Rep. Levin and Colleagues Demand Transparency In Plans to Drastically Change State Department and USAID

Nov 30, 2017

Rep. Levin and Colleagues Demand Transparency In Plans to Drastically Change State Department and USAID

Rep. Levin joined his colleagues earlier this month in a letter to the Office of Management and Budget regarding proposed changes to the State Department and USAID.  The letter asked the agencies to fully engage and consult with Congress prior to enacting any changes.  Over the last 15 years, Congress has worked with administrations from both parties to improve U.S. foreign assistance with powerful results, such as the Global Food Security Act and the Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act.   The State Department and USAID are at the front line of U.S. foreign policy and are critical to U.S. global leadership and engagement.

Republicans Continue Attempt at Irresponsible Tax Cuts; Legislation Moves through Senate

This week, the Senate follows the House of Representatives in considering its version of tax cuts legislation, another step towards fulfilling President Trump’s quest to pass tax cuts before the end of the year.  Independent analysis has found that the Senate bill would provide most benefits to higher income individuals.  The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation found that by 2027, Americans earning $75,000 a year or less would be in a group that would see a tax increase while those making more than $1 million would still receive a tax cut.  Individual tax cuts are set to expire in the Senate bill at the end of 2025.  The Senate bill would also add to the deficit, just like the House, by nearly $1.5 trillion.  And it would also dole out generous tax cuts to some corporate interests, retain the carried interest loophole that benefits investment fund managers, and could allow some business owners who pay individual tax rates on their business income, known as pass through income, to avoid paying taxes at the top tax rate.  The bill also attacks the Affordable Care Act to pay for tax cuts for corporate interests and the top one percent, which could result in millions losing coverage and premiums increasing.  Rep. Levin has called for comprehensive tax reform that focuses on the middle class, instills fairness and simplicity in the tax code, encourages economic growth, and is fiscally responsible.  

Rep. Levin Requests Funding for Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB) Research

Rep. Levin and 53 other concerned Members of Congress sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget in support of robust funding for HAB research in the President’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request. HABs, a naturally occurring phenomena, pose a great threat to marine, coastal, estuarine, and freshwater systems throughout the country. To better protect the Great Lakes region, a better understanding of HABs, the ability to forecast them accurately, and knowing the human health impact, is imperative. You can read the letter here.

Small Business Administration Visits Royal Oak

Last week, Rep. Levin’s staff joined the Small Business Administration (SBA) on a tour through downtown Royal Oak. The SBA visited to highlight the support new business owners or entrepreneurs can receive from the federal government. The tour stopped at four Royal Oak locations, some of whom benefited from SBA assistance, including Motor City Gas, Royal Oak Brewery, Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, and Lockhart’s BBQ.

The SBA is dedicated to providing assistance and resources to those looking to start a small business. Those interested in contacting the SBA for more information can reach out to the Detroit District office at Michigan District Office at 313-226-6075, or click here.  

This week on the House Floor:

This week, the House will consider a resolution requiring anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training for all representatives and employees of the House of Representatives.

In addition, the House will consider legislation on mining leases in the Superior National Forest in Minnesota (H.R. 3905).

The House will also consider legislation that would reauthorize the Brownfield Program that helps communities clean up contaminated sites for expansion or redevelopment (H.R. 3017) and a bill that that could weaken the federal employee workforce by increasing the amount of time a civil servant must be employed before he or she has due process protections in personnel actions (H.R. 4182).  No hearings were held on the bill and it’s not clear whether this bill actually needed to address an existing problem.

Finally, the House will consider legislation written to purportedly reduce regulatory burdens in the manufactured housing industry, but will actually rollback consumer protections for mortgage borrowers.