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Thompson Times September Newsletter (2012)
As we approach the end of summer and move forward into fall, here’s a quick update on important developments in Washington, D.C., and from across the 5th District of Pennsylvania.
As always, I benefit greatly from hearing your thoughts and concerns on issues that matter to you most, so please don’t hesitate to be in touch by calling one of my offices, visiting my website at www.thompson.house.gov, or communicating online through Twitter (@CongressmanGT) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/CongressmanGT/likes).
I wish everyone a safe remainder of the summer season and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson
Ag Progress Day Barnyard Discussion: On August 14, 2012, I joined Carl T. Shaffer, President of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, in hosting a “Barnyard Discussion” on agriculture policy during Penn State University’s (PSU) Ag Progress Days. The “Barnyard Discussion,” which is in its 4th consecutive year, brings together folks in the agriculture community from across the Commonwealth and the country to exchange ideas and communicate the latest developments in agriculture and farming policy. I took the opportunity to outline work in Congress to reauthorize the current Farm Bill, including a two-year series of audit hearings held by my subcommittee and six others under the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.
Cutting Red Tape & Supporting Small Business Growth: While traveling across the 5th District, a frequent comment made by small business owners is that the economic uncertainty being created in Washington by costly new regulations is an impediment to hiring more workers and to expanding their businesses. This uncertainty was outlined by a Wall Street Journal editorial on August 21, 2012, which highlighted a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to strike down the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) economically costly Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The (now illegal) proscriptions in the rule would have had disastrous impacts on coal-powered electric plants and the jobs supported by such. This rule is just one of many new costly regulations being advanced by President Obama’s Administration that are harming instead of helping our economic recovery.
Despite my frustration with the President’s policies in this area, in the U.S. House we’ve been able to make progress in the effort to help our small businesses through passage of dozens of jobs proposals, including several that ease and reform federal regulations. The most recent was H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, which passed the House on July 26, 2012. H.R. 4078 is a package of bills that reduce or streamline the federal regulatory process and require greater consultation by the Executive Branch with the private sector when developing new rules. This package places a needed check on the Administration’s most economically damaging regulations, which will make it easier for our nation’s employers to do business in a still-fragile recovery.
Reforming Government Through Greater Transparency at the Federal Reserve: As the Federal Reserve has increasingly inserted itself into the economic and fiscal policies of the country, it is more important than ever that Congress and the American people have access to a full and transparent account of its policy decisions. On July 25, 2012, I voted to support H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which requires more comprehensive audits of the Fed and promotes much needed transparency that the Federal Reserve System has historically lacked. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor to H.R. 459, which was introduced by Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) on January 26, 2011.
Guardian of Small Business Award: On September 13, 2012, I received the National Federation of Independent Businesses Guardian of Small Business Award, for my support of numerous pieces of legislation during the 112th Congress, including a bill to repeal the President’s health care law (H.R. 2), a bill to reduce burdensome federal mandates on small businesses (H.R. 4), a bill to promote domestic energy production (H.R. 910), and a bill to reduce health care costs (H.R. 436), which were all part of NFIB's Pre-Election Voting Record for the 112th Congress.
Supporting Pennsylvania 4-H: On August 6, 2012, I participated in 4-H State Achievement Days, a three-day educational program for 4-H members sponsored by the Pennsylvania State University’s Cooperative Extension. The event marked the beginning of the Cooperative Extension’s new 4-H community service initiative, “Amp It Up ~ 4-H Service.” It was an honor to welcome participants to my alma mater and emphasize the importance of the 4-H program and the many great service contributions of its members. To learn more about the event, click here.
Remembering September 11, 2001: This past week, Americans joined together in remembrance of the thousands of lives lost to senseless violence in New York, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We prayed for the families and loved ones of those we lost and we offered our thanks to the brave Americans who acted as first responders following the attacks. On this eleventh anniversary, my wife Penny and I joined the United Service Organizations (USO) for “Operation USO Care Package,” a community service project to put together care packages for our troops abroad and to thank our service men and women who have sacrificed to keep this nation safe in the years since 2001.
Application Period for Service Academy Nominations is Now Open: Be sure to circle October 1, 2012, on your calendars, which is this year’s submission deadline for high school seniors to apply for nomination for acceptance into one of the four military service academies. I encourage students to familiarize with the application process and begin compiling the required materials as we approach this year’s application deadline. Additional information can be found at www.thompson.house.gov, under the “Services” tab.
Stay Up To Date Through Facebook: I have the distinct honor and privilege of representing the citizens of Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District. With this responsibility I do my very best to keep my constituents up to date on happenings around the District and noteworthy developments in Washington, D.C. One way is online through my Facebook page. I encourage you to "like" the page, which will enable you to receive updates on news and other developments that will be brought directly to your own Facebook news feed. Click here to join.