This Week in Washington

By Blaine Luetkemeyer, 3rd District Congressman
Posted 6/21/23

It was a busy but productive week on Capitol Hill! I started off the week attending the Health Plan Hero Awards on Capitol Hill and meeting with the Cosmos Corporation. The Cosmos Corporation is a …

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This Week in Washington


It was a busy but productive week on Capitol Hill! I started off the week attending the Health Plan Hero Awards on Capitol Hill and meeting with the Cosmos Corporation. The Cosmos Corporation is a family-owned and operated business out of St. Peters that started out manufacturing beauty supplies in the 1980s and has grown into an international supplier of personal care, pet health and wellness, and household cleaning products. Beyond Cosmos’ success in business, they are providing incredible health care for their 137 employees. They transformed their health plan in 2022 and have since reduced their per-employee annual health care spending by 45%. They received the Health Plan Hero Award because of their success in finding a health plan aimed at lowering out of pocket costs for Cosmos Corporation employees while improving quality of care. We’re fortunate to have companies like the Cosmos Corporation in our area who truly care about their employees’ well-being.

It was also a busy week in the House Financial Services Committee as we had Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testify in our committee about international financial institutions (IFIs), which were established to address economic challenges in distressed countries and cultivate economic growth around the world. But that is not necessarily the role these organizations are currently playing. For example, China, continues to receive sweetheart deals from the IFIs that no other wealthy nation is allowed to receive. Being home to the second largest economy in the world, China is most certainly not an economically distressed country, yet it receives over a billion dollars a year from the World Bank. Not only is this practice purely unethical seeing as the Chinese Communist Party is using this money as they see fit, but the poorest countries are not receiving the resources they so desperately need. The United States is the largest contributor to the World Bank meaning we have a large say, so my main objective for this hearing was to figure out why we’re not demanding more transparency and accountability from China with regard to international financial institutions. As we saw in the news this week, China has been spying on the U.S. from Cuba for years. We need to be doing everything we can to hold them to account.

On Thursday, I was happy to welcome students from Boonville FFA to Capitol Hill. Being the Representative of such an agricultural district and still operating my family’s farm makes FFA visits some of my favorites. I feel an extreme sense of pride and encouragement meeting young Missourians whose goal is to continue our state’s strong agricultural tradition. Most of our farms are family-owned, and knowing that students in Missouri are readying themselves to perhaps take over their family’s operation or start their own tradition is wonderful. I was so glad to meet these students and look forward to their success in our state’s agricultural industry.

And I’m proud to announce the winner of this year’s Congressional Art Competition, Kira Rinehart who is a freshman at Jefferson City High School. Kira’s watercolor piece entitled, “Listen” will be displayed in the United States Capitol for one full year along with winners from other Congressional districts across the country. This friendly competition is now in its 41st year and is a great tradition among offices in Congress. Displaying the work of high school artists and the new generation of local talent creates a sense of pride for each member that millions of visitors and members of Congress will walk by every day. I’m glad to have Kira’s work representing the Third District in the next year and congratulate her on this well-earned honor.

These are just a few highlights, but I also had many great meetings with dozens of constituents regarding everything from biodiesel produced in Missouri to our state’s flourishing manufacturing to preventing the retail crime that is running rampant in cities across the country, and many more. It is always great to welcome Missourians to the nation’s capital. 

On the floor, the House passed several good pieces of legislation, including bills I discussed last week. The REINS Act, which passed on Thursday will rein in executive branch overreach and restore Congress’ legislative authority. We also passed the Separation of Powers Restoration Act that requires the courts to interpret the law rather than unelected bureaucrats, and several bills to put an end to ridiculous regulations that go after your stove.