release from Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat challenging Rep. Ryan Costello, a Republican from Chester County.

In a neighboring district centered on Delaware County, Democratic hopefuls piled on the Republican incumbent, Rep. Pat Meehan.

“@RepMeehan is silent again as Trump destroys healthcare,” tweeted one challenger, Molly Sheehan. Meehan “is no leader and he is no fighter for the families of the 7th district,” said a release from another, Dan Muroff.  Read more

Oct 2, 2017

Has your U.S. Congress person received donations from the NRA?

Pennsylvania

The NRA has donated $155,600 to Pennsylvania members of Congress who are currently in office.

  • 1.   Rep. Tim Murphy (R)$33,500
  • 2.   Rep. Bill Shuster (R)$29,400
  • 3.   Rep. Charlie Dent (R)$28,850
  • 4.   Rep. Ryan Costello (R)$9,900
  • 5.   Rep. Glenn Thompson (R)$9,500
  • 6.   Rep. Mike Kelly (R)$9,000
  • 7.   Rep. Scott Perry (R)$8,500
  • 8.   Rep. Tom Marino (R)$8,000
  • 9.   Rep. Lou Barletta (R)$7,500
  • 10.  Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)$5,950
  • 11.  Rep. Keith J Rothfus (R)$5,500

Source

Oct 2, 2017
Splinter
Every Member of Congress Who Took Money From the NRA and Tweeted ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ to Las Vegas

Americans woke up on Monday morning to learn of yet another horrific act of gun violence in the United States—this time a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured. But it seems unlikely that the politicians in a position to actually change our gun laws will actually do something about it, because they never do.

So, in lieu of any substantive gun control, what do America’s senators and congresspeople have to offer? That tried and true chestnut of noncommittal national mourning: “Thoughts and prayers.” And just as in the past, those thoughts and prayers seem to have been paid for in part by the National Rifle Association, whose campaign donations and scare-mongering have effectively blocked any life-saving legislation which might prevent a person from getting their hands on a fully automatic machine gun they can then use to pump bullets into dozens of innocent people.

So who is sending their NRA-sponsored well wishes to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre today? Let’s take a look, with a little help from the campaign contribution database at opensecrets.org.

Horrific act of violence in Las Vegas. Cindy and I pray for the victims, their families, and the first responders.

Read more
Sept 30, 2017
readingeagle.com
Reps. Charlie Dent, Lloyd Smucker push for aid for Puerto Rico

Two congressmen representing parts of Berks County are asking the federal government to do more to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Maria.

U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent and Lloyd Smucker sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to consider a regulatory change “that could help save lives.” The lawmakers asked Duke to extend federal cost sharing for debris removal and other emergency measures from six months to one year.

Dent, a Lehigh County Republican, and Smucker, a Lancaster County Republican, also asked for Duke to brief Congress regularly on the disaster response efforts. “The situation in Puerto Rico is dire and requires immeditate attention,” they wrote.

In the letter, Dent and Smucker noted that Puerto Rico is suffering “nothing short of a humanitarian crisis.”

U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, a Florida Republican, also signed the letter. Source

Sept 28, 2017
LancasterOnline
Smucker looks for US to commit to longer relief effort for Puerto Rico

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker and two other congressmen with large Puerto Rican constituencies have called on the federal government to extend the amount of time it has committed to providing maximum hurricane relief for the island territory.

Smucker and the others wrote in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security that it should cover 100 percent of debris removal and emergency protective measures for a full year.

Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico last week, killing 16 people, destroying many homes and knocking out the electrical system. Recovery efforts are expected to be lengthy.

The department this week committed to six months of covering 100 percent of the costs. Typically, the the state or territory shares 25 percent of the costs while the federal government picks up the rest, according to The Associated Press.

“It is our responsibility to ensure federal resources are being used efficiently and effectively to support Americans impacted by disaster. Today, we are asking you to make one regulatory change that could help save lives,” reads the letter, written by Smucker and U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent, of Allentown, and Daniel Webster, whose Florida district covers areas north of Tampa.

Smucker said 72,000 Puerto Ricans live in his 16th Congressional District, which covers most of Lancaster County, the city of Reading in Berks County, and parts of Chester County.

In a statement, he said he has been in regular contact with Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon and House leadership to discuss the issue. Source

Sept 28, 2017
LancasterOnline
Smucker: Tax reform plan is ‘exactly the types of reforms I wanted to see’

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker praised the tax reform “framework” released by Republican leaders Wednesday, saying in a statement that it would mean tax cuts for every American.

The plan, promoted by House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump, is a step toward what officials have promised would mean lower tax rates for large and small businesses and the middle class while expanding the economy and not further inflating the national debt.

Questions remain about some specific aspects of the plan and how much it will cost. Democratic opponents have also said it would benefit the wealthiest Americans more than middle-class taxpayers.

Smucker, in his campaign last year and since taking office in January, has frequently brought up his small-business background to say he believes cutting taxes for small businesses will lead to economic growth.

He has also emphasized his desire to simplify the tax code so much that taxes could be filed on a piece of paper the size of a postcard.

“These are exactly the types of reforms I wanted to see in a tax reform plan, and now is our best opportunity to reignite the American Dream,” Smucker said in the statement. “I’m proud of the effort that went into this framework, and I look forward to the work that lies ahead.”

The outline unveiled Wednesday was not legislation, which officials have said will be developed over the coming months. Read more

Sept 22, 2017
Lancaster Online
Smucker supports concept behind Graham-Cassidy health care plan

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker said Friday he likes the concept behind the new, and potentially derailed, health care reform effort that would change Medicaid funding and give more responsibility to state governments.

The freshman congressman voted for a previous Republican plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in the spring and repeatedly expressed his disappointment when it failed in the Senate.

Speaking at an Elizabethtown Rotary Club meeting Friday, he reiterated his belief that a “market-driven system” with competition among insurers is the best fix for rising costs.

“I don’t buy the idea that a universal health care system would work effectively,” Smucker told the group of about 50 people at Fred Barley VFW Post 5667. “I just don’t think it would.”

He indicated he believes the latest plan from GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy would move health care toward that market-driven approach. Meanwhile, a wide array of medical associations and government leaders have said it could lead to millions more people uninsured.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, in the midst of trying to solve a more-than $2 billion state deficit, said the changes to Pennsylvania’s Medicaid funding would be “devastating.”
Read more

Sept 6, 2017
LancasterOnline
Smucker, Toomey agree with Trump that DACA needs legislative change

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker agrees with the Trump administration’s decision to seek a legislative fix for the Obama-era program that protects children of undocumented immigrants, the congressman said in a statement Tuesday.

President Donald Trump’s decision to “wind down” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, comes as the president has struggled to determine the fate of the program’s nearly 800,000 recipients, also known as “dreamers.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the program “unconstitutional” and gave Congress six months to find a solution. Meanwhile, the government will not accept new applicants. Read more

August 31, 2017
Courier Express
Breaking down US Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s record after 8 months in Congress

Before U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker took office in January, his predecessor, U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, spent two decades in Washington earning a reputation as a staunchly conservative Republican who focused his efforts on health issues and international relations.

Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Walker, before Pitts, served the same amount of time and took a leading role in the nation’s space and energy programs, as well as the federal budget.

Now the Lancaster County congressional seat has a rare new face representing it in Washington, D.C.

How has Smucker — only the fourth person to represent the 16th district in the last half-century — spent his time in the role so far?

As of Congress’ annual summer break, Smucker had put his name on 110 bills, resolutions and amendments. He had voted on the House floor 436 times.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker continues to support President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda and has confidence in his ability to govern despite “distractions” along the way.
While his support for other legislative activity in Washington is not limited to these records, they do indicate where Lancaster County’s newest representative on Capitol Hill is placing some of his priorities.

Some of his constituents, like his five already-announced challengers for 2018 or those in the activist group Lancaster Stands Up, have forcefully critiqued Smucker every step of the way.

But in a Republican-majority district, not much of his record so far is surprising, said G. Terry Madonna, a longtime Pennsylvania political observer and Franklin & Marshall College pollster.

“From what I can gather from following his career in the Legislature and now in Congress, he hasn’t done anything that has particularly surprised me,” said Madonna, who has participated in and analyzed Lancaster County politics since before Walker was in office.

Voting record
So far in his young congressional career, Smucker has a nearly perfect score in voting with his party. Read more

Smucker votes to allocate $1.6 billion of tax payers money to build the Wall that
Trump promised Mexico would pay for. 

August 27, 2017
LancasterOnline
DePasquale and Smucker have their say

..We’re not aware of the fitness regimen of Republican U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker of Lancaster County.

But the congressman who represents the 16th District did perform some verbal gymnastics when asked about the beleaguered presidency of Donald Trump.

Smucker said he continues to support Trump’s legislative agenda and still has confidence in the president’s ability to govern despite the “distractions” Trump has faced — many, we’ll note, that are of his own making.

Smucker praised Trump’s Cabinet and national defense team and said “the president can be an effective leader if he focuses on advancing the agenda he wants to advance.”

But Smucker rightly criticized the president for making equivocal statements about the white supremacists who instigated the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“I mean, white supremacists and KKK people are not ‘fine people,’ and so I think we needed a strong statement,” Smucker said. “Give (Trump) credit, he did some, but … he should have maintained that strong stance against this kind of hatred.”  Read entire article here

August 17, 2017
Smucker Website on this day here
Most current press release:
Smucker Statement on Congressional Delegation Trip to Israel
August 15, 2017 Press Release
Lancaster, Pa. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker released the following statement after he returned from a Congressional delegation trip to Israel:

August 15, 2017
LancasterOnline
Smucker on Charlottesville violence: ‘horrifying’ and ‘unacceptable’

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker said going from visiting a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem to coming home and seeing Nazi flags in Charlottesville was “horrifying.”

In a call with reporters Tuesday, he also criticized President Donald Trump’s initial reaction to the violence in Virginia, saying the president’s forceful condemnation of the white supremacists should have come sooner.

Smucker’s comments came before Trump spoke again about the incident late Tuesday afternoon, when he once again blamed “both sides” for the violence Saturday. Read more

July 23, 2017
Philadelphia Inquirer

WASHINGTON — Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week:
House

Delay of air-quality standards. Voting 229-199, the House on Tuesday passed a GOP sponsored bill (HR 806) that would extend from 2017 to 2025 the deadline for states to adopt stricter standards under the Clean Air Act for reducing ground-level concentrations of ozone, or smog.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Voting yes: Ryan Costello (R., Pa.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Tom Mac-Arthur (R., N.J.), Pat Meehan (R., Pa.), and Lloyd Smucker (R., Pa.).
Voting no: Lisa Blunt Rochester (D., Del.), Brendan Boyle (D., Pa.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Matt Cartwright (D., Pa.), Dwight Evans (D., Pa.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Donald Norcross (D., N.J.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Protections for vulnerable populations. Voting 194-232, the House on Tuesday defeated a bid by Democrats to prevent HR 806 (above) from fully taking effect if an EPA scientific advisory committee concludes it would raise health risks to vulnerable populations such as outdoor workers, children, seniors, pregnant women, and minority and low-income communities.
A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.
Voting yes: Blunt Rochester, Boyle, Brady, Cartwright, Evans, and Nor-cross.
Voting no: Costello, Dent, Fitzpatrick, LoBiondo, MacArthur, Meehan, Smith, and Smucker.
Natural-gas pipeline permits. Voting 248-179, the House on Wednesday passed a GOP-sponsored bill (HR 2910) that would set tight deadlines for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other federal and state agencies to rule on applications for permits to build interstate natural gas pipelines.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Voting yes: Boyle, Brady, Costello, Dent, Fitzpatrick, LoBiondo, MacArthur, Meehan, Norcross, Smith, and Smucker.
Voting no: Blunt Rochester, Cartwright, and Evans.
Cross-border energy pipelines. Voting 254-175, the House on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 2883) that would end the requirement that presidents approve permits for oil and natural gas pipelines and electric- transmission facilities that cross U.S. borders. The bill authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to issue certificates for pipelines and the Department of Energy to grant approvals for electricity lines.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Voting yes: Brady, Costello, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Lo-Biondo, MacArthur, Meehan, Norcross, Smith, and Smucker.
Voting no: Blunt Rochester, Boyle, Cartwright, and Evans.
American-made iron and steel. Voting 193-232, the House on Wednesday defeated a Democratic motion requiring all iron and steel components of cross-border pipelines approved under HR 2883 (above) to be made in the United States.
A yes vote was to adopt a made-in-America requirement.
Voting yes: Blunt Rochester, Boyle, Brady, Cartwright, Evans, and Nor-cross.
Voting no: Costello, Dent, Fitzpatrick, LoBiondo, MacArthur, Meehan, Smith, and Smucker. Read more

July 28, 2017

August 3, 2017
Lancaster Online
Smucker works as member on bipartisan ‘Problem Solvers Caucus,’ looking for health care solutions outside of ‘repeal and replace’

A bipartisan group of about 40 House members that includes U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker is looking for a quick turnaround on health care reform after the failed effort from Senate Republicans last week.

Members of the Problem Solver’s Caucus, of which Lancaster County’s freshman congressman became a member in early June, offered a five-part plan Monday that aims to stabilize current markets and begin bridging the gap between Republicans and Democrats.

Smucker said in a statement it is critical for Congress to govern instead of letting “health care collapse” — a strategy that President Donald Trump has publicly supported.

Smucker said that option “would be catastrophic and unacceptable.”

“Problem Solvers Caucus is presenting a path forward to stabilize the insurance marketplace, repeal onerous taxes and regulations, and ensure affordable, quality care,” said Smucker, a West Lampeter Township Republican who represents most of Lancaster County with the 16th Congressional District.

Washington-based Politico reported last week that the Problem Solvers Caucus has been meeting quietly over the last month to work on potential solutions.

The idea of a bipartisan effort has been elusive, though some lawmakers vowed to work across the aisle in light of Republicans’ inability to coalesce around a plan.

The Problem Solvers’ ideas focus on amending President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act rather than the “repeal and replace” method.

The caucus offered these five solutions for Congress to begin exploring — Read more

 

Chester County Congressman vote to fund $1.6 billion border wall – where’s Mexico’s payment?
July 27, 2017

Washington Times
House GOP allocates $1.6 billion for Trump border wall in 2018

House Republicans said Tuesday they’ve included $1.6 billion in funding for President Trump’s border wall in their new homeland security spending bill, setting up fight with Democrats who have vowed to block any wall funding — even if it means sending the government into a partial shutdown.
GOP leaders said the $1.6 billion fully meets Mr. Trump’s request to begin wall construction, which includes 32 miles of new border fencing in Texas, 28 miles of levee wall along the Rio Grande Valley, also in Texas, and 14 miles of replacement fence in San Diego.
The bill also adds 500 new Border Patrol agents, 1,000 more agents and officers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in the interior, and provides enough money to maintain 44,000 detention beds. That’s a massive increase over the Obama years, and Trump officials said it will allow them to detain and deport illegal immigrants faster and with a higher success rate.
The GOP bill also calls for adding more than two dozen new jurisdictions to the 287(g) program which allows local police and sheriff’s deputies to be trained to enforce immigration laws. Read more

June 1, 2017
Lancasteronline.com
Rep. Lloyd Smucker joins ‘Problem Solvers Caucus’ as voters have less faith in Washington
At a time when voter optimism is dipping to its lowest point in the young President Donald Trump administration, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker has joined an organized group of lawmakers dedicated to pushing through partisan gridlock.
The Problem Solvers Caucus, with about 20 Republicans and 20 Democrats, is “committed to bringing members together across party lines and finding areas of agreement on key issues.”
The freshman congressman from West Lampeter Township said that by joining the group he hopes to “focus on navigating — not obstructing — our path forward” while still maintaining his “conservative principles.” Read more
May 10, 2017
Philly.com
Some Pa., N.J. Republicans raise questions about Comey firing
Several Republicans from the Philadelphia region raised questions Wednesday about President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, though mostly in less sharp terms than Democrats.
Trump lawyers push back against Russia ties in letter
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is suddenly the star of the feel-bad story of the day
Rep. Charlie Dent, of Allentown, called the president’s surprise announcement Tuesday night “both confounding and troubling” adding that “it is now harder to resist calls for an independent investigation or select committee.” His statement added that Trump “must provide a much clearer explanation as to the timing and rationale for this action.”
Similarly, Rep. Ryan Costello issued a statement saying that “to date, the explanation for the firing has been insufficient and the timing raises additional questions. The Congressman from Chester County added, “my constituents must have assurances that a non-partisan investigation will yield independent, well-grounded conclusions, and I certainly support that effort.”
His comments echoed those of Rep. Lloyd Smucker a short time earlier. Smucker, whose district includes part of Chester County, said the firing “raises serious and legitimate questions about timing, intent, and the integrity of ongoing investigations. My constituents deserve answers and I hope to see a full explanation soon.” Read more
May 4, 2017
PennLive
Pa. lawmakers bombarded with nasty comments after Affordable Care Act vote
Just hours after President Donald Trump and House Republicans cheered in the Rose Garden about their push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, congressmen from Pennsylvania were receiving a much colder reception at home.
Hundreds of comments landed on social media posts from Republican Reps. Scott Perry, Lou Barletta, Charlie Dent, Ryan Costello, Bill Shuster, and Sen. Pat Toomey.
4 Pa. Republicans went against Trump on Obamacare repeal: See how your lawmakers voted
Senate leaders are drafting their own health plan. Read more
April 20, 2017
Lancaster Online
Smucker raises $204k in his first 3 months in Congress
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker spent his first few months in Congress getting his committee assignments, writing legislation and — like everyone in Washington — fundraising.
Smucker’s campaign brought in more than $204,000 January through March and had nearly $172,000 in the bank as of March 31, according to his first campaign finance report since entering office Jan. 3.
The West Lampeter Republican raised more than $1 million in his yearlong campaign for the 16th Congressional District seat last year. He also invested nearly $600,000 of his own money and had another $1 million in outside help to defeat Republican Chet Beiler in the primary and Democrat Christina Hartman in the general election.
Now in office, Smucker’s fundraising is part of a continuous cycle of courting donors that officeholders in Washington must do for their party and their own campaigns.
U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Republican who represents part of eastern Lancaster County in the 7th Congressional District, raised almost $264,000 in the first quarter of this year and has $2 million in the bank, according to Federal Elections Commission reports. Read more
April 7, 2017
LancasterOnline
Smucker supports retribution for Syrian chemical attack
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker on Friday said he supports President Donald Trump for using military force against Syria in response to the chemical attacks earlier this week.
Smucker lauded the president’s first major military action, saying in a statement the move “sends a clear message” that the U.S. will not stay inactive when the Syrian government uses chemical weapons. The 16th district congressman said Russia must also be held accountable. Read more

April 1, 2017
Lancasteronline.com
Freshman Congressman Smucker introduces first bill in Congress
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s first piece of legislation in Congress aims to eliminate the penalty for seniors who delay getting their health insurance through Medicare when they become eligible.
The freshman congressman from West Lampeter Township introduced the Senior’s Health Care Choice Act of 2017 on Thursday as his first solely sponsored bill since entering office three months ago.
In that time, he has signed his name as a co-sponsor to more than two-dozen other bills. Those include legislation aiming to ease burdens on gun owners, repeal the estate tax — referred to by some as the “death tax” — provide shelters for victims of domestic violence and their pets and block funding for so-called immigration “sanctuary cities.” Read more
March 28, 2017
Resistancereport.com
Here’s how much Comcast paid members of Congress to sell your browser history
Our elected officials in Congress sell out to special interests for remarkably little money, according to campaign finance data.
Just over two months into the Trump administration, Republicans in Congress have undone numerous regulations put in place by former President Barack Obama. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill — along party lines — that would allow Americans’ internet histories to be bought and sold by large telecom companies like Comcast (Xfinity), Verizon and AT&T, without their knowledge or consent. The U.S. Senate did the same thing a week ago. Read the list here

 

March 28, 2017
ReadingEagle.com

Dems launch online ads targeting Berks County congressmen

The Democratic campaign arm for the House of Representatives is launching an online ad campaign targeting Republicans who voted for the American Health Care Act in committee before leaders decided on Friday to pull the legislation from consideration.

And three of the 14 lawmakers in its crosshairs represent Berks County residents. Read & View ads

March 25, 2017
Lancaster Online

Lloyd Smucker ‘very disappointed’ in health care setback

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker expressed his dismay Friday afternoon after a House Republican health care plan was pulled for lack of enough support.

Smucker, a West Lampeter Republican representing the 16th Congressional District, had indicated he would vote in favor of the bill which was supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump but failed to garner enough other support from Republicans in the House. Read more

March 23, 2017
WITF
News

Where midstate reps. stand on the GOP health care bill

(Harrisburg) — A day before a critical vote on the Republican-backed American Health Care Act, some of the midstate’s congressmen haven’t publicly said how they’ll vote.

Two of the midstate’s Republican congressmen have said they support President Trump’s American Health Care Act – Lou Barletta and Lloyd Smucker.

This story has been updated to reflect Dent’s official position of no, and that Rep. Ryan Costello is undecided on the bill.

Read story

March 23, 2017
NewsReadingEagle.com

Berks lawmakers could play key role in GOP health care bill

Talking about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was easy.

But actually doing it has been hard.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, whose 16th District includes Reading and Berks communities to its south, was the only one willing to commit his support.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, whose 15th District also includes part of Berks County, will vote no.

The remaining two — U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello and Pat Meehan — said they’re still reviewing the proposal and its impact on their districts. These statements come after Costello and Meehan voted last week in committee to send the legislation forward without a single hearing. Read more

March 19, 2017
Lancasteronline.com

Not happy with Smucker encounter
I’ve just come from a disappointing “meeting” with my congressman, Lloyd Smucker. Unfortunately, I had to pay $40 to get in to hear him make a canned presentation at a Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry breakfast.

The question-and-answer session following his speech could have been interesting, but it was carefully controlled, and written questions had to be submitted in advance along with the questioner’s name and organization. Read more

May 19, 2017
The Hill’s Whip List: Where Republicans stand on ObamaCare repeal
plan

Smucker is in the YES column

Republican leaders are aiming to move quickly on legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare, with a vote by the full House slated for Thursday.

But the plan faces a difficult path. Conservatives were quick to criticize the legislation, saying it falls short of full repeal and would create new entitlements. Centrist Republicans and many from districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 have also balked at measures rolling back the Medicaid expansion or defunding Planned Parenthood. Read more

March 17, 2017

Apolitical Mennonites become protesters

ALEX ROARTY Tribune News Service

LANCASTER, Pa. — Mary Beth Martin and Lindsey Martin Corbo each held one side of the large cardboard poster, the mother and her adult daughter eager to deliver a personal if unconventional message to their congressman, Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker.

“Hey Smucker,” said the sign, written in red, green and blue marker. “300 years ago our Mennonite family took sanctuary in PA, just like yours did. Lancaster values immigrants.”

The anger might have been directed at Smucker, but Martin and Corbo were really there — like 100 others — because of President Donald Trump.

The two women were among a hundred newly engaged activists assembled in Republican-heavy Lancaster County — an area that went to Trump in November by 57 percent — braving toe-freezing temperatures to protest Trump and the lawmaker, who was 200 yards away at a chamber of commerce breakfast. Read more

Feb 27, 2017
The Hill

The 3 Chester County Congressman voted along party lines NOT to force Trump to release his tax returns.

House Dem forces GOP to take recorded vote on Trump tax returns

A House Democratic lawmaker attempted Monday to force a House floor vote on a resolution to request President Trump’s tax returns, but the effort failed on a party line vote, 229-185, with two Republicans voting “present.”

The move was the latest in a series of Democratic efforts to push Congress to request Trump’s tax returns, and Democrats demanded a roll call vote to force Republicans to go on the record.

The two Republicans who voted present were Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.). Sanford is one of the Republican lawmakers who has in the past called for Trump to release his returns.

After the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) fired at the GOP.

“Tonight, House Republicans made themselves accomplices to hiding President Trump’s tax returns from the American people,” she said.  Read more

March 23, 2017
NewsReadingEagle.com

Berks lawmakers could play key role in GOP health care bill

Talking about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was easy.

But actually doing it has been hard.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, whose 16th District includes Reading and Berks communities to its south, was the only one willing to commit his support.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, whose 15th District also includes part of Berks County, will vote no.

The remaining two — U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello and Pat Meehan — said they’re still reviewing the proposal and its impact on their districts. These statements come after Costello and Meehan voted last week in committee to send the legislation forward without a single hearing. Read more

March 19, 2017
Lancasteronline.com

Not happy with Smucker encounter
I’ve just come from a disappointing “meeting” with my congressman, Lloyd Smucker. Unfortunately, I had to pay $40 to get in to hear him make a canned presentation at a Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry breakfast.

The question-and-answer session following his speech could have been interesting, but it was carefully controlled, and written questions had to be submitted in advance along with the questioner’s name and organization. Read more

May 19, 2017
The Hill’s Whip List: Where Republicans stand on ObamaCare repeal
plan

Smucker is in the YES column

Republican leaders are aiming to move quickly on legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare, with a vote by the full House slated for Thursday.

But the plan faces a difficult path. Conservatives were quick to criticize the legislation, saying it falls short of full repeal and would create new entitlements. Centrist Republicans and many from districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 have also balked at measures rolling back the Medicaid expansion or defunding Planned Parenthood. Read more

March 17, 2017

Apolitical Mennonites become protesters

ALEX ROARTY Tribune News Service

LANCASTER, Pa. — Mary Beth Martin and Lindsey Martin Corbo each held one side of the large cardboard poster, the mother and her adult daughter eager to deliver a personal if unconventional message to their congressman, Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker.

“Hey Smucker,” said the sign, written in red, green and blue marker. “300 years ago our Mennonite family took sanctuary in PA, just like yours did. Lancaster values immigrants.”

The anger might have been directed at Smucker, but Martin and Corbo were really there — like 100 others — because of President Donald Trump.

The two women were among a hundred newly engaged activists assembled in Republican-heavy Lancaster County — an area that went to Trump in November by 57 percent — braving toe-freezing temperatures to protest Trump and the lawmaker, who was 200 yards away at a chamber of commerce breakfast. Read more

Feb 27, 2017
The Hill

The 3 Chester County Congressman voted along party lines NOT to force Trump to release his tax returns.

House Dem forces GOP to take recorded vote on Trump tax returns

A House Democratic lawmaker attempted Monday to force a House floor vote on a resolution to request President Trump’s tax returns, but the effort failed on a party line vote, 229-185, with two Republicans voting “present.”

The move was the latest in a series of Democratic efforts to push Congress to request Trump’s tax returns, and Democrats demanded a roll call vote to force Republicans to go on the record.

The two Republicans who voted present were Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.). Sanford is one of the Republican lawmakers who has in the past called for Trump to release his returns.

After the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) fired at the GOP.

“Tonight, House Republicans made themselves accomplices to hiding President Trump’s tax returns from the American people,” she said.  Read more

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