Joyce votes to keep the IRS out of health decisions
WASHINGTON- Rep. Dave Joyce (OH-14) voted in favor of the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act, H.R. 2009, which would prevent the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing or implementing any component of the health care law. Joyce, a cosponsor of the bill, released the following statement:
“Recent events have shown that the IRS is unable to impartially apply current law, so how can we trust this organization to deliver health care to Ohio families? Health decisions should be made by patients, their families and doctors. Not government bureaucrats. This bill ensures Ohioans won’t have to answer to IRS agents when making personal health decisions.”
The Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act is a simple, 2 –page bill that prevents IRS agents from enforcing the health care law, potentially preventing further abuse and targeting of Americans. Rep. Joyce serves as co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus and his wife Kelly has been an RN for over 20 years.
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President to sign bill backed by Rep. Dave Joyce to help disabled veterans through airport screenings
A bipartisan bill that will allow disabled war veterans to avoid intrusive airport security screening procedures unanimously passed the House of Representatives last week and is being sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.
Rep. Dave Joyce of Russell Township was the first Republican to cosponsor the measure authored by Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a captain in Hawaii’s National Guard. He worked with Gabbard to line up support for the bill from Republicans and Democrats.
Gabbard introduced the bill after veterans gave her troubling accounts of having to remove clothing and prosthetics in view of other passengers or having to awkwardly go through screening machines without the benefit of a prosthetic leg or limb.
It directs the Transportation Security Administration to provide expedited passenger screening services for severely injured or disabled Armed Forces members and veterans, as well as their accompanying family members or nonmedical attendants.
“While we’ll never be able to repay our heroic servicemen and women for the sacrifices they’ve made in the line of duty, it should be our top priority to make their lives back home as easy and comfortable as possible,” said a statement from Joyce. “Now we’ll be able to ensure that our wounded warriors are able to get through airport security quickly and comfortably, and avoid any disruptive or difficult screening practices.”
The bill was was endorsed by the American Legion, Disabled Veterans of American, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the American Federation of Government Employees
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Bipartisanship keeps Great Lakes Restoration Initiative afloat: editorial
The machinations of congressional apparatchiks are best left behind closed doors.
“Nobody likes to see the sausage being made,” admits U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, a Russell Township Republican.
But when the horse-trading results in the reinstatement of $150 million slashed from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, it’s worth celebrating. Particularly when the horse-trader-in-chief — Joyce — was vilified by many last week after he appeared to cave in the fight to protect the largest freshwater ecosystem on the continent.
At the time, Joyce told Plain Dealer Washington Bureau Chief Stephen Koff that he would “reluctantly” support a proposed subcommittee spending bill that gutted the initiative from $285 million this year to $60 million in 2014.
He did add, though, that he would be back before the House Appropriations Committee on July 30 with an amendment to pump that pittance into the triple digits.
And that’s exactly what Joyce did.
On Wednesday the bipartisan committee added the $150 million for the program aimed at environmental and invasive threats to the Great Lakes. Joyce says he got those dollars added back in by extending a federal program that would generate $150 million in helium sales in 2014.
The bill will now fund the initiative at $210 million — less than half the unprecedented $475 million President Barack Obama authorized in his inaugural 2010 budget.
Still, $210 million is better than $60 million. It’s a serious commitment to continue the cleanup and restoration of the Great Lakes.
It is encouraging to learn that the fate of this irreplaceable natural resource — one that Joyce estimates supports 1.5 million jobs regionally generating $62 billion in wages each year — transcends the troubled waters of congressional party politics, after all.
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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative gets big funding boost from Joyce amendment
Legislation to provide funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative continues to evolve in Washington, D.C.
The initiative annually provides funding to help clean up the Great Lakes.
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee last week initially had set the funding for the initiative at $60 million for the next fiscal year.
U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Russell Township, who is a House Appropriations Committee member, was able to get an amendment adopted that increased the funding level to $210 million.
His amendment was considered to be budget neutral because it extended a federal helium program that sells the gas to companies, said Adam Wolf, senior legislative assistant for Joyce.
It’s also possible that an additional amount could be appropriated when Congress returns from an August recess, but any additional amount appropriated would most likely need to be considered budget neutral as well, Wolf said.
During a news conference July 22 at Lake Metroparks Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry Township, Joyce announced that the initiative was part of the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act of 2013 that he introduced.
GLEEPA is a larger bill and within the measure Congress would be authorized to appropriate initiative funding for up to $475 million annually.
Wolf said that $299.5 million was appropriated for the initiative in fiscal year 2011 and $299.4 million was appropriated in fiscal year 2012.
For fiscal year 2013, $284.13 million was appropriated for the initiative after the federal sequestration, he said.
Joyce cited a Northeast Ohio example of how the initiative funds were previously be used in Northeast Ohio.
He said the funding helped provide cleanup of 630,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in the Ashtabula River that contained 25,000 pounds of hazardous compounds.
Joyce said passage of the amendment to increase the funding level from $60 million to $210 million was a big win for the Great Lakes region.
“The Great Lakes are directly connected to 1.5 million jobs, generating $62 billion in wages, and providing over 30 million Americans clean drinking water,” Joyce said in a statement.
“It’s crucial that Congress works in a bipartisan manner to protect the entire Great Lakes region and preserve its economic might and environmental integrity.”
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House spending committee boosts Great Lakes cleanup money at request of Rep. Dave Joyce
The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday restored $150 million in funding that an earlier spending plan had cut from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and Republicans on the committee said they’ll strive to secure more money for the program.
The latest version of the bill would provide $210 million in 2014 for the initiative, which cleans pollution from the lakes, combats invasive species, and restores wetlands. That would be a reduction from the $285 million the program will get this year, but it’s significantly more than the $60 million that was in last weeks’ draft of the bill.
This is a big win for the Great Lakes region, but our work isn’t done,” said Russell Township GOP Rep. Dave Joyce, who offered the amendment to restore the money along with Pennsylvania Republican Charlie Dent. “It’s crucial that Congress works in a bipartisan manner to protect the entire Great Lakes region and preserve its economic might and environmental integrity.”
Joyce said the Great Lakes provide over 30 million Americans with clean drinking water and are directly connected to 1.5 million jobs that generate $62 billion in wages each year.
Joyce’s amendment restored the money by extending a federal helium program that sells gas to companies that use it to make products including smartphones and fiberoptic cables. The Congressional Budget Office says extending the program would give the government an extra $150 million in 2014 from helium sales.
Democrats on the funding committee, including Marcy Kaptur of Toledo and Tim Ryan of the Niles area, had backed a different amendment that would have added $223 million to the program. Republicans opposed that alternative because it didn’t describe where the extra money would come from.
Kaptur noted that the Great Lakes restoration program used to get $475 million each year in federal money, and said even that amount wasn’t sufficient to fight the algae blooms and invasive species that threaten the world’s largest freshwater fishery.
“Those of us from the Great Lakes are outnumbered in the Congress regionally,” she said. “This is our moment to plead for you to please provide us full funding.”
Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, who chairs the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, admitted the bill’s earlier version cut Great Lakes programs too drastically and said even the $210 million level is still “probably not enough.”
“We will work to try to get it to a higher level,” Simpson said.
Great Lakes environmental groups welcomed the increase, but agreed that $210 million won’t adequately fund cleanup programs. Jordan Lubetkin of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition said $300 million would be more appropriate.
“The reemergence of algal blooms, ongoing beach closings, statewide fish consumption advisories and toxic pollution continue to remind us that the Great Lakes desperately need our help,” Lubetkin said.
Former Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Chairman Michael Wager, a Democrat who is seeking Joyce’s congressional seat, accused Joyce of playing “the Washington game” by voting for last week’s significant cuts to “a vitally important program so he could turn around and appear heroic to his constituents by restoring a portion of that funding.”
“For that he wants to receive kudos,” said Moreland Hills’ Wager, who noted that funds would still be reduced by $75 million from 2013 levels. “He gets none from me.”
Joyce spokeswoman Christyn Keyes said Joyce’s efforts were “about the Great Lakes, not a political campaign.”
“Rep. Joyce worked in a bipartisan manner to secure an additional $150 million to protect one of the greatest economic and environmental resources in the region.” said Keyes. “That’s a fact, not politics.”
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