Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CONSUMER ALERT: Auto Recalls Causing Headaches

LITTLE ROCK – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 1.3 million consumers are potentially affected by more than 50 recalls that have been announced for vehicles or parts of vehicles in September alone.

Last week, General Motors (GM) reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice for faulty ignition switches, which reportedly resulted in at least 124 deaths along with numerous injuries. GM is required to pay $900 million, with an additional $575 million to resolve a number of private lawsuits. Meanwhile, NHTSA continues to investigate Japanese manufacturer Takata for ongoing problems with their air bag inflators used in approximately 19 million vehicles. The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office is participating in both investigations.

Recalls are issued when minimum federal motor vehicle safety standards are not met on items like brakes, tires, lighting, air bags, safety belts and child restraints.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to encourage Arkansans to take a proactive approach to vehicle recalls.

“Manufacturer recalls can be worrisome and may seem complicated for consumers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But Arkansans should consider these notices urgent warnings and make plans to have the issue corrected quickly. It is important that everyone understands these recalls and how to determine whether vehicles are subject to a recall.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help Arkansans research recalls:
  • Visit Safercar.gov to use the NHTSA’s database to look up recalls, investigations and complaints by a vehicle’s year, make and model.
  • Contact the vehicle manufacturer or car dealer to search for recalls by the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is visible from the outside of the vehicle through the windshield on the driver’s side.
  • Sign up at Safercar.gov to receive email notifications from the NHTSA to learn when manufacturers file new recalls.
  • Confirm with NHTSA or with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office to make sure recall notifications are valid and real.
Manufacturers must notify owners of all affected vehicles via mail or phone with information that identifies the problems and evaluates the safety risk. Consumers must be told how the problem can be corrected, how long it will take to correct the issue and where the repairs can be made. The NHTSA may also require manufacturers to notify the public of recalls through advertisements or other notices. Recall repairs only cover the part or parts that can be replaced or repaired and do not provide the owners with a new vehicle.

If the vehicle was purchased new, manufacturers have the name and address of vehicle owners, along with the VIN number of all the vehicles. Arkansans purchasing a used car should notify the manufacturer with the updated information. The vehicle is still eligible for recall repairs, including those that occurred prior to the purchase that have not been fixed. Almost all recalls will be fixed at no charge to the owner.

For more information about auto recalls or other consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.
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Attorney General Leslie Rutledgeis the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office. Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.

Tags: Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General, consumer alert, auto recalls,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Congressman Hill Urges Grace Period For Loan Rules

U.S. Rep. French Hill wants Congress to assure banks and title companies that the government will be lenient as they work under new rules starting Saturday that will affect people purchasing or refinancing homes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules were proposed more than two years ago. They require that homebuyers receive easier-to-understand disclosure forms that clearly lay out the terms of a mortgage and also require title loan companies to prove they are following certain best practice.

by Sarah D. Wire, Arakansas Online:
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. French Hill wants Congress to assure banks and title companies that the government will be lenient as they work under new rules starting Saturday that will affect people purchasing or refinancing homes.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules were proposed more than two years ago. They require that homebuyers receive easier-to-understand disclosure forms that clearly lay out the terms of a mortgage and also require title loan companies to prove they are following certain best practices.

Hill, a Republican from Little Rock, said software and forms associated with the rules have changed repeatedly in the past few months, and members of the financial industry just want assurance that they won't be fined or sued while they work out the kinks.

"The biggest banks are probably ready to go," Hill said. "But a lot of independent mortgage companies and title companies and banks have had trouble."

Hill has filed legislation that would keep the bureau from enforcing the rule until February. It was approved by the House Financial Services Committee in July, but hasn't been considered in the House. Similar Senate legislation hasn't been considered by committee.

Hill said he is working with House leadership on a path forward for the legislation. Hill said even if the bill is approved after the rules take effect, it will provide solace for the industry.

The rules apply to mortgage or refinancing applications started after Saturday, not those already being considered.

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau already delayed the rule from taking effect once. Bureau Director Rich Cordray said the agency plans to give the industry some leeway in the first few months.

Cordray told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that he is working with other federal agencies to provide the industry with written assurance before Saturday that as long as banks, title companies and real estate agents are making a good faith effort, there will be leniency.

"There will be time for them to work to get it right and not have to be perfect on the first day," Cordray said.

Still, spokesman for industry groups said they want Congress to ensure that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be lenient if mistakes occur.

Arkansas Land Title Association President Jim Pender said he knows some companies, especially small, locally owned title companies, still aren't ready.

"We've worked hard to get ready for Oct 3. We've spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of man-hours to get ready for this," Pender said. "This is a total change in our industry. I'm not sure what the harm would be in giving the industry more time."

The changes will affect the more than 400,000 people who buy a home each month and the more than 230,000 people who refinance their mortgages each month, according to the American Land Title Association.

Association Vice President Justin Ailes said the mortgage industry wants time to try out what has, until now, been only practiced without the threat of lawsuits or fines.

"It may be a little bit bumpy," he said. "[Hill's legislation] makes sure that there is a scrimmage. You just don't have to go straight to your season opener without having any preseason."

Article provided by Mike Siegel, Communications Director, Congressman French Hill

Tags: Arkansas, Representative, French Hill, grace period, loan rules To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Boozman Congratulates Five Arkansas Schools for Receiving Blue Ribbon Award

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today congratulated five Arkansas schools that were named 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Park Magnet School in Hot Springs, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Rogers, Valley View Junior High School in Jonesboro and Vandergriff Elementary School in Fayetteville were among the 335 public and private schools U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced as award winners today.

“We are blessed in Arkansas to have some of the most dedicated teachers, faculty and staff in the nation. The talented professionals at Mount Pleasant Elementary, Park Magnet, St. Vincent de Paul, Valley View Junior High and Vandergriff Elementary exemplify that high level of dedication to our children. Congratulations to them, and of course the students and parents who play a vital role, in achieving this national recognition,” Boozman said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

On Friday morning, Boozman will join the teachers and faculty of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Rogers at the school’s Blue Ribbon award ceremony.

Tags: ISen, John Boozman, congrats, Arkansas schools, Blue Ribbon Award To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman, Chairman of Senate Air Force Caucus, Recognizes Arkansas Airmen in Address at Annual Caucus Breakfast

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a leader of the Senate Air Force Caucus, addressed officials of the Air Force at its caucus’ annual breakfast today in Washington.

“The demands placed on today’s airmen and Air Force as a whole are truly staggering. The operational tempo is non-stop and the threats that America faces are only increasing,” Boozman told attendees.

Boozman focused his remarks on the dedication of Arkansas airmen and women and their work to support the Air Force.

“In Arkansas, the 188th Wing is currently in the process of transitioning from a traditional flying mission to the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) mission, which once operational will help the Air Force deal with the need for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR),” Boozman said.

“Little Rock Air Force Base is Arkansas’s largest military installation and really a model base for how the Air Force should do business with the three components. Little Rock has Active, Guard and Reserve units who work well together, help one another and unite however is needed to accomplish the mission,” Boozman continued.

The Senate Air Force Caucus is a bipartisan group that includes 35 members and focuses on issues impacting the U.S. Air Force. The caucus sponsors briefings, base visits and meetings with Air Force personnel throughout the year.

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Boozman Backs New DOJ Designations for West Memphis & Little Rock

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today said newly-announced federal efforts to aid local law enforcement in Little Rock and West Memphis will help the communities address their “unique needs” and “will prove to be a vitally important component in the efforts to enhance public safety” in the two Arkansas cities.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Little Rock and West Memphis as two of the five newest cities in the department’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN) program today. VRN is a comprehensive program that leverages existing DOJ resources to deliver strategic, intensive training and technical assistance to reduce violence in some of the country’s most violent cities. The program creates a partnership between federal and local law enforcement leaders focused on effective approaches to violence reduction strategies.

“This program is effective because it empowers local law enforcement, instead of dictating what needs to be done from Washington. VRN will complement the crime-fighting efforts on the ground in Little Rock and West Memphis by enabling local law enforcement to tap expertise across federal law enforcement agencies to help address their community’s unique needs. It should prove to be a vitally important component in the efforts to enhance public safety in Little Rock and West Memphis,” Boozman said.

Earlier this year, Boozman raised the possibility of a VRN designation for Little Rock and West Memphis in response to rising violent crime rates with then Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Director B. Todd Jones during a Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee hearing. Director Jones touted the successes of the VRN program and said that it has been discussed as we try to address “unacceptable levels, at times, of violent crime” in Little Rock.

Five communities were selected when DOJ launched VRN last year: Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Camden, New Jersey; Wilmington, Delaware and the neighboring towns of Oakland and Richmond, California. Little Rock and West Memphis join Flint, Michigan; Compton, California; and Newark, New Jersey in the second round of designations.

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, new DOJ designation, Violence Reduction Network, Little Rock, West Memphis To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Protecting Arkansas' Small Businesses

U.S. Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman
by U.S. Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman: As many Arkansans know, the franchise model has been one of the greatest examples of economic success in history. The benefits of franchises are widespread and shared by investors, business owners, employees and nearly every American.

There are more than 770,000 franchises nationwide employing about 8.5 million people, almost three times the population of Arkansas. Our state has nearly 10,000 franchises that provide jobs to approximately 100,000 Arkansans. Franchises span almost every industry, including fast food, barbershops, automobile dealerships and even health care firms.

This business model works because it offers entrepreneurs the chance to use an established, well-known brand while keeping control of operational decisions. Franchise owners — not corporate headquarters — know their local area best, and they hire employees and set wages, hours and working conditions. Franchisees are responsible for the success or failure of the business. They file their own taxes and are accountable for following all local, state and federal laws.

For decades this model has relied on a joint employer standard that is fair and reflects reality. This standard, set by the National Labor Relations Board, deems businesses as joint employers only when they share direct and immediate control over essential terms and conditions of employment. For instance, if a McDonald’s employee at a Little Rock branch had an issue with pay or working conditions, that employee could address the issue with his or her manager, not the corporate headquarters in Illinois more than 600 miles away that has no control over any employment decision at the Arkansas location.

But a recent decision by the NLRB puts this entire model at risk. In its 3-2 Browning-Ferris ruling, the NLRB decided that the joint employer definition includes liability for businesses that don’t exercise any control over the terms and conditions of employment.

In the example above, if a Little Rock employee had an issue with his working conditions, that employee could now bring a lawsuit against the McDonald’s headquarters — even if the headquarters had nothing to do with the challenge facing the employee. Shake’s Frozen Custard, based in Fayetteville, would potentially be liable if the owner of one of its franchise stores in Florida was found guilty of violating labor laws.

This will lead to one of two outcomes, both disastrous for Arkansas businesses.

First, corporate headquarters may start taking control over personnel decisions made at local franchises. This means the McDonald’s headquarters in Illinois will tell Arkansas managers who they can hire or fire.

Alternately, corporate headquarters may decide to end their entire franchising model entirely. No business wants to be liable for decisions that are out of its control.

Unfortunately, this decision is just another example of harmful changes to longstanding labor policies instituted by the Obama administration. Over the last six years, the NLRB has restricted the ability of employers to give workers adequate time and information about union elections, while the Department of Labor has attempted to limit the ability of financial advisers to assist families with investment and retirement decisions. And now, the NLRB threatens to undermine one of the most important small-business models in the country.

That’s why we’re working to stop this ruling and protect Arkansas franchisors.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations included a provision to restrict NLRB regulatory overreach by prohibiting any funding for enforcement of this rule.

Additionally, we are proud sponsors of the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, legislation that would overturn this ruling. We will work closely with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation and will continue to seek ways to prevent the Obama administration from destroying Arkansas businesses.

Rest assured, we’re committed to stopping the worst excesses of the Obama administration. Returning to the original standard of joint employment, which has maintained decades of precedence, is essential for business owners, employees and any Arkansan who enjoys the convenience of local franchises.

Tags: U.S. Senators, Tom Cotton, John Boozman, Protecting, Arkansas, Small Businesses To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

UA, ASU Receive DOJ Grants to Research Homegrown Terror

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-01) and Steve Womack (AR-03), today announced that the University of Arkansas (UA) and Arkansas State University (ASU) will receive grants from the Department of Justice (DOJ) totaling over $900,000 to study domestic radicalization.

UA will receive $399,531 to identify behavioral characteristics of homegrown terrorists who were able to evade arrest and/or neutralization for a long period of time to determine how their longevity affects potential recruits and the overall sustainability of larger terror groups.

ASU will receive $508,403 to study how violent domestic extremists use the Internet to organize like-minded individuals, disseminate ideas and recruit new members.

“With the nature of the current threats we face, and with increased calls from groups like ISIS to attack U.S citizens at home, it is vital that we identify these extremist groups and prevent these attacks before they happen. The information gathered from these studies will help keep us safer at home,” Boozman said.

"In order to keep our country safe it is imperative that we have a thorough understanding of the threats we face. I am proud that research so critical to our national security will be conducted right here in Arkansas,” Cotton said.

"I’m proud that our very own ASU through will be working to help protect our nation from domestic threats, particularly through studying their online presence. As the nature of these threats continues to change along with the media our enemies use, we as a country need to adapt, and that’s exactly what these studies aim to do," Crawford said.

“As the nature of the security threats facing our nation continue to evolve, it is imperative that we have the information necessary to proactively thwart and combat such acts to ensure the safety of each and every American. I am confident that the important work of the University of Arkansas will do just that,” Womack said.

Tags: Arkansas, UA, ASU, DOJ Grants, research home grown terror,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Democrat County Judge Switches Parties, Becomes Republican

Robert Griffin
BATESVILLE, AR - Robert Griffin, County Judge of Independence County, announced today that he has left the Democrat Party and will seek reelection as a Republican. Griffin, serving his third term as County Judge, joins an increasing coalition of former Democrats that feel the Democrat Party of Arkansas no longer represents their values.

Following the announcement, Governor Asa Hutchinson said: “Arkansans hold conservative values, and Judge Griffin is a perfect fit. We have worked together to create jobs in Independence County, and he shares my desire to increase economic growth in the state. We welcome his decision to switch parties, and I look forward to continue working together.”

Congressman Rick Crawford (AR1) made the following statement: “For the past several years Judge Griffin has worked hard for Independence County, but the work of reliable leaders like Robert Griffin in the First District also helps me do my job in Washington. Judge Griffin and I have worked together to protect personal property rights and to oppose excessive federal regulations, and having someone like him in the Republican Party will only help the cause of a smaller, simpler federal government.”

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin stated: "I want to be one of the first to welcome Independence County Judge Robert Griffin to the Republican Party. Judge Griffin is a conservative who, like so many other Arkansans, has concluded that the liberal Democrat Party doesn't represent his values and the Republican Party is the natural home for conservatives in Arkansas. Welcome, Judge Griffin!"

Doyle Webb, Chairman of the Republican Party said that Judge Griffin will “be met with open arms” and that “Arkansans across our state are realizing the truth—that there is only one party that stands up for their values, and that party is the Republican Party.”

Tags: Robert Griffin, County Judge. Independence County, changes political affiliation,  Arkansas Republican Party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Arkansas Governor Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Sherry Chesser, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy. Appointment expires August 17, 2020. Replaces Karen Garrett.

Jeffrey Brinsfield, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board. Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

Dr. Amy Cleveland, Hot Springs, to the Firefighter Benefit Review Panel. Appointment expires May 6, 2019.

Jeremy Owoh, Little Rock, to the Desegregation Litigation Legislative Oversight Subcommittee. Appointment expires at the will of the Governor.

Cedric Hawkins, Stuttgart, to the Desegregation Litigation Legislative Oversight Subcommittee. Appointment expires at the will of the Governor.

Dr. John Erwin, Hot Springs, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires July 15, 2017. Replaces Dr. Gregory McKinney.

Danielle Hoefer, Little Rock, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires July 15, 2017. Replaces Robert Johnson.

Brittany Dilworth, Hot Springs, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires July 15, 2017. Replaces Jessica Duff.

Susan Bradshaw, Conway, to the Arkansas State Council for the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision. Appointment expires at the will of the Governor. Replaces Eva Engle.

Josephine Hunt, Farmington, to the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park Advisory Committee. Appointment expires June 13, 2020. Replaces Randy West.

Dr. Matthew Pelkki, Monticello, to the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Foresters. Appointment expires July 18, 2020. Reappointment.

Brian Moore, Springdale, to the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Tommy Bond.

Robert Carruthers, Morrilton, to the Arkansas Agriculture Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2019. Reappointment.

Ronald Cavenaugh, Walnut Ridge, to the Arkansas Agriculture Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2019. Replaces Curtis Tate.

Diana Hampo, Hot Springs, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires July 15, 2017. Replaces Carroll Womack.

Bob Edmonds, Hot Springs, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires July 15, 2017. Replaces Lydia Robertson.

Nelson Driver, Fayetteville, to the DHS State Institutional System Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Stephen Foti.

Senator Alan Clark, Lonsdale, to the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council. Appointment expires at the will of the Governor. Replaces Senator Bobby Pierce.

Representative Bill Gossage, Ozark, to the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council. Appointment expires at the will of the Governor. Replaces Representative Sheilla Lampkin.

Representative Bruce Cozart, Hot Springs, to the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council. Appointment expires at the will of the Governor. Replaces Representative Charles Armstrong.

Danny Smith, Buckner, to the Red River Levee District 1. Appointment expires May 10, 2021. Reappointment.

Wayne Wiggins, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Reappointment.

John Freeman, Dumas, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Reappointment.

Greg Moyers, Portland, to the Arkansas Catfish Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Replaces Joseph Williamson.

Barry Walls, Harrisburg, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Reappointment.

Stacey Caplener, Pleasant Plains, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2018. Replaces Wroten Koller.

Kelley Sharp, Farmington, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2017.

David Fletcher, Texarkana, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2018. Replaces Virginia Lee.

Wes Newland, Dennard, as the Van Buren County Justice of the Peace, District 9. Appointment expires December 31, 2016. Replaces Robert Bramlett.

Evelyn Thomas, Helena, as the Phillips County Justice of the Peace, District 9. Appointment expires December 31, 2016. Replaces Teresa Morgan.

Dr. Gary McHenry, Fayetteville, as the Washington County Justice of the Peace, District 11. Appointment expires December 31, 2016. Replaces John Firmin.

Rex Terry, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-357; Washington County, Russell Hill, County Assessor, David Ruff, Tax Collector and Fayetteville School District No. 1 v. Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Howard Brill.

Walter Cox, Fayetteville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-107; Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. v. Robert Walker, Ann B. Hines and Judith Belk. Replaces Justice Rhonda Wood.

Tags: Arkansas, appointments, Govern Hutchinson/b> To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, September 21, 2015

RNC Statement on Hillary Clinton Visit To Arkansas

Doyle Webb, Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas: "Hillary Clinton's visit to Arkansas today further evidences just how out of touch she is with voters. Arkansas has not changed. Hillary Clinton has changed. She may believe that the policies she is peddling will distract voters from the FBI investigation into her secret email server, but she is wrong. The values of Arkansas voters cannot coexist with corruption and scandal, two things that seem to walk hand in hand with Hillary Clinton."

Tags: Doyle Webb, Chairman, Republican Party of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Governor Hutchinson Announces Initiative to Support Military Installations in Arkansas

Governor’s Military Affairs Committee
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the formation of a new statewide initiative to support and promote the state’s military installations and related economic development interests.

The Governor’s Military Affairs Committee will bring together public and private leaders around the state who will prepare and advocate for Arkansas on both a national and state level to accomplish short- and long-term economic objectives for our military installations. The Governor has committed an up-front amount of $400,000 in funding for the purpose of establishing the statewide organization and commissioning an economic impact analysis.

Objectives include:

  • Grow and protect our state’s military installations, utilization, and missions.
  • Advocate at state and federal levels on behalf of our state and local economic development interests.
  • Position Arkansas as a priority State in our national defense plan.
  • Appoint a public-private partnership steering committee to accomplish short-term and organizational goals.
“The nation’s military presence in Arkansas through our bases and our defense contractors plays a vital role, not only in the defense of our country, but also in the economic stability of our state,” said Governor Hutchinson. “We have several groups around the state who have an interest in seeing our military prosper, and this pro-active initiative will allow us to combine our strengths and pursue common objectives and opportunities. I’m proud of the steering committee we’ve assembled and challenge them with directing this initiative successfully.”

Brad Hegeman, president of Nabholz Construction Services, will preside over the committee. Hegeman has served with the Arkansas National Guard Association and the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council. Other members of the steering committee are:

- Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin
- Maj. Gen. (Ret) William Wofford – Adjutant General’s representative for the AR National Guard
- Larry Wilson – LRAFB Community Council
- Lou Ann Nisbett – Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County
- Tim Allen – President and CEO, Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Jan Gattis Burd – VP of Commercial Lending, First National Bank of Fort Smith
- Mike Preston – AEDC Executive Director
- Danny Games – AEDC Deputy Director of Global Business
“This is a great day for the state of Arkansas and I applaud Governor Hutchinson for the vision and commitment to establish this organization,” Hegeman said. “This effort will provide the State with the focus and resources necessary to not only preserve our military installations but to make Arkansas the logical choice for future missions and growth opportunities.”

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission has appointed a senior manager, Becky Rheinhardt, to support military installations as one of the state’s targeted industry sectors.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Asa Hutchinson, announces, initiatives, support military installations,Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman, Hirono Introduce Legislation To Keep Veterans Housing Programs Alive

Without Intervention, Key Programs Will Expire At The End Of September

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) to introduce legislation that authorizes federal homeless veteran programs for the next fiscal year.

The Keeping Our Commitment to Ending Veteran Homelessness Act would ensure seven Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor programs would continue to operate for the next fiscal year. Without action, authorization for critical programs that provide outreach and services to homeless veterans and their families would expire on September 30, 2015.

“Homelessness is a serious problem amongst our nation’s veterans, but we have seen firsthand that effective partnerships can help,” Senator Boozman said. “Our bill ensures that homeless veterans can continue to get the essential services—including transitional housing, meals and employment counseling—that are necessary to rebuild their lives. We’ve seen success with these types of partnerships in Arkansas where organizations like St. Francis House in Little Rock and Seven Hills Homeless Center in Fayetteville have been able help many homeless veterans in need. These partnerships are among our best tools to confront the challenges homeless veterans face in this current economic environment and it is important that we continue the programs that enable them.”

 “Supporting our nation’s veterans is a solemn task that does not expire at the end of the government’s fiscal year, so we must ensure programs that provide essential housing and supportive services can continue uninterrupted past September 30,” Senator Hirono said. “Organizations in Hawaii and across the country are working hard to get veterans and their families the resources they need to have a permanent and stable roof over their heads. Our veterans will be at serious risk if authorization for these VA and Department of Labor programs is interrupted. I thank Senator Boozman for joining me in keeping our commitment to our veterans and their families.”

The Keeping Our Commitment to Ending Veteran Homelessness Act would reauthorize the following programs:

Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV): Through HCHV, VA medical center staff conduct outreach to homeless veterans, provide care and treatment for medical, psychiatric, and substance use disorders, and refer veterans for supportive services. The HCHV program is authorized through FY2015 (P.L. 112-154).

Grants and Per Diem (GPD) for Homeless Veterans with Special Needs: GPD for homeless veterans with special needs, authorized at $5 million through FY2015 (P.L. 113-175), targets GPD funds to specific groups of veterans, including women, elderly veterans, terminally or mentally ill veterans, and veterans with children.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF): SSVF funds grants for supportive services to assist very low-income veterans and their families who are either residing in permanent housing or transitioning from homelessness. Eligible services include assistance with rent, utility or moving costs, outreach, case management, and help with obtaining VA and other mainstream benefits.

Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans: A committee created by law made up of veteran service organizations and service providers to provide advice to the VA secretary on benefits and services the Department gives to homeless veterans.

Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Veterans: The VA is authorized to sell, lease, lease with the option to buy, or donate properties to nonprofit organizations and state government agencies that will use the property as homeless shelters for veterans and their families. The program is authorized through FY2015 by P.L. 113-175.

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP): HVRP grantees provide services to veterans including outreach, assistance in interview preparation, job search, job training, and follow-up assistance after placement. A separate HVRP targets women veterans and veterans with children and is authorized through FY2015 at $1 million (P.L. 111-275).

Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program: Most recently authorized through FY2015 (P.L. 113-175), grantee organizations through the Incarcerated Veterans Transition program provide job training and placement services to veterans who are leaving prison.

In February, Boozman and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S.425) that clarifies veterans who receive housing assistance under VA’s Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program and Native American veterans participating in the Native American Housing Assistance program, are eligible to receive valuable assistance such as job training under the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP).

When it was introduced, Boozman called that bill an effort “to end the cycle of homelessness amongst some of our veteran population by eliminating the hurdles they face to getting the affordable housing and job training assistance they earned.”  

Tags: U.S. Senators, John Boozman (R-AR), , Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), introduce legislation, authorizes federal homeless veteran programs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rep. French Hill: "We Can't Defend Bureaucratic Intransigence at the Expense of our Home-Buying Public"

Rep. French Hill (R-AR-2) on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID): I’d like to thank [the Chairman] and our bipartisan group that are working to take care of [the TILA-RESPA integrated rule] and trying to get bipartisan support here in the House and the Senate to remove the penalties in the implementation of that act. Mr. Cordray has refused to do that in his own authority at the CFPB … I want to side with the consumer here. Some 230,000 Americans refi or buy a new home every month and they’re going to be the ones who are victimized by this confusing rule that doesn’t get implemented properly do to a technology reason or a misunderstanding at a real estate brokerage, or a title company, or a bank. I hope we can [pass H.R. 3192] before October 3, so that our [title companies], commercial banks, mortgage bankers, real estate agents all have some confidence that they can go into this new closing regime and not be penalized, either by the Federal Government or through civil liability.

On CFPB: I was a CEO of a consumer and commercial bank until December 31 , 2014. This hearing, Mr. Chairman, is no academic exercise to me, I have run an institution under the first [four and half years] of Dodd-Frank, and to me, the CFPB really was a redundant exercise, and let me explain why: because I never once in two and a half decades of commercial banking ever saw a state or federal regulator shirk their consumer protection responsibility under federal laws.

Tags: Arkansas, U.S. Representative, French Hill, AR-2, home buying, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman, Cotton Lead Efforts to Nullify Expanded WOTUS Definition

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton cosponsored a joint resolution of disapproval that would reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. This regulation gives the administration expanded federal authority to oversee land use decisions of homeowners, small businesses and family farms in Arkansas and across the country.

The resolution introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and cosponsored by 46 senators would nullify the rule and send a message to the administration that its actions are an attack on the property rights of all landowners.

“This costly and heavy-handed rule will take away the ability of Arkansas landowners to control and maintain their land. We already protect water quality through federal-state partnerships. This Obama administration rule is just an effort to put Washington rule-makers in complete control,” Boozman said.

“The final WOTUS rule is a prime example of government overreach at its very worst— effectively tying farmer’s hands on everything from when to plant, how often they can run a tractor, and regulating mud puddles on their farms. I am committed to stopping these regulations in their tracks and protecting Arkansans from the Obama Administration’s continued assault on rural America,” Cotton said.

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

Boozman and Cotton join the following senators as original cosponsors to the resolution: Senators Lamar Alexander, (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Dan Coats (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), David Perdue (R-GA), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Pat Toomey (R-PA), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Boozman and Cotton are cosponsors of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act that would protect our nation’s waters and the rights of landowners against the overly burdensome and costly regulatory power-grab created by the WOTUS rule.

Tags: Arkansas, U.S. Senators, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Federal Water Quality Protection Act, WOTUS rule, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Boozman: Senate Democrats Continue to Put Politics Ahead of National Security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today voted in favor of blocking President Obama from lifting existing sanctions on Iran until the regime in Tehran releases American hostages and recognizes Israel’s right to exist.

Today’s vote was the latest in a series of votes in the Senate over President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.

Boozman, who opposes the deal, issued the following statement after the vote:

“I’ve said from the onset that a nuclear Iran would be devastating for America and our allies. Our goal then must be to prevent that from happening. If Minority Leader Reid is so confident that this deal is the answer, then he should be working to get it through the Senate instead of denying Americans a vote.

This agreement is not the right answer. It’s a bad deal. It won’t help us achieve our objective of keeping Iran from going nuclear.

Instead of trying to protect President Obama from a difficult veto, Minority Leader Reid should focus on trying to keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands. He might think this deal is the right one, but millions of Americans don’t. They deserved a vote.”

Tags: U.S. Senator, John Boozman, Commentary, Democrats, politics begore National Security, Iran Deal,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hill to President: Don't Veto Chance for Energy Exports, Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the President will veto legislation that would lift the ban on the export of crude oil from the United States:

“The President needs to rethink his position on ending the crude oil ban. Growing the American economy through energy exports is a strategy that Republicans—and many Democrats—believe will work. We are experiencing record highs in energy production, including in crude oil production, and exporting that crude oil will create new jobs for people in Arkansas and throughout the country. Additionally, lifting the ban will benefit our national security interests by giving our allies—particularly in Europe—an option for oil outside of the terror-centric states in the Persian Gulf. Mr. President, do not veto this chance for U.S. energy to grow American jobs, reduce our trade deficit, and strengthen our national security objectives.”

Additional Information
Congressman Hill is an original cosponsor of H.R. 702, which would lift the current ban on crude oil exports. This bill has 132 bipartisan cosponsors, and the House plans to vote to lift the crude oil ban later this month.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: EIA’s Analysis Shows the Benefits of Lifting Crude Oil Export Ban

Tags: Rep. French Hill, PResident Obama, Don't Veti, Energy Exports, Jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Arkansas Congressional Delegation Asks Energy Secretary to Address Oversight Concerns

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman—are asking Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to address their detailed concerns about the federal government’s possible unprecedented partnership with a third party to construct an electrical transmission project through Arkansas.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is considering the use of Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109–58) to partner in an energy transmission project in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Throughout the history of electric transmission siting, transmission projects have been reviewed and approved at the state level.

In the letter, the members outline their opposition to the use of Section 1222 in this context, seek answers to a number of related concerns and call on DOE to legally justify its potential actions.

“Again, we believe the Project does not meet the statutory requirements of Section 1222, and state-level reviews of many serious concerns are necessary. Therefore, in our federal lawmaking and oversight role, we oppose the use of Section 1222 in this context and we urge you to disapprove it. We recognize that in many contexts the development of new electric transmission infrastructure is necessary despite costs and adverse impacts. We are not taking a position on whether this Project or any other should move forward under non-federal authorities. Such decisions regarding electric transmissions are appropriately left to elected officials at the state and local level, where they have resided for generations. State and local officials can most effectively weigh the questions and concerns raised in this letter—and more importantly, concerns raised by our constituents—and determine whether such projects should be permitted,” the delegation states in its letter.

Before asking a series of pointed oversight questions related to Section 1222, the letter urges the Department to protect each state’s authority to review transmission projects. Specifically, the letter states that this authority is important because it allows states to consider and reduce the impact of a number of potential factors, including: (1) harmful environmental impacts; (2) disproportionate impacts on rural, poor, and disadvantaged communities; (3) reduced property values on lands adjacent to the project; (4) infringements upon private property rights; (5) negative impacts to energy exploration, development, and production, including harmful impacts to existing energy infrastructure; (6) increased land fragmentation; (7) degraded public safety; (8) tribal opposition and concerns; (9) impacts to migratory birds and threatened or endangered species; (10) the exclusion of many Arkansas and Oklahoma power customers from use of the proposed transmission line; (11) the exclusion of Regional Transmission Organizations (i.e. the Southwest Power Pool and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator) from appropriate control of the transmission line; (12) decreased productivity on farms, ranches and forests; and (13) adverse socio-economic impacts associated with each of the issues addressed in this letter.

Read Full Letter

Tags: Arkansas, Congressional Delegation, Energy Secretary, Oversight ConcernsINSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Governor Hutchinson Announces More Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the following appointments on Friday:
Dr. Rodney Griffin, Magnolia, to the Arkansas State Medical Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2020.  Replaces Dr. Sylvia Simon.

Dr. Robert Breving, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas State Medical Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2020.  Replaces Dr. John Hearnsberger.

Daniel Dring, Sherwood, to the State Athletic Commission.  Appointment expires July 15, 2017.  Replaces Richard Anderson.

Walter Alford, Lewisville, to the State Plant Board.  Appointment expires August 15, 2017.  Replaces George Lalman.

Jill Arnold, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

Chad Aduddell, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

Steven Weeks, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

Sally Welborn, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

Calvin Kellogg, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

Bradley Martin, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

William Roehrenbeck, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

John Ryan, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board.  Appointment expires August 12, 2018.

David Wallace, Crawfordsville, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Replaces Herrick Norcross.

Blake Swears, Carlisle, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Reappointment.

Jackie Prince, Biscoe, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Reappointment.

Kenneth Clark, Newport, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Replaces Steven Tinsley.

Richard Hillman, Carlisle, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.  Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Reappointment.

Bobby Hoard, Marianna, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.  Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Reappointment.

David Gairhan, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.  Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Replaces Mike Sullivan.

Marvin Hare, Newport, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.  Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Reappointment.

Gary Sitzer, Weiner, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.  Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Reappointment.

Glynn Guenther, Sherrill, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.  Appointment expires June 30, 2017.  Replaces Russell Smith.

Ray Dillon, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Forestry Commission.  Appointment expires January 14, 2017.  Replaces Dr. James Carr.

Ronald Branscum, Rogers, to the Northwest Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces Geovanny Sarmiento.

Teresa Dallas, Wynne, to the Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute Board of Directors.  Appointment expires June 30, 2020.  Replaces Dale Andrews.

Louis White, Pine Bluff, to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Board of Visitors.  Appointment expires January 14, 2022.  Replaces Marty Casteel.

Teresa Inman, Paris, to the Southern Regional Education Board.  Appointment expires June 30, 2019.  Replaces Herman Strickland.

Geraldine Sterling, Little Rock, to the Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.  Appointment expires June 30, 2018.  Replaces Jana Hayes.

Dr. Jayme Pultro, Alexander, to the Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.  Appointment expires June 30, 2018.  Reappointment.

Mary Ann Taldo, Springdale, to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council.  Appointment expires June 30, 2019.  Replaces Ed Clifford.

Catherine Bays, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council.  Appointment expires June 30, 2019.  Replaces Michael Tidwell.

Anne Creekmore, Marion, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council.  Appointment expires February 1, 2018.  Replaces Wanda Hamilton.

Mahdee Raiees-Dana, Mount Pleasant, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council.  Appointment expires February 1, 2016.  Replaces Elizabeth Adams.

SeRonna Rodgers, Bryant, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council.  Appointment expires February 1, 2018.  Replaces Vincent McKinney.

Edwin Mitchell, Benton, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council.  Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor.  Replaces Jonathan Bibb.

Keith Clark, Paragould, to the Board of the Division of State Services for the Blind.  Appointment expires June 30, 2019.  Replaces Dickie Walker.

Erika Evans, Sherwood, to the Board of the Division of State Services for the Blind.  Appointment expires June 30, 2019.  Replaces Irma Nelson.

James Caton, Little Rock, to the Board of the Division of State Services for the Blind.  Appointment expires June 30, 2019.  Replaces Teresa Doan.

Dr. Michael Stanton, Greenbrier, to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Appointment expires May 1, 2021.  Replaces Mary Anne Salmon.

Stephen Ballard, Benton, to the Burial Association Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2017.  Reappointment.

Kenneth Ziegler, Pocahontas, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 3.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.  Reappointment.

Rusty Guinn, Jonesboro, to the State Board of Collection Agencies.  Appointment expires January 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Rene Meints, Alexander, to the State Board of Sanitarians.  Appointment expires June 30, 2020.  Replaces Olena Lively.


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

U.S. Rep French Hill Votes to Reject #BadIranDeal

Representatives will reconvene Tuesday, Sept 14, 2015 and again address the #BadIranDeal.

Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following video message after the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to reject the Iranian nuclear agreement and suspend the authority of the President to waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to the nuclear program of Iran:

Rep. Hill’s remarks, as prepared for delivery: Today, on the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York, I want to take a few minutes and restate my opposition to the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

First, this deal isn’t in the best interest of the American people, nor is it in the best interest of our strategic allies in the Middle East. It is even a bad deal by President Obama’s own standards. It doesn’t meet his objective of prohibiting Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and it will not provide the anytime-anywhere inspections and verification that he promised.

Countless foreign policy experts, leaders in his own party, and the majority of Americans are unconvinced of the deal’s strength to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

And yet many supporters—and I have taken time to meet with a number from both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration—of this deal continue to believe the notion that while the deal is not perfect, they believe a flawed proposal is better than no proposal.

During a classified hearing on the proposal for Members of Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry was, in my view, dismissive of questions about how the two secret side arrangement between Iran and the IAEA, which is the UN atomic watchdog agency. He had not seen them, and he appeared to not consider them a fundamental part of the proposal.

Importantly, Iran was also able to demand and obtain from our negotiators that no American IAEA inspector will ever inspect one of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

I have studied this proposal as a member of the House Financial Services Committee Task Force on Terrorism Financing, and with my three decades of private business experience I can tell you that Iran’s central bank, its commercial banks, and even its Quds Force institutions (the Special Forces unit of the Revolutionary Guards) are dedicated to attacks on Israel and Western targets. Once these institutions are back in the international banking system, it will be very hard to interdict their financial transactions.

In fact, this is clearly in conflict with American policy. For under Title III of the Patriot Act, we take actions to block state and non-state actors in money laundering and terror finance. Now, under this Iranian proposal, if we use these Patriot Act powers Iran using these powers, Iran may treat this type of action as a reason to suspend the agreement.

With this proposal, we are also legitimizing a $100-140 billion infusion of capital to the world’s “Central Bank of Terror, “Iran. And we have tied our hands to use our existing interdiction powers to punish Iran in the future, and, worst of all, put our strategic allies in the region at risk of annihilation, particularly the State of Israel.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah stated this about Israel: “God willing there will be nothing left of the Zionist regime in 25 years. Meanwhile, the heroic jihadi Islamic spirit will not leave the Zionists in peace for a second.”

Anyone that is a friend of Israel cannot, in good faith, support this proposal.

This premise that not having a deal will lead to war is patently untrue. With American leadership, there is an alternative, and that alternative is a better deal.

The economies of the Great Britain, Germany, France, and the United States dwarf the 400 billion dollar GDP of Iran, and we need to use our economic clout to negotiate a deal that maintains our sanctions regime, meets the President’s initial objectives of ending Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity, and the result will be a better future for the 60% of Iranians that are under 30 and desirous of being part of a larger world with more opportunities.

Iran got a better deal than they had a right to expect, and Congress should voice its opposition and call for a proposal that actually meets the President’s objectives and offers a better future.


Tags: Representative, French Hill, AR-2, votes, against, #badirandeal, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Questions Regarding the Iran Deal

by U.S. Sen., John Boozman (AR): As you've likely heard, instead of allowing the American people to voice their concerns, the Democrats in the Sentate yesterday chose to prevent a vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

This is one of the most critical issues facing our country today and will impact the lives of our children and grandchildren. President Obama and John Kerry have signed on to support the agreement. They claim it is the best agreement they can reach under today's circumstances. From all I hear and read in poll after poll, the American people do not agree.

I've been studying the agreement and believe it poses an unacceptable risk to our country's national security. I want to hear directly from you and know what you think. It's important. Please take a few minutes now to answer this short survey regarding the agreement between the Obama Administration and Iran.

I anticipate a strong response from Arkansans on this critical issue and want to share the results with my Senate colleagues. The Senate can’t walk away from our responsibility to give the American people a voice in this matter. I will continue to fight to make certain your voice is heard.

It will only take a few minutes to complete the survey. Thanks for your active involvement and your support.

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

Iranian Deal, Legislative Action, Side Deals

by Rep Rick Crawford, AR-1 explains the most recent legislative agenda designed to stop the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

Tags: Representative Rick Crawford, AR-1, Iranian Deal, Legislative Action, Side Deals, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hill: ‘President Failed to Comply’ with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 411,  Finding that the President has not complied with section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015

“This Administration has a terrible habit of bypassing the Legislative Branch to impose its will on the American people. In an attempt to avoid this very situation with a potential Iranian Nuclear Deal, four months ago, Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. It was supported by 177 House Democrats and was signed into law by the President. There is no ambiguity in the bill’s language; the State Department was required to turn over the entire nuclear agreement, including any agreements made between Iran and other parties. The President failed comply with the law and once again is prepared to move forward with a major policy without Congressional approval.

“I do not understand how any member of Congress can agree to support a nuclear deal with such high stakes without having seen the deal in its entirety. This is extremely irresponsible, and I encourage my Democratic colleagues to stand with the Republicans and demand that the secret side deals be released so that we can do our jobs and fully review all the contents of the proposed nuclear deal.”

Section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015:

AGREEMENT - The term `agreement' means an agreement related to the nuclear program of Iran that includes the United States, commits the United States to take action, or pursuant to which the United States commits or otherwise agrees to take action, regardless of the form it takes, whether a political commitment or otherwise, and regardless of whether it is legally binding or not, including any joint comprehensive plan of action entered into or made between Iran and any other parties, and any additional materials related thereto, including annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings, and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.

Tags: Congressman, French Hill, AR-2, President Obama, compliance with, Nuclear Agreement Review Act  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman: Americans Want A Vote 'Against' #BadIranDeal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today released the following statement after the Senate Democrats blocked further consideration of the President’s nuclear deal with Iran:

“A nuclear Iran would be devastating for America and our allies. This is about saving our children and grandchildren from the prospects of nuclear war. I cannot confidently say this agreement will accomplish this goal. In fact, I fear it moves us in the wrong direction. That’s why I oppose the deal.

Poll after poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly oppose this deal as well. But instead of giving Americans an opportunity to weigh in on the deal through their representation in Washington, Senate Democrats have elected to prevent a vote on the agreement.

Our constituents want us to vote on the deal. They have a number of concerns about this deal. We are their voice. We are here to represent them, not to protect President Obama from a difficult veto.

This is a bad deal. The Senate can’t walk away from our responsibility to give Americans a voice in this matter. I will continue to push for the right of Americans to have a say in it.”

Previously, Boozman took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to allow a vote to move forward and stating his opposition to the deal. He also penned an op-ed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that laid out his concerns as the deal was being finalized.

Tags: U.S. Senator, John Boozman, Arkansas, Americans, Want Vote, Against, Iran Deal, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

ICYMI: Senator John Boozman Speaks in Opposition to Iran Deal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) spoke on the Senate floor last night in opposition to the Iran deal and to urge his colleagues not to filibuster the debate.

The following are Boozman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Mr. President, this debate is vital. Despite President Obama’s initial objections to Congressional oversight, the American people deserve a say in this critical national security matter—which I’d note has been negotiated behind closed doors.

The bill we passed in May accomplished. Now the Senate Democrats are talking about taking that away by filibustering this debate. It seems old habits die-hard for the Minority Leader.

How we went from passing Senator Corker’s bill by a vote of 98 to 1 just a few months ago to a potential filibuster is baffling to the American people. Our constituents want this debate. They have a number of concerns about this deal. We are their voice. We are here to represent them, not to protect the President from a difficult veto.

When these discussions began, President Obama claimed we would be able to diplomatically dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. The final agreement suggests this is far from the case. It is apparent the President and his negotiating partners were willing—eager even—to give into every demand made by the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. The goalposts were moved from dismantling Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program to blindly hoping we can contain it.

The deal President Obama and Secretary State Kerry have orchestrated has several key faults. For starters, under the deal, Iran is not required to destroy a single centrifuge. Not one.

That means well over a thousand centrifuges will remain in place at Fordow, one of Iran’s most infamous nuclear sites. Many will continue to operate. This is no ordinary facility. It is a fortified, underground military bunker built into the side of a mountain. It was constructed in secret and has served one purpose—to covertly produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.

When the talks began, the President was adamant that Fordow must be closed as part of the final agreement. However, over the course of the negotiations, the President caved. The Iranians will be able to maintain the capacity to continue enrichment activities at Fordow.

The President claims that verification will ensure Iran’s compliance, but verification appears to be exactly where this deal is lacking any punch. There is nothing in this deal that lets us confidently say we know what truly is going on at any of the nuclear sites in Iran.

There are no “anytime, anywhere” inspections—including at Fordow. Even worse, international inspectors won’t even be the ones handling inspections at the country’s military complex in Parchin. The Iranians themselves will be. How this is acceptable to anyone is astonishing. There is absolutely no reason, given the regime's history, to believe that Iranian inspectors will be honest about what is going on in Parchin.

A lack of verification is far from the only troubling aspect of this agreement. The Iranian regime believes that the agreement gives them full, permanent relief from sanctions.

Lifting sanctions will provide Iran with approximately $100 billion in previously frozen assets, which the administration has openly admitted will go, at least in part, to the Iranian military and its terrorist offshoots.

It was hard enough to get the international community to commit to sanctions in the first place. With a reprieve of this nature, we will never be able to reestablish them should Iran not live up to its end of this agreement—which is a strong possibility given the Iranian regime’s duplicitous actions in the past.


Along with sanctions relief, the international arms embargo and ban on ballistic missile research will be lifted. Within the next eight years, Iran will have access to modern, offensive weaponry.

This does not bode well for peace in the region. It puts our security and that of our allies at great risk. Remember, we are talking about the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. What we are giving up as a result of this deal—the sanctions relief, the arms embargo, the ongoing enrichment—makes the world a more dangerous place.

We have a responsibility to ensure that Iran never achieves its goal of becoming a nuclear power. If Iran goes nuclear, Saudi Arabia and other nations in the region surely will follow. The deal gives us little confidence that we will be successful in this regard.

A nuclear Iran could be devastating for America and our allies. This is about saving our children and grandchildren from the prospects of nuclear war. I cannot confidently say this agreement will accomplish this goal. In fact, I fear it moves us in the wrong direction. For that reason, I oppose the deal and intend to support the resolution of disapproval.


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