Week by the Numbers:

It was a productive week:

  • The House passed my Energy Efficiency Improvement Act(375 to 36);
  • Two amendments I sponsored, were adopted to the Electricity Security and Affordability Act;
  • I presided over the U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Held numerous constituent meetings throughout the week; and
  • Had a productive, one-hour discussion with Speaker of the House John Boehner(R-OH)on the impact of excessive EPA regulations on coal miners and their families
  • I sponsored the "social cost of carbon" amendment that was adopted to the Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development or RAPID Act

Relief from Skyrocketing Flood Insurance Premiums:

Earlier this week, the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan plan that will provide immediate relief to homeowners coping with dramatically increasing flood insurance rates.

For the past five months I have been meeting with homeowners, business owners, realtors and others and heard their stories of seeing their flood insurance rates skyrocket.

This proposal will not add to the debt and makes permanent reforms. Most importantly it will end extreme flood insurance rate increases and help communities like Wheeling, New Martinsville and Fairmont. I amhopeful this legislation will pass the Senate quickly and immediately give homeowners the relief they need.

The bill makes necessary changes to the National Flood Insurance Program(NFIP), including:

  • Permanently repealing the move to full-risk rates when a home is sold;
  • Refunding premiums for people who purchased a home between July 2012 and October 2013;
  • Establishing an 18% per property annual rate increase limit;
  • Protecting existing properties from premium increases when an area is remapped. FEMA is also responsible for notifying all parties involved when the remapping takes place;

McKinley Energy Efficiency Bill Passes the House:

The House passed an energy efficiency bill introduced by Peter Welch(D-VT)and myself with strong bipartisan support.  The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act encourages tenants and building owners to coordinate and reduce energy use.

The bill also includes proposals regarding energy efficiency in federal data centers, federal building, and hot water heaters.  With over 50 years in the construction industry, I understand what it takes to make our buildings more efficient.  Improving energy efficiency is a common sense way to save energy, save money, and create jobs on which we can all agree.

Too often we focus on areas where we have differing views. But this is an area where Democrats and Republicans can work together. I urge the Senate and President Obama to take action on this common sense bipartisan issue.

I spoke on the House floor earlier about the bill. View my floor speech by clicking here.

Protecting Access to Affordable Energy:

In keeping with the theme of affordable energy, the House ended the week by voting to protect access to affordable electricity by providing an alternative to the EPA’s excessive regulations on power plants. 

The House adopted two of my amendments to the bill designed to reign in EPA overregulation by adding stakeholders with whom the EPA should consult before submitting its report to Congress.  Another amendment required the EPA to look at the domestic and global economic impact of rules or guidelines before making more changes.   

Under this legislation passed this week, the EPA is required to submit a report to Congress regarding the impacts proposed regulations will have on the economy, our competitiveness, job loss and electricity rates. We need more accountability and transparency from the EPA on the impact these regulations will have on our nation.

To see me speaking on the House floor about both amendments, click here and here.

Fairness for Families under Obamacare:

President Obama recently granted businesses another one-year delay of the employer mandate, but he did not give families the same help.  Through no fault of their own, millions of people lost the health insurance they liked, no longer had access to their own doctors and were faced with much higher premiums.

This week, the House votedgive working families a reprieve from Internal Revenue Service(IRS)penalties of the Obamacare individual mandate.  TheSimple Fairness Act ensures all Americans do not have to pay the Individual Mandate penalty.

The numerous problems with the Obamacare website left millions of people scrambling to enroll for health care in a short amount of time.  The IRS should not punish those people unfairly. 

Constituent Meetings:

This week, I met a number of constituent groups, including AIPAC, the American Academy of Neurology, and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars(VFW).  The VFW delegation included Hershel “Woody” Williams, who earned the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

If you are ever in the Washington D.C. office please drop in and say hello. If you want an appointment just give my office a call at 202-225-4172.

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