New year, same focus

By Blaine Luetkemeyer, 3rd District Congressman
Posted 1/3/24

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve enjoyed time with loved ones and feel ready to take on 2024. Last week, I wrote to you reflecting on the past year. Today, I’d like to look ahead toward what …

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New year, same focus


Happy New Year! I hope you’ve enjoyed time with loved ones and feel ready to take on 2024. Last week, I wrote to you reflecting on the past year. Today, I’d like to look ahead toward what you can expect this Congressional session.

It’s no secret, 2023 ended on a mostly sour note in Congress. Between new global conflicts to address and stalled progress on our conservative priorities, we have our work cut out for us.

I hope my colleagues had the opportunity to return home and be reminded why they do this job in the first place. It’s not about sustaining an ego or building a resume. We’re here to serve our constituents and address the problems they face every day.

Traveling around our district these past two weeks, I met with small businesses, local chambers, and non-profits who share plenty of challenges. Missouri is ripe with opportunity, but inflation and burdensome red tape are crippling their ability to get ahead.

We must work to rein in spending and keep government agencies in check to ensure their regulations and enforcement aren’t crossing the line. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I keep a close eye on these regulators and am quick to call them out when they’ve begun abusing their positions. Whether they attempt to close bank accounts of legal businesses or push woke DEI requirements, I comb through each bill and proposal carefully to prevent little details from becoming huge disasters.

On Nov. 15, Congress passed a “two-tier” stopgap funding bill that funds some federal programs through Jan. 19. Funding for the remaining programs will expire on Feb. 2. So, early in the year, we’ll have another opportunity to make cuts and reduce waste. It won’t be easy, but this a fight worth having.

I’ve also heard plenty about our lack of skilled labor across Missouri and the United States. Businesses need help and have jobs open, but the talent pool is incredibly small. I fear the current administration has fueled a culture of reliance on the government and leaves little incentive for people to work. This dynamic puts more pressure on those of you working hard day in and day out. It also limits our nation’s ability to grow and thrive economically.

As we look at making cuts, I’ll work to ensure we aren’t giving anyone a free pass to leech off their neighbors’ taxes. Americans should be productive members of society, and we must instill values of hard work in younger generations, as they’ll soon lead the nation.

Also, while in the district, I joined Representative Mark Alford in Columbia to hold and participate in a fentanyl forum. In 2022, the DEA seized enough fentanyl to kill every American. Just two milligrams— the size of ten to fifteen grains of table salt— is enough to take an adult life. Sadly, that same year, fentanyl-related deaths of children under five years old spiked 500 percent.

Cartels are driving fentanyl into our communities and work closely with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which supplies the ingredients to create the drug, amounting to a $13 billion illicit industry.

As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions, I’m proud to have passed the Stop Fentanyl Money Laundering Act out of the Financial Services Committee. This legislation would address a key component in the operations of the CCP and cartels, hampering their ability to funnel the drug into our communities. This isn’t a red or blue issue. It affects us all and is a matter of life and death. I’ll continue stressing the point to my colleagues on Capitol Hill, because we can’t afford to wait.

With more priorities and plans than I can fit into one bulletin, I encourage you to keep an eye out for updates each week and please contact my offices with your thoughts and insight. Do you know of any family members, friends, or neighbors who could use a regular update from Capitol Hill? Share this link where they can sign up, and I’ll send these bulletin’s straight to their inbox, too.

I wish you the best of luck in the new year and look forward to another session serving as your representative in Congress. It truly is the honor of a lifetime.

I encourage you to visit my official website or call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) or Cottleville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, and Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.