Frustrating would be a good word to describe the sentiments of many members of the U.S. House, according to a Missouri Republican.
3rd District Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer says there’s been a serious lack of movement on bills his chamber has shipped to the Senate.
“The Senate is a toss-up these days”, said Luetkemeyer. “I know, we in the House, are pretty frustrated. There’s just a lot of diverse opinions over there, and there’s just not really a majority of consensus around anything. Even though Republicans have 52 members, there’s not a consensus within that group. And the Democrats, there’s not a consensus even in their group sometimes. So, as a result, it’s very difficult to get things done.”
Luetkemeyer has largely embraced President Trump’s legislative proposals. He says the House has acted on much of the President’s agenda, or soon will. Luekemeyer thinks the Senate must also take action at some point.
“We passed a healthcare bill, and then we passed a Dodd-Frank reform bill. And it all just seems to sit on the floor over there (Senate) and just sort of fall away. And it’s very frustrating. The president, I can assure you, is working very hard with them, and on them, to try and get them to move on some of these issues. He ran on these issues, health care, tax reform, infrastructure, immigration reform. I mean, all of these things. And a lot of it we’ve sent over there. If not, then we will be sending them shortly.”
Luetkemeyer says the House has passed around 300 bills already this year, with less than 60 having been approved in the Senate. He released a statement in late July, criticizing the Senate for failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act after the House had successfully done so in May.
“The Senate, including the Democrats who forced this horrible law on the American people, must come together to find a path forward. The House stands ready to work with the Senate on a solution that will put families and their doctors back in charge of their health-care.”
Luetkemeyer has a background in the banking and insurance industries. He’s focused much of his attention in Congress on financial regulations, being a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
In 2014, he introduced a resolution to terminate Operation Choke Point, an initiative by the Justice Department under President Obama.
Operation Choke Point was intended to investigate banks in the United States and the business they do with firearm dealers, payday lenders, and other companies thought to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering.
Luetkemeyer said the initiative was an effort by the administration to bully and intimidate financial institutions from offering financial services to legal industries it doesn’t like.
Recently, Luetkemeyer vowed to work to reverse restrictions imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on payday lenders.
The agency said the restrictions are aimed at stopping payday debt traps by requiring lenders to determine upfront whether consumers have the ability to repay their loans. Luetkemeyer said the short-term loans serve a purpose because many consumers rely on them to cover unforeseen expenses.
Luetkemeyer has sought to dismantle the CFPB itself, as well as the overall Dodd-Frank Act that authorized it.
Luetkemeyer’s 3rd District includes an area stretching from Lake of the Ozarks in mid-Missouri through Jefferson City, all the way to the Mississippi River surrounding, but not including the metropolitan St. Louis area.
Missourinet affiliate KWIX contributed to the story