Friday, July 31, 2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues Executive Order On Developmental Disabilities Council

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued an Executive Order making the Department of Finance and Administration the host agency for the Developmental Disabilities Council. The move comes after a letter from the federal Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and the Administration for Community Living Office of Grants Management (OGM) classified the Developmental Disabilities Council as high risk due to a “history of poor performance.”

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Based upon information we received from the federal managers, these are problems that predate the current leadership. I am asking Director Eric Munson to work with DFA to ensure that we make the changes that are federally required. I remain firmly committed to the mission of the Council in advocating for the disability community.”

Developmental Disabilities Council Director Eric Munson issued the following statement:

“There are more than 125,000 Arkansans with developmental disabilities. DFA has the structural capacity to assist the Council in administering a federal grant program like ours. I look forward to working with them to make sure that we are responsible and accountable with the federal funds we receive while being in compliance with the guidelines of the DD Act.”

Download Executive Order

Tags: Governor Asa Hutchinson, Executive Order, On Developmental Disabilities Council To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Boozman Hails Passage of Long-term Highway Bill

Senate also passes short-term extension ensuring funding continues

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today joined a bipartisan majority of the Senate to pass the first long-term highway bill in ten years.

The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act provides a six year road map for federal highway programs financed by the Highway Trust Fund. This bill will create new jobs, reduce congestion, provide a sustaining boost to our nation’s economy and keep America competitive in the global marketplace.

“The DRIVE Act revamps federal highway programs and makes sure revenue that is supposed to go to infrastructure is returned to the states to build and repair roads and bridges. It saves money by providing a steady and reliable framework for project planning. It will create immediate jobs and produce decades of economic opportunity for communities,” Boozman said. “The House has pledged to take up a long-term bill when members return and I am committed to working with them to ensure the core of the DRIVE Act is included in the final product.”

Boozman also voted in favor of the short-term extension passed by the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday. That bill extends the current highway program through Oct. 29, 2015.

Boozman expressed confidence that the Senate and the House could come together to send a long-term bill to the President to be signed into law before the short-term extension expires.

“Arkansas and other states cannot and should not have to rely on short-term funding that fails to provide certainty for important infrastructure improvements. I am confident that we can come to an agreement to pass a long-term solution in the coming months,” Boozman said.

Tags: U.S Senator John Boozman, Federal Highway Bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

FHFA Director Mel Watt Gets the Golden Fleece Award #WhatAWaste

Image credit: Shutterstock
by U.S. Rep. French Hill (AR-02): This morning, I sent a letter to the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Mel Watt, congratulating his agency for winning the Golden Fleece Award for the month of July. FHFA received the award for its approval of approximately $4 million in raises for each of the CEOs of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Since being placed in voluntary conservatorship by FHFA in 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received almost $200 billion in government assistance, by far the costliest taxpayer bailout resulting from the financial crisis. While STILL paying back this assistance, this month the Federal Housing Finance Agency gave approval to boost the salaries to $4 million of the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is insane. The Treasury is opposed to it, President Obama is opposed to it, and this agency went ahead and did it anyway.

For that insanity they have received the Golden Fleece for July, 2015.

Tags: U.S. Representative, French Hill, Golden Fleece Award, Federal Housing Finance Agency, FHFA, July 2015 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

A Call to Action

by Senator John Boozman: I strongly believe in the sanctity of life. I know you do too. That's why it is critically important that we remain committed to defending those who cannot defend themselves.

I found the videos allegedly showing officials of Planned Parenthood discussing, in horrific detail, the organization's role in harvesting organs of unborn babies unbelievably disturbing. The amorality of the footage is appalling and raises not only concerns regarding whether Planned Parenthood broke multiple laws - it also has moral, ethical and policy implications.

I do not believe that the federal government should be using taxpayer dollars to help fund facilities that provide abortions. In fact, I have supported efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and have just signed on as an original cosponsor of the legislation to accomplish this goal now. That bill will be considered on the Senate floor next week. These disturbing videos and the equally disturbing attitude of the Planned Parenthood officials discussing these gruesome practices simply reaffirms my position.

Mere words can't begin to express the moral outrage we feel when confronted by behavior as abhorrent as selling dead baby body parts for profit - but even when words alone can't convey the message we can be united in action. We must put an end to the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Please let me know that you stand with me and add your name to mine by signing our "Defund Planned Paretnhood Petition." I will share this Petition with my colleagues so they have a clear understanding that the people of Arkansas cast their vote to Defund Planned Parenthood.

Tags: U.S. Sentor, Senator John Boozman, Arkansas, Call to Action, sanctity of Life, not tax dollars for abortions, defund Planned Parenthood, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz to speak in Van Buren.

. . . Will some state politicians see themselves in his criticism of establishment politics?

Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) is a Republican
Primary candidate for President 2016
via ARRA News Service
by Conduit for Action, Commentary: Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz will be the guest speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner at 6:30 PM on August 12 at the Van Buren High School. Tickets may be purchased through the Republican Party of Crawford County.

Ted Cruz is a courageous U.S. Senator from Texas who has solid conservative credentials. He is also known for his bold stand to speak the truth, even if Washington politicians of his own party don’t want to hear it. He has not been shy about calling out congressmen who play the game of politics instead of modeling conservative leadership.

In his bestselling book “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America” he tells about fellow Republicans screaming at him for not going along with their plan to cooperate with Democrats to increase the debt ceiling by changing procedures to make it easier for the Democrats to pass the increase. These insiders wanted to raise the limit while posing as conservative by then blaming the increase on the Democrats. Senator Cruz wanted to at least gain some fiscal concessions for taxpayers as had been done in years past in negotiations over the debt ceiling. (You can listen to this this passage of his book on Amazon.com.)

Senator Cruz wants to stir up grassroots conservatives against what he aptly refers to as the “Washington Cartel.”

“The American people elected a Republican majority believing that a Republican majority would be somehow different from a Democratic majority in the United States Senate,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said. “Unfortunately, the way the current Senate operates, there is one party, the Washington party.” – The Daily Signal

Arkansas has its own establishment politicians in the Arkansas legislature. To some voters the establishment politicians represents their views. Other Arkansas voters, especially in areas of the state where voters elected Republicans for the first time, they believe their representatives should be different from the Democrats. CFA holds this view too.

The Van Buren event will be a great opportunity for Arkansan’s to hear Senator Cruz’s talk about his presidential campaign and his vision for our country.

Tags: Texas, Republican Presidential Candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, speaker, Van Buren, Lincoln Day Dinner To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Signs on as Original Cosponsor of Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON – Following the release of videos documenting the Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of organs from unborn babies, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and twenty-two of his colleagues last night to introduce legislation to defund the organization.

The bill, S.1881, will prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Boozman is an original cosponsor.

As a strong believer in the sanctity of life, I am committed to defending those who cannot defend themselves. The idea that an organization would seek compensation for the heinous practices discussed during these videos is appalling and raises not only concerns regarding whether Planned Parenthood broke multiple laws, but also the moral, ethical and policy implications its actions may have,” Boozman said. “The cavalier manner in which high-level Planned Parenthood officials describe these gruesome practices is reflective of the organization’s disregard for life. Taxpayers should not be forced to support them.”

In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood, the bill ensures that federal funds will still be available for women’s health services including relevant diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning services including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings and referrals.

Funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be offered to other eligible entities to provide such women’s health care services.

Tags: Arkansas, U.S. Senator, John Boozman, original co-sponsor, Bill, Defund Planned parenthood To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hill Votes to Rein in Regulatory Expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 427, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015 (REINS), by a vote of 243-165. H.R. 427 would require Congress to approve any regulatory rule that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) deems will produce more than $100 million or more in impacts on the U.S. economy.

Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) reported that in 2014, 3,554 rules were issued by federal agencies, and the compliance and economic costs of federal government regulations is $1.88 trillion annually—more than $14,900 per household in America, and according to American Action Forum, a Washington, D.C. based think tank, Dodd-Frank rules, alone, could reduce economic growth by $895 billion in the next ten years.

Under current law, these rules do not require Congressional approval before they may be implemented by the executive. Following passage of the bill, Congressman French Hill released the below statement:

“The regulatory costs of the Obama Administration’s major rules are hurting Arkansas’s small businesses and manufacturers. Today’s bill provides Congress, not unelected officials, with the authority to eliminate these major rules before they harm our economy. This ensures more accountability and much-needed transparency to the rule-making process, while giving local businesses the relief they need from harmful and unnecessary regulations.”

Tags: U.S Rep., French Hill, REINS Act, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Named Vice Chair of the National Governors Association Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee

LITTLE ROCK, AR. – Gov. Asa Hutchinson was named vice chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee by NGA Chair Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and NGA Vice Chair Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee handles issues dealing with homeland security; the National Guard and homeland defense; criminal justice and public safety; and veterans affairs. Members of the committee ensure that the governors’ views are represented in the shaping of federal policy.

Gov. Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“I look forward to serving on the NGA leadership team as Vice Chair of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. With my background as the first Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, helping the Bush administration get that agency off the ground and running effectively in the wake of 9/11, I believe I have much to offer.

“The tragedies of late across the country — shootings that range from those at a Charleston, S.C., church to a recruiting center at Chattanooga, Tenn., to a movie theater in Lafayette, La. — serve as a sober reminder that seeing to the security of our homeland and the public safety of our citizens is the most important thing we do as elected officials.

“I am eager to put my experience to work for this committee. As governors, we are uniquely positioned to influence federal legislation and regulations. This should be especially true when it comes to laws that affect the safety of our states and our nation.”


Tags: Gov. Asa Hutchinson, named vice chair, National Governors Association, Homeland Security, Public Safety Committee To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Boozman, Hill & Westerman Call on DoD to Allow Service Members to Carry Firearms on Military Installations

WASHINGTON – In a bicameral letter sent to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Congressmen French Hill (AR-02), Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and 67 other Members of Congress requested that the Department of Defense (DoD) revise its policy to allow service members to carry firearms at military bases and reserve centers.

“Current Department of Defense regulations, in place since at least 1992, prohibit base commanders from allowing service members to carry personal firearms on military installations. You have the authority to change this directive, and we implore you to do so. Specifically, we ask that you allow the Commanding Officer at each of our military bases and reserve centers to authorize certain personnel to carry personal firearms as a means of enhanced force protection,” members wrote in the letter.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order on Monday allowing Arkansas National Guard full-time military personnel to be armed for protection. However, this directive only applies to Arkansas National Guard installations. This letter urges the Secretary of Defense to order protective measures at DoD installations.

To read the letter in its entirety here.

Tags: Sen.  John Boozman Rep. French Hill, Rep. Bruce Westerman, letter, Secretary of Defense, Service members, carry firearms, military Installation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sen. Tom Cotton On MSNBC's Morning Joe Discussing Secret Agreements

Sen Tom Cotton (R-AR) Secret discussing IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) secret annexes to the Iran Nuke agreement which were not revealed to the U.S. Senate in accordance with the law passed addressing such a proposed agreement.

Tags: Tom Cotton, video, Iran Nuke Deal, secret agreement To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Hill: Secretary Kerry Appeared Dismissive of Congressional Concerns During Iran Briefing


Rep. Hill: I was interested in talking about for a minute the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) annexes to the agreement. Secretary Kerry was really quite dismissive of those in the briefing of Congress earlier this afternoon. What amount of importance should we put on the Iranian document with IAEA in terms of studying as a part of fully understanding the verification regime?

Mr. Heinonen: I think it is one of the most important activities; I have been dealing with Iran [for 12 years]. One of the most difficult things was to get things written down on paper. What was not written, what was not specified, was allowed. So therefore, I think all those documents should be available for IA member states. I don’t see any technical reason why those should be a secret.

Mr. Olli Heinonen is a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

See Also:
Hill wants details on money flow to Iran
ADG
With as much as $150 billion flowing to Iran under a deal restricting the country's nuclear capabilities, U.S. Rep. French Hill said he wants more details about where the money can go and how it can be spent.

Tags: French Hill, IEA, Iran, secret documents To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Boozman and Cotton Call for Investigation of Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton requested an investigation into Planned Parenthood following the release of videos showing senior executives discussing in horrific detail the organization’s role in harvesting organs of unborn babies.

“As a strong believer in the sanctity of life, I am committed to defending those who cannot defend themselves. The amorality of the footage is appalling and raises not only concerns regarding whether Planned Parenthood broke multiple laws, but also the moral, ethical and policy implications its actions may have,” Boozman said. “Further, I simply do not believe that the federal government should be using taxpayer dollars to help fund facilities that provide abortions. The cavalier attitude with which these gruesome practices were discussed reaffirms my position and I am committed to getting the answers to these questions that Arkansans deserve.”

“Words are limiting to try to express the moral shock we feel when confronted by behavior so abhorrent as selling dead baby body parts for profit. But where words fall short I’m hopeful that we can be united in action: we must put an end to the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Arkansans’ tax dollars should not be supporting an organization that condones the activity we’ve seen in the videos released this week. This should be one issue that transcends partisan politics or ideology. To truly honor the God-given rights to life and liberty enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by our Constitution, we should strive to guarantee those rights to the ones least able to defend themselves—the unborn,” Cotton said.

Boozman and Cotton are two of 50 senators who sent a letter today, led by Sen. Joni Ernst (D-IA), calling on Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell to cooperate with ongoing and future investigations regarding the serious issues raised by these videos.

“The footage raises a number of questions about the practices of the organization, including whether they are in compliance with federal laws regulating both the use of fetal tissue and partial-birth abortions,” the senators wrote. “In addition to questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with applicable federal law and medical ethics, we believe the footage prompts important policy questions surrounding the issue of abortions permitted so late in a pregnancy – sometimes even later than 5 months – that an unborn baby’s organs can be identified and harvested.”

A copy of the signed letter can be read here.

Boozman and Cotton also called on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to conduct a full investigation into whether Planned Parenthood violated federal law. In a letter sent yesterday, Boozman, Cotton and their colleagues joined Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) urging the Attorney General and DHHS Secretary to investigate whether Planned Parenthood violated sections 498A and 498B of the Public Health Service Act.

Section 498A requires doctors to certify that they did not alter the method or timing of an abortion for the purpose of obtaining human fetal tissue when that tissue is used in research conducted or supported by the National Institute of Health.

Section 498B prohibits the sale of human fetal issue.

“The disturbing facts revealed in this video raise the question of whether the employees of a federally funded organization have violated federal law by engaging in the transfer of human fetal tissue for profit, and whether the modification of abortion techniques for the purpose of obtaining that tissue violates applicable research guidelines established by federal law,” the senators wrote.

To read the letter in its entirety click here.

Tags: John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Investigation, Planned Parenthood,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Arkansas Delegation Announces over $2 Million for Arkansas Higher Education

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman announced over $2 million in funding for Arkansas Higher Education under the U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services Program.

"Supporting diversity throughout higher education is important for our state. These grants will expand education opportunities and help Arkansans from all walks of life develop the skills they need to be successful in the workforce," Boozman said.

“Providing Arkansas students with the resources they need to succeed is critical. I know these grants will help these institutions better serve their students,” Cotton said.

“It is imperative that our students have access to a top quality education and the best available resources. These grants are to ensure the children who are struggling the most have that kind of access,” Crawford said.

"This funding will help low-income, first-generation, and disabled students in Arkansas succeed in their pursuit of higher education. Providing all of our students with a first-rate education is vital to the long-term economy of our state, and I hope we can continue to take the steps needed to make Arkansas one of the most educated and highly skilled work forces in the country,” Hill said.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce. These grants make the dream of college attainable for more Arkansans than ever before by providing the funding for much-needed support of these students and others who are in need of such services. This will allow our campuses to grow increasingly diverse and ultimately, help more Arkansans earn a degree and enter the workforce with confidence. I applaud this important investment,” Womack said.

“Creating an environment that promotes success in college is vital for the growth of our districts and the state of Arkansas,” Westerman said. “Federal TRIO programs assist students with academic tutoring, assistance with student aid including application for assistance, and academic advising. The funding of these programs at universities across the Fourth District will ensure that Arkansas students not only complete their undergraduate studies, but are able to enter the workforce prepared to compete in a global economy.”

The following institutions of higher education received funding:

Arkadelphia: Henderson State University will receive $247,582 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

Batesville: University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville will receive $220,000 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

Fort Smith: University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will receive $220,000 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

Helena-West Helena: Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas will receive $314,691 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

Hot Springs: National Park Community College will receive $352,838 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

Melbourne: Ozarka College will receive $278,421 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

North Little Rock: Pulaski Technical College will receive $231,103 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

Russellville: Arkansas Tech University will receive $220,000 for funding under the Student Services Support Services.

Siloam Springs: John Brown University will receive $231,103 for funding under the Student Support Services Program.

These competitive grants are awarded to institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. Student Support Services (SSS) programs aim to provide services promoting persistence in and graduation from postsecondary institutions for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities.

Tags: Arkansas, Congressional Delegation,, announces, $2 Million, Arkansas, Higher education  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Governor Hutchinson Signs Executive Order Directing Adjutant General to Arm Arkansas National Guard . . .

. . . In Wake of Chattanooga Shootings

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson followed up his order Friday to Adjutant General Major General Mark Berry authorizing him to arm full-time military personnel by issuing an Executive Order to protect the Arkansas National Guard.

The Order also directs Major General Berry to relocate Arkansas National Guard members from the state’s storefront recruiting centers to the nearest armory. The reason for the temporary relocation is to make sure these recruiting centers are adequately protected from drive-by shooting scenarios — as have previously occurred in Arkansas and elsewhere.

Last Thursday, U.S. military personnel were the victims of targeted shootings at a Navy and Marine reserve center in Chattanooga, Tenn., which resulted in the deaths of five servicemen, including Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of Russellville.

Download Executive Order (PDF).

Tags: Asa Hutchinson, Governor, Arkansas, Executive Order, Arms, National Guard To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Scott Walker: “We Need to De-Fund Planned Parenthood State by State Across the Country”

In the wake of the scandal surrounding the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling the body parts of aborted babies, Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is helping to lead the charge to de-fund the abortion giant. Read More at LifeNews.com

Tags: Scott Walker, defund Planned Parenthood, state by state, Life News To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.