NEWS NEWS NEWS
STATEMENT BY CONGRESSMAN WM. LACY CLAY
REGARDING THE EMERGENCY FINANCIAL
“I voted NO today for the same reason that I voted against this bill on Monday...the legislation does not address the root cause of this crisis...home foreclosures.
And to add insult to injury, they took a bad bill and made it worse by loading it up with $120 billion in earmarks. Now they’re asking taxpayers to give Wall Street and reckless speculators an $820 billion bailout.
It’s outrageous, it’s fiscally irresponsible, and my conscience will not allow me to put that kind of burden on the taxpayers.
Last month, over 300,000 American families lost their homes.
They didn't get a bailout.
This bill is not a cure for the real problem, keeping hard working people in their homes.”
Wednesday, August 20, 2008:
CONGRESSMAN WM. LACY CLAY (D) MISSOURI REGARDING THE DEATH OF
CONGRESSWOMAN STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES (D) OHIO
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic death of my friend, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
She will be remembered as a great legislator and a true fighter for the interests of her constituents.
The people of Cleveland have lost a champion, and I have lost a dear friend.
Mrs. Clay and I send our thoughts and prayers to her family and we pray that God will grant them strength and comfort to bear this heavy burden."
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American Housing Rescue & Foreclosure Act
Will Help Stabilize Housing Market
Clay Says Bill Will Keep Millions of Families in Their Homes, Create New Fund to Boost Affordable Housing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri, praised today’s passage of H.R. 3221, the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008. The sweeping legislation will help families keep their homes; aid local communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis and strengthen the economy and financial markets. The bill was passed today in the House by a vote of 272-152.
"Today, the House acted to stabilize the bedrock of the American dream… home ownership," said the Congressman. "The American Housing Rescue & Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 will provide guaranteed backing for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, should they require it. It will also give millions of homeowners, who are in danger of losing their homes because of unsound and deceptive lending practices, a chance to refinance their homes into lower-cost, fixed-rate mortgages. Our bill will also help cities and states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, to buy up and rehabilitate those homes. I am especially pleased that this legislation includes an amendment which I authored that will ensure that housing rescue funds be targeted first to areas with the highest density of foreclosed properties. This legislation also creates a much-needed new fund to boost the nation’s stock of affordable rental housing."
The legislation also includes provisions that will help restore confidence in financial markets and shore up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill provides the Department of the Treasury with emergency and temporary financing authority for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are essential financial institutions that hold or guarantee nearly half of all mortgages in the United States.
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July 1, 2008:
College Cost Reduction & Access Act Begins Today, Cuts Student Loan Rates, Boosts Pell Grants, Increases Support for Historically Black Colleges
Clay Says Act is Most Important Education Investment Since 1944 GI Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As a result of an historic student aid law enacted by the Democratic Congress and cosponsored by Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri, starting today (July 1st), interest rates on need-based federal student loans will decrease from 6.8 percent to 6.0 percent, the first of four steps to cut these interest rates in half over four years.
"This bill is the largest single boost in college financial aid since the 1944’ GI Bill," said Mr. Clay. "It will make college more affordable for middle class and low income families and we will achieve that at no new cost to the taxpayers. The average undergraduate student in Missouri who receives a federally-backed loan will save approximately $2,500. One of the most important elements of this bill is a significant increase in Pell Grants, which I have fought for since I first came to Congress. Over the next five years, the maximum value of the Pell Grant scholarship will increase by $500."
Under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, interest rates on need-based (subsidized) federal student loans will continue to decrease over the next four years, until they reach 3.4 percent. These federal loan interest rates provide far greater savings than more expensive private loans, whose interest rates can run as high as 19%. Furthermore, private loans often have variable rates that can result in unexpectedly high monthly payments. In contrast, federal loans will stay fixed at the same low rate over the life of the loan. 5.5 million students take out need-based federal student loans each years.
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Clay Applauds Medicare Upgrades
Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act Protects Seniors, Preserves Fair Pay for Doctors, Helps Local Pharmacies
WASHINGTON – Following today's overwhelming bipartisan passage of H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, by a vote of 355-59, Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri praised the broad coalition of Democrats and Republicans who came together to make real progress for America's senior citizens and the skilled professionals who care for them.
"Today's vote sends a clear message that Democrats and Republicans in the House can come together to act decisively to protect healthcare access for senior citizens and the disabled, preserve fairness for physicians and pharmacists, improve treatment for patients suffering from chronic conditions, and ensure quality care for rural seniors," said Mr. Clay. "This compromise bill accomplishes all of that, and it does so in a fiscally responsible way. I urge the U.S. Senate to act quickly, and I hope the President will sign the legislation without delay."
H.R. 6331 will prevent a 10.6 percent pay cut to physicians, which is scheduled to take place on July 1, and will provide a 1.1 percent update in physician payments starting January 1, 2009. The bill also includes important improvements for Medicare beneficiaries, including mental health parity, better preventive coverage, and enhanced low-income assistance. In addition, it provides measures to ensure prompt insurance payment to pharmacies for prescription drugs, and a delay of a Medicaid regulation that will result in lower generic drug reimbursement to pharmacies.
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STATEMENT BY CONGRESSMAN WM. LACY CLAY (D) MO IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT BUSH'S CALL TO END FEDERAL BAN ON OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING AND TO OPEN UP THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE TO OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION
The following is a first-person statement by Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) MO
"The President's argument, like his energy policy, is nonsensical. We cannot drill our way to energy independence. The truth is that oil companies are currently sitting on 68 million acres of public lands they have already leased, but President Bush wants to award them with even more. Since 1999, the number of drilling permits issued has gone up 361%, yet gas prices keep skyrocketing. Expanding domestic oil production will do little to bring down the price of gasoline. Americans are suffering under the Bush energy policy that was written by Vice President Cheney and the lobbyists from big oil and gas companies…$4 a gallon gasoline; $134 per barrel oil; increased reliance on foreign sources of energy and on hydrocarbons that contribute to climate change.
We use one quarter of the world’s oil consumption every day and we possess less than 2 percent of the world’s supply. Our transportation sector -- cars, trucks, trains and planes – account for 96% of our domestic oil needs. Sound public policy is necessary to address our long term energy needs if we are to achieve lasting economic stability and national security. Our nation must move toward a new, cleaner, and more affordable energy future that focuses on renewable and increased energy efficiency.
After several decades of intensive extraction, proven U.S. reserves stand at about 22 billion barrels. In contrast, the Middle East has 740 billion barrels in proven reserves. Whether or not our pristine public lands are opened to oil drilling, our domestic oil resources are not adequate to meet our energy needs. Drilling in the Arctic refuge would produce, in total, less than 1% of the oil that Americans will consume over the next 50 years or about the amount we will consume in six months.
The United States needs federal energy policies that will reduce energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency. I recently voted for the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act, this measure will end unnecessary subsidies to big oil companies and spur investments in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
It will extend and expand tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel, as well as for plug-in hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances. These programs are critical to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the field of alternative energy development. This energy legislation is now pending action by the Senate.
I have also cosponsored the Gas Price Spike Act of 2008. This bill would implement a windfall profits tax on gasoline and diesel. This tax would be placed on key oil industry profits that are above a reasonable rate of return. Oil companies that collect excessive profits would have to pay a stiff tax on those excessive profits and this threat of heavy taxation will let oil companies know that price gouging does not pay."
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Four Thousand Job Seekers Flock to Clay’s 3rd Annual Career Fair
Overwhelming Response Shows That People Are Ready to Go to Work
The line of eager job seekers stretched around the building more than an hour and a half before Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) MO opened his 3rd Annual Career Fair at Harris-Stowe State University. By noon, over three thousand guests had come through the doors, and by end of day, overall attendance numbered 4,000 visitors.
"This incredible community response exceeded my greatest hopes for the Career Fair," said the Congressman. "I was especially thrilled to see so many young people taking advantage of our new summer jobs program, in partnership with the City of St. Louis, Better Family Life and Urban Solutions. Our kids are ready to work. They were well-prepared, well-dressed, totally respectful and I’m very proud of them. Unemployment and underemployment is a huge issue in the First Congressional District, and our Career Fair directly targets that urgent need."
Adult job seekers were able to meet with over 100 top St. Louis employers, including: the Boeing Company; GKN Aerospace; Ameren; BJC Healthcare Systems; Best Buy; Office Depot; Lumiere Place; Harrah’s; Ameristar; the U.S. Postal Service; the U.S. Census Bureau; UPS; the St. Louis Public Library; and the FBI.
For the very first time in St. Louis, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management joined the Career Fair lineup by providing a one-stop shop for interested job seekers to learn about, and apply for, over 100,000 federal jobs, worldwide. OPM officials also conducted special break-out sessions on federal employment opportunities.
Congressman Clay’s First District Career Fair was presented with the help and support of Harris-Stowe State University, and all of our outstanding vendor partners. We thank them for their participation and we look forward to Career Fair ‘2009.
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Congressman Clay at work in Missouri's 1st Congressional District:
Click here to view photos