Newsletter: May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017



It’s been a busy start to May, both in Washington this week, and this past week in Michigan.  I have included a sampling of just a few of the events and meetings I attended last week in Michigan.

While I’m in D.C., I want to make sure you know how to contact me should you like to connect on any concerns or issues you may have with the federal government.

I’m back in Washington this week working on improving pathways to success for both students pursuing higher education and career and technical education. I was excited to introduce The College Transparency Act to enable students and parents to make more informed decisions about education after high school. 

Paul Mitchell
Member of Congress

Legislative Alert: Mitchell introduces the College Transparency Act 

Prospective students deserve to know the facts before they take on a major financial and personal commitment. Schools ought to know which programs are best serving their students, and where they can improve. Currently, information about student outcomes by major or credential level is unavailable, leaving schools and students in the dark.

I spent my career in higher education, so I understand the many challenges facing students, parents and institutions. It has long been a priority of mine to ensure students and families have the necessary tools to make informed choices throughout their college decision-making process. As soon as I assumed office, I began working on legislation to increase transparency to enable students to make decisions that will put them on the path to success. This bill will streamline and update current data practices to arm prospective students with information to make the best choices, while reducing bureaucratic burdens on universities.

Read more about the College Transparency Act here. 

The American Health Care Act

The House passed the American Health Care Act to deliver relief from the burdens of the Affordable Care Act, while reaffirming our commitment to ensuring all Americans have access to care.  The legislation is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

The American Heath Care Act eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s mandates and taxes and establishes a system of incentives through tax credits, rather than punishing individuals for not purchasing insurance.

Those who do not already receive coverage from their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, are eligible for tax credits to help them purchase insurance.

It has long been a priority of mine to ensure that all Americans, especially those with the highest health care needs and costs, are protected. This legislation targets funds directly to support those who need it most. Giving states the flexibility to make that happen is critical to lowering premiums and guaranteeing access for everyone.

I have gotten a lot of questions about the AHCA.  I’d like to be a myth-buster:

Myth: People with pre-existing conditions are not covered.


  • You cannot be denied coverage.  
  • You won’t be charged higher premiums if you maintain coverage. 
  • You have assistance with health care costs even if you don’t maintain coverage.
  • You’ll have the benefit of other reforms to lower costs and increase your choices.

Myth: Congress has exempted itself from the American Health Care Act.


  • Congress is currently on the same plan as everyone else. 
  • In compliance with Senate procedural requirements, an amendment allowed states to opt out of some provisions of Obamacare, while exempting Members of Congress. This was corrected with legislation passed before the passage of the American Health Care Act.  
  • I cosponsored the legislation that reaffirms that Congress, and staffs, are on the same plan as everyone else. 

To read more about the bill, click here.  Still have questions? Contact my office. We are happy to answer any questions you have. 

Mitchell in the News

I sat down with Shelby TV to give a Washington Update. We talked about health care, agriculture, and Great Lakes.  Click here to watch the interview. 

Working for our Farmers and Growers

Rep. Mitchell meets with farmers on Mantey Farm in Fairgrove.

Agriculture Advisory Committee

Agriculture is an important and successful part of our economy.  We must make sure that regulations and legislation coming from Washington make sense and that our farm programs serve both the tax payer and the farmer.  I am proud to announce my new Agriculture Advisory Committee. The Committee includes farmers and growers from across the 10th District.  They will advise and assist me as I work for our agricultural community. To see the list of farmers who will serve on the board, click here.

Protecting Michigan’s Sugarbeet Farmers 

Between 2013 and 2014, sugar growers lost an estimated $2 billion due to Mexico dumping subsidized sugar into the U.S. sugar market.  These unequitable trade practices are making it impossible for Michigan sugarbeet growers to compete.  I am pleased that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has re-engaged the Mexican government and sent a letter to President Trump to strongly encourage him to use anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws to end Mexico’s dumping of subsidized sugar into the U.S. sugar market. 

Standing for Life

I had a great time at the Pregnancy Resource Center of Lapeer Annual Dinner.  I was proud to honor the great work they do to support mothers, their children, and promote life. 

Education Corner 

Teacher Appreciation Week

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week.  I celebrated by presenting a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to Scott Spry, a Mechatronics and Engineering Technology teacher at the Utica Center for Science and Industry (USCI). Congratulations to Mr. Spry on being named Teacher of the Year!

I also toured the Joan C. Sergent Instructional Resource Center, which includes USCI and the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology (UCMST). I was happy to see so many bright students engaged and excited about science, technology, engineering, and math.  Thanks to Dr. Johns, the Superintendent of Utica Schools for showing me around. 

St. Clair County RESA

St. Clair County RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency) is a public vocational school. I toured their facilities and met with the Automotive Technology, Cosmetology, and Medical classes. I also toured their Woodland School Eagle Eyes and Move Programs. I was impressed by the different opportunities available to students to meet their individual learning needs and prepare for the careers of their choosing.

I met with representatives from Mott College, Baker College, the Lapeer Intermediate School District, and local business leaders to talk about how we can develop career pathways to in-demand jobs through strengthening career and technical training.  

This week in Washington, we passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act out of the Education and Workforce Committee.  The legislation aims to help more young Americans gain the skills they need to compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs. 

Police Week

This is National Police Week, an opportunity to recognize the daily acts of bravery of law enforcement officers.  I was honored to recognize Officer Fox and Sgt. Titchenell with an award for their bravery. This winter they rescued a boy who had fallen through the ice on Iroquois Lake. This incident exemplifies the risk police officers will take to protect all of us.

Earlier this year I gave a speech thanking Officer Fox and Sgt. Titchenell. You can view the speech here.

National Foster Care Month

Foster care and adoption make meaningful differences in the lives of children and families. 5 years ago, my wife and I adopted our son from Russia. People say we changed his life. The truth is he changed ours.

Orchards Children's Services does the important work of helping to complete adoptions and assist children in the foster care system.

This month is National Foster Care Month. There are over 13,000 children in foster care in Michigan and 300 children who still need adoptive families. I am grateful for the work of Orchards Children's Services in Sterling Heights as they support children and families in the foster and adoptive communities in our area.

I recently submitted a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting strong funding levels for the Chafee Education and Training Voucher, which assists youth in foster care as they transition into adulthood.

This National Foster Care Month is an opportunity to recognize the children in the foster care system and all those who have opened their homes and their hearts to children in need.

Service Academy Day 

Thank you to everyone who attended our Service Academy Day on Saturday. If you or a student you know were not able to attend the event, but have interest in attending a service academy, please contact our office. We are happy to help navigate the nominations process.