Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Since my election to the Senate five years ago, I have spent time during each August visiting with Arkansas’s farmers, ranchers and industry leaders during my annual agriculture tour.

This year’s tour was extremely beneficial as there are a lot of important issues facing the agriculture community that Arkansas producers were eager to discuss. 

Among them:

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to show me their operations and share their concerns about agriculture-related issues during this year’s tour. It is my hope that by the time next year’s tour rolls around, we will have quashed the misguided WOTUS rule, reauthorized the child nutrition law and settled the labeling dispute.

In this edition of 'From the Mailbag' I respond to an email from Curt in Wynne who told me he can't afford they skyrocketing electric prices that will likely result from the EPA's so-called “Clean Power Plan.”  Unfortunately, this plan makes Arkansas families vulnerable to high energy costs, electricity blackouts and job cuts. That's why I'm fighting against it.
In this edition of 'From the Mailbag' I answer an email I received from Karen in Fayetteville who says she is concerned about the Iran nuclear deal. This is why I won't be supporting it.
In this edition of 'From the Mailbag' I respond to an email from Lauren in Little Rock who wrote about the need to stop the cycle of short-term extensions to fund inrastructure projects and support a long-term bill.

The last week before the August in-state work period begins was a busy one with a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, another harmful EPA mandate announced and my introduction of a bill to provide flexibility to federal child nutrition summer meals programs. Read about these and more in the Week in Review.

On Saturday my office hosted a Veterans History Project workshop in Springdale to teach Arkansans how they can help capture the experiences of our veterans and have them included in the collection at the Library of Congress. I am proud to see so many people are interested in participating in the project and sharing the stories of our veterans. Thanks to KNWA for this story on the workshop. 

Later today, the Senate will hold a procedural vote to try to move forward a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Earlier today, I visited with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business about why I think the organization has crossed a line and why we need to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. If you missed the segment, you can watch it here.

Another busy week in Washington comes to a close with passage of a long-term highway bill and the announcement of an upcoming vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Read about these and more in the Week in Review.

  • Thank You Summer Interns: Our second session of summer interns have wrapped up their time in DC and are headed home. I appreciate the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of these interns for the hard work they’ve done this summer alongside my staff and myself to address issues that affect Arkansas. This internship in Washington has presented them with excellent opportunities to gain insight into the legislative process, constituent service and other work being done in the nation’s capital on behalf of Arkansans.

Today is recognized as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. As a member of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus, I believe that whistleblowers play a critical role in exposing wrongdoing. Unfortunately, these brave Americans often face retaliation for doing what is right. As a member of the Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee, I heard testimony today from VA officials as we reviewed whistleblower claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

We need to encourage VA employees to report misconduct because our veterans earned the best care we can offer.

It was a busy week in Washington that included committee passage of my legislation to rein in federal spending, urging the Secretary of Defense to revise a policy to better protect our service members and honoring a fallen soldier. Read more in this Week in Review. 

  • In Honor of SSgt David Wyatt: SSgt David Wyatt, a Russellville native, was killed by a gunman last week in an attack at a military facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I spoke about his service and sacrifice on the Senate floor. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

  • Investigate Planned Parenthood: I joined my Senate colleagues in requesting an investigation into Planned Parenthood following the release of videos showing senior executives discussing in horrific detail the organization’s role in harvesting organs of unborn babies. You can read the letters I sent to the Attorney General and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Protecting Service Members at DoD Military Installations: I called on the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to revise the Department of Defense policy to allow service members to carry firearms at military bases and reserve centers. Read the bicameral letter my colleagues and I sent to the secretary here. 
  • Five Years of Dodd-Frank: There was no celebrating the fifth anniversary of Dodd-Frank. This law hurts community banks. We need a regulatory system that allows small banks to succeed instead of penalizing them. I was happy to approve provisions in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that reduces these overly burdensome regulations and eases the restrictions on our community banks. 
  • Reining in Spending: The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill. As chairman of the FSGG subcommittee, I worked to write a bill that puts us on the path to fiscal responsibility. The bill is $1.3 billion below the spending levels of the current budget year. This is a great step in promoting financial security. 
  • Funding for Arkansas Higher Education: 23 Arkansas colleges, universities and other postsecondary institutions will share nearly $7 million to provide opportunities for academic development and assistance to students in the Natural State. Read what schools received funds from the U.S. Department of Education funding for Student Support Services. 
  • Talking with KASU: In case you missed our interview with Jonesboro’s KASU radio, you can listen to the interview here. We talked about foreign affairs issues including Iran and the next steps for Congress to take on the nuclear deal, efforts to defeat ISIS and the need to support to our allies in the region.

  • Honoring the Northwest Arkansas Council: The Northwest Arkansas Council celebrated its 25th anniversary this week. The Council has transformed the region into an economic powerhouse. I recognized these achievements in the Congressional Record
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