Monday, March 31, 2014

Pryor Bites the Hand that Feeds Him

 Little Rock, Arkansas— Senator Mark Pryor has made no secret that he will say whatever it takes to try and distance himself from President Obama when talking to Arkansans and that he has no intention of asking the President to come down to Arkansas and campaign on his behalf. Pryor said that Obama  “doesn’t connect well” in Arkansas, and that he has somewhat of a  “hard-left agenda” that is not popular with Pryor and the people of Arkansas.

Despite this, Mark Pryor seems to have no problem collecting cash from the President and his liberal allies. In a fundraising campaign email that Pryor sent out last night, he pled for support by bragging that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), who Obama has raised millions for in recent months, would match donations to Pryor dollar-for-dollar.

“Time and time again, Pryor has put politics ahead of the interests of Arkansans, voting with the President over 90% of the time while pocketing campaign cash and support from President Obama's fundraisers for the DSCC,” said RPA Communications Director Holly Wilson. “What is Pryor promising these liberal organizations for their support and false advertisements? If he wants his actions to match his words, he'll refuse to accept campaign money and resources from President Obama, the DSCC, OFA and Majority PAC.”

Tags: Mark Pryor, bites the hand that feed him. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Coal Bill Protects Energy Security, Lower Rates

by Rep. Rick Crawford, AR-01: In recent years, the Obama Administration has attempted to limit access to affordable energy sources, such as coal and gas. As a result, Arkansas families have experienced skyrocketing energy costs at the pump and in their electric bills.

For years, America has relied upon a mix of energy to power our homes, including coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energies. Access to a variety of energy sources has allowed electric providers to keep costs low by spreading out demand, and investing in infrastructure that’s responsive to market conditions. It also provides energy security where we don’t have to rely on importing foreign energy sources, but instead we can focus on cultivating our resources right here in the United States.

This past winter provided an excellent example of what happens when limited resources face stronger demand. Arkansas saw its coldest winter in 20 years, resulting in higher-than-normal electric usage and bills. According to the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, our state’s rural electric providers rely on coal to provide energy up to a certain point. Natural gas supplements coal consumption as an alternative energy source.

This winter, unseasonably cold temperatures caused a spike in energy usage, meaning energy providers have relied more heavily upon natural gas. Because of the increased demand, natural gas prices have risen nearly 50 percent within the past year, resulting in substantially higher electric bills for consumers.

In the middle of a time when Americans are facing expensive electricity bills, the President has continued to wage war against energy’s first line of defense: coal. Government policies even include limiting the use of clean coal, which greatly reduces carbon dioxide emissions when burned for electrical purposes.

The President’s war on coal has led to expensive regulations that will continue to make electricity rates more expensive for every American. Just by rewriting coal mining regulations, the Administration has spent nearly $10 million to change a 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule with nothing to show for its efforts. In addition, it stands ready to spend millions more should Congress not take action.

Fortunately, the House recently passed the “Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act,” which stops the federal government from wasting taxpayers’ money over this issue while also protecting the 7,000 coal-mining jobs in the U.S.

If these workers ever found themselves without employment, the U.S. would find itself in dire need of a reliable energy source, and consumers would find themselves unable to stomach the massive electric bills in their mailboxes. Arkansas citizens rely daily upon coal-fired plants to provide heating, cooling, and electricity. In fact, more than 50 percent of our energy comes from coal-fired plants.

In response to skyrocketing energy costs, the United States Senate and the President should follow the House’s lead by taking sensible actions that cultivate American energy resources, while protecting the wallets of our citizens.

Tags: Coal Bill, protect energy security, lower rates, President Obama, War on Coal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

RGA Research: "Progressive" Mike Ross' Three-Decade History Of Liberal Partisanship

  “When Mike Ross was in Congress, he consistently bragged about how much of a ‘team player’ he was for Democrats. He raised over a million dollars for them in one year alone and he consistently voted with President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats when it mattered most. He might not want to brag about it now, but Ross can’t hide from his nearly three-decade history of supporting liberal Democrats. Mike Ross has no business calling anyone a partisan.” - RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho

Ross: A “Team Player” For The Democrat Party
Ross, On Democrats: “There’s A Lot More That Unites Us Than Divides Us.” ROSS: “Well, Glenn, I can tell you that, among Democrats, there’s a lot more that unites us than divides us.”  (CNN’s “Glenn Beck,” 11/6/06)

Ross Said He Would Be An Active Campaigner For Democrats, Calling Himself A “Team Player.” “Ross, who has no GOP opponent this year, said he’ll help campaign for Kerry and other Democrats in Arkansas, and he’ll also campaign for Democratic congressional candidates in other states. ‘I’m trying to be a team player,’ Ross said.”  (“Arkansans Look At Race For President,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/23/04)

A Congressional Aide Confirmed Ross Was Seen As “A Team Player,” Having Given Almost $300,000 To The DCCC And Individual Democrats.  “Rep. Mike Ross is on a short list of Democrats being considered for a coveted seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a congressional aide close to the selection process confirmed Wednesday. … Ross, who ran unopposed in November, dipped into his campaign war chest to donate about $200,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he gave about $89,000 to dozens of individual Democratic candidates running in the general election. The reward for Arkansas’ 4th District congressman could well be one of three open seats on the committee reserved for Democrats. … ‘It certainly helps,’ the aide said of Ross’ fund raising, ‘because members in the caucus see you’re a team player willing to help out when you need to.’ The aide spoke on the condition of not being named.”  (“Ross On Short List For Key Panel Seat,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/2/04)

When Ross Considered A Bid For House Leadership, He Boasted To His Democratic Colleagues Of How Much Money He Had Raised For Democrats. “[Ross] is considering making a bid either for a spot in the Democratic leadership or for leadership of the House’s Blue Dog coalition of fiscal conservatives. He said he’ll make a decision within about a week. … In late September, Ross sent a letter to his fellow House Democrats asking them not to commit their support to anyone in the race to become the caucus’s vice chairman, because he might make a bid. In the letter, he pointed out that this year he has directly contributed or raised $1 million toward the election of House Democrats.”  (“Legislators In Majority Relish Win,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 11/9/06)

·         Ross Said He Donated Or Raised More Than $1 Million To Help Democrats Take Control Of Congress That Year. “Ross, in a recent letter to other Democrats, said his contributions to individual candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, combined, total more than $300,000. He added that he had helped the committee raise an additional $700,000.” (“In D.C., Sharing Wealth Routine,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/13/06)

Ross Made Extensive Efforts On Behalf Of The DCCC And Was One Of Rahm Emanuel’s Political “Lieutenants.” “Arkansas’ Rep. Mike Ross has been an active foot soldier in Democrats’ bid to take control of Congress’ lower chamber in November’s midterm elections, playing a prominent role in his party’s ‘red-to-blue’ strategy. … Ross has contributed $150,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fundraising group headed by Emanuel. On top of that, he has raised an additional $517,625, either by making phone calls or drawing donors to fundraisers, according to a committee memo published by Washington Monthly, a liberal political journal, on its Web site. ‘He’s been an integral part of the DCCC’s activities,’ said Adrienne Elrod, a spokesman for the committee. She said Ross has been particularly effective in reaching out to moderate and conservative Democrats. … National Journal, another Washington policy magazine, has described Ross as one of ‘Rahm’s Lieutenants.’ Ross is one of eight members of Congress who huddle with Emanuel during semi-regular Thursday meetings to plot strategy.” (“Ross A Kinetic Player In ‘Red-To-Blue’ Plan,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/7/06)

As The 111th Congress Began, Speaker Pelosi “Briefly Cupped Ross’ Cheeks” Before Turning The Gavel Over To Him After Members Were Sworn In. “House members, having just been administered their oaths of office by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, began to file out of the chamber, jammed to capacity with the lawmakers and their children. Pelosi turned to leave the speaker’s perch and was greeted by Arkansas’ Rep. Mike Ross. They shook hands, and Pelosi briefly cupped Ross’ cheeks. Then the 111th Congress got down to business. Ross, who presided over the previous Congress for more than 100 hours, had been chosen by Pelosi to be the first speaker pro tempore of the new Congress because of ‘his firm grasp of procedure,’ according to a release from Pelosi’s office. Ross hammered the gavel. … It was up to Ross to mediate the debate on House Resolution 5, which would set the rules by which the Democratic majority will run the chamber.” (“Arkansans Gear Up For 111th Congress,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/7/09)

Ross Gave $478 To President 2009 Obama’s Inauguration Committee. (Center For Responsive Politics Website)

Ross Voted In Lockstep With Democrats And President Obama Most Of The Time
For Most Of His Congressional Career, Ross Voted With Democrats 82% of the Time. Between 2001 and 2010, Ross voted with Democrats 82% of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly (taking the average of his yearly party support scores).  (CQ.com, Accessed 3/30/14)

When It Mattered Most, Ross Stood With President Obama. In the first two years of President Obama’s first term – when Congress was debating the stimulus, bailouts, Obamacare and more – Ross stood with President Obama. According to Congressional Quarterly, he voted in support of the President’s position 87% of time in 2009 and 74% of the time in 2010.  (CQ.com, Accessed 3/30/14)

·         In February 2009, Ross Voted For The $787 Billion Obama Stimulus Bill, Which Raised The Debt Limit To $12.1 Trillion. “The 2009 economic stimulus law set the debt limit at $12.1 trillion. Congress increased the limit in December 2009 and February 2010 and again last summer, as part of a bipartisan budget agreement.” (“Senate Vote Approves Rise In Debt Limit,” The New York Times, 1/27/12)

·         In December 2009, Ross Voted To Increase The Debt Limit By $290 Billion. “To permit continued financing of Government operations. … Increases the public debt limit from $12.104 trillion to $12.394 trillion.” (H.R. 4314,Vote #988: Passed 218-214: D 218-39, R 0-175, 12/16/09, Ross Voted Yea)

·         In February 2010, Ross Voted To Increase The Debt Limit By $1.9 Trillion. “Increases the statutory limit on the public debt from $12.394 trillion to $14.294 trillion.” (H.J. Res 45, Vote #48: Passed 233-187: D 233-15, R 0-172, 2/4/10, Ross Voted Yea)

·         In August 2011, Ross Voted For The Budget Control Act, Which Gave President Obama The Authority To Seek A Debt Ceiling Increase Of More Than $2 Trillion. (S. 365, Vote #Vote #690: Passed 269-161: R 174-66, D 95-95, 8/1/11, Ross Voted Yea)

·         In January 2012, Ross Voted In Support Of President Obama’s Request To Raise The Debt Limit By $1.2 Trillion. “Relating to the disapproval of the President’s exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as submitted under section 3101A of title 31, United States Code, on January 12, 2012.” (H.J. Res. 98, Vote #4: Passed 239-176: R 233-1, D 6-175, 1/18/12, Ross Voted Nay)

National Journal Analysis: In Ten Of His Twelve Years, Ross’ Voting Record Was More Liberal Than At Least 54% Of His House Colleagues. Only in 2009 and 2010 did Ross vote more conservatively than half of the members of the House, according to National Journal. His highest liberal mark was in 2003, when his voting record was more liberal than 62% of his colleagues. (National Journal Website, www.nationaljournal.com, Accessed 3/30/14)

Ross Was A Self-Described “Progressive” When He Joined The State Senate
As Ross Took His Seat In The State Senate In 1991, He Called Himself A “Progressive.” “Mike Ross of Prescott won’t feel like a newcomer when he takes his state Senate seat Monday… Ross, 29, calls himself a ‘progressive’ who would prefer to plan ahead rather than react to problems after they have developed.” (“Ross Takes Seat With Bills In Hand,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/13/91)

Early In His Career, “Ross Positioned Himself With The Progressive Wing Of The Democratic Party…” “Ross is a political ‘survivor,’ said Jay Barth, a political science professor at Hendrix College in Conway. Barth was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. He said that as a state senator and then during his first congressional campaign, Ross positioned himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.”  (“Ross Wrapping Up 12-Year D.C. Stint,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/30/12)

Ross Was An Aide To Michael Dukakis During His 1988 Presidential Bid And Effusively Praised His Convention Speech
Ross Took A Leave Of Absence From Lt. Governor Bryant’s Staff To Run The Dukakis Campaign In Arkansas. “Mike Ross of Prescott, an aide to Lieutenant Governor Winston Bryant, has been named di-rector of the Arkansas campaign of Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bryant, who heads the campaign in Arkansas, said in a news release that Ross had taken a leave of absence from the lieutenant governor’s office to work in the Dukakis campaign.”  (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/14/88)

Ross Called Dukakis’ Convention Speech “Maybe The Best Speech I Ever Heard.” “Arkansas reaction to Michael Dukakis’ speech Thursday night ranged from the sheer ecstasy of Dukakis supporters to the cautious encouragement of Jesse Jackson supporters. ‘Maybe the best speech I ever heard,’ Mike Ross, who was Dukakis’ floor whip for Arkansas, said.”  (“Tremendous,” Gannett News Service, 7/22/88)

Tags: Mike Ross, progressive, 3 decades, liberal partisanship To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pryor's Defense Of Obamacare And Difficult Path To Victory

  On the 3/29/14 edition of Arkansas Week, Independent journalist Steve Brawner noted Senator Mark Pryor's lack of any attempt to sign on to legislation that seeks to fix Obamacare. Brawner also noted the difficult environment Pryor faces after voting with President Obama 95% of the time.

Editor's Note:  Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) has sided with President Obama even when the policies are wrong for families and workers in Arkansans. Despite proclaiming to be a champion on spending issues, the national debt has increased more than $54,000 for every household in Arkansas since Barack Obama took office.

In 2007, Mark Pryor pledged to rein in federal spending: “I believe the government should take a page from Arkansas families who work very hard to live within their means. That includes making tough budget decisions and saying no to many spending increases and tax cuts that are attractive, but simply not affordable options right now."

Unfortunately for the Natural State, Pryor's record falls far short of his rhetoric. His promises to rein in spending turned out to be completely false. Pryor promised Arkansans back in 2002, that he was "not in Washington to represent the President," but proves time and again that he is doing just that. The reality is, Mark Pryor is one of Barack Obama's most partisan allies in the Senate.

In addition to the nearly $7 trillion in debt that has been accumulated since Barack Obama took office, Mark Pryor has supported detrimental policies that would mean higher taxes and higher costs for Arkansans including:
  • ObamaCare: Costs $1.5 trillion over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office.
  • Failed Stimulus: $825 billion stimulus bill that failed to deliver the jobs promised.
  • Omnibus: Pryor voted for the $446.8 billion 2010 omnibus bill, containing $3.9 billion in earmarks.
  • Earmarks: In March 2009, Pryor voted for the earmark-laden 2009 omnibus appropriations bill.

  • Tags: Steve Brawner, Mark Pryor, voted with Obama, 95% of the time To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Arkansas GOP Asks To Intervene In Voter ID Suit

Or Will It In Arkansas?
Bill Smith, Editor Comment: The following story is shared under the Fair Use Doctrine for educational purposes. It is a new day when Arkansas Democrats shift their well established position on the counting of absentee votes. For about 140 years (including the upcoming 2014 elections), Democrat county election officials control all the elections in every county in Arkansas.  There standard mantra in prior years -- every absentee vote should count.

Historically, for decades, only democrat candidates were on the ballots in Arkansas counties. However, the major shift in dynamics has revealed Arkansas voters have had it with plantation politics and have voted more for Republican and other party choices.

It is a new day in Arkansas when the old mantra of the Democrats that "every absentee vote should count regardless of the documentation provided" is set aside. Which in prior elections, included the voting dead, vote cast by others than the actual voters, voter fraud by nursing home staffs, and allowed double voting. In one Arkansas county, Election Commissioners identified voters who had voted twice - at the polls and by absentee. The Election Commission identified and submitted this situation to their County Prosecutor, a democrat. The prosecutor refused to pursue the case of illegal double voting.

So, why are Democrats changing positions and NOT wanting every vote to count or specifically  for absentee voters to have the same option as those voting on election day to provide  verification of  voter id information. This doesn't pass the smell test. Which could lead us to consider that Arkansas Democrat power brokers fear that if additional time for IDs were allowed, then there would be more votes by Republicans allowed than votes for Democrats.   It appears Democrats are willing to advocate the "new" position detailed in the below article in order to reduce  the number of votes cast for Republican candidates by not allowing the time to verify the actual voter which is allowed voters casting provisional ballots at the polls.  Hey, Democrats, what happened to your "every vote should count" -- at least for legal voters?

by Andrew DeMillo, Stuggart Daily Reader: The Arkansas Republican Party wants to intervene in a lawsuit over how absentee ballots are handled under the state's new voter ID law, arguing that the state's Democratic attorney general can't adequately represent GOP voters.

The GOP on Wednesday asked a Pulaski County judge to allow it to help defend the state Board of Election Commissioners for adopting a rule that gives absentee voters additional time to show proof of ID. The Pulaski County Election Commission claimed in a lawsuit earlier this month that the state panel overstepped its bounds with the new rule.

The rule allows voters who did not submit required identification with their absentee ballot to turn in the documents for their vote to be counted by noon Monday following an election. It mirrors an identical "cure period" the law gives to voters who fail to show identification at the polls.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a legal opinion in February in which he said absentee voters could not be given additional time to cast ballots, because that wasn't specified in the law. His opinion conflicted with advice that the Republican secretary of state's office had given to local election officials.

The GOP argued that McDaniel "has put himself in a legal box from which there is no escape."

"This action therefore represents the classic example of the fox guarding the hen house," the Republican Party said in its filing. "Arkansas Republican voters are being attacked on two fronts. One comes from the attorney general. The other from Pulaski County election officials."

McDaniel pushed back against the GOP arguments.

"This is not a partisan matter," McDaniel said in a statement. "This is about defending the actions of a state board, which is something my office does effectively every single day."

The GOP also filed a proposed motion to dismiss the Pulaski panel's lawsuit if the party is allowed to intervene.
The Republican-led Legislature approved the voter ID law last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has said it plans to ask a state judge to block the law.

Tags: Voter ID, absentee ballots, Democrats, Republicans, Arkansas, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Arkansas House Delegation Introduces ‘Common Sense in Species Protection Act’

 Washington, D.C. —The U.S. House delegation from Arkansas introduced legislation Thursday requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to consider social and economic evaluations for affected private and public land owners before issuing a Critical Habitat Designation (CHD).

The bill—known as the Common Sense in Species Protection Act, or H.R. 4319—has Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-1) as its sponsor, with Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-2), Rep. Steve Womack (AR-3), and Rep. Tom Cotton (AR-4) serving as cosponsors.

Crawford said his reasoning for sponsoring the bill relates to FWS only using a cumulative approach when determining a CHD.

“The Common Sense in Species Protection Act will ensure that a true economic impact study on the people, businesses, and municipalities in the proposed area will take place before any private or public property is put in a Critical Habitat Designation,” said Crawford. “The cumulative approach favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service lacks the common sense necessary to ensure there is no excessive overreach by the agency to the detriment of private and public land owners.”

The bill has gained support among various state and farm groups, including the Arkansas Farm Bureau (ArFB), which lists CHD as a top legislative priority. ArFB President Randy Veach said Congressman Crawford’s bill offers a common-sense approach to cooperatively dealing with endangered species issue in Arkansas and nationwide.

“Expanding the reach of the Endangered Species Act, through designating larger Critical Habitat Areas without taking into consideration their effects on agriculture, would add unnecessary burdensome regulations on farmers and ranchers,” said Veach. “This could drastically affect the economy of the state’s largest industry, agriculture. Representative Crawford’s common-sense approach in his bill would help eliminate this problem. I want to thank the congressman for sponsoring the bill and also thank the rest of the Arkansas congressional delegation, Representatives Cotton, Griffin and Womack for co-sponsoring it.”

The federal agencies involved in determining a CHD, including FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service, only consider consulting costs with agencies when a federal interaction activity may affect Critical Habitat; basically, the cost of paperwork. These agencies often claim no true economic impact will occur when creating a CHD, based on the assumption the listing process alone realizes any impact.

The Common Sense in Species Protection Act does not interfere or change the listing process, nor does it suggest protecting species as threatened or endangered is inappropriate. The legislation simply requires agencies involved in declaring a CHD to perform a true economic impact study on the people, businesses and municipalities in the proposed area.

Crawford said he appreciated the support of his Arkansas delegation colleagues.

“I want to thank them for joining me as we work to advance this common-sense legislation in the House,” he said. “I think making the Critical Habitat Designation process more transparent will better represent the spirit of the Endangered Species Act and will better serve the lives and livelihoods of all Arkansans.”

Tags: Rick Crawford, AR-02, Arkansas, House delegation, common sense, Species Protection Act  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

A New Low Even for ObamaCare

   by Holly Wilson, RPA Communications Director:   Spring may have finally arrived this week after what seemed like an endless winter, but there was no Spring Break 2014 in the Arkansas Campaign world! Here is your RPA update from the week.

Save the Date - It’s time to debate! The Arkansas Young Republicans will be hosting a primary debate on Saturday, April 19 at 9 am at the Clarion Inn Medical Center in Little Rock with the Republican Primary Candidates for the Second Congressional District, Fourth Congressional District, Attorney General and Governor. This free of charge event will be open to the public and is a GREAT opportunity to get to know your Arkansas GOP candidates! If there are any topics you would like to have your candidates discuss you can submit your questions to Nathan Caldwell at caldwell.nathan@weiser-brown.com for consideration.

Un –Happy Birthday, ObamaCare! This past Sunday ObamaCare turned four, but the law certainly hasn’t gotten better with age. In fact, four years later the damage is more real than ever. Families who have lost their insurance plans or their doctors are hurting. Working men and women have seen their hours cut. Arkansas Seniors Medicare premiums are skyrocketing while their coverage is shrinking. Today, support for ObamaCare, a law that six in ten Arkansans oppose, hit its lowest point since it was enacted four years ago, according to a new poll. Arkansans know that Mike Ross was THE lead negotiator to pass ObamaCare out of the last committee in the House. And Arkansans know that Mark Pryor cast THE deciding vote to pass ObamaCare into law in the Senate. Now, thanks to Ross and Pryor, Arkansas is (temporarily) stuck with this disastrous law.

Following the Liberal Leader - Last weekend in an interview that appeared on “Talk Business & Politics” Mike Ross blatantly misrepresented the facts concerning his support for Nancy Pelosi. This was an attempt to mislead Arkansans and downplay his role in electing Pelosi as Speaker of the House FOUR times. In Washington, Pelosi and Ross voted together for trillions in debt, runaway spending, the Wall Street bailout and the failed Obama stimulus. So not only did Ross support Nancy Pelosi, but he followed her liberal lead and Arkansans deserve better!

An Expert Opinion…  Statistician and elections expert Nate Silver is predicting that Mark Pryor has an eye-opening 70% chance of losing his Senate seat. The noted data guru also predicted that there is a 60% chance that voters replace the Democratic Senate majority in the fall. This assessment is just the latest bad news for Pryor, who is the most vulnerable Senator this cycle. In fact, an annual University of Arkansas poll, showed Mark Pryor had the lowest approval rating for any state-wide elected official in the past ten years.

Retire Pryor!  Yesterday, several vulnerable Democrat senators seeking re-election authored an op-ed in Politico laying out their blueprint for "fixing" Obamacare. The authors included some of 2014's most endangered red-state senators, but notably absent from the pitch was our very own endangered species, Mark Pryor! After all, why would Pryor want to fix something that he thinks is an, “ amazing success” and “ creating jobs”? This is just yet another example of how out of touch Pryor is with Arkansas. It is time to retire Pryor!

Tags: RPA, newsletter, new low, Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Why Democrats Want To Abolish Lt. Governor Office?

by Debbie Pelley:   Have you noticed that the Democrats are on the warpath to abolish Lt. Governor Offices?  The following facts explain the reason.   Personally I am offended when Democrats use money as an excuse to cut such things as Lt. Governor office after they spend our taxpayer money lavishly on unnecessary things and run the deficit up to $17 trillion and still increasing every day. 

            There are currently 32 Republicans and 18 Democrats serving as lieutenant governor or serving as the first in the line of succession.  See first paragraph at this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_United_States_lieutenant_governors#List_of_lieutenant_governors_by_state

                Eleven sitting governors were former Lt. Governors.   See Prior Experience column for Governor of each state

                Currently, 25 states elect a lieutenant governor on a ticket with the governor, while 18 states elect a lieutenant governor separately. Only five states do not elect a Lt. Governor.  So why the sudden push to do away with the Lt. Governor offices in Arkansas after such a long history of Lt. Governors in so many states?  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_United_States_lieutenant_governors#List_of_lieutenant_governors_by_state

            An article urging abolishment of Lt. Gov. in Rhode Island.
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Editor's comment: If recent history has proven anything, it is that DemocRats do NOT have the best interest for either Americans in general or Arkansans in particular.

Tags: Democrat, agenda, abolish, State, Lt Governors To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman to Host Telephone Town Hall Monday

WASHINGTON U.S. Senator John Boozman is inviting Arkansans to participate in a telephone town hall on Monday, March 31 at 7 p.m. This statewide event allows Arkansans the ability to ask Boozman questions over the phone or listen to the conversation about the issues impacting our state.

“An open line of communication with my constituents is the best way to fulfill my commitment to the people of Arkansas. I think one of the best tools we can use to help keep our constituents informed is the ability to interact live in a tele-town hall format. We’ve had great participation in the past and we’re looking to have more Arkansans join our call,” Boozman said.

Arkansans interested in participating in the call can get their phone number added to the call list by submitting their information on Boozman’s website www.boozman.senate.gov. The Senator will begin calling participants at 7 p.m. central on Monday.

Tags: Arkansas, U.S. Senator, John Boozman, telephone, townhall, Monday, March 31, 2014,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Boozman Promotes IRS Free File

WASHINGTON – With tax day drawing near, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) urges Arkansans to take advantage of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Free File program which offers an easy, convenient and free way to file federal tax returns.

“Arkansans don’t have to spend countless hours preparing their taxes with a pencil, calculator and eraser. Free File takes the taxing out of taxes and provides eligible taxpayers with free online individual income tax preparation and electronic filing services. This is an easy and convenient way to file a tax return or submit an extension,” Boozman said.

Taxpayers with a 2013 Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less may visit http://www.IRS.gov/freefile to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. Free File also offers basic federal e-filing services regardless of income.

Since 2003, 40 million taxpayers have taken advantage of the Free File program, saving about $1.2 billion a year.

“Free File makes tax time simple, fast and free for 70 percent of Americans,” Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance said. “Since 2003, the Free File Alliance has partnered with the IRS to give taxpayers access to leading online tax preparation software and critical step-by-step support. This year, we invite every taxpayer making $58,000 or less to join the 40 million Americans who have already saved time and money by using Free File.”

Free File is made possible through a public-private partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a non-profit coalition of leading tax software companies. IRS Free File is available at www.IRS.gov/freefile, which provides a list of Free File Alliance member companies and their free tax software offerings.

Boozman is a cosponsor of S. 669, the Free File Program Act. This bill would authorize and direct the Treasury Secretary to continue to operate the IRS Free File Program that provides all taxpayers with the opportunity to complete and file electronically their federal tax returns at no cost to the taxpayer.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coleman Proposes Eight Years of Tax Cuts

  NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  Businessman and conservative Republican candidate for governor Curtis Coleman proposed today eight consecutive years of state income tax cuts for Arkansas taxpayers. Coleman announced his tax and regulatory proposals, "Let Arkansas Prosper," at his campaign headquarters in North Little Rock.

Coleman's plan also calls for the elimination of corporate taxes on Arkansas' "Mom and Pop" businesses, small businesses with net taxable incomes of less than $1 million.

Coleman said the State needs to draw even with neighboring states by exempting all military retiree pay from state income taxes.  "And it's simply the right thing to do," Coleman said.

In his plan to reduce the number of Arkansans living in poverty, Coleman calls for all Arkansas' counties with a median household income of less than the state average of about $40,100 to be designated tax-free enterprise zones. New businesses that don't compete with existing businesses in these zones can locate in these designated counties and operate with no corporate tax payments for their first 10 years.
"I have no doubt we can do this," Coleman said.  "Arkansas has the capacities and resources to be one of the most prosperous states in the country.  The adjustments we need to make are not radical or extreme.  My proposals just give us an opportunity to successfully compete with other states for better paying jobs and more opportunities to be the successful people we can be."
The entire text of Coleman's plan is available here.

The Coleman Plan for a Prosperous Arkansas proposes these goals for an eight-year Coleman Administration:

1. An unemployment rate of less than 5%.
2. 100,000 new jobs.
3. Family incomes up by 32% with a medium household income ranking of not less than 25th in the nation.
4. A 20% reduction in the average cost of state government per person.
5. A 20% reduction of the number of Arkansans living below the poverty level.

How do we get there?

1. Reduce the Tax Burden on Arkansas Tax Payers
2. Reduce the Tax Burden on Arkansas Job Creators
3. Limit the Growth of Government
4: Lift from the Bottom
5: Get Government, Education, Business and Industry on the Same Track
6. Remove the Roadblocks

Highlights of his plan will include:
1. Multi-year personal state income tax reductions.
2. Tax relief for Arkansas' "Mom and Pop" businesses.
3. Tax relief for Arkansas Military Veterans - To be competitive, Arkansas must exempt 100% of military retired pay and Survivor Benefit Plan payments from state income taxes.
4. A cap on the growth of state government.
5. Special tax incentives for Arkansas' poorest counties.
6. Education policy to support new industry and business.

Tags: Curtis Coleman, Let Arkansas Propsper Olan, Proposed Tax Cuts, Economic development, candidate, Arkansas Republican Governor, 2014 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Movie Titles That Best Describe Sen. Pryor's Voting Record

Via Tom Cotton Campaign Senator Mark Pryor is out of touch with Arkansas, and he's the only one that doesn't know it.

Tags: Mark Pryor, movie titles, voting record To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We Are Not Surprised . . .

 Senator Pryor Supported President Obama's liberal agenda 95% of the time!
It is time for a change - Time to Boot Pryor!

Tags: Mark Pryor, Supported President Obama, liberal agenda, 95% of the time, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Mike Ross Misrepresents the Facts

 Little Rock, Arkansas—This weekend in an interview that appeared on “Talk Business & Politics” Mike Ross blatantly misrepresented the facts concerning his support for Nancy Pelosi. This was an attempt to mislead Arkansans and downplay his role in electing Pelosi as Speaker of the House four times. Pelosi and Ross voted together for trillions in debt, runaway spending, the Wall Street bailout and the failed Obama stimulus.

“It is no surprise that Mike Ross would want to distance himself from the unpopular candidate that he played an instrumental role in electing four times as U.S. Speaker of the House, but the facts speak for themselves,” said RPA Chairman Doyle Webb. “In Washington, Ross supported Nancy Pelosi and followed her liberal lead hoping Arkansans wouldn’t find out about it. Well, he was dead wrong.”

FACT: In 2003, Ross voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. (Election of the Speaker, 1/7/03, http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2003/roll002.xml)
FACT: In 2005, Ross voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House (Election of the Speaker, 1/4/05, http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll002.xml )
FACT: In 2007, Ross voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House (Election of the Speaker, 1/4/07, http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll002.xml)
FACT: In 2009, Ross voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House (Election of the Speaker, 1/6/09, http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll002.xml)

Tags: Mike Ross, misrepresents the facts, facts,  voted for Speaker Pelosi, 4 times, supported liberal agenda, failed blue dog To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crawford Addresses FEMA Flood Insurance and District Work Week | Makes Stops in Batesville, Jonesboro

 U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, AR-01: While home from Washington last week, I had the privilege to see several important projects across Arkansas' First District, and one fact kept hitting me throughout the week: we have a strikingly beautiful District.

On Wednesday, I traveled to Batesville, taking part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the city's local airport, touring Ozark Mountain Poultry's facility, and participating in a luncheon at Lyon College. In addition, I saw construction taking place at the city's wastewater management facility.

In the middle of this construction, several eagles flew overhead, on the lookout for a next meal. In the backdrop, hills and rivers dotted the landscape. It was a really remarkable sight.

But it's not limited to just one city. Whether it's the lush rice fields in Arkansas County, the southern Ozark Mountains in Baxter County, or the blindingly-white cotton fields in Mississippi County, our District displays some amazing scenery throughout the year.

I encourage each of us to stop and observe some of it this week

THE WEEK AHEAD IN WASHINGTON... To learn more about this week's legislative schedule in the House, please click HERE.

Flood Insurance Bill Ensures Affordable Rates in First District
During the seventeenth century, English jurist Sir Edward Coke wrote, “A man’s house is his castle and fortress.” From this quote, we’ve got the legal principle that no person may enter another’s home without permission; making homes a safe haven for owners.

The act of home ownership echoes America’s priorities of freedom and liberty, and many citizens have or aspire to have their own “castles,” regardless of how big or small.

Sadly, government often gets in the way of who can affordably live within certain parts of the country. In fact, many of Arkansas’ First District residents recently encountered these hardships while paying off their mortgages; often, it happened overnight.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency—otherwise known as FEMA—remapped what it considered “flood zones,” including large swaths of communities and rural areas which never faced this label. FEMA’s one-size-fits-all action triggered a chain reaction, resulting in unforeseen expenses for residents within these areas.

Many of these homeowners never carried flood insurance, because only houses within flood zones required that sort of coverage. When the remapping took effect, mortgage companies realized many borrowers without flood insurance suddenly needed it; borrowers years into those mortgages, too. In turn, borrowers often had trouble accessing flood insurance through their insurance providers because of availability or expense. Many borrowers looked to the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for an affordable level of protection meeting their mortgage companies’ requirements. However, a 2012 law stood to create massive spikes for NFIP premiums.

It’s similar to running a track and field event and having an onlooker unexpectedly place hurdles on the track in the middle of the race. Meanwhile, that person raises the hurdles further into the race. It shouldn’t happen, and it’s not how our government should operate.

I appreciate every constituent who informed me about this situation, and I’m happy to report many of my colleagues joined me in correcting this flaw.

In November, I cosponsored H.R. 3370, known as the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013.” Earlier this month, both the House and Senate passed the bill by votes of 306 to 91 and 72 to 22, respectively. This Act would allow existing—or “grandfathered”—borrowers within remapped flood zones to continue having access to below-market rates, and it requires FEMA’s Administrator to cap premium increases at 18 percent annually; ensuring affordable housing remains an option for residents unfortunate to live within FEMA’s new boundaries.

It’s a start to correcting this issue. Ultimately though, until we limit government agencies from unnecessarily creating burdensome regulations for First District homeowners, we’ll continue pushing to make a man’s or woman’s house, truly a castle.

Tags: IRick Crawford, AR-01, VEMA, Flood Insurance, NSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Pryor Keeps Quiet on ObamaCare Anniversary

 Little Rock, AR – This past Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of President Obama signing ObamaCare into law. However, after all of Democrat Senator Mark Pryor’s broken promises, there was very little reason to celebrate.

It wasn’t that long ago that Mark Pryor cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, a vote for which Arkansans are still paying the price. Under ObamaCare, Arkansans were promised that health care would become more affordable, it has not. Pryor also falsely said that it would protect an individual’s choice of doctor, it  has not. Now Arkansans also stand to lose their doctors…despite promises otherwise.

Mark Pryor’s countless broken promises illustrate exactly why he can’t be trusted to keep his word. More than six in ten Arkansans oppose this disastrous law, yet Pryor remains ignorantly out of touch, claiming ObamaCare has been an  “amazing success story.”

“It’s no surprise that Senator Pryor skipped the grim anniversary of Obamacare this Sunday. Pryor should admit that he made a mistake when he cast the deciding vote and falsely promised Arkansans they’d be able to keep their health insurance plans,”  said RPA Communications Director Holly Wilson.  “Families across Arkansas are suffering as a result of Mark Pryor’s broken promises. It’s clear that Arkansans can no longer trust Mark Pryor when it comes to important issues that affect their families, friends, and co-workers.”

Tags: Senator Mark Pryor, silent on, Obamacare anniversary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Pryor Said: ObamaCare Isn't Killing Jobs, It's Creating Them

  Prior's own words::
A blatant lie! And we thought Sen. Blanche Lincoln was bad and sent her packing. If we don't do the same for Mark Pryor, Arkansas will owe Blanch an apology.

Tags: ISenator Mark Pryor, praising Obamacare,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pryor Supported President Obama's Anti-Second Amendment Candidate


Judge Robert Wilkins is hostile to the 2nd Amendment, but Mark Pryor voted to invoke cloture and to confirm him to the D.C. Circuit.

As a district court judge on the federal district court for D.C., Wilkins ruled that a law-abiding U.S. citizen did not have the right to buy a gun for self-defense if he wasn't also currently a resident of a U.S. state. Dearth v Holder (D.D.C. 2012)

Call Senator Pryor at (202) 224-2353 and tell him to stop siding with President Obama's radical gun control agenda and vote AGAINST anti-gun judges.

Tags: IMark Pryor, Robert Wilins, anti-gun, anti-second amendment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Four Years Later and Obamacare Worse than Ever

 Little Rock, Arkansas—Republican Party of Arkansas Executive Director Megan Tollett released the following statement regarding the 4th anniversary of Obamacare.

“This Sunday marks the 4th anniversary of Obamacare and four years later, the damage is more real than ever. Families who have lost their insurance plans or their doctors are hurting. Working men and women have seen their hours cut. Arkansas Seniors Medicare premiums are skyrocketing while their coverage is shrinking,” said Tollett.

“Obamacare is not right for Arkansas and Senator Mark Pryor and Mike Ross are to blame.”

Audio of Executive Director Megan Tollett’s remarks is available for download for radio on our website here.

Tags: RPA, Obamacare, 4th Anniversary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

After Voting 95% With Obama, Pryor Heads To Hollywood To Cash In

 Pryor jets out to Hollywood to hobnob with elite California liberals
 Little Rock, Arkansas — Voting with President Obama 95% of the time certainly has its perks. One of which is that, when facing a difficult re-election, you can jet off to California and stuff your campaign coffers with $10,400 checks from Hollywood liberals like Senator Mark Pryor did last night.
As was previously reported, Pryor was the red carpet guest last night of Hollywood executive Alan Horn and his wife, environmental activist Cindy Horn in California. They were joined by several other Hollywood executives from various movie studios, including some who paid $10,400 for dinner and some time with one of President Obama's most reliable allies in the U.S. Senate. 
Cotton spokesman David Ray said: "After five years of putting President Obama's agenda first, its no wonder that Hollywood liberals are shelling out $10,000 a plate to support Senator Pryor's re-election. Unlike Arkansas voters, these Hollywood leftists are ecstatic to share the 4th anniversary of Obamacare with the man who continues to call it 'an amazing success'."

Here's a sampling of Pryor's voting record, matched with the movie titles they fit.
Gone With The Wind – As in your tax dollars!  Senator Pryor has never seen a bailout he wouldn’t vote for and supported President Obama’s wasteful “stimulus” bill that spent more than $1 million per job created.
Chicago! - After all, Pryor votes with Obama 95 percent of the time.
Pinocchio - As Senator Pryor continues telling tall tales (If you like your insurance, you can keep it!), he starts to resemble the Disney charachter prone to telling lies.

All The King’s Men – May not be able to put Senator Mark Pryor’s campaign together again after he voted against Arkansans and with President Obama 95% of the time.

An American in Paris – Pryor cast the decisive vote for Obamacare, pushing America toward a European-style government run health care system.

From Here to Eternity – Is how long it might take to pay down our national debt that has increased from $6 trillion to more than $17 trillion during Senator Mark Pryor’s time in the U.S. Senate.
The Greatest Show on Earth – Is what Senator Mark Pryor continues to try to put on to convince Arkansas voters that Obamacare is working.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Will be affordable for a lot fewer people now that they’re paying more for health insurance than for their mortgages under Senator Mark Pryor’s Obamacare law.

Around the World in 80 Days – Describes Senator Mark Pryor’s dizzying positions on abortion.  He “always leaned toward the pro-life side,” but also said, “I am pro choice,” and has high vote ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood.

Thelma & Louise – Might want to drive over a cliff after seeing their health care premiums double under Senator Pryor’s Obamacare law. 

Tags: Mark Pryor, Democrat, progressive, Hollywood, fund raiser To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, March 21, 2014

 Democrat Leaders Say ObamaCare a First Step Toward Single-Payer European-Style Health Care...
Does Mark Pryor Agree?
Just days before Mark Pryor celebrates the four year anniversary of the ObamaCare law that he was the deciding vote on, Nancy Pelosi declared that the unpopular law is a "winner." When asked whether Democrats (like Mark Pryor) will win or lose at the polls because of ObamaCare, Democrat Leader Pelosi declared: "You’ll have to ask the member, but I believe it’s a winner."  Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has said that ObamaCare has been, "wonderful for America." Polls show that 63% of Arkansans disapprove of ObamaCare
That's when Pelosi's comments grew far more interesting. The House Democratic Leader explained that like Harry Reid, who Mark Pryor supports as Majority Leader, she supports shifting to a European-style, single-payer health care system. In other words, Pelosi and Reid support ObamaCare on steroids. 
The fact that the two top Democratic Leaders in Washington beyond President Obama have both expressed support for a European-style system raises serious questions for Mark Pryor:
  1. Does Senator Pryor agree with his leaders in Washington that ultimately a single-payer, European system is optimal?
  2. Does Senator Pryor support "ObamaCare on steroids?"  
  3. Would Senator Pryor join Reid's push for single-payer health care system?
  4. Despite the higher premiums, cancelled health care policies, and fewer hours for workers, does Mark Pryor share the views of his leaders that ObamaCare has been a "winner" for Arkansans?
“Mark Pryor seeks to put ObamaCare on steroids by moving toward a single-payer, European-style health care system and that is bad for Arkansans," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. "Mark Pryor has voted with President Obama a staggering 90% of the time and put the liberal Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda ahead of doing what is best for hard working Arkansans."

Tags: Mark Pryor, Obamacare, Single Payor system, Big Government,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mike Ross: A Man Of Many Flip-Flops On ObamaCare

by Republican Governor's Association “Mike Ross, a self-described ‘progressive,’ went to Congress ‘to reform health care.’ In Congress, as the ObamaCare debate raged on Capitol Hill, Ross took so many conflicting positions on health care reform, one has to wonder what the Congressman-turned-lobbyist-turned-gubernatorial candidate really believes. Ross supported the public option, then he didn’t. Ross equated the individual mandate to buying car insurance, then opposed it. Ross supported the Independent Payment Advisory Board, then wanted to repeal it, but voted against the repeal. Confused? Arkansas deserves true leadership, not this flip-flopping political expediency we’ve seen from Mike Ross.” – RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho


Ross Was A Self-Described “Progressive” When He Joined The State Senate

As Ross Took His Seat In The State Senate In 1991, He Called Himself A “Progressive.” “Mike Ross of Prescott won’t feel like a newcomer when he takes his state Senate seat Monday. For four years, he was an administrative assistant to Lt. Gov. Winston Bryant, who was the Senate’s nominal presiding officer, and he knows the chamber’s players already. … Ross, 29, calls himself a ‘progressive’ who would prefer to plan ahead rather than react to problems after they have developed.” (“Ross Takes Seat With Bills In Hand,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/13/91)

Early In His Career, “Ross Positioned Himself With The Progressive Wing Of The Democratic Party…” “He said that as a state senator and then during his first congressional campaign, Ross positioned himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. But his district, like many areas of the South, began to lean more heavily Republican over the past decade, and Ross began to take a more conservative stance, Barth said. ‘He has been a very ambidextrous politician,’ Barth said.” (“Ross Wrapping Up 12-Year D.C. Stint,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/30/12)

Why Did Ross Run For Congress? “To Reform Health Care”

Ross: “One Of The Biggest Reasons I Ran For Congress Was Because I Wanted To Reform Health Care.”  (Steven T. Dennis, “Ross Is Blue Dogs’ Bulldog,” Roll Call, 7/20/09)

Ross Retired From Congress Because He Was Burned Out On Politics And Wanted To Be A Lobbyist

Ross Said He Had Become “Burnt Out” On Politics. “U.S. Rep. Mike Ross said Tuesday that he fully intended to run for Arkansas governor when he left Congress but that he had become ‘burnt out’ after 22 years in politics and wanted to spend more time with his family. … ‘Campaigns have become so dirty and everything’s become so partisan and everything’s become so expensive since I first started in this business in 1990,’ Ross told The Associated Press. ‘I’m just burnt out.’ … [Ross]: ‘At the end of the day it wasn’t a political decision. It was just a very personal decision, and I made a decision based on what I thought was best for me and my family.’”  (“Ross: Would Have Had ‘Decent’ Shot At Ark. Gov.,” The Associated Press, 5/15/12)

Ross: “Maybe 22 Years In Elected Office Is Enough … I Feel Like A Huge Burden Has Been Lifted. … I Just Don’t Want To Be On The Ballot Anymore.”  (“Politics No Fun Anymore, Ross Says Of Departure,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/16/12)

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s John Brummett: “Ross Told Me I Could Call Him A Lobbyist If I Insisted…” “‘I’m 51. I’ve got to do something for a living,’ Ross said. ‘My Social Security retirement age is not until 67.’ So he accepted, effective next year, the overture of the Southwest Power Pool in Little Rock. It’s for a new position of vice president for government and public relations. This power pool, which manages the electricity grid for power companies in nine states, is actually organized as a nonprofit, though the power companies themselves are utility corporations, by and large. Ross told me I could call him a lobbyist if I insisted, but that federal rules prohibit his lobbying the U.S. House for a year. … If he needs to lobby in Washington after a year, he’ll register and do so, but rather doubts that will happen, he said.”  (John Brummett, Op-Ed, “Mike In The Middle,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/17/12)

Ross Once Endorsed A Public Option Trigger As A Part Of Health Care Reform

In July 2009, Ross Made It Clear That He Supported A Public Option As A Vital Part Of Reform “To Ensure That Private Insurance Companies Do Right.” BLOOMBERG’s AL HUNT: “Congressman, you have said that any public option is acceptable only as a backup if the private insurers failed. Does that legislation then – does any legislation have to explicitly have a trigger in it for that public option to take effect?” ROSS: “Well, you know, the position that the 52 member Blue Dog coalition took – and it requires a two-thirds vote of our membership to take a position – we believe a public option should be there as a fallback option much like we had in Medicare Part B. We believe that we need to demand serious reforms from the private health insurance companies. We need to remove preexisting conditions. We need to remove waiting periods. There’s a lot of reforms that we need from the health insurance companies in this country.” HUNT: “Would you insist on a trigger in that provision?” ROSS: “That’s our position. We believe a public option should be there to ensure that private insurance companies do right. If they don’t a trigger would be pulled and then they would have that competition from the government.”  (Bloomberg’s “Political Capital,” 7/24/09)

PBS’ “NewsHour”: Ross “Worked Out A Deal Today To Move A Bill Forward In The Energy And Commerce Committee” That Still Included A Public Option. PBS’ BETTY ANN BOWSER: “They’d been at loggerheads for days with the leadership of their own party, but members of the Blue Dogs, the fiscally conservative House Democrats, worked out a deal today to move a bill forward in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross said it would cut the cost of the House bill by $100 billion and still include a possible public option plan run by the government.”  (PBS’ “NewsHour,” 7/29/09)

Ross: “We Ensured That The Public Option Is On A Level Playing Field…” ROSS: “We protected small businesses, and we ensured that the public option is on a level playing field, it’s optional for people, won’t be mandated on anybody, and that it’s done in a way by demanding that the public option compete with private plans by negotiating rates with providers instead of mandating Medicare rates on providers, saving a lot of rural hospitals across this country.”  (PBS’ “NewsHour,” 7/29/09)

“Ross Listed As His Group's Other Major Accomplishments Cutting $100 Billion In Costs From The Plan And Devising A Public Option -- Or Government-Run Insurance Plan – ‘That Will Truly Be Just That, An Option . . . It Will Simply Give Consumers More Choices.’”  (Lois Romano, “Voices Of Power: Rep. Mike Ross,” The Washington Post, 7/30/09)

After The August Recess, In Which He Was Heckled By Angry Opponents To ObamaCare, Ross Said He Opposed A Public Option As Part Of Health Care Reform

During August Recess, Ross Was Heckled By Constituents Over Health Care Reform At A Town Hall And Buried His Head In His Hands. “Unruly audience members heckled and shouted at the leader of the conservative Blue Dogs and another Arkansas congressman Wednesday, accusing them of supporting a government-backed health plan that would take away Americans’ personal choice and freedom. At one point, U.S. Rep. Mike Ross sat with his head in his hands while the crowd shouted.”  (“Ross Gets Cheers, Jeers At Health Care Forum,” The Associated Press, 8/5/09)

September 2009: Ross Reversed His Position And Declared He Was Opposed To Any Public Option As Part Of Health Care Reform. “As members of Congress flew back to Washington after their summer recess, Arkansas’ Rep. Mike Ross said on Tuesday that he will not support any health-care bill that includes an optional government-run medical program. Ross staked out his position the day before President Barack Obama is to address a joint session of Congress on health care. ‘I don’t want a public option to kill health-care reform. It is such a divisive and small part’ of the overall debate, Ross said. ‘We can make health care affordable without getting the government involved.’”  (“Ross To Fight Any Bill Having A Public Option,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/9/09)

“In July, Ross Voted For A Bill That Included A So-Called Public Option, But He Backtracked After Hearing Directly From Constituents In August.”  (“Ross To Fight Any Bill Having A Public Option,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/9/09)

·         Ross Said He Previously Voted For A Bill Containing A Public Option Because He “Didn’t Want To Kill Health-Care Reform.” “Explaining his previous vote in favor of a bill with a public option, Ross said, ‘I didn’t want to kill health-care reform.’ But he’s now drawing a line in the sand. ‘If House leadership presents a final bill that contains a government-run public option, I will oppose it,’ he wrote in a ‘legislative update’ released Tuesday.”  (“Ross To Fight Any Bill Having A Public Option,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/9/09)

Ross Did Not Criticize Health Insurance Mandate, Compared It To Buying Auto Insurance

In July 2009, Ross Noted The Presence Of The Health Insurance Mandate, Which He Did Not Criticize And Compared To Having To Buy Auto Insurance. ROSS: “It still ensures that those small business owners and their employees have access to healthcare through what is known as ‘the Exchange,’ where they will be able to choose an option and, based on their income, they might very well qualify for a subsidy to help them pay for their health insurance, which is now going to be required that everybody in America have health insurance, much like, if we own a car, we are required to have automobile insurance. So, these, we believe, are very significant improvements to the bill…”  (Lois Romano, “Transcript: Mike Ross On Voices Of Power,” The Washington Post, 7/30/09)

Later, Ross Said He Was Opposed To The IRS Fining People Who Don’t Buy Insurance

Ross, In January 2011: “Expanding The IRS And Having Them Fine You If You Do Not Buy Health Insurance Is Something That I’m Adamantly Opposed To.” ROSS: “I do believe that repealing the health care reform law will pass the House of Representatives today. And I think it will send a message. One it will send a message to the American people that we heard them. And that we heard them loud and clear on November the 2nd. The second thing I think it will do is, is it will set up a process where hopefully at the very least we’ll be able to amend the health care reform law and get the bad parts out of it.” FOX’S JON SCOTT: “Such as?” ROSS: “Gosh, where do I start? For example, cutting Medicare half a trillion dollars is something that I’m adamantly opposed to. Expanding the IRS and having them fine you if you do not buy health insurance is something that I’m adamantly opposed to. Those are just a couple of good places to start.”  (Fox News, 1/19/11)

Ross Cited The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) As A Way To Cut Costs

In July 2009, Ross Cited Obama’s Proposal For An Independent Medicare Reimbursement Rate Panel – Commonly Known As “IPAB” – As A Way To Cut Costs. NPR’s GUY RAZ: “But where do you find those cuts?” ROSS: “Well, I think there’s a lot of places to look. The president has an idea that is not included in the current House bill where we take the day-to-day running of Medicare and setting reimbursement rates out of the Congress, take it out of politics and have a professional advisory board that makes those tough decisions.”  (NPR’s “Weekend All Things Considered,” 7/18/09)

In 2012, Ross Co-Sponsored Legislation To Repeal IPAB, Even Though He Didn’t Do So With The Same Member In 2010

Ross Subsequently Cosponsored Legislation In 2012 To Repeal The IPAB Provision. “Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2011 - Repeals sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA) (and restores provisions of law amended by such sections) related to the establishment of an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to develop and submit detailed proposals to reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending to the President for Congress to consider.”  (H.R. 452, Introduced 1/26/11; Ross Added As Cosponsor 3/5/12)

·         NOTE: Ross Did Not Cosponsor A 2010 Measure By The Same Member To Repeal The IPAB Provision. “Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2010 - Repeals sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA) (and restores provisions of law amended by such sections) related to the establishment of an Independent Payment Advisory Board to develop and submit detailed proposals to reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending to the President for Congress to consider.”  (H.R. 4985, Introduced 3/25/10)

Then Ross Voted Against Repealing IPAB Because Of Tort Reform

Ross Then Ended Up Voting Against A Bill To Repeal IPAB, Citing The Addition Of Tort Reform Measures. “U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, of Arkansas’s fourth congressional district, criticized Republicans yesterday for botching a bipartisan attempt to address what he termed ‘major issues’ with President Obama’s health care legislation. The House voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board that could cut Medicare costs in the future. … Ross, along with 170 other Democrats, voted against the repeal, despite the fact that he co-sponsored legislation to do away with the Board earlier this month. Ross said that the bill changed, and that the inclusion of tort reform measures would limit states’ rights.”  (“Arkansas Congressmen On Health Care Reform,” Arkansas Times, 3/23/12)

Tags: Mike Ross, Flip Flops, Obamacare, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.