Thursday, November 26, 2015

Governor Hutchinson On Giving More Than Thanks At Thanksgiving

Today and everyday, we’re thankful for God’s provision—for our friends and families, our nation, the great state of Arkansas, and our freedoms. I wish you all a great weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving. ~ Asa Hutchinson

by Gov. Asa Hutchinson: In my family, Thanksgiving has always been a day for food, fellowship, and football. During the holiday season, family members are busy with activities like cooking the Thanksgiving feast, taste-testing homemade pies and throwing the football around with the grandkids. But as we make our preparations for this year’s Thanksgiving, we cannot forget to be grateful for our many blessings.

Here in Arkansas, we have a lot to be grateful for. Our state is known for its thriving agricultural community, vibrant tourism industry, breathtaking scenery and, especially, its people. We can be thankful for a year of economic growth, the creation of new jobs statewide and greater opportunities for our students and citizens to succeed. And let’s not forget to give thanks for thrilling Razorback victories over Ole Miss and LSU.

As we celebrate and give thanks, let us remember to reach out to those who may be struggling during this joyous time. For some, the holidays can be a difficult time of the year. Those in our local communities may be suffering loss, loneliness, hunger or financial hardships. These people need our prayers, our kindness and our support.

Here at the Capitol, my staff is holding an office food drive to help fight senior hunger. Many of you may be doing similar work to help the men and women in your lives at offices, schools and churches across your community. Among other things, Arkansans are naturals at helping out.

One of my favorite authors, Henry Van Dyke, once said, “There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.”

This time of year isn’t just about giving—it’s about doing. For those who are able, I encourage you to find opportunities to serve others who may not be able. For those who plan to gather with family and friends, I encourage you to include people who may be alone during the holidays. Sometimes, all it takes is a warm welcome and a good meal to make a positive difference.

Tags: Thanksgiving, 2015, Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Give More than Thanks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Boozman Leads Effort to Recognize Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28, 2015

Encourages Arkansans to Shop Locally

WASHINGTON – Small Business Saturday has joined Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz. U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) encourages Arkansans to support Small Business Saturday and shop locally on November 28, 2015.

“Small businesses are the engines of our economy. They employ half of the workforce in our country and make up 99 percent of all U.S. businesses. Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us to recognize local businesses and neighborhood retailers and the important role they play in our communities. By taking the small step of shopping locally this Christmas season, we can make a big impact on our local economy,” Boozman said.

Boozman is a cosponsor of the Senate-passed resolution that designates Saturday, November 28, 2015 as Small Business Saturday, encourages consumers to shop locally and highlights the importance of small business to our economy.

Tags: U.S., Senator, John Boozman, Arkansas, Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Paris Terrorist Attacks & Legislation to Postpone Termination of Essential NSA Counterterrorism Program

by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR): My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the French as they mourn those killed in last week’s terrorist attacks. These attacks are a terrible, but clarifying reminder of the evil that exists in the world. But we must not bow to our enemy. Rather this event should bring us together and steel our resolve to defeat global jihadism.

After the attacks in Paris, President Obama made shocking comments on ISIS while in Antaylya, Turkey. He continues to see the world as he wants it to be, not as it it. The barbaric attacks in Paris are more than a ‘setback’. They are a sign ISIS is not contained and that the President’s policy of confusion, half-measures, and delay isn’t working. Our fight against ISIS is under-resourced and unfocused. And it is too reliant on President Obama’s political talking points rather than on sound policy and advice from our military commanders.

We must continue to take the fight to this enemy, and provide our military, intelligence services, and law enforcement with the resources and authorities they need to keep us safe. We must work with our allies to defend freedom and liberty around the world. It’s time for America to lead and stop ISIS abroad so it doesn’t attack us at home.

I have introduced the Liberty Through Strength Act, which would delay the termination of the USA FREEDOM Act until the President can certify that the new NSA collection system is as effective as the current system.

As I mentioned earlier, the terrorist attacks in Paris last week are a terrible reminder of the threats we face every day. And it made clear that the President’s empty policy of tough talk and little action isn’t working against ISIS. Regrettably, these policy follies also extend to the Intelligence Community, whose hands were tied by the passage of the USA FREEDOM ACT. This legislation, along with President Obama’s unilateral actions to restrict the Intelligence Community’s ability to track terrorist communications, takes us from a constitutional, legal, and proven NSA collection architecture to an untested, hypothetical one that will be less effective. And this transition will occur less than two weeks from today, at a time when our threat level is incredibly high.

If we take anything from the Paris attacks, it should be that vigilance and safety go hand-in-hand. Now is not the time to sacrifice our national security for political talking points. We should allow the Intelligence Community to do their job and provide them with the tools they need to keep us safe. Passing the Liberty Through Strength Act will empower the NSA to uncover threats against the United States and our allies, help keep terrorists out of the United States, and track down those responsible in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.

I recently joined CNN to discuss our national security and keeping America safe after the recent Paris terrorist attacks.

Tags: Tom Cotton, Arkansas, U.S. Senator, attack on Paris, Liberty Through Strength Act, video, CNN, national security, keeping America safe To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Governor Hutchinson Signs Letter of Intent with China's Sun Paper

China-based company is considering $1.3 billion project for south Arkansas

GUANGDONG PROVINCE, China – During Governor Asa Hutchinson’s trade mission to Asia, Governor Hutchinson joined Chairman and Founder of Sun Paper Hongxin Li on November 22 to sign a letter of intent of investment cooperation with Sun Paper, a China-based paper company that employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Through this letter, Sun Paper commits to studying the feasibility of building a $1.3 billion pulp mill in south Arkansas.

The Governor’s Office along with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission will work closely with the company as they finalize details for the location for their new North American facility. This would be the company’s first facility in North America.

Sun Paper is headquartered in China’s Shandong Province and expects to make a final decision on the new facility by May 1, 2016.

“This is another great example of how important these trade missions are in marketing Arkansas to the rest of the world,” said Gov. Hutchinson. “Our time with Sun Paper in China was invaluable as we learned more specifics of the company’s plans for the next several months. As with all prospective projects, working through site location questions is a thorough process and we look forward to continuing to work with the company’s leadership to provide everything needed to make an informed decision. This is an important step in a long process, and I am pleased by Sun Paper’s readiness to commit to a specific timeline and to focus on locations in our state for this major investment.”

Joining Gov. Hutchinson and Chairman Li at the signing ceremony were U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director Mike Preston, and U.S. Consulate General Charles Bennett.

Should Sun Paper locate a new factory in Arkansas, it would be comparable to Big River Steel’s investment currently under construction in Mississippi County. Employment projections are not being disclosed.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, signs, letter of intent, China's Sun Paper,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Syrian Refugees, A Security Threat?

In this episode of Tune-In, Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) discusses the Syrian refugee problem in the wake of the Paris attacks, including legislation he introduced earlier this week in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Crawford also discusses advances in the highway bill conferencing process, and what that means for Arkansas.
Tags: u.S. Representative, Rick Crawford, Syrian Refugees, Security Threat, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Rep. Westerman on Paris Terror Attacks, American SAFE Act

by Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-4) : The House passed the American SAFE Act on Thursday (Nov. 19). This common sense legislation is supported by the vast majority of America. It has bi-partisan support and it is a bill the president should support to prevent future attacks. My constituents and the American people should know we have other tools, including the upcoming Omnibus bill, we can use to protect the homeland should the president veto this legislation. The risks from radicalized terrorists both homegrown and from abroad will not go away, so the House will not stop working to protect America.

Tags: Arkansas, Representative, Bruce Westerman, Paris Terror Attack, American Safe Act, Video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gov. Asa Hutchinson: Vigilance in the Face of Terror

by Governor Asa Hutchinson: The horrific and inhumane acts of terror perpetrated in Paris over the weekend are reminders of the critical role of homeland security and how vigilant we must remain in the fight against terrorism. Some of the attackers reportedly posed as refugees to gain entrance into France — an issue that should concern all Americans.

As governor, my chief responsibility is to keep our state and people safe, which is why I have decided to oppose Arkansas being used as a relocation center for Syrian refugees.

I urge President Obama and Congress to act to protect our country during this time of heightened global tension. While we don’t have the authority on the state level to change federal policy, my fellow governors and I do have a duty to protect our states’ citizens, and we have a personal responsibility to act when we have the power to do so.

Like all Americans, Arkansans hurt for the Syrian refugees. The hardships they face are beyond most of our understanding, and my thoughts and prayers are with them, but I will not support a policy that poses real risk to Americans.

It is also not the best solution. Europe, Asia and Africa are more logical places for resettlement or temporary asylum. I know that the United States will support our European friends in fighting ISIL (ISIS), but the right strategy is not for this country to become a permanent place of relocation.

We live in a world where terrorists coordinate attacks on innocent civilians at a soccer game, fly airplanes into office buildings and eagerly trade their lives to murder others — often in the name of religious zealotry and hatred of the West.

We ignore these realities at our peril. We ignore this world at the risk of another terrorist attack. And another. And another.

Without some degree of certainty that refugees from Syria will not provide cover for terrorists, I cannot in good conscience allow my state to be their sanctuary.

We cannot let our guard down in the face of terror.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Vigilance, face of Terror, terrorists, Paris, France, ISIS, ISIL,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Curtis Coleman: Why I'm Running for U.S. Senate

by Curtis Coleman candidate for US Senate, lays out his case for why John Boozman needs to be replaced, and his vision for a more prosperous and free future for Arkansas.

Tags: Cyris Coleman, Republican Candidate, U.S. Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Recognizes National Adoption Day - Saturday, November 21

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), applauded the recent passage of a Senate resolution recognizing November 21, 2015 as National Adoption Day and November as National Adoption Month.

“Every child deserves the love and support of a family. I am proud to support the goals and ideals of National Adoption Month and National Adoption Day and to recognize the families who have opened their hearts and homes to children in need of a safe, loving, permanent home. More than 700 children in Arkansas are waiting to become a part of a forever family. I encourage families to share their love with children through adoption,” Boozman said.

Boozman is a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. He cosponsored the Senate-passed resolution supporting National Adoption Month and National Adoption Day.

Events are planned across Arkansas in support of National Adoption Day.

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, national Adoption Day To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rep. Hill Introduces Legislation to Expand Refugee Vetting Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) introduced H.R. 4086, the Security Verification for Refugees Act, a bill that would expand the vetting process proposed under H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015. In H.R. 4038, the term “covered alien” only includes refugees from Syria and Iraq.

H.R. 4086 would redefine the term “covered alien” to include anyone seeking asylum in America from a country that is designated as a high-risk threat to the United States by the U.S. Department of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Refugees applying for asylum from high-risk countries would require individual verification by DHS, FBI, and DNI before being granted admission to the United States. After introducing the bill, Congressman Hill released the following statement:

“America needs to remain a beacon of hope, liberty, and freedom for the rest of the world. However, in maintaining that promise, we also need to maintain our promise of defending the American people from the very real threats our enemies pose. Today’s vote in the House gets the ball moving in the right direction, but it is missing needed provisions that will avoid this same pitfall down the road.

“My bill takes what is good about the SAFE Act and broadens those provisions to apply to a refugee from any country that poses a high-risk threat to our democracy. The attacks in Paris were a tragic reminder of what our enemies are capable of and a wakeup call that we need to be not only reactive, but also proactive in how we deal with these threats. Like the SAFE Act, The Security Verification for Refugees Act will give Congress additional oversight of our entire refugee vetting process and create another layer of security to ensure that those seeking asylum in the United States are doing so because they want to live in the greatest country in world—not because they want to destroy it.”

Tags: U.S. Representative, French Hill, AR-1, legislation, expand Refugee Vetting Process, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rep. Westerman Condemns Paris Terror Attacks

WASHINGTON - Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) issued the following statement condemning the Paris terror attacks, which left hundreds dead and injured Friday (Nov. 13):“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris as they deal with this tragedy that has left 129 men and women dead and hundreds more injured. These attacks were committed by a group of radical Muslims in an attempt to spread their brand of cowardice and misery. These attempts to rob the French, Americans, and other democracies of their freedoms will only strengthen resolve against the terrorists' misguided and warped view of the world. I am sickened by not only these attacks, but also by President Barack Obama’s weak response. Just hours before the French capital came under attack, he absurdly claimed Daesh had been ‘contained.’ And then hours afterwards, the president released detainees from Guantanamo Bay. These are radicalized Muslims who history has shown are likely to end up back on the battlefield, killing innocent men, women, and children. America must show strength and stand with our French allies. We must stop the flow of radicalized Syrian refugees to America. We must put the safety of America and our allies above all else.”

Tags: Bruce Westerman, Arkansas, AR-02, Congress, condemns, Paris terror attack To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

WakeUp Arkansas: A Constitutional Amendment That Could Bankrupt the State & Local Governments

ALERT! Another Arkansas legislative amendment designed to fool you the public is headed your way in the 2016 Election. It's Popular Name assigned by the Arkansas legislature: “An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion, and Economic Development.” 

Title Sounds Good -- What A Deception! If approved it could bankrupt Arkansas or Your City or County.

It was created via Senate Joint Resolution 16 is by Senator Jon Woods and Representative Lance Eads and it will be on the November 2016 ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment.

Section 2 of the proposed amendment authorizes local governments to give taxpayers money to private organizations and individuals for economic development projects and economic development services. The purpose of the section is to overturn a 2015 court decision declaring it unconstitutional for local governments to give taxpayer money to the Chamber of Commerce because of Article 12, Section 5 of the Arkansas Constitution which says:No county, city, town or other municipal corporation, shall become a stockholder in any company, association, or corporation; or obtain or appropriate money for, or loan its credit to, any corporation, association, institution or individual. (Emphasis added)While local Chamber of Commerce organizations do some good for their communities, small businesses and grass roots groups frequently find themselves fighting against tax increases supported by their Chamber of Commerce.

Setting aside the questionable ethics issue for the moment, SJR 16 is just bad legislation   -- but it gets worse:
  • First, as mentioned above, it allows local governments to give away taxpayer money to a private corporation, association, institution or individual.
  • Second, currently under Amendment 82 the state can pledge no more than 5% of its general revenues to support private large business projects called “super projects”. Under Section 8 of the proposed amendment there is NO LIMIT on how much state revenue may be pledged to private super projects. (Theoretically, the state could approve the use of 100% of its general revenues or even more than 100%.) Just one legislature could ruin the state budget and cause the need for tax increases for years to come. (See CFA article: SJR16 of 2015 How much state money is enough to assist big business with super projects?)
  • Third, the proposal is deceptive and designed to fool uninformed voters. The Popular Name of the proposal is, “An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion, and Economic Development.” Who could be against a proposal with that deceptive name?
There are additional problems with SJR16 and CFA that need to be discuss in the future. But, you the taxpayers can’t afford to wait until the 2016 election to learn about SJR16. If we wait, we may find our tax money being siphoned off for Representative’s Eads employer and other private interests.

[This summary was Adapted from an article by Conduit for Commerce]

Tags: Arkansas, Constitutional Amendment, SJR16,   taking tax dollars, giving it away,  super project,  private businesses, organization,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

DCCC Whiffs Big Time in Former Arkansas First Lady Hillary's State of Arkansas

by Zack Hunter, NRCC Spokesperson: Hey there – So how about House Democrats? It seems like just "yesterday" they were strutting around DC like they were the cock of the walk talking about how they would ride Hillary’s coattails back into a position of relevancy in Washington (oh wait… that actually was yesterday.) And then a bruising story comes out today about how they fell flat on their face trying to play in any House races in former Arkansas Fist Lady Hillary Clinton’s very own state of Arkansas.

Democrats failed to field a candidate in three of four Arkansas House races prior to yesterday’s filing deadline. And in the only seat where there is a Democratic challenger, the candidate has not raised enough money to even be required to file an FEC report. Not exactly promising for the DCCC and House Democrats who think Hillary is actually a draw to the Democratic ticket. It’s even more embarrassing when you consider that just last cycle the DCCC spent millions of dollars in the state try to pick up seats.

Such is life.

As an aside, House Democrats are delusional if they really think Hillary Clinton will help the Democratic ticket next November. The fact that Democrats failed so miserably to find candidates in Hillary Clinton’s "First Lady" home state where they spent millions of dollars last cycle shows just how lost at sea the Democrats truly are.

Tags: Arkansas, democrats, DCCC, U.S Representative, 2016 races, Zack Hunter, NRCC To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Hails Passage of Resolutions to Stop EPA’s Carbon Rule Power-Grab

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after voting in favor of resolutions that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward with its misguided carbon mandate:
Since the President couldn’t get his extreme carbon policy agenda through Congress, he has tried to force it through the EPA in a manner that gives Americans little opportunity for dissent.

By passing these resolutions of disapproval, we cast that dissenting vote for the American people.

These resolutions would prevent this carbon mandate power-grab from taking effect, protecting Arkansans from a dramatic increase in electricity costs, which would be devastating for low-income families and seniors living on fixed-incomes.

President Obama is set to meet with world leaders regarding his climate change policies next month and the Administration is promising to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to support its scheme. Even though the resolutions we passed today will likely be vetoed, passage of them shows our allies and adversaries that the U.S. Senate will not provide billions of taxpayer dollars for the President’s global climate slush fund.

The way to continue reducing emissions is through innovation, technology and positive incentives—not heavy-handed mandates that hurt the American worker and drive up energy bills across the country. The Senate spoke up for the American people today and the President needs to understand that.

Background: The Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows either the Senate or the House to approve a joint resolution of disapproval with the full force of law to stop a federal agency from implementing a recent rule or regulation. A resolution of disapproval introduced under the CRA cannot be filibustered and requires a simple majority in the Senate to pass if acted upon during a 60-day window.

The two resolutions — S.J.Res. 23, which would rescind the carbon emissions standards for new power plants and S.J.Res. 24, which would rescind the carbon emissions standard for existing power plants—passed the Senate by votes of 53-46 (S.J. Res 23) and 52-46 (S.J. Res. 24). They were passed primarily along party lines and did not require 60 votes for passage.

Tags: U.S., Senator, John Boozman, passage of resolutions, to stop, EPA's Carbon Rule Power-Grab To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Rep. Hill On Obama’s G20 Summit Remarks, Failure to Address ISIS & Release of Gitmo Terrorists

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement after President Obama defended his Administration’s strategy to fight ISIS during a news conference at the Group of 20 (G20) summit today in Turkey:

President Obama has once again demonstrated that he remains tone deaf in his approach to protecting America and our allies. While the world mourns the senseless and horrific terrorist attacks on Paris, the President has refused to acknowledge that our strategy towards dealing with ISIS and terrorism abroad needs to evolve. Instead, he has doubled down on the failed policies that continue to leave us one step behind our enemy.

Worse even, the President announced the release of five Guantanamo terrorist detainees only hours after the attack, another move in his attempt to shut down a facility that provides a crucial strategic advantage in the Global War on Terror. What happened in Paris was an act of war and brutally demonstrated that the free world is under a full-frontal assault by radical Islamic fanatics. We can no longer sit idly and expect this problem to go away on its own; we need to stand with our allies throughout the world and lead the fight against ISIS.”

Tags: US Representative, French Hill, AR-2, President Obama, G20 Summit, Gitmo, ISIS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.