Newsletter: 07/25/2014


Maintaining Home Health Care Affordability

Last November, the Obama Administration announced it would cut home health care payments by 14 percent--the maximum amount allowed under the law. As a result, more than 40 percent of home health care agencies could be forced out of business. These cuts would disproportionately impact rural areas like West Virginia where access to home health care is a lifeline to many seniors.

In reaction to the Obama Administration's actions, I am co-sponsoring a bill that restores payment levels to home health care agencies and cuts waste.

We need to stop these harsh cuts to our seniors. Obamacare's cuts to home health will hurt West Virginia seniors, reduce access to care, and cause nurses to lose their jobs. Our seniors have come to depend on quality home health care to allow them to recover at home. Like people in rural areas across the country, West Virginians face many challenges in accessing quality and affordable health care and the President's reduction in funding would make it harder.

Home health care provides comfort, familiarity and normalcy for patients and their families. This is a common-sense bill that will give West Virginia seniors certainty that they will be able to continue to receive the care on which they depend.

Making Higher Education More Accessible

In our knowledge-based economy, higher education is practically essential -- yet costs and time are holding back too many Americans from these opportunities. That's why this week the House passed three bipartisan bills that will help students and families considering college.

When students make the decision to get ahead by obtaining a degree in higher education, they're faced with the rising cost of tuition and mounting student debt. By providing better information to students and families whether it's concerning the financial aid process or what programs are available, this will help them make informed decisions about their future.

Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 4983) This would provide better information to students and families regarding higher education institutions so they can make smart decisions.
Empowering Student Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984) This would promote financial education through counseling by ensuring students and parents, who participate in the federal student loan program, receive annual counseling according to their individual borrowing needs.
Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) This would allow institutions to provide students with a more personalized cost-effective education to non-traditional students like working adults and gain credits for skills testing. This legislation will help students and families to decide what's best for them in achieving a better life.
Economic Impact of State Energy Policies

The House Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing this week on "Laboratories of Democracy: The Economic Impacts of State Energy Policies." The hearing examined the economic impacts from differing energy policies of the various states, as well as how federal policies may impact states.

The EPA's over-regulation is stifling the energy industry and preventing the creation of more jobs. America needs to wake-up to what these regulations mean for our economy and our future. I will continue to push back on flawed arguments, statements and claims that are not based in reality, and stand up for the men and women who rely on coal for jobs and affordable energy.

Making Your Voice Heard

There are a few upcoming opportunities in and around West Virginia for the public to have their voice heard on issues that affect them.

The EPA is holding public meetings on their proposed plan on carbon pollution standards. The public can attend, but must have specific identification to get into these meetings.

Now is your chance for you, your family members and neighbors to speak up against job-killing EPA regulations. Residents in West Virginia can attend an upcoming meeting in Pittsburgh, PA on August 1st. We encourage not only coal miners, but the families of coal miners, and others who would be impacted by these EPA regulations to attend.

The second opportunity is for residents living in rural areas with their post offices having hours cut. The USPS is holding community meetings in towns with post offices included in their Post Plan.

Constituent Meetings

This week, I met a number of constituent groups, including students from the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation and American Legion Boys Nation