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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Congresswoman: Ensuring our rural fire departments have needed resources

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  • As soon as my office was contacted about an absurd regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency restricting the use of surplus military vehicles for our rural fire departments, I immediately requested the regulation be reversed.
    The Kansas Delegation sent a joint letter to the administrator of the EPA and the Defense Logistics Agency, urging them to reinstate the program that allows our rural fire departments to obtain excess military vehicles.
    This week, I was pleased to hear that an agreement was reached and that our rural fire departments will again have the resources they need to save lives and protect their communities.
    Legislation to help America invest and create jobs
    Last week, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation that will help America invest and create jobs by making permanent a tax provision to allow companies to deduct half the cost of new business investments.
    Estimates show that making this permanent could grow the economy by 1 percent, inject $182 billion into the economy, and create 212,000 American jobs.
    Not only will this legislation create jobs and higher wages, it is important to our Kansas farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers. As an original co-sponsor of the legislation, this bill moves our tax code in the right direction and encourages investment in the types of capital goods that create jobs and put more money in peoples’ pockets.
    The roadblock
    There is no doubt folks continue to struggle in this economy that President Barack Obama has created — just look at the headlines. But, with my support, the House of Representatives continues to pass bill after bill after bill to address the issues, and the Senate blocks them.
    A recent headline from the Holiday weekend, “Fourth of July gas prices highest since 2008.” Yet, when the House passed the North American Energy Infrastructure Act it was blocked by the Senate. The House also passed the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act. Blocked by the Senate.
    Another headline: ”The U.S. Economy Shrinks by Most in 5 Years.” Yet, the House has passed the Northern Route Approval Act, the America Small Business Tax Relief Act, and the Stop Government Abuse Act. All three, blocked by the Senate.
    Another headline: “40% of unemployed workers are millennials.” The House passed Save American Workers Act and the Innovation Act. Both blocked by the Senate.
    We have been consistently focused on creating jobs and building a healthy economy here in the House, passing nearly 300 bills that have been blocked by the Senate. Clearly there is a roadblock in Washington, D.C., and that roadblock is Harry Reid.
    Closing the skills gap and connecting Americans to jobs
    Last week, the House passed H.R 803, the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act —  previously known as the SKILLS Act — to improve our nation’s workforce development system and get Americans back to work.
    Page 2 of 2 - This bipartisan jobs bill will help millions of Americans acquire the training and job skills they need to take on good paying jobs. I am pleased the Senate joined our efforts, and acted on this legislation that will give a boost to the record levels of long-term unemployed and underemployed, who have lost hope and are struggling in this Obama economy.
    The House has passed dozens of jobs bills just like the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act and it is my hope the Senate will join us and keep the momentum going.

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