Tag Archives: Congressman Adrian Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE-3), Terry Sewell (D-AL-07), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05), and Dave Loebsack (D-IA-2) introduced the Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act, H.R. 2788. This legislation provides regulatory relief for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and updates Medicare reimbursements to independent RHCs. The 4,100 RHCs nationwide provide essential primary care and preventative services in rural and underserved areas, either independently or affiliated with a hospital with fewer than 50 beds.

Currently, RHCs are subject to certain regulations, some of which have not been changed since the RHC program started in 1977. This legislation would remove outdated requirements for onsite laboratory equipment which is no longer used, expand the ability of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to provide care in RHCs, and improve access to telehealth in rural areas by allowing clinics to function as a distant site to provide telehealth services.

“Rural Health Clinics serve as the primary care center to many Americans living in rural areas. In Nebraska’s Third District alone, there are 111 Rural Health Clinics. We must stop the trend of clinics shuttering because of outdated regulations,” said Rep. Smith. “This bipartisan effort would enable Rural Health Clinics able to operate efficiently and safely, while keeping their doors open and ready to help those in need.”

“Whether they live in Birmingham or Wilcox County, Alabamians should have access to quality, affordable health care,” Rep. Sewell said. “Alabama is home to over 100 Rural Health Clinics that provide critical services in their communities. The Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act will strengthen our Rural Health Clinics by expanding the ability of physician assistants and nurse practitioners to provide care in these clinics, increasing access to telehealth services and helping ensure clinics can keep their doors open in our rural communities.”

“As co-chair of the Congressional Rural Health Coalition, ensuring access to medical care in rural communities will always be a top priority for me,” said McMorris Rodgers. “This bipartisan legislation helps meet that goal by providing regulatory relief to Rural Health Clinics and updating Medicare reimbursements so these independent clinics can keep their doors open and serve the Eastern Washington community.”

“Rural health clinics are bedrocks of their communities, providing more than just access to high quality, local health care,” Rep. Loebsack said. “Rural health clinics help stimulate the local economy, creating jobs both in the clinic and community. Without local health care, lives and communities are lost. This bill will help rural Iowans as well as the communities where they have built their lives.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA-03) and Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) led a bipartisan group of 35 colleagues in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop issuing Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for large or unqualified refiners under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program. In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the Members highlighted that the expansion of biofuel waivers hurts farmers who rely on demand for corn-based ethanol and other biofuels and has increased our dependence on foreign oil.

“Our farmers and rural communities rely on a thriving biofuels’ market to support their families and create good-paying jobs. Increasing Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) waivers not only threatens our energy security, but stifles competition in an industry that is an economic driver and job creator across Iowa and the Midwest,” said Rep. Axne. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to meet our RFS goals and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

“Waiving the Renewable Fuels Standard impedes the biofuels’ market and limits consumers’ options at the pump,” Rep. Smith said. “I look forward to working with the Administration to keep our commitments to the biofuels’ industry, which in turn will help foster the development of greater American energy independence.”

The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires a specific, set volume of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum based fuels. Under the RFS program, a small refinery can be granted a temporary exemption from RFS requirements if compliance would prevent them from being profitable. However, the EPA has recently loosened the requirements for SREs, enabling refineries owned by major oil companies to receive these waivers. Not only have these waivers reduced the United States’ ability to meet our RFS goals, but it decreases the demand for Midwestern corn and bio products and hurts our farmers.

In addition to Rep. Axne and Adrian Smith, David Scott (D-GA-13), Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), Roger Marshall M.D. (R-KS-1), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA-44), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1), Steve King (R-IA-4), David Loebsack (D-IA-2), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Abby Finkenauer (D-IA-1), Don Bacon (R-NE-2), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Angie Craig (D-MN-2), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO-5), Mark Pocan (D-WI-2), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-1), Ron Estes (R-KS-4), Collin C. Peterson (D-MN-7), Michael R. Turner (R-OH-10), Steve Watkins (R-KS-2), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-3), Mike Bost (R-IL-12), Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), James R. Baird (R-IN-4).