Dr. Boozman's Check-up
Jul 31 2015
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.
- Long-term Highway Bill Passes Senate: The DRIVE Act revamps the funding mechanism to the Highway Trust Fund to provide our state and local officials with certainty for six years. It would save money in the long-term, create immediate jobs and produce decades of economic opportunity for communities. The House has pledged to take up a long-term bill when members return and I am committed to working with them to ensure the core of the DRIVE Act is included in the final product. In the meantime, we passed another extension to make sure Arkansas taxpayer dollars are returned to the state. I am confident that we can come to an agreement to pass a long-term solution in the coming months.
- Working to Defund Planned Parenthood: Following the release of videos documenting Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of organs from unborn babies, I joined Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and twenty-two of my colleagues to introduce legislation to defund the organization. The Senate is set to take up the bill on Monday.
- Learning How to Help Summer Meal Programs in Little Rock: I joined Arkansas anti-hunger leaders at the Little Rock Children’s Library and Arkansas Children’s Hospital Summer Food Service Program sites to learn how summer meal services can be improved for students.
- Commemorating 125th Anniversary of Second Morrill Act: I introduced a resolution marking the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, legislation that established educational opportunities for African-Americans with the creation of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) and 18 other historically black colleges and universities.
- Keeping the Pressure on Kony: I joined Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) to introduce a resolution that condemns Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for the ongoing perpetration of crimes against humanity and urges continued support for the efforts of the U.S., African Union and regional governments to bring Kony and his associates to justice.
- Protecting Whistleblowers: Wednesday was 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 from VA officials as we reviewed whistleblower claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). You can watch my questions and the witnesses’ responses here.
- Hero of Main Street Award: Retail supports more than 350,000 Arkansas jobs. This is an important industry to our state’s economy. I am honored to receive the National Retail Federation’s Hero of Main Street award and I am committed to promoting policies that create an environment that allows these businesses to grow.
- 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.
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