Posts filed under Ralph Abraham

Graves & Abraham to Tax Bill Negotiators: Don’t forget about Louisiana flood victims

Photo source: ULLA

Photo source: ULLA

December 12, 2017
Contact: Kevin Roig, 202-225-3901

WASHINGTON, DC – Louisiana Congressmen Garret Graves (R-Capital Region) and Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-Alto) sent a letter today urging Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and Congressman Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means to retain disaster tax relief language in the final product of negotiations currently underway in Washington to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of major tax reform legislation.  The disaster tax relief, which was included by Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy in the Senate’s version of the bill, accomplishes the goals of separate legislation Graves introduced earlier this year - H.R. 2849, the Louisiana Flood and Storm Devastation Act of 2017, which would grant homeowners and individuals emergency tax relief, the ability to withdraw from retirement accounts without incurring penalties, casualty loss provisions, work opportunity tax credits for employers, and relief for certain charitable giving. The bipartisan bill was cosponsored by Congressmen Richmond (D-LA), Abraham and Higgins.

“We aren’t asking for special treatment,” reiterated Graves. “We’re asking for our flood victims to be given the same, common sense relief that disaster victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico were granted after disaster struck those communities.  Too often after disasters, government ends up getting in the way of recovery – this is a chance to actually help recovery and remove nonsensical penalties currently imposed on victims for wanting to take care of themselves.”

Dr. Abraham added, “Louisiana flood victims deserve equal access to disaster tax benefits that have been afforded to other states. Our people are still recovering from two historic floods we suffered last year, and this tax relief will go a long way toward facilitating that recovery.”

Louisiana Congressmen Clay Higgins and Mike Johnson also signed the letter, which can be readhere. You can read more about H.R. 2849 here.

Boustany and Abraham Want Border Security Legislation on House Floor

18 House members, including Congressmen Boustany and Abraham of Louisiana, have signed a letter of support to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, regarding H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act, introduced by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX). The bill will beef up security on the southern border, and provide the opportunity for states to be reimbursed when utilizing the National Guard to conduct border security missions.

The letter states:

We write to request that you bring legislation to the House floor to enhance our nation’s border security. One of our primary responsibilities as Members of Congress is ensuring that our country is protected. Alarmingly, our southern border continues to be exploited for myriad illegal activities.

The southern border continues to be used by transnational criminal organizations to smuggle drugs, money, and weapons into our country increasing violence on both sides of the border. Additionally, we are concerned that without proper security, human trafficking along the border and the victimization of vulnerable individuals will continue unabated.

We applaud Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents for taking on the often dangerous work of defending our nation’s border. But we must continue to support their efforts by ensuring that CBP has access to the resources, infrastructure and technology agents and officers need as well as clear, constitutionally sound policies to follow while performing their jobs.

We believe Americans deserve to hear a full and vigorous debate on how best to achieve border security and ultimately to see Congress act on the issue to demonstrate our commitment to the CBP officers and agents working to secure our border every day.

Our national security and public safety is at stake, and we cannot afford to continue ignoring these issues. We urge you to work with the committees of relevant jurisdiction to allow the House of Representatives to vote on a bill that will take immediate steps toward achieving operational security of our southern border.

A signed copy of the letter is attached.