Monday, September 30, 2013

Griffin Urges President Obama to ‘Immediately’ Sign Bill Ensuring Military Pay

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after Senate passage of the Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210):
“Yesterday, the House passed the Pay Our Military Act, which ensures pay for members of the Armed Forces will not be affected in the event of a government shutdown. Now that the Senate has passed our bill, I urge President Obama to sign it into law immediately. As I have said from the beginning, shutting down the federal government is terrible policy that will impact thousands of Arkansans, and I continue to do everything I can to keep the government open.”H.R. 3210 provides a direct appropriation to pay the salaries and allowances to members of the Armed Forces (including active duty, reserve and the Coast Guard) during any period in FY 2014 in which interim or full year appropriations bills are not in effect. It also provides pay to civilian employees and contractors engaged in support of the Armed Forces during the same period.

Tags: To, Griffin, AR-01, military pay, government shutdown

House Plan Keeps Gov't Open & Overturns President’s Special Obamacare Subsidies for Members of Congress & Senators

Asks if ‘Senate Democrats will shutdown the government
to protect their special Obamacare treatment’

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement regarding the House’s latest version of the Continuing Appropriations (CR) Resolution for FY 2014:

“The House will send the Senate a bill that will keep the federal government open and overturn the President’s special Obamacare subsidies for Members of Congress and Senators.  The Obama Administration has decided that Members of Congress and Senators should be given special treatment under Obamacare—treatment that no other American gets. That’s not fair, and the House is acting to fix it.  Will Senate Democrats shutdown the government to protect their special Obamacare treatment?”The third House version of the CR would fund the government through December 15, delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year and prevent Members of Congress and their staff, the President and his staff from receiving subsidies for their health care coverage.

Tags: Tom Griffin, AR-02, House plan,

Who's in Charge?

Editor Update Oct 4: We now know for sure. Sen. Mark Pryor prefered supporting Nevada's Senator Harry Reid over supporting the majority of  his Arkansas constituents. Hopefully, Arkansas voters will remember this in the 2014 Elections!
--------------
Politico reported that Majority Leader Harry Reid discouraged President Obama from meeting with congressional leaders: “When the president considered sitting down with the four congressional leaders in the White House ahead of the deadline to avert a government shutdown, Reid privately urged Obama to call off the meeting, according to several people familiar with the situation."

We wonder: Does Mark Pryor support Harry Reid's efforts to prevent President Obama from meeting with congressional leaders to avoid a government shutdown?

Tags: Arkansas, US Senator, Mark Pryor

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Griffin: Taking Sunday Off Shows Reid Wants a Shutdown, Running Out the Clock

House worked through early morning on second proposal to avoid shutdown, Senate still stuck on my-way-or-highway

(Watch video from today’s press conference here)

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House worked through the early morning to pass a Continuing Appropriations (CR) Resolution for FY 2014 and the Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210):

“Regardless of what the Senate thinks about the House’s CR, Senator Reid’s inaction tells you all you need to know:  Democrats in the Senate want a government shutdown for political purposes.  Negotiation is critical to our form of government, so the President and Senate should join us.  Senator Reid is playing the time-tested football strategy of ‘run out the clock.’  He likes the idea of a looming shutdown, so now he is just waiting it out.”Early this morning, the House passed another version of the CR that will fund the government while at the same time repealing Obamacare’s 2.3 percent tax on medical devices and delaying Obamacare for one year.  It also passed the Pay Our Military Act.

In a blog entry posted on July 2, the Obama Administration announced it was delaying the employer mandate for one year.  A few days later, the House passed Rep. Griffin’s Authority for Mandate Delay Act (H.R. 2667) with bipartisan support.  It would delay Obamacare’s employer mandate for one year (until January 1, 2015).  Earlier this week, Senator Manchin (D-WV) offered support for delaying Obamacare for one year.

The House CR would also repeal Obamacare’s 2.3 percent tax on medical devices.  As ABC News reports:  “Last year, 37 House Democrats voted with all 233 Republicans to repeal the [medical device] tax.  The bill passed the House, 270-146, but died in the Senate…. In March, the Democratic-led Senate voted 79-20 to repeal the tax…”

H.R. 3210 provides a direct appropriation to pay the salaries and allowances to members of the Armed Forces (including active duty reserves and the Coast Guard) during any period in FY 2014 in which interim or full year appropriations bills are not in effect.  It also provides pay to civilian employees and contractors engaged in support of the Armed Forces during the same period.

Tags: Tim Griffin, AR-02, U.S. Representative, Harry Reid, wants shutdown, taking Sunday off, Continuing Resolution, 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Coleman Proposes Path Forward to Solve Teacher Health Insurance Crisis

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – Arkansas businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Curtis Coleman released the following statement today on the health insurance crisis facing Arkansas’ teachers:
"Arkansas' teachers are seeing their take-home pay decimated by catastrophic increases in their health insurance premiums – a problem now being exacerbated by the train-wreck that is Obamacare. For too long we've been content with short-term fixes. What we need now is a long-term solution.

"As governor, I would advocate for returning control of negotiating health insurance contracts to individual school districts. The school administrators I have talked to consistently tell me that they believe their school districts, acting independently, can negotiate far more favorable terms and premiums for their teachers and staff. This would not only work for larger school districts, but for smaller ones as well – as long as they are given the ability to enter into compacts with one another to lower premiums. It is a straight-forward solution that would be far superior to the status quo of a one-size-fits-all approach."


Tags: Curtis Coleman, Arkansas, health insurance, Obamacare

Boozman Statement on Votes to Defund Obamacare and Avoid a Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today released the following statement on today’s series of votes in the Senate to defund Obamacare and maintain government services for Arkansas veterans, seniors and families:

Boozman on why he voted against the Reid substitute and final passage of the continuing resolution:

“I supported the House-passed bill that accomplishes our goals of keeping the government operating and defunding Obamacare. Avoiding a government shutdown is a good policy that protects hardworking Americans. Unfortunately, the bill was changed by Majority Leader Harry Reid who stripped language to defund Obamacare and I could no longer support it.

This is not the end of our fight. We will continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that contain costs. The American people are now seeing how Obamacare is driving up costs beyond belief instead of containing them.

The continuing resolution has gone back to the House where they have the votes to pursue a strategy that can be effective. I believe we can continue this fight with a bill they send back to the Senate that includes provisions such as a one year delay for the individual mandate or an elimination of the Congressional carve-out.”

Boozman on why he voted to support cloture:

“I voted for cloture on the House-passed bill because it defunds Obamacare and keeps the government operating. It defies logic to vote against a bill that you support because it accomplishes our objectives.

Failure to have obtained cloture would have only resulted in a government shutdown. A government shutdown doesn’t repeal Obamacare. Instead, it hurts our military, our seniors and hardworking Arkansans who are dependent on vital government services.

If you had been told anything different would result from voting against cloture, you were being misled.

In this fragile economy, it is simply not fair to hold the American worker, our servicemembers or our seniors hostage over a political strategy that that in the end would not repeal Obamacare. It’s not the right way to run government. It’s why the American people hold Washington in low regard.

I categorically reject the notion that by voting for cloture, you are somehow showing support for the health care law. Again, it makes no sense to vote against a bill you are for. My record on Obamacare speaks for itself. I have been fighting against Obamacare for five years. I voted against Obamacare when I was in the House, have voted to defund and will be the first person in line to support a winning strategy to repeal and replace it. However, forcing a government shutdown over Obamacare is not the right strategy. It won’t end Obamacare, but it will impose pain on hardworking Arkansans.

A government shutdown comes at the expense of our military serving our nation in harm’s way. It slows the Social Security payments for our elderly who count on those checks just to get by. Hospitals and doctors won’t get paid, increasing the likelihood that vital services could be denied. And it hurts millions of families with jobs that depend on government inspectors to show up in order to work. A shutdown threatens our very weak economy, and it would have a negative impact on the savings, pensions and retirement plans for all Arkansans.

Not to mention the threat to our very weak economy and the negative impact that will have on the savings and pension plans of Arkansans. All of this would be the result of Washington’s inaction over a strategy that is doomed from the start.

If President Obama were to receive a continuing resolution that defunded his landmark law, he would veto it. We would need 67 votes in the Senate to override that veto. Simple math shows you that with a Democrat Majority, the numbers are simply not there. There is no end game with this strategy, outside of a government shutdown, which is why I could not support it.”

On why Boozman voted to support the budget point of order on the continuing resolution:

“We have a big spending problem that we must rein in. Under the Budget Control Act spending for FY14 is capped at $967 billion. At $986 billion this bill violated that law.  Additionally, relying on a continuing resolution to fund the government is bad policy. We need to get back to the basics and follow proper procedure of passing a budget resolution and operating within that framework.” 

Tags: U.S. Senator, John Boozman, votes, Continuing Resolutions, defund obamacare, government shutdown

Mark Pryor Chooses ObamaCare Over Arkansas

Choice Made: Mark Pryor Chooses
ObamaCare Over Arkansas
Washington DC - Today Majority Leader Harry Reid gave Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor one last opportunity to save his Senate seat. During legislative business, Reid offered a motion to strike the "defund Obamacare provision" that was included in the continuing resolution (CR) passed by the House.

Faced with the decision between putting President Barack Obama first by voting to add funding for ObamaCare in a CR or middle-class families, workers and businesses in Arkansas; Mark Pryor once again chose ObamaCare.

The majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare - including nearly 6 in 10 women. It will impact middle-class Arkansans across the state: from the employers who are forced to cut workers and hours to avoid higher costs; to the families whose health care spending will increase by $7,450 for an average family.

Yet, Pryor continued to ignore their wishes and today, doubled down on an unpopular law that Arkansas families rightly oppose.

"Despite their objections, Mark Pryor forced ObamaCare on Arkansans in 2010 and today he doubled down on his mistake," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. "Pryor stood with President Obama and voted to protect the extremely unpopular health care law, completely ignoring the voices of Arkansans facing increased health care costs and higher taxes. Arkansans will remember Pryor's allegiance to President Obama and his signature initiative ObamaCare, and vote to elect someone new next fall."

Tags: Senator, Mark Pryor, Obamacare, Arkansas

Griffin: Obama-Pelosi Dems Refuse to Negotiate on Debt Ceiling

Pelosi says there’s no waste in Washington, rejects negotiation precedent set by Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement in releasing his latest video:
“Like most Arkansans, I oppose a government shutdown and believe it would be bad for Arkansas and waste hard-earned taxpayer money.  President Obama refuses to negotiate and Pelosi says there's no waste in Washington.  Democrats need to pass a commonsense bill to fund our government, curb Washington’s spending addiction and reform critical programs that serve our seniors—like Medicare and Social Security—before they go bankrupt.”Just last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a study concluding "that federal health care and retirement programs threaten to overwhelm the federal budget and harm the economy in coming decades," the Associated Press reported in an article headlined "New study warns of US long-term debt problems."

When CNN asked Nancy Pelosi why Democrats like President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are refusing to work with Republicans and demanding Congress raise the debt ceiling their way – without fixing the problem – here was her answer:  "The cupboard is bare," she said. "There's no more cuts to make."

Tags: Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, debt ceiling, refuse to negotiate, Tim Griffin, AR-02, 

Mark Pryor should support a one-year delay of the Obamacare individual mandate

Tom Cotton Campaign Earlier this year, President Obama gave big businesses and corporations a break when he announced a one-year delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate. But hard-working Arkansans deserve a reprieve too. As they are seeing their hours cut and taxes go up as a result of Obamacare, a one year delay of the individual mandate would be the least President Obama could offer them.

This isn’t about partisan politics. In fact, just today Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said he would support a Continuing Resolution to fund the government that includes a delay of the individual mandate:

“Don’t put the mandate on the American public right now. Give them at least a year. If you know you couldn’t bring the corporate sector, you gave them a year, don’t you think it’d be fair?”

“Mark Pryor says he listens to Arkansans, but his voting record shows he actually listens to Barack Obama,” said Cotton for Senate Campaign Manager Justin Brasell. “This is an opportunity for Mark Pryor to finally do what’s right for Arkansas. He should join Congressman Tom Cotton and Senator Joe Manchin in calling on President Obama and the Democratic leadership to support a one-year delay of the individual mandate.”
Background: Tom Cotton voted in the House on July 17 this year to delay Obamacare’s employer and individual mandates and said then, “The American people deserve the same relief President Obama is giving big businesses through his employer mandate delay. That’s why today the House also voted to delay the individual mandate provision, which will prevent thousands of Arkansans from paying Obamacare fines to the IRS. As the 2014 implementation date approaches, it’s clear that Obamacare is every bit the disaster Arkansans feared it would be. If big businesses deserve a reprieve, so do hard-working Arkansans and small business owners.”

Tags: Obamacare, Mark Pryor, US Senate, delay individual mandate, Tom Cotton, 2014 election, Arkansas

Crawford: On Defunding ObamaCare

Rep. Rick Crawford, House Floor: Thank you, mr. speaker. today i want to bring two very contrasting perspectives to the floor with regard to health care. one starts with an individual we are all familiar with and when he talks people listen. on march 1, 2010, warren buffett said, i would much rather see a plan c that really attacks costs in regard to health care. i think that's what the american public wants to see. the american public is not behind this bill. and we need the american public behind the bill. he's changed his position two or three times and it's hard to get a beat on how he feels about obamacare, but when he talks, people listen. the problem is the people we need to hear from the most aren't being heard. and i got an email, actually a letter, from kristi in jonesboro, in my district. i'm share that letter with you today. as i was listening to the radio this people people were talking about how obamacare is affecting them. my husband and i are 48 years old, have been married 29 years and have three daughters, ages 16, 18, and 2 all still living at home, although the 23-year-old does work a full-time job. my husband has been an auto body mechanic for most of his life. this has taken a toll on his body as a result of strenuous labor mared with breathing chemicals. he's always looking for a better environment, pay, and benefits. as a wife of people making good livings this in this area are the owners and the health insurance companies. every shop he ever worked at offered him health insurance, but the premiums were always around $200 a week just for him. there's no way we could afford $800 a month for something that may or may not happen. our family of five has rarely been sick. i have tried to practice preventive health care by what i feed my family because i'm positive a large percentage of health costs are due to diet. my husband makes $500 a week on average. my daughter makes a little over $300 a week. our rent is $800 a month. utilities run $200. we can barely afford the $47 liability insurance on my husband's vehicle. my daughter pays the $95 liability insurance on her vehicle. we have been barely able to buy groceries, and i know how to shop frugally. we have no credits cards or expensive habits. we use the library a great deal. my question is what will we do when we are fined because we don't have health insurance? there's no way we can afford health insurance for a family of five. it's hard to go day by day watching what is happening with the government of this once great nation. i'm so discouraged and disappointed and i try not to fear the future when it comes to the american government which will dictate my future regardless. thank you for your time. respectfully, kristi. jonesboro, arkansas. i want kristi to know, and i want everybody in america to know, that i hear you. those guys that are driving the nails, those guys turning the wrenches, the nurses providing health care, the firemen who are doing their jobs working the 40-hour week, barely making ends meet, and we are piling more and more debt on this country. $1.3 trillion in additional costs. when social security and medicare are nearing bankruptcy. it's unconscionable. i want folks to he know in my district and across the country there are people here that hear you and we are going to work for you and try to fix this problem because we can't sustain this any longer. with that i yield back.

Tags: Representative, Rick Crawford, AR-01, Defunding Obamacare

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Boozman Calls on Senate to Consider House-Passed Bill that Defunds Obamacare

In floor speech Senator lays out alternatives to Obamacare, calls on chamber to avert shutdown
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, during a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) called for passage of the continuing resolution sent over by the House of Representatives as it “does exactly what we are trying to accomplish—it defunds Obamacare and keeps the government open.”  Boozman also stated he will vote against attempts to restore funding for Obamacare and lays out alternatives to health care reform that are based on free market principles.

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, House bill, defund Obamacare

"Questions" For Arkansas U.S. Senator Mark Pryor

by Club for Growth:
Check out PryorForObama.com

Tags: Senator, Mark Pryor, priorities, ad, Club For Growth

Will Pryor Put Arkansas First?

Mark Pryor's Decision:
Put Arkansas First or Double Down on ObamaCare
This weekend, Majority Leader Harry Reid is giving Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor one last opportunity to save his Senate seat.
During legislative business this weekend, Majority Leader Harry Reid will likely offer a motion to strike the "defund Obamacare provision" that was included in the continuing resolution (CR) passed by the House. Should he do so, the Senate will then vote on the measure including funds for ObamaCare.
Republicans will oppose the measure, leaving Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor with a choice:
  1. He can continue to put President Barack Obama first by voting to add funding for ObamaCare in a CR passed by the House of Representatives to keep the government operating, or;
  2. He can finally stand up for middle-class workers and families in Arkansas by saying enough is enough and finally stop funding the highly unpopular health care law. 
Mark Pryor has repeatedly tied himself to and defended the unpopular health care law that Democrats rammed through Congress in 2010 and that Arkansans oppose. But Pryor will now have a small window of opportunity to either dismantle ObamaCare once and for all, or double down on this costly overhaul. 
It's no secret that ObamaCare will impact Arkansas throughout the state: from the employers who are forced to cut workers to avoid costs from ObamaCare; to the families and individuals facing higher premiums and potentially losing their doctor.
For instance... 
  • John Dean, Fort Smith said"Obamacare will eventually eliminate independent insurance companies and be replaced by government-run insurance exchanges. Doctors and hospitals will be told how much they can charge for their services. Many doctors and hospitals will refuse to accept government payment, and patients will not receive treatment. Obamacare will collect additional money from all taxpayers and disburse the money to government employees and expand the existing welfare system."
  • John Swicegood also of Fort Smith added:"Health care is broken. It is worse than it was when I started 30 years ago. Illegitimate health-care brokers, politicians, insurance and hospital profiteers must get out of the system."
The data is simple: 52% of Americans - and 6 in 10 women - oppose ObamaCare.  Who will Mark Pryor listen to?
"Mark Pryor has a choice - he can finally live up to his promise to put Arkansas first, or he can double down on ObamaCare which is causing health care costs to rise, workers' hours to be cut back, and jobs to be eliminated in Arkansas,"  said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. 

Tags: Arkansas, Senator, Mark Pryor, Obamacare,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#pryorities For Mark Pryor,Healthcare For Children of Senators, Congressmen and Their Employees Comes First

Tom Cotton Campaign: This week, USA Today reported yet another “glitch” with Obamacare—one that will cost families thousands of dollars and leave up to 500,000 children without health care coverage. The so-called “family glitch” occurs, because Obamacare fails to include children when calculating the required coverage and affordability of an employee’s health care. Under the law, these children cannot receive subsidized assistance through state health exchanges. As a result, children across the country could find themselves without health care coverage—and their families will be forced to cover the extra costs.

Just this week, in defense of the special exemption from Obamacare for Members of Congress and their employees, Mark Pryor’s office told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that, “Pryor will allow his employees to accept the benefits their employer offers, especially since several of his aides are family people with young children.”

“The latest problem with Obamacare is going to cost Arkansas families thousands of dollars and leave children without coverage,” said Cotton for Senate campaign manager Justin Brasell, “yet Mark Pryor is insisting on keeping the sweetheart deal for Washington, D.C., insiders engineered by President Obama. It seems he has forgotten how to put Arkansas first.”

Tags: Arkansas, Senator, Mark Prior, Priorities

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Senator John Boozman Opposes Obamacare

Sen. John Boozman Response to Editor: Thank you for contacting me to express your support for repealing and defunding the President's healthcare reform law. It is good to hear from you.

Like you, I oppose Obamacare and will continue to fight tooth-and-nail against it. Currently, we are exploring all available strategies to stop this massive train wreck. As a healthcare practitioner in Arkansas for more than 25 years, I understand the negative impact Obamacare will have on both our economy and healthcare system. I believe this law is terrible policy. I voted against it while in the House and have voted multiple times in the Senate to repeal, replace, and defund it.

I am currently reviewing all available strategies to repeal Obamacare. With respect to shutting down the government for an extended period of time, this is a high-stakes strategy that we must carefully consider. A long-term government shutdown means military families go without pay, airports shutdown, seniors go without vital services, financial disruptions deplete retirement savings, and hospitals close. Depending on how the media frames the issue, a government shutdown could work to advance President Obama's agenda. Instead of focusing on higher healthcare premiums, government rationing, Medicare cuts, and President Obama's false promises, conservatives will be blamed for every imaginable problem in the country. This would strengthen President Obama's hand and make it harder to repeal Obamacare. We must keep all options on the table, but we need to be smart about how we fight back against this President and his liberal agenda. Moving forward, I will continue working with Senators Coburn, Lee, Cruz and others on the best path forward to effectively end Obamacare once and for all. Please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind as I continue the fight against this failed law.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this very important issue. Please be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to stay informed on what we're doing on behalf of Arkansans. I look forward to your continued correspondence.

Sincerely,

John Boozman
U.S. Senator

Tags: Arkansas, U.S. Senator, responds concerning, Obamacare

Mark Pryor's Choice: ObamaCare or Middle-Class

Washington DC - In about a week, the government is set to run out of funding at the same time that ObamaCare's health exchanges are set to open.The Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation that alleviates families from the burden of ObamaCare and funds the government. Meanwhile, Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) - who tied himself to the fate of the unpopular health care law that Democrats rammed through Congress in 2010 - is stuck defending a law that Arkansans oppose.

Recently Pryor proclaimed that ObamaCare "has been an amazing success story so far." But the reality is that ObamaCare will increase health care spending by $7,450 for an average family.

And Pryor's constituents are noticing. John Dean of Fort Smith expressed skepticism: "Obamacare will eventually eliminate independent insurance companies and be replaced by government-run insurance exchanges. Doctors and hospitals will be told how much they can charge for their services. Many doctors and hospitals will refuse to accept government payment, and patients will not receive treatment. Obamacare will collect additional money from all taxpayers and disburse the money to government employees and expand the existing welfare system." John Swicegood>/b> also from Fort Smith added: "Health care is broken. It is worse than it was when I started 30 years ago. Illegitimate health-care brokers, politicians, insurance and hospital profiteers must get out of the system."

It's clear that ObamaCare will impact Arkansas throughout the state: from the  employers who are forced to cut workers to avoid costs from ObamaCare; to the Arkansan counties forced to cut worker hours to comply with the health care law. In fact, less than four in ten women support ObamaCare, yet Pryor continues to ignore their wishes and is doubling down on an unpopular law thatArkansas families rightly oppose.

"Mark Pryor has a choice to make: listen to Arkansans, or stand with Barack Obama and the extremely unpopular law," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. " ObamaCare is causing health care costs to rise, workers' hours to be cut back, and jobs to be eliminated all of which falls onto the backs of middle-class Arkansan families. The more that Pryor ties his reelection to ObamaCare, the more likely the chances are that his replacement will serve in a Senate Republican majority."

Tags: Mark Pryor's choice, Obamacare or Middle-class, Arkansas

Monday, September 23, 2013

ICYMI: House votes to keep government funded and defund Obamacare.

Where do you stand, Mark Pryor?
Earlier today the House of Representatives voted to keep the government funded and to stop the devastating impact Obamacare will have on hard-working Arkansans. Following the vote, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor asked an important question of Mark Pryor: “The house has been fighting to stop Obamacare…and we have said over and over again this law is going to increase the costs for the working middle-class families of this country and we’re now seeing it. We have said from the beginning that this law will harm our economy, and we’re seeing our economy turn from a full-time job economy into a part-time job economy. That’s why we are doing our job and now it is up to Senate Democrats to show some responsibility and follow the House’s lead.

“Now, many Senate Republicans have promised to leave no stone unturned in fighting this law and all of us here support that effort. We’re calling on Senate Democrats to do the same thing.

“I want to know where Senator Pryor stands on protecting the middle class from the consequences of this horrific law. Earlier this summer a non-profit group in Fort Smith, Arkansas that provides care for seniors announced that they are cutting hours for hundreds of staff members to 28 hours a week.”


So Mark Pryor, where do you stand?

Tags: House, Continuing Resolution, defund Obamacare

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Syria Is Not Our Fight

Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01): This week began with the tragic shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. We continue to pray for the families of the victims and first responders over this senseless loss of life. Make sure to thank our first responders at home in Arkansas for the work they do protecting us.

Last week, I received assurances from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that the important mitigation hatcheries in Norfork and Greers Ferry were not in danger on imminent closure. These critical facilities provide well over a thousand jobs in Arkansas' First District and millions in economic output - I will continue fighting to make sure these hatcheries are not threatened for closure in the future.

I met with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission in my office in Washington. I am continuing to hear from folks back home about the needs of rural and minority communities, and ensuring we provide quality health care is a chief concern.

On Thursday, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, of which I am a member, marked up the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA). This piece of legislation is critical to maintaining the waterways in Arkansas' First District and I will continue to ensure our interests are heard.

On Friday, I voted in favor of a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund the government but remove funds for the implementation of ObamaCare. I believe this law is detrimental to our economy and must be repealed. I appreciate the continual feedback from folks back home on this and will continue the fight to see this law removed from the books.

Last week, my column was on the potential intervention in Syria and the mistake it would have been for our nation. Read below:

Syria Is Not Our Fight

Over the past weeks, the question of whether the United States should initiate a military strike on Syria has dominated the political landscape in Washington and at home in Arkansas. After Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad purportedly used chemical weapons on his own people, violating a “red line” set by President Obama, suddenly we have found ourselves in a situation where we are dangerously close to intervention.

The response from those of you in Arkansas’ First District has been overwhelming and united across ideological lines. I first attended a classified briefing put on by the White House three weeks ago, long before this had blown up in the public eye as the major issue it has now become. I expressed serious doubts about the necessity of military action and felt unclear about the President’s objectives for an intervention. Once the calls, emails, tweets, and Facebook posts began rolling in, your response fortified my own thoughts and ultimately led to my announcement that I would vote no on any authorization of force resolution, barring a major change in events.

I agree with military officials who say that had the President utilized the options at his disposal a year ago, rather than engaging in empty rhetoric, we could have averted this crisis altogether. Unfortunately, the case has not been sufficiently made that the Syrian conflict is of direct importance to America’s national security and the small strike advocated by the White House has been roundly criticized as unlikely to have any major impact on the Syrian regime or its ability or willingness to carry out a similar chemical weapons attack. In addition, the likelihood that a retaliatory strike from the Syrian regime on our neighboring allies, not least Israel, could occur and drag us into a prolonged military engagement that could involve other nations such as Iran or Russia, is of serious concern.

Ultimately, a lack of leadership and clear vision from the President has cost us credibility on the global stage. The Syrian conflict is not our fight to engage in – and the American people have spoken loud and clear on this issue. As this issue develops, I am keeping your concerns in mind, and look forward to continuing to do so as the First District of Arkansas’ voice in Congress.

Tags: Rep. Rick Crawford, AR-01, Syria not our fight, lack of Presidential leadership,

Friday, September 20, 2013

2014: Democrats Have a Choice to Stand with Middle Class or with ObamaCare

Today the Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation that keeps the government open and enacts historic, common sense spending cuts. House Republicans have governed and put up a fight worthy of the challenges facing our nation.  Sadly, once again, the Democratic Senate is failing to lead.

It’s the same old story: The Republican-led House actually passes legislation, and Senate Democrats do nothing.  They refuse to negotiate. They draw hard lines in the sand.  They hold the government hostage to their radical ideology. Following passage of the law, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor asked a question that millions of middle-class men and women across American but especially in North Carolina, Alaska, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky and Georgia want the answer to. "Where do Senators and candidates asking for the public trust stand on ObamaCare?"

Today's Washington Post/ABC News Poll makes clear that ObamaCare remains extremely unpopular.
  • ObamaCare: 52% oppose vs. 42% support
  • Only 38% of women support ObamaCare
  • 55% disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling implementation of the law
  • 36% say it’s worsened the health care system overall, vs. 19% who see improvement
ObamaCare is causing health care costs to rise, workers' hours to be cut back, and jobs to be eliminated but Democrats like Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich don't seem to care.

Click here to watch Leader Cantor's remarks.

Excerpts Taken From Leader Cantor's Remarks:
“Now, many Senate Republicans have promised to leave no stone unturned in fighting this law and all of us here support that effort. We’re calling on Senate Democrats to do the same thing.

“I want to know where Senator Pryor stands on protecting the middle class from the consequences of this horrific law.  Earlier this summer a non-profit group in Fort Smith, Arkansas that provides care for seniors announced that they are cutting hours for hundreds of staff members to 28 hours a week.

“How about Kay Hagan in North Carolina? Does she understand the consequences that ObamaCare is having in her state? Carlie C’s grocery store President Mack McLamb has said it’s not 'feasible or sustainable' to extend coverage for all 1,100 employees that he has. He too may have to cut hours for much of his work force

“What about Mary Landrieu of Louisiana? ObamaCare is also hurting her hardworking taxpayers in that state. In July, Lawrence Katz, owner of Dot's Diner told the Senator in a committee hearing that he may have to lay off as many as 16 workers. These are working middle class Americans just trying to make ends meet.

“And finally, what about Mark Begich of Alaska? Through ObamaCare Americans across the country could be hit with a rate shock. In Alaska, it’s predicted that premiums could rise between 30%-80%. What’s Senator Begich going to do about this? Will he vote to keep ObamaCare in place?

“We’re into this fight and we want the Senate to join us.”


OUR TAKE:
"Democratic Senators and candidates have a choice to listen to their constituents and dismantle ObamaCare, or to stand with Barack Obama and the extremely unpopular law," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. "Democrats ignored their constituents in 2010 and took a shellacking on Election Day, we'll see if anything has changed."

Tags: 2014, democrats choice, middle class, Obamacare

Griffin: Arkansans Deserve Transparency and ‘I Will Continue to Demand Nothing Less’

Supports CAW’s effort to prevent the restart of Pegasus Pipeline
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement in response to Central Arkansas Water’s (CAW) most recent actions regarding the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline:

“I stand shoulder to shoulder with CAW: I must say that ExxonMobil's intransigence has forced CAW to take this extraordinary step in order to get ExxonMobil to address serious questions about the safety of 400,000 Arkansans’ drinking water.  As I have said throughout this disaster, Arkansans deserve transparency and openness from ExxonMobil and I will continue to demand nothing less.”

Earlier today, CAW said, in response to ExxonMobil’s continued lack of critical data, it was filing a 60-day notice, protecting its right to file suit under the federal Pipeline Safety Act and associated regulations.  Filing the notice is part of an administrative process that ensures CAW has an important option available to intervene if ExxonMobil submits a request to restart the Pegasus pipeline.


Tags: Tim Griffin, AR-01, U.S. House, transparency

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Arkansas: Stop The Obamacare Ads

Jason Cline, Arkansas Director, Americans for Prosperity They're at it again. Tomorrow morning, bureaucrats in Little Rock will ask the Arkansas Legislative Council for $4 million more of hard earned taxpayer dollars to continue promoting ObamaCare here at home. Why do they need millions more to advertise for something that has so many unanswered questions and is so unpopular in Arkansas? Click here to contact the legislators that serve on ALC and ask them to put a stop to these ads.

Millions of your tax dollars have already been spent to advertise ObamaCare here at home. From billboards to radio to (yes even this) porta-potties. Could it be that Arkansans simply aren't falling for it?

Please contact your legislators today and ask them to deny this request for spending even more money on something Arkansans don't like or want. You can also use the share graphic to the left and tag "#ARLeg" and "#StopTheAds" on Twitter and Facebook to help get the message out.

Tags: Arkansas, Arkansas Legislative Council, Obamacare ads, $4 Million, State Legislature,

Griffin: Preserves Safety Net for Those Who Truly Need It While Spending Taxpayer Dollars More Wisely

Supports passage of Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act (H.R. 3102):

“The unprecedented expansion of welfare eligibility by the Obama Administration has discouraged work and encouraged waste, fraud and abuse.  As we learned from President Clinton’s successful 1996 welfare reforms, modest work requirements combined with support for working parents can help reduce poverty and improve communities.  I am proud to support this bill, which saves taxpayers nearly $40 billion by reinstating those successful reforms and preserves the safety net for those who truly need it.”According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a record high of 23,116,928 American households – more than one-fifth of all households nationwide – were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in June.

H.R. 3102 will:
  • Ensure that the successful 1996 welfare reform work requirements for able-bodied adults without children are enforced
  • Eliminate “categorically eligibility” so that merely receiving a welfare-funded brochure or referral to an “800” number will not automatically guarantee eligibility for SNAP
  • Close the “heat-and-eat loophole” where food stamp benefits are increased above what individuals are entitled to received
  • Prevent taxpayer-funded food stamp advertising campaigns, including efforts to promote U.S. welfare programs in other countries
  • Encourage states to place able-bodied parents in work and job training opportunities as a requisite for receiving food stamps
  • Ensure that illegal immigrants, lottery winners, convicted rapists, pedophiles and murderers are not eligible for welfare benefits
Facts about the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act:

MYTH: The House nutrition bill will drop up to six million food stamp recipients off the benefit rolls.

FACT: The number able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages of 18 and 50 collecting welfare benefits has grown by an astonishing 163.7 percent from 2007 to 2011, in part because of President Obama waiving President Clinton’s successful welfare reform requirements.

The House bill will require states to follow the 1996 welfare reform law’s restriction on eligibility for this group unless these beneficiaries obtain employment, participate in job training activities, or perform voluntary community service activities in exchange for their benefits.  The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office project a maximum of 1.5 million will no longer receive benefits.

MYTH: Cutting food stamps isn’t really about saving money because the House is also bumping up spending on crop insurance for farmers in their farm bill.

FACT: While the House Farm bill increases spending on crop insurance, it also cuts or eliminates other commodities programs so that total spending benefiting farmers is reduced by 8.9 percent over the next decade and the House nutrition bill reduces nutrition program spending by 5.1 percent.

MYTH: The House nutrition bill cuts spending on food stamps, which will increase hunger in America.

FACT: Anti-hunger organizations are well intentioned, but many mistakenly equate spending levels on federal nutrition programs with reducing hunger in America.  The large drop in child hunger that occurred between 1995 and 2003 coincided with a period of declining spending on the Food Stamp program, and was directly linked to increased work participation among low-income single parents.  Nearly three million children were lifted out of poverty during this period and poverty among black children fell to its lowest level ever.  As estimated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the incidence of childhood hunger was cut in half.

MYTH: The House nutrition bill will cause 200,000 children to be dropped from receiving free lunches under the school lunch program.

FACT: The House nutrition bill does not change the School Lunch Program.  If a child is part of a household enrolled in the food stamp program, that child is eligible for free meals in the school lunch and breakfast programs.  If a family’s income meet the requirements for free meals in the school lunch program, their children will continue to receive free meals.  If family’s income exceeds program eligibility levels for free meals, their children may qualify for reduced price meals.


Tags: Representative, Tim Griffin, AR-02, Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, H.R. 3102,
safety net

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Does Mark Pryor think Washington Insiders Deserve Special Treatment?

Dardanelle, AR: Congressman Tom Cotton, candidate for United States Senate, today called upon Mark Pryor to support legislation to block the Obamcare exemption for congressmen, senators, and their staff. He also announced that he and his staff will refuse federal, taxpayer-funded subsidies when they enter the healthcare exchanges—as required by law—on January 1.“I have sponsored legislation to block President Obama’s unlawful and unfair Obamacare exemption for DC insiders. As the Senate debates this issue, Mark Pryor should oppose the exemption and urge Harry Reid to allow a floor vote. If Mark Pryor goes along with President Obama’s special deal for DC insiders, I will refuse taxpayer subsidies for my health insurance in January. I’m also proud that my entire congressional staff has agreed to follow my lead and will refuse taxpayer subsidies for their insurance. My staff and I serve the people of Arkansas, and we will follow the law just as they must,” said Congressman Cotton.

“Mark Pryor could’ve stopped Obamacare over three years ago, but he cast the deciding vote instead. He could’ve objected when his fellow liberal senators begged President Obama for a special exemption, but he didn’t. Now that Mark Pryor has a chance to stop DC insiders from getting special treatment, will he make the same choice?” said Campaign Manager Justin Brasell. “He has yet to publicly condemn this exemption, nor has he sponsored the Senate legislation to block it. Mark Pryor should lead by example and reject unlawful taxpayer subsidies and ask his entire staff to as well.”


Tags: Tom Cotton, Mark Pryor, Election 2014, US Senate

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mark Pryor's Liberal "Safari"

Washington, D.C. - The National Republican Senatorial Committee today launched a new web video featuring Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor, the most vulnerable Senator up for re-election in 2014. The video, titled "Safari" is part of the NRSC's ongoing effort to remind voters that Pryor believes Arkansas voters share his opinion that President Obama's agenda should come before their own.

"Safari" highlights Pryor's years of hard work as President Obama's left-hand man.  From ObamaCare to voting to raise the debt ceiling 6 different times, Mark Pryor has supported a deep blue liberal agenda for the past decade.  Mark Pryor's greatest skill is working to camouflage his steadfast support of President Obama's costly agenda - 93% of the time to be exact. Over the next 15 months, Arkansans will be reminded that by Mark Pryor's own admission, Pryor believes Arkansas should elect a Senator who puts Obama first - one committed to seeing President Obama's liberal agenda fully implemented over the next two years.

"Mark Pryor spends most of his time trying to camouflage the fact that he puts Barack Obama's costly agenda first 93% of the time," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen.  "Whether it is his support for ObamaCare or repeatedly raising the debt limit without cutting spending, Mark Pryor is too liberal for Arkansas, no matter how hard he works to hide it. 
Click here to watch the new video online.

Tags: Mark Pryor, Safari, ad, NRSC

No Obamacare Exemptions for Washington Insiders

by Rep. Tom Cotton: As you may know, when Obamacare was passed it included an amendment requiring Members of Congress and their staffs to enter into the federal healthcare exchanges. The logic in that amendment was simple: if the law was good enough—actually, bad enough, but let’s leave that for now—for the American people, it should be good enough for those who voted for it. But in a blatant display of political favoritism, the Obama administration recently announced that the federal government would offer subsidies to Members of Congress and their staffs to help offset the costs associated with entering these exchanges.

These subsidies are both unlawful and unfair. No one, especially not politically connected Washington, D.C. insiders, should be exempt from any provision of Obamacare. That’s why last week my colleague Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and I introduced a bill in the House that would prevent congressmen, senators, and their staff from receiving these subsidies. Further, the bill would require President Obama and all executive branch staff members to enter into the healthcare exchanges as well. What’s good for the goose, I think, is good for the gander.

In the coming months, I will work tirelessly to ensure there are no special sweetheart deals for Washington politicians or their staff.

Tags: Tom Cotton, AR-04, US Representative, Obamacare, exemptions, Washington insiders

Monday, September 16, 2013

Arkansas AG approves Ballot Measure Wording To Change County Officials' Terms To 4 Years

ARRA News Service has an article by Philip Blumel which addresses the need for shorter term limits. Also, the proponents of the ballot measure are moving in the opposite direction of the caution of our forefathers. A couple of related shared by the ARRA News editor were:Where annual elections end, there slavery begins … Humility, patience, and moderation, without which every man in power becomes a ravenous beast of prey. ~ John Adams
I am for making of terms annual, and for sending an entire new set every year. ~ John Adams
Those who have once been intoxicated with power … can never willingly abandon it. ~ Edmund Burke
Politicians are like diapers: they must be changed often and for the same reason. ~ Paul Harvey

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on Monday certified the language of the proposed ballot measure submitted by David Dinwiddie of Pine Bluff. The proposal would apply to county judges, justices of the peace, sheriffs, collectors, treasurers, assessors, clerks, coroners, surveyors and constables.

McDaniel's certification clears the way for supporters to begin gathering the 78,133 signatures needed to place the measure on next year's ballot. If approved by voters, the amendment would take effect with any county officials sworn in after Dec. 31, 2014.

Tags: Arkansas, county officials, ballot initiative, 4 year terms

Griffin Seeks More Answers from ExxonMobil

Griffin Seeks More Answers from ExxonMobil
Griffin’s newest round of questions focuses on sensitive areas along route of Pegasus Pipeline Route such as Maumelle Watershed

LITTLE ROCK – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after sending a letter to Gary Pruessing, president of ExxonMobil:

“Like most Arkansans, I have continuing concern regarding the operation of the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline and events that led up to the spill in Mayflower.  It is essential that the lingering questions over the safety of the pipeline be addressed, and that’s why I’ve called on ExxonMobil to provide answers to these specific questions.  I will continue to demand answers so that we may fully understand the cause of this terrible spill and ensure the safety of the drinking water for 400,000 Arkansans.”A copy of Rep. Griffin’s letter to ExxonMobil can be found here.

Tags: Representative, Tim Griffin, ExxonMobil, oil spill, Mayflower,

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Day of Remembrance

by Rep/ Rick Crawford, AR-01: This week, the question of whether to initiate a military strike on Syria dominated the political discussion in Washington. I announced my intention to vote no on any authorization of force resolution, because I do not believe a clear objective has been outlined by the President for our involvement, nor has an urgent national security interest been identified. I have heard from many of you and appreciate your continued thoughts as this issue develops.

Wednesday was the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington. On that day, a group of terrorists acted out of malice in an attempt to break our resolve, yet we emerged even more united as a nation in the aftermath. The Freedom Tower, which today stands 1776 feet tall on the site of the World Trade Center destroyed in the attacks, was built with 106 million pounds of steel produced in Blytheville, Arkansas - something all Arkansans can be proud of.

This week, a study was leaked from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that threatened to pull the funding from mitigation hatcheries across the country, including those at Norfork and Greers Ferry in Arkansas' First District. These facilities provide over 1,600 jobs and millions in economic output, generating a dollar for every penny invested. I authored a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell defending funding for these critical facilities and will continue fighting for Arkansas jobs.

This week, a study was leaked from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that threatened to pull the funding from mitigation hatcheries across the country, including those at Norfork and Greers Ferry in Arkansas' First District. These facilities provide over 1,600 jobs and millions in economic output, generating a dollar for every penny invested. I authored a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell defending funding for these critical facilities and will continue fighting for Arkansas jobs.

I had the chance to host representatives of the American Cancer Society from Arkansas. Promoting research and health is important to prevention and treatment of this disease and this group has done admirable work in striving toward a cancer-free world.

On Wednesday, the text of the Water Resources Reform & Development Act was released - critical legislation for our nation's waterways. I met with the Mississippi River Commission to discuss the maintenance of the Mississippi River Watershed and its importance to the Delta region of Arkansas.

Tags: Rep. Rick Crawford, Day of Remembrance, use of military, Syria, 9/11, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, fish hatcheries,

Check Your Pockets, Obamacosts! - RPA Newsletter 9/13/2013

by Holly Wilson, RPA Communications Director:  As you know, this week marked the 12th anniversary of the horrific attacks on our country on 9/11. We all took time to reflect and remember this past Wednesday, Patriot Day, as we should every day. You can read Chairman Doyle Webb’s statement here regarding the anniversary of 9/11. God Bless America and the great state of Arkansas!

Buy Now, Fix Later
In case you missed former President Bill Clinton’s speech on Obamacare in Little Rock last week I will save you some time, it fell flat! Not only did he not even mention President Obama once, but he actually confirmed that the Obamacare law is broken and told us we need to embrace it anyway and fix it later? Arkansans aren’t buying it, Bill! See a clip here from Chairman Webb’s statement as aired on Fox 16 news.

ObamacareCosts
While every American is feeling the cost of Obamacare through the loss of jobs, healthcare access, higher premiums and a weaker economy, we felt the hit pretty close to home this week in Pulaski County. Contending this week that Pulaski County cannot afford to offer health insurance to 30 part time employees, the county will have to cut their hours to be in compliance with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This is just one of the many cases where Arkansans are hurting due to the negative impact of Obamacare on our state.

The Republican National Committee launched a new website where you can search by zip code to see just how much Obamacare is costing your area. Stay informed and check it out at www.obamacosts.org!

In the News…
It was the first week back in session in Washington after the August recess and our federal congressmen have been hard at work.
September is Hunger Action Month, and as co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, Senator John Boozman, took some time this week to highlight the serious problem that food insecurity causes many Arkansas households.

Representative Tom Cotton introduced a bill in the House that would prevent Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as, President Obama and the executive staff from receiving cost offsetting healthcare subsidies that the administration recently announced in a display of political favoritism. Rep. Tom Cotton said:“We all heard during the August recess from so many Americans whose families have lost their health insurance and had to buy new health insurance. Maybe they’ve lost their job because an employer is trying to comply with the cost of Obamacare; or maybe their hours have been reduced, so an employer can get below the threshold that is covered by Obamacare.

“Nancy Pelosi said when this law was on the verge of passage that we have to pass the law to find out what’s in it. Well that does appear to be the case, because Congress couldn’t even figure out how the law affected them. That’s why they went to Barack Obama two months ago and asked for a special sweetheart deal for Washington insiders – for the elected officials and their staffers who know how to work the system – and that’s what Barack Obama provided. And that’s what we’re standing up today and saying no to.

“There will be no special sweetheart deals for Washington, DC insiders. If it’s good for you, America, then it’s good for us right here in Washington, DC. Now, you don’t hear some politicians saying these things. Some Washington politicians are saying Obamacare’s an amazing success story. Well it’s not surprising that they think it’s an amazing success story if they don’t have to follow the rules of Obamacare. Well when this law passes, all Senators, all Representatives, and their staffers, as well as Executive Branch officials, will have to follow Obamacare, which is exactly as it should be until we can repeal and defund this terrible law."
Congressman Rick Crawford spearheaded the effort to inform the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell through a letter to save Arkansas mitigation hatcheries, which was signed by the entire delegation as well as colleagues from Tennessee and Georgia.

There are two mitigation hatchery facilities in Arkansas’ First District, at Norfork and Greers Ferry, which provide a combined $150 million in annual economic output and 1,600 jobs for the region. The letter asks the Secretary to delay the implementation and provide a lengthy open review period of a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reorganization study that places funding for mitigation hatcheries across the country in jeopardy:"The federal government has a clear responsibility to replace the sporting fish that its dams have removed from our rivers and streams – an important mission that mitigation hatcheries at Norfork and Greers Ferry carry out. These facilities return almost a dollar for every penny spent and directly provide hundreds of jobs for Arkansans, while keeping our state one of the best places in the country for sportsmen to fish and enjoy The Natural State.

“I am deeply concerned with the emergence of this U.S. Fish & Wildlife reorganization study that funding for these critical facilities may be threatened. My colleagues and I have asked the Secretary to ensure that Congress and the general public is consulted before the implementation of any such plan by allowing at least a 60-day delay to allow for Congress, states, communities, businesses and everyday citizens to review and provide comments and recommendations. I look forward to the Secretary’s speedy response to my letter and will continue fighting to save Arkansas’ mitigation hatchery facilities.”
Representative Tim Griffin understands the long-game and spoke in support of the Republican House budget proposal that would fund the country through mid-December while forcing the Senate to vote to defund Obamacare.

Representative Steve Womack spoke out against yet another problem with Obamacare, Obamacare fraud.

Tags: Arkansas, RPA, Doyle webb, newsletter, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Steve Womack, Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mark Pryor: A Foe Of Young Americans

Skot Covert, National Co-Chair, College Republicans: The 2010 midterm elections were historic in many ways. At the time, Democrats appeared to have crafted a lasting hold on power. In the previous two cycles they gained a commanding majority in the House of Representatives, nearly achieved filibuster-proof status in the Senate, and captured the presidency. It led pundits and prognosticators to proclaim “the death of conservatism” and inspired books like James Carville’s “40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation.” As it turned out, a Democratic majority wouldn’t even survive two years.

Hubris, in the form of a wasteful stimulus, an unpopular Obamacare bill, and massive increases in the nation’s debt and deficits, led the public to turn against the top-down, big-government vision Democrats were peddling. By the 2010 elections the public had simply had enough. After the ballots were cast and the votes had been counted Republicans had soared into the record books – winning more House seats than any party since 1948 and gaining six seats in the Senate.

Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln was one of the Democrats to fall, losing to Republican John Boozman by a stunning 58 to 37 percent margin. The results were no doubt a wakeup call to her fellow Natural State senator, Mark Pryor.

“I think one reason why you saw the elections turn out the way they turned this November was because I think people all across America feel like the folks inside the beltway are not listening,” Sen. Pryor said at the time. “I try to listen and be home as much as I possibly can.”

Unfortunately, the stark lessons of the midterm elections seem to have already faded from Pryor’s memory.

Rather than distance himself from Obamacare, a bill that would not have passed without his support, he called his choice the “right vote.” In a later interview he called the bill “an amazing success story so far.”

Arkansans disagree. A recent poll shows that when prospective voters are told that Pryor voted for Obamacare, while his GOP challenger Tom Cotton voted to repeal it, 55 percent of voters said this would make them more likely to vote for Cotton, and 33 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for Pryor.

Those numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise in a state where health care premiums are expected to rise by 60 to 100 percent because of Obamacare. And Arkansas businesses are also feeling the pinch. Recent news reports show that Tyson Foods, which employs tens of thousands of Arkansans, would incur an additional $10 million in additional costs because of the health care law. Baptist Health System, another of the state’s largest employers, also announced layoffs due to the “challenges of health reform.”

One business owner, his frustration clearly boiling over, urged Sen. Pryor to “look around…we used to have about 100 people here, now we have 25. The policies you’re creating in Washington are killing these companies.”

Those same policies are also dimming the future of the state’s young adults. At a time when Arkansas’ youth unemployment rate remains above 17 percent, more than twice the state average, steps must be taken to free entrepreneurs and job creators. Instead, Pryor’s voting history, from his support of cap-and-trade, which would have taken millions of dollars out of the economy, to his political posturing on the recent student loan relief bill, have shown that he is no friend of the state’s young people.

Arkansas youths deserve better than the tried-and-failed, tax-and-spend policies of Sen. Mark Pryor. One by one his votes have pushed our age group further away from the American Dream and back into our parents’ basement.

The historic 2010 midterm elections should have convinced Sen. Pryor that he needed to change his ways, but instead it appears to have hardened his resolve. Now, he appears ready to make a little history of his own – by being the first incumbent senator in history to lose a general election after winning an unopposed election his previous term.
----------------
Skot Covert is an Arkansas conservative Republican activist. He is former chair for the Arkansas College Republicans and was elected Co-Chairman of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) on June 15, 2013. Covert assisted the Lieutenant Governor's office during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions. Covert, a native of Ozark, graduated Ozark high School in 2008. He later attended Arkansas Tech University and earned a degree in Emergency Administration and Management in 2012. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Meteorology at Penn State University. Contact or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Tags: Arkansas, 2014 elections, U.S. Senate, Mark Pryor, Skot Covert, College Republicans, Co-Chairman, College Republican National Committee, CRNC

Arkansas Delegation Responds to Citizens' Position On Syria | Cotton Supports Military Strike

All but one member of the Arkansas Congressional delegation will not support the Presidents call for action in Syria.

Steve Brawner, The Courier reported
In eastern Arkansas’ 1st District, Rep. Rick Crawford’s office said Tuesday of more than 700 phone calls his office had received, more than 99 percent had been opposed to a military strike. In Northwest Arkansas’ Third District, Rep. Steve Womack’s office said of 1,500 calls, all but 20 had been opposed. Sen. John Boozman’s office reported it had received more than 3,400 emails and letters opposed, compared to 32 in support. For a while, his office received 250 phone calls a day about the subject, almost all from constituents opposed to a strike.

“What’s been different is they’re not computer-generated, and they’re not paid for by a group, which you see on a lot of issues and we’ve seen a lot in the past,” said Michael Teague, whose boss, Sen. Mark Pryor, is getting stopped in the grocery store by constituents offering their opinions. “They’re not coming from out of state. They’re generally genuine calls from … Arkansas.”

Crawford, Womack, Boozman and Pryor all have said they would vote against a military strike. How much of a role did public opinion play in their decisions?

. . . Griffin, who voted against funding the 2011 strike against Libya, has been openly skeptical since President Obama first started talking about taking military action against Syria. He said he wanted to keep an open mind until he received a classified briefing from administration officials this week. That briefing only hardened his opposition into a firm no.

Even before the flood of contacts began swamping his office, he could tell which way public opinion in Arkansas was heading. If he had been on the fence, it would have made a difference.

“In my experience, if you’re going to vote against 85 percent of your constituents, you’d better have a really compelling reason,” he said.

. . . That’s five members of the delegation opposed to a strike. The sixth, Rep. Tom Cotton in southern and western Arkansas’ 4th District, has been vocally supportive of military action. . . .

Tags: Arkansas, delegation, Syria, bombing Syria,