Under this crazy tax system we have, successful small businesses pay a top marginal tax rate as high as 44.6%. They can't compete like that. We must level the playing field to create more jobs and economic growth.
Great news → the House just passed bipartisan legislation that ensures the Department of Homeland Security has the resources it needs to keep terrorists, traffickers, and smugglers out of the United States.
John McCain has always been a warrior. It’s who he is. And all of us, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans, are behind him. The prayers of the whole House are with Senator McCain and his family.
Vladimir Putin’s ambition to restore the Russian Empire took another step forward today as Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk region proclaimed an independent state and adopted the tsarist-era name of ‘Little Russia.’ The ultimate responsibility for this latest flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty lies squarely with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, upon whose leadership, financing, troops, and weapons the separatists are entirely dependent. This illegal proclamation of a Russian puppet state in eastern Ukraine also adds to Russia’s serial violations of the Minsk agreements. Through its aggressive behavior, Russia has demonstrated it does not seek the peace the Minsk agreements were designed to achieve. Instead, Vladimir Putin is calculating that the more Ukrainians his forces and his proxies kill, the more Ukrainian territory they will be able to seize. And the more Putin forces Ukraine to devote scarce resources to war rather than improving the economy, the more he can destabilize the government in Kiev and prevent Ukraine from realizing its Euro-Atlantic future. The United States and our European allies must honestly confront the reality that we have failed to fundamentally change Russia’s calculus in Ukraine over the last three years. If we are serious about ending the bloodletting in eastern Ukraine and restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we must be willing to think and act anew to compel a change in Russian behavior. It is simply not enough, for example, to say that U.S. and European sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea will remain until Russia fulfills its obligations under the Minsk agreements. That approach has been tried, and it has failed. Acting together, the United States and our European allies need to develop a policy and strategy to escalate the diplomatic, economic, and military consequences Russia will suffer until it honors its commitments under the Minsk agreements. Here at home, we must start by sending a strong Russia sanctions bill to the president's desk and providing Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to defend itself.
We're balancing the budget and tackling our debt crisis. The budget released by the House Budget Committee GOP this morning means more jobs and more growth, a stronger national defense, and real reforms to the way the federal government serves taxpayers.
Too many in the media are trying to stir up rumors and drama. But here are some facts for them to report on. Just last month: ✔ The House voted to end bailouts for Wall Street and provide relief for community banks. ✔ Congress passed significant legislation to reform the VA to better serve our veterans. ✔ The House passed common-sense measures to help Americans get education and training for high-skilled jobs.
In its zeal for hard work, the Senate has completed another laborious week by passing a whopping total of three nominations. The Senate will now adjourn and senators will head home for a long weekend in our respective states, leaving Washington with no timetable for authorizing funding for our troops, no consensus on how to fund the government, no path forward on regular appropriations bills, and no plan to address the debt limit. And while we mull over another revision to the Senate health care bill, we still lack consensus on how to repeal and replace the failed policies of Obamacare, a law that is imploding in the State of Arizona as premiums skyrocket and insurers flee the marketplace. This is not what the American people expect of us, and it’s not what they deserve. The revised Senate health care bill released today does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona. That’s why if the Senate takes up this legislation, I intend to file amendments that would address the concerns raised by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and other leaders across our state about the bill’s impact on Arizona’s Medicaid system. Arizona has been nationally recognized for running one of the most efficient and cost-effective Medicaid programs in the country. This legislation should reward states like Arizona that are responsibly managing their health care services and controlling costs – not penalize them. Have no doubt: Congress must replace Obamacare, which has hit Arizonans with some of the highest premium increases in the nation and left 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties with only one provider option on the exchanges this year. But if we are not able to reach a consensus, the Senate should return to regular order, hold hearings and receive input from senators of both parties, and produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to affordable and quality health care. If the Senate proceeds to the revised health care bill, Senator McCain plans to file amendments that would ensure Arizona is not penalized for voters’ decision in 2000 to expand Medicaid before the Affordable Care Act was enacted; extend the phase-out period of Medicaid expansion to provide states like Arizona the necessary time to adjust their budgets so citizens don’t have the rug pulled out from under them; and change the growth rate for Medicaid so that Arizona is not punished for operating a successful Medicaid program that cuts costs and streamlines services.
The death of Liu Xiaobo in a Chinese prison represents an egregious violation of the fundamental human rights for which Dr. Liu spent his life fighting. Unfortunately, and as Dr. Liu would have wanted everyone to remember today, this is only the latest example of Communist China’s assault on human rights, democracy, and freedom. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was wrongly imprisoned by the Chinese government for nearly a decade, Dr. Liu was a champion for human rights throughout his life. From protesting at Tiananmen Square to authoring a human rights manifesto for which he was unjustly jailed, Dr. Liu was relentless in his pursuit of a democratic China. As he suffered from late-term liver cancer in prison, the Chinese government’s delay in treatment was the last barbaric violation of Dr. Liu’s human rights. Even as it brutalizes its own citizens, China has continually bullied its neighbors and destabilized the Asia-Pacific region by militarizing the South China Sea and propping up the North Korean regime. China has again ignored the international community in its inhumane treatment of prisoners of conscience. The United States of America should demand the immediate release of Dr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, and make clear that we will not tolerate China’s pervasive violation of human rights.
Russia's attempt to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Montenegro is a case-study in Putin's ultimate goal of undermining democracies in the West. To learn more, tune-in to my Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on this now→http://bit.ly/2uV6xAR
FAKE NEWS ALERT: A fake news story circulating claims Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who has apparently lobbied against the Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, posted a photo from inside my office. That story is false. The photo in question shows Mark Feygin and me, a Russian opposition lawyer working to free Nadiya Savchenko, Ukraine’s first female military pilot and Member of the Ukrainian Parliament who had been abducted by pro-Russian separatists and illegally imprisoned in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I tweeted that photo in April 2015 following my meeting with Mark and calling for Savchenko’s release. Natalia Veselnitskaya did not attend that meeting, but apparently posted the photo of Mark and me to her Facebook page in December 2015 – months after Mark and I met. I am immensely proud to have authored and led Congress's passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which hold accountable those who engage in gross human rights violations in Russia and around the world. The Russians I've welcomed in my office are true patriots fighting for truth and liberty in Russia. Unfortunately, many have paid a steep price for their bravery -- including my friend Boris Nemtsov, the former Russian opposition leader who was killed in the shadow of the Kremlin, and Vladamir Kara-Murza, who has been the victim of more than one poisoning. I will never stop fighting to support the cause of Russians demanding an end to Putin's reign of tyranny and yearning to live in freedom.
Very good news → the House just unanimously passed 3 important bills to crack down on perpetrators of human trafficking in America. It is one of the world's fastest growing crimes, and law enforcement should have every possible tool at their disposal to prosecute traffickers and protect victims.
Recent news reports have shone a light on the Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian attorney working on behalf of his clients nearly a decade ago when he uncovered deep-seated corruption, and as any good lawyer would do, he reported his findings to Russian authorities. For doing his job, he was summarily arrested, jailed, tortured and killed. In his name, we wrote legislation to hold accountable those Russian authorities directly and indirectly responsible for his death by freezing their assets, denying them access to American financial institutions and preventing them from traveling to the United States. The law also enables similar sanctions on those who engage in gross human rights violations in Russia, where unfortunately, the abuses and due process breaches seen in Sergei’s case are widespread. The law serves as a deterrent for would-be perpetrators of abuses in Russia, and demonstrates a meaningful step we can take as American lawmakers who believe in advancing the rule of law and core human freedoms the world over. We were thrilled when our colleagues joined us last year in advancing the same standards at the global level via the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. These laws are an American gold standard, and other countries around the world have passed or are pursuing similar legislation. We appreciate that the Trump Administration has so far signaled it will continue to enforce both laws, and we look forward to working with them on robust implementation of this powerful foreign policy tool.
Summertime — filled with vacations and trips to the beach — offers an important opportunity for Americans to read. As an avid reader, I have always believed in the power of books to educate, entertain and inspire. With summer underway, I encourage all Americans to pick up a book and read this summer — from fiction to history, you can do no better for your mind than to read. If you're looking for good reads, I've put together this list of my all-time favorite books. From classic literature to military history, these are books I have read and reread over the years. I will update this list on a periodic basis, and I hope you’ll share your reviews as well as your own book recommendations by commenting below.
This young man's battle against muscular dystrophy is inspiring. His story (and the millions like it) is the reason we passed the CURES Act into law, which will accelerate the development of cutting-edge cures and treatments for what today are considered incurable diseases.