Wednesday, 20 March 2013 15:29
On this 10th Anniversary of the War in Iraq, we remember our brave servicemen and women. To the 4,500 troops who died there; to the more than 30,000 wounded Americans who have come home – your selfless sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Today, we have a new generation of veterans, and we must continue to make them a top priority when they return home, adapting our own processes to meet their needs. It is unacceptable for our nation’s heroes to have to wait years to receive benefits earned in service to this country.
I participated in a Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing earlier today with the VA regarding the claims backlog. Please watch the video below to see my questions regarding the backlog, especially the challenges experienced at the St. Petersburg Regional Office.
Friday, 15 March 2013 13:33
Washington, DC (March 15, 2013) – At a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing this morning, Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL) questioned the panel regarding the increase in healthcare premiums as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This hearing comes after a joint report released by the House Energy and Commerce, Senate Finance, and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees, which outlines estimated premium increases for states as a result of the rigid mandates and price controls imposed by ACA.
“Today, we saw yet another example of how the Affordable Care Act does not live up to its promise of low-cost, higher quality healthcare,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “Every day, Americans are struggling to make ends meet. More premium increases not only threaten employers’ ability to provide health insurance for their employees, but also threatens individuals’ ability to purchase coverage that best meets their needs.”
According to the report, premium increases will be especially painful for young adults. Recent college graduates with entry-level jobs who are struggling to pay off student loan debt could see their premiums increase on average between 145 and 189 percent. Some studies estimate young adults could experience premium increases as high as 203 percent.
In addition, the report notes price controls and requirements to purchase government-approved plans as lead contributors to more expensive premiums. The law also imposes $165 billion in new taxes and fees on plans, drugs and medical devices, which will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums and prices.
Please see the video below to view Congressman Bilirakis’ questions for the panel.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 17:08
Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2013) - Thursday, Members of Congress, foreign diplomats and the public gathered on Capitol Hill to celebrate the launch of the bi-partisan Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance (CHIA). This new Congressional initiative, established by Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL) with the help of Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), will highlight the relationships forming between Cyprus, Greece and Israel.
“Greece, Cyprus and Israel's strategic location, natural resources and intellectual capital create a natural partnership to address economic, energy and counter-terrorism issues in the Middle East and Europe," said Congressman Bilirakis. "Through the Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance, we hope to highlight how the relationships between these countries and the United States are critical to maintaining economic stability and national security."
At the event, which featured remarks by Bilirakis, Deutch, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, Greek Ambassador Christos Panagopoulos and Cypriot Embassy Charge d’Affaires Olympia Neocleous, more than 200 people enjoyed authenic Greek and Israeli food, while discussing ways to help the countries grow their relationships.
Close geographic proximity and shared commitment to democracy have the potential to contribute significantly to global defense and economic security; and therefore, merit great attention by U.S. policymakers, the media and the public. This Alliance looks forward to encouraging recognition of these developments and hosting events and subject-matter experts to highlight pertinent issues, including economic, defense and energy cooperation.
"The Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance will highlight the strong relationship and growing cooperation between Israel, Greece and Cyprus," said Deutch. "I am pleased to co-chair this caucus with my colleague Congressman Bilirakis, and I look forward to our colleagues joining us in celebrating Hellenic-Israeli relations."
Friday, 25 January 2013 13:25
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 12:29
This week, we have been working to find a long-term solution to the automatic spending cuts and significant tax increases, more commonly known as the Fiscal Cliff, which will take effect January 1, unless Congress and the President can reach a bi-partisan agreement. According to some estimates, if the Fiscal Cliff goes into effect, the average family living in Florida’s Ninth Congressional District will see their taxes increase by more than $3,600 a year.
The Federal Government has a spending problem, and Congress has to get serious about addressing our country's fiscal issues now. With the national debt over $16 trillion and looming across-the-board cuts, there is a great amount of work to be done by both sides to come together on a resolution. I continue to be optimistic that we will reach an agreement but understand we can’t tax and spend our way out of our current fiscal situation, and we need a long-term deal.
As I work with my colleagues to find a resolution, I would greatly appreciate your feedback and thoughts on how we should handle this critical issue. Please take a moment to fill out this fiscal cliff survey. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent you in Congress on this important matter.
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