Associated Press

Mike believes in fiscal responsibility and smaller government. As a business owner, he knows first-hand that businesses create jobs – not the government. Thanks to his seat on the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee, Mike is in a position to promote pro-growth tax reform that would simplify the tax code and lower tax rates.

Mike Kelly Successfully Files to Seek Re-election

Butler, PA – U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) made the following statement after successfully filing to appear on the ballot and seek another term representing Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District.  The filing deadline was yesterday, February 16th:

“Over six years ago, the federal government took over General Motors and attempted to take my family’s dealership away.  I fought the government and won our dealership back.  That was my wake-up call.  I decided then to run for Congress because I, like many, saw a federal government that had become too big, powerful, and arrogant.  Unfortunately, my concerns today are the same as they were in 2010.

“So, after much reflection and discussion with my family and close friends, I have filed the necessary paperwork and nomination petitions to seek re-election as representative of Pennsylvania’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I am running to continue to be Western Pennsylvania’s voice in Washington and not Washington’s voice in Western Pennsylvania.  I am very proud of the service we have provided to the constituents of the Third District and believe we can continue, and even build upon, our hard work.

“However, our fight continues.  Washington’s spending problem, though improved since 2010, has a long way to go before we rein-in our record-high debt.  Our economic potential in the U.S. is still unlimited, but our government must get out of the way and allow an economic environment of opportunity and fairness to flourish.  With the right leadership and pro-growth policies, we can restore the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been the backbone of our country.

“And finally, but perhaps most importantly, I continue to be concerned about the destruction of the family, which is the true foundation of a strong and prosperous society. I feel I have been a very forthright voice on all these issues and am proud to say we have made incremental progress on some of them, often in the face of incredibly strong political resistance.

“Lord willing, and with the support of the great people of Western Pennsylvania, I would be honored to continue to be their voice in Washington.”

Congressman Mike Kelly supports diocese’s fight against Obamacare

ERIE, PA: The Diocese of Erie gets some support in the battle against Obamacare from Congressman Mike Kelly and more than two hundred members of congress.

Today was the deadline to file an Amicus brief to the US Supreme Court. This is a filing for groups who are non-litigants in a case to show they have….. (Read More)



By Erin Tighe |

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved.

House Votes 240-179 to Eliminate the ‘Death Tax’

The House passed legislation Thursday to terminate the estate tax, in a vote that saw only seven Democrats join Republicans in defiance of President Barack Obama’s threat to veto the bill.

The bill to end what the GOP calls the “death tax” was part of group of several tax-related bills that Republicans called up this week, just as millions of Americans were paying their income taxes. Several bills were passed Wednesday, including proposals aimed at stopping the IRS from injecting politics into decisions about whether certain groups should get tax-exempt status.

The estate tax has long been on the GOP’s list of policies to eliminate. Under current law, people are hit with a 40 percent tax on the transfer of assets from one generation to the next, once those assets hit a certain value.

Republicans say death should not be a taxable event, as it only makes it harder for people to transfer wealth to their relatives when they die. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), used Thursday’s debate on the bill to talk about one brother and sister who had to sell off two-thirds of a farm they inherited just to pay the taxes.

“These are real-life examples of how the death tax is the wrong tax at the wrong time, and hurts the wrong people,” he said. “It’s the number one reason family owned businesses and farms aren’t passed down to the next generation.”

Several Republicans cited their own experience with the estate tax, such as Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), who said his own family created a business that he worked at years later.

“God forbid these hardworking American taxpayers are allowed to pass on to the next generation that which they were able to accumulate,” Kelly said.

But most Democrats opposed the bill, after the White House warned Tuesday that Obama would veto it. The White House said it would only help the wealthiest people.

“Repealing the estate tax exclusively benefits just the wealthiest one or two estates out of every thousand — which would receive a tax cut averaging more than $3 million each — because current law already exempts more than $5 million of wealth for individuals and more than $10 million of wealth for couples from the tax,” the White House said.

Obama’s veto threat makes it highly unlikely the bill can become law. Even if the Senate passed it, both chambers would need to override that veto with a two-thirds majority — today’s 240-179 vote in the House indicates an override is virtually impossible.

House Democrats essentially argued that the rich should pay the tax because they have the money. For example, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) argued that the people who pay the tax have “no problems whatsoever” paying it.

McDermott also argued that people who have to pay it are usually given plenty of time.

“If you die and you have this great big business, you have five years to pay that tax,” he said. “You don’t have to pay it the day that they bury the body of your grandfather or your mother, your father, whoever. You have five years to pay it.”

Some Democrats argued that the bill should be rejected because it would create $269 billion in new debt over the next decade. But Democrats had no trouble recently approving a bill to avoid a cut in Medicare physician reimbursements, which was paid for by $141 billion in new debt.

The House passed that bill in March with only four Democratic “no” votes, and the Senate approved it Tuesday in a vote that saw all Democrats vote for it. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) officially sent that Medicare bill off to the White House for Obama’s signature Thursday morning.

Between the estate tax vote and the Medicare vote, the House has now voted to increase the national debt by more than $400 billion over the next 10 years. However, Republicans have argued that bills changing the U.S. tax code are typically not offset with other spending cuts.

Original Source: House votes 240-179 to eliminate the ‘death tax’

Rep. Mike Kelly to Budget Critics: Don’t Be ‘Stupid’

To liberals describing the budgets just passed by Congress as mean-spirited and tilted toward the rich, Rep. Mike Kelly of the House Ways and Means Committee says call them what you want — at least they tie spending to revenue.

“You can say those things about being heartless, being insensitive, but the only thing you can’t be when it comes to dealing with money is freaking stupid,” the Pennsylvania Republican on the influential tax-writing committee told “MidPoint” host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Friday.

“Our budget — the responsible budget — is looking out 10 years to actually bring it into balance,” said Kelly.

The Senate early on Friday passed a Republican plan that would balance the budget in 10 years by cutting $5.1 trillion in domestic spending.

Similar to a House budget that Kelly voted for on Wednesday, the Senate version would boost defense spending and erase the deficit by repealing the Affordable Care Act, making cuts in social safety net programs such as Medicaid, and reducing spending on transportation and education.

Kelly defended the plans, which still have to be merged by a House-Senate conference committee and could still be vetoed by President Barack Obama.

“The idea that you can keep on spending and not ever have to worry about balancing a budget … is easy,” he said. “I can sit back and say, ‘We ought to take care of all these things because that’s a great idea.’ How are you going to do it? With your money?

“I don’t mean it comes down to dollar and cents,” he said. “It means it comes down to the reality of, can we really supply those types of revenues that are going to be needed for some of these programs? There’s nothing worse than an unsustainable program. There’s nothing worse than a promise that you know you can’t keep, but you just say, ‘I meant it when I said it; unfortunately I can’t do it now.’

“We are looking realistically at the growth of our economy and what we’re going to have to do to make whole the people who provide the revenue,” said Kelly, criticizing an attitude toward spending that he summarized as, “Don’t worry about the bill; just load the wagon.”

“We’ve got to come to something that’s realistic,” he said.

Kelly said he has no preferred candidate to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who announced Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2016.

“I have no idea,” said Kelly. “I don’t know who I’d want to work with — I’ve heard them all.”

Kelly, who previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also discussed the chaos that has spread across the Middle East faster than U.S. policy can keep up.

“A lot of it started several years ago, whenever we had decided to get out of Iraq early and started telling people when we’re going to leave,” he said. “And then all of a sudden things start to back up on us in Afghanistan.

“The one thing we have to realize: these are generational wars,” said Kelly. “I’m 66 now: I don’t think in my lifetime I will ever see it come to an end. It’s almost like a rebirth of the Holy Wars, and it’s going to be a generational war that’s going to take America staying on top of it.

“We can’t fund everybody’s problems around the world,” he said, “but we should be able to add leadership. The president’s theory of leading from behind — which I don’t think anybody quite understands, including himself — has created a vacuum of leadership at the top, which has allowed a lot of thugs — emboldened them now — to do things that they wouldn’t have done before.”

Senate and House Opposition to the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Grows, Again

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is like much of the United Nations: it won’t achieve anything, but that doesn’t stop it from holding a lot of meetings. The latest meeting was held in Trinidad last month to prepare, of course, for yet another meeting — the first Conference of States Parties to the treaty, to be held in Mexico City in late August.

By the by, it was also an occasion for Trinidad to lobby to be given the job of hosting the Treaty’s Secretariat, which the Mexico City conference will create. It says a lot about the ATT that Trinidad is so visibly eager to pick the secretariat plum: like many nations that have been talking up the ATT, they’re a little too obviously in it for the money.

But if the ATT’s supporters don’t get tired easily, neither do the Senate and the House. Last week, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) released a new letter signed by all 12 freshman Republicans declaring their support for the bipartisan letter opposing the ATT that was led in October 2013 by Senators Moran, Inhofe, and Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Thanks to the leadership of Moran and Inhofe, every single Republican in the Senate, plus Sen. Manchin, now supports the October 2013 letter, making 55 sitting Senators in all. Together with Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who signed a separate letter in 2013, there are now 58 sitting Senators opposed to the ratification of the ATT. If the Administration ever gets around to transmitting the treaty to the Senate, it will go nowhere.

In the House, the invaluable Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) has led a parallel letter, signed by 34 freshmen Republicans, making a total of 191 sitting members of the House who oppose the ATT. In both the Senate and the House, opposition to the ATT has never been stronger. With luck, that intensity of feeling will be reflected in the coming appropriations cycle for FY2016.

Some members of the Administration may be inclined to write off the sentiments of the House and focus exclusively on the Senate. No doubt, the Senate, responsible as it is for giving its advice and consent on treaties, will have the conclusive vote on the ATT, and there can be little doubt, thanks to Senators Moran and Inhofe, which way that vote will go. But those who dismiss the House might bear a few facts in mind.

Not only is the House, by design of the Constitution, closer to the people than the Senate, it’s also the body that controls appropriations. If the Administration persists in its unwise advocacy of the ATT, the House, without ever voting on the ATT itself, can do a lot to put a stick in its wheel.

The House also has an equal say on the passage of implementing legislation for treaties, including the ATT. And a final fact: of the 12 freshman Senators now committed to opposing the ATT, six originally joined that cause in October 2013, when they signed Kelly’s previous letter as members of the House. By losing the House, the Administration has helped itself along in losing the Senate as well.

Congress Forms Retirement Caucuses

A bipartisan congressional caucus dedicated to better understanding the country’s retirement landscape has been established.

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pennsylvania, and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, filed the paperwork to register the House Retirement Security Caucus last month, saying the group’s primary mission was to help Americans saving more.

“Many Americans are not saving enough for retirement or not saving at all,” wrote the lawmakers in a letter to the Committee on House Administration, which is charged with oversight of the chamber’s day-to-day operations.

“This caucus will heed the concerns of millions of Americans about achieving financial security in their retirement and ensure that federal policies are crafted to make such security as easy to realize as possible,” said Kelly, a member of the Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security.

Neal also serves on the same subcommittee.

The announcement of the new caucus in the House followed the creation of the Senate Retirement Security Caucus, which is co-chaired by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, both members of the Senate Finance Committee.

The Insured Retirement Institute commended the lawmakers for forming the new coalitions, and called on others House or Senate members with an interest in assuring a secure retirement for all Americans to join.

“The formation of this caucus is a leap forward in focusing the nation’s attention to these issues,” said Cathy Weatherford, CEO of the IRI.

Discrimination Against Faith-based Care Providers Makes it Harder for Some Children to Get Help

Enzi, Kelly Head Congressional Effort to Ensure Children Can Continue to Get Care from People of Faith

Faith-based organizations play an important role in communities across the country helping children in need. Unfortunately, there are some states preventing faith-based organizations from providing welfare services because of their religious beliefs, according to U.S Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa.

The lawmakers introduced legislation today to ensure faith-based institutions and individuals can continue to provide services for those who need them.

For decades, adoption and foster care providers – secular, government-operated and faith-based – have worked side-by-side to serve infants, expectant mothers, adoptive and foster families, children, teens and families under economic and emotional pressure. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2015 would prevent providers of child welfare services from being excluded by states from offering these services based on their religious beliefs.

“Whether providing adoption services, foster care work or counseling for children, faith-based organizations shouldn’t have to worry that they will be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. This type of discrimination hurts the families and children who rely on these organizations most of all,” said Enzi. “This legislation will help ensure faith-based providers and individuals can continue to work alongside other agencies and organizations and that adoptive and foster parents have access to the provider of their choice.”

“Faith-based organizations have always played an extraordinary role in caring for our nation’s most vulnerable children. Millions of Americans are better off today because of their noble work,” said Kelly. “This commonsense bill simply ensures that these child welfare providers can keep doing what they do best and are treated the same as the rest. When it comes to helping kids and making families stronger, all service providers – religious or otherwise – should have a seat at the table. That’s what this bill is about. It is 100 percent inclusive and child-focused. No provider should ever have to forfeit their First Amendment rights in order to create a better life for a child.”

Adoption and foster care is intensely personal and emotional for all those concerned.  All participants, infants, children, teens and families involved have benefited from having a range of service options to best suit their emotional, spiritual and financial needs and circumstances, according to Enzi and Kelly.

Click here to read the legislation.