Issues

Steve Buyer:  Hard Work, Results 

Energy Independence:  America must address the energy SUPPLY problem by lessening our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, expanding cellulosic ethanol technologies, increasing Americans’ use of clean coal, and developing nuclear and renewable energy programs.

Steve Buyer has authored and introduced H.R. 6001, the “Main Street USA Energy Security Act,” to serve as a blue print for a national, broad-based and balanced energy policy.  His proposal includes:

  • Responsible access to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
  • The opening of more areas of the Outer Continental Shelf to responsible drilling.
  • Utilization of America’s coal to produce electricity and diesel automotive and jet fuel.
  • An increase in the number of domestic oil refineries and alternative energies.

 

Jobs:  Steve Buyer has held 8 job fairs throughout Indiana’s Fourth District.  These events have resulted in nearly 15,000 job offers to Hoosiers seeking new opportunities.  Approximately 250 Hoosiers have walked away from each of these fairs with new jobs, and hundreds of others have left with new opportunities. 

Health Care:  Hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their local communities, especially those in our nation’s most rural areas.  Steve Buyer understands the importance of the patient-doctor relationship and has worked to ensure the viability of affordable community health care.  Steve authored language, which is now law, to assist Indiana’s small, rural hospitals in their delivery of critical care.  In fact, leaders of the hospitals helped by Steve’s legislation have said that if Steve had not successfully won his efforts to help them, they may have been forced to close their doors.  Because of Steve’s leadership, White County Hospital in Monticello, along with other hospitals across our nation, is in a much better financial position and is better able to provide important patient care. 

Veterans:  As former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Steve Buyer is committed to providing quality health care and benefits to our nation’s veterans and their dependents.  Since being elected to Congress, Steve Buyer has developed a long record of supporting veterans.  During his time in Congress, Steve has:

  • Authored legislation to deliver on the promise of health care for life for military retirees.
  • Helped increase the funding for veterans’ programs which have increased by 110% since Steve took office in 1993. 
  • Led the charge against a Democrat bill that would have cut nearly a billion dollars in veterans’ benefits for wartime, elderly, indigent, and disabled American veterans.
  • Co-authored and passed legislation providing relief from a century-old law that required a dollar-for-dollar offset of military retirement pay for VA disability compensation.  This legislation resulted in billion of dollars in extra payments to veterans. 
  • Helped to create the Traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program that has provided thousands of dollars in additional life insurance coverage to servicemembers that have suffered a traumatic injury. 
  • Authored and passed legislation to require the Veterans’ Administration (VA) to establish an appropriate number of centers for research, education, and clinical activities designed to improve and coordinate rehabilitative services for veterans suffering from complex multi-trauma combat injuries and to coordinate these services with the Department of Defense.  This legislation resulted in what is now known as the VA’s Polytrauma System of Care which is recognized worldwide as a leader in treating multi-trauma injuries.

 

Crane Naval Warfare Center:  When the Crane Naval Warfare Center was targeted for closure and/or operations reductions, Steve Buyer worked to keep Crane open and to win new and expanded operations at the facility—keeping thousands of jobs in Indiana. 

Transportation:  The cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette came to Steve Buyer for help in replacing their rapidly aging bus fleet.  Steve led bipartisan efforts which resulted in $2.5 million in federal funding to help these cities accommodate projected growth in ridership and purchase new buses. 

Clean Water Supply:  When it was determined that the city of Martinsville had contaminated water wells and a water storage tank that was literally falling apart, Steve Buyer worked to obtain nearly $1 million dollars in federal funding to relocate the water wells and to build a new water storage tank.  Steve’s action helped to provide safe drinking water for Hoosier families.  The new water storage tank is scheduled to begin providing safe water to residents in 2008. 

Shelly Drain:  When Steve Buyer learned that Montgomery County did not have the money to repair Shelly Drain, he led efforts in Congress to secure $150,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers to study the problem and determine how to fix it.

Cutting Taxes and Reducing Wasteful Government Spending:  Steve Buyer continues to fight for a smaller and more efficient government.  He knows that Hoosiers can better spend their money than the government can.  Steve supports the:

  • permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts;
  • reduction in the marginal tax rate;
  • repeal of the marriage penalty tax;
  • repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax so that middle class families are not unfairly taxed.

 

Retirement Security for Seniors:  Steve Buyer has done more than just talk about reducing prescription drug costs for seniors; he authored legislation to help bring those costs down.  Steve and four other Congressmen wrote the law that created the Medicare Drug Discount Card that cut costs for seniors and gave them immediate access to lower drug prices. 

Repealing the Social Security Earnings Limit:  Steve Buyer opposed the Democrat bill that would have lowered the amount seniors could earn annually while also receiving Social Security.  Steve believes the government should “not be penalizing them (seniors) if they chose to work.”  Steve believes seniors should be encouraged to continue contributing to the workforce and to help keep America competitive. 

Medicare Advantage:  Seniors living in rural areas deal with enough health care challenges and do not need the federal government to cut Medicare Advantage—a popular program that provides health care opportunities for thousands of seniors.  Steve has fought House Democrats’ efforts to cut this important program.

Make America Safe:  America is the world’s lone superpower, and this distinction places great responsibility on our nation.  America should always act to protect its homeland and, when called upon, to protect its allies.  We should never defer our authority to protect Americans to the United Nations, other governing bodies, or other nations.  We must provide the funding our troops need to fight and win the war against terrorism, including the war in Iraq.  America’s military is the finest in the world, and when our nation sends troops into harm’s way, we must make sure they have the resources, training, and equipment they need to win their missions. 

While our military is engaged in efforts to rout terrorist strongholds, our efforts against terrorism will also be fought here at home.  It is crucial that our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to combat and thwart those who seek to harm us on our own soil.  The Patriot Act, while not perfect, strikes the necessary balance between our need to fight terrorism and the need to protect our civil liberties. 

As a veteran of the Gulf War, Steve maintains his commission in the Army Reserves with the rank of Colonel.  He understands the sacrifices our military personnel make in order to provide for our national security.  He has worked to ensure our men and women in uniform have the training, equipment, and funding they need to win the war on terrorism.  Steve believes that our nation’s strategy to keep Americans safe must include protecting our borders and enforcing our laws. 

What people are saying about Steve Buyer:

“I am grateful for Steve Buyer’s hard work to pass this landmark legislation that will actually help seniors gain access to affordable drugs.”

-Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, at a news conference to announce the roll out of the Medicare Drug Discount Card (3/25/04)

“If it were not for Steve Buyer, the promise of health care for life for military retirees would not be a reality.”

            -President of the National Association of Uniform Officers