Levin calls on Congress to Get to Work on Unfinished Business

Nov 13, 2012


Levin calls on Congress to Get to Work on Unfinished Business

Congress returns this week from the 2012 elections to face a full plate of urgent business.  The House and Senate will convene a special “lame duck” session of Congress on Tuesday, which is expected to run well into December.  Above all, Congress must deal with the “fiscal cliff,” a mix of major budget cuts and expiring tax cuts that will take place after December 31 unless Democrats and Republicans quickly agree on an alternative tax and deficit reduction package.

Levin stated: “We must promote further economic growth and avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ that could jeopardize the progress made recovering from the deep recession.  The President's reelection sent a clear message that House Republicans must end their intransigence and sit down on a bipartisan basis to find a balanced approach that combines spending reductions and revenue. We should do so by taking steps to address the time-sensitive end-of-year tax), unemployment insurance, Medicare reimbursement and preventing the sequester for a full year.  These vital steps will set the stage and allow the new Congress to set a course for deficit reduction and tax reform in a transparent and fully bipartisan fashion.

Medicare Open Enrollment is Underway

Open enrollment for Medicare started October 15 and runs through December 7, 2012.  This is an opportunity for Medicare beneficiaries to review, change, or add to their benefits under Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug Plans) for 2013.  For more information, go to www.Medicare.gov which has a number of helpful articles with advice on this year’s Medicare Open Enrollment.

Another reminder: The new Health Care Reform Act has added free preventive benefits, including a free annual exam, and prescription drug discounts to close the donut hole.  This year, 782,246 Michiganians have taken advantage of Medicare preventive services at no cost and 67,825 Michigan Medicare beneficiaries in the donut hole received an average of $703 in savings.  For more information, please visit our website or www.healthcare.gov.

Renewing Our Commitment to America’s Veterans

On November 3, Rep. Levin attended a Veterans Day event in Royal Oak to pay tribute to the current and former members of the military who reside in our community.  From the Greatest Generation to those now returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the brave men and women of our armed forces have made tremendous sacrifices in defense of our nation. While we can never fully repay our nation’s veterans for their service and sacrifice, we must provide them with the care and benefits they so rightly deserve when they return home.  Each year, Veterans Day offers us an opportunity to renew our commitment to America’s veterans and ensure that this happens.

One of the best ways to strengthen that commitment is to help service members obtain quality jobs when they return home. The 112th Congress has enacted a number of hiring programs, including passage of President Obama’s veterans hiring initiative, which incentivizes the hiring of service members through tax credits for businesses, and the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act, which boosts veterans’ employment and provides civilian job training.

57th Presidential Inauguration

President Barack Obama will be sworn in during the 57th Presidential Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. Tickets to the Inaugural Ceremony will be provided free of charge and distributed through Congressional Members offices.  Due to the large number of requests and the limited number of tickets available, we cannot guarantee any ticket request.  A portion of our ticket will be distributed through a random computer generated selection.  To request tickets please visit Rep. Levin’s website and fill in the web form. For additional information regarding balls, family activities, and the Official Inaugural Day Parade please visit the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies website.

The Week Ahead

The House of Representatives comes back into session on November 13.  The House is expected to debate and vote on legislation [H.R. 6156] establishing permanent normal trade relations with Russia.  House Republicans will also hold leadership elections.