Dr. Boozman's Check-up

It was a busy week in Washington. Let’s recap what you might have missed.   

  • John Brennan’s Confirmation:  Yesterday, John Brennan was confirmed as CIA Director despite the efforts of many of us to stop his nomination. I commend Senator Rand Paul for holding the President accountable and for his persistence in trying to get a simple question answered from the administration: “Do you believe that you have the legal authority to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil without due process?”

    While Senator Paul was pushing this on the floor, we were working behind the scenes to make sure we had the votes to sustain a filibuster if Majority Leader Reid tried to end it. While we got an answer to the drone question, there were many other troubling aspects of Mr. Brennan's nomination including the unanswered questions about Benghazi, which happened on his watch, and his support for closing our facility at Guantanamo Bay (GITMO). For these reasons, I voted against his confirmation. More: http://1.usa.gov/16bu7rr 
  • Fighting for our Farmers: The EPA is continuing its assault on America’s farms with another excessive regulation that would be costly to our nation’s agri-businesses. This legislation will prevent Arkansas farmers and ranchers from having to spend money on equipment just to comply with another extreme regulation. More: http://1.usa.gov/YRpI5z

  • Careers for Veterans Act: I cosponsored the Careers for Veterans Act, a bill that would help create long-term, sustainable jobs for America's veterans by transitioning the skills they gained through their service into jobs in the civilian workforce. By making licenses and credentials in their chosen fields more accessible, this bill will help our nation's veterans and their families by opening up career opportunities for them without adding to the national deficit. More: http://1.usa.gov/WaS267 
  • Protecting the value of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals: After hearing from the nation’s leading veterans organizations, Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and I introduced a bill to ensure that combat medals like the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart rank ahead of a new medal honoring service away from the front lines. More: http://1.usa.gov/YIKozG 
  • White House Makes Political Decision to End Tours: This week, the White House made a clearly political decision to cancel all public tours, even ones that were previously confirmed. If you intend to visit Washington DC in the immediate future, and wanted to tour the White House, I would like to offer our most sincere apologies for the inconvenience the White House has caused to your plans. While we completely understand and share in your frustrations, please know that our office will welcome you and can gladly arrange a U.S. Capitol tour. More: http://1.usa.gov/YuRaJl 
  • Leveling the Playing Field for Domestic Wood Products: I joined a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Forest Products Fairness Act to provide new opportunities for American forestry producers by allowing their products to qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred Program. More: http://1.usa.gov/WaSL7f 
  • Keystone XL Clears Another Hurdle: It’s important to develop an energy policy that uses our natural resources and puts us on the path to energy independence. We can start moving our country in this direction with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which recently cleared another major hurdle. More: http://1.usa.gov/YQXCJT & http://1.usa.gov/YhEPVM 
  • Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Courthouse Violence: As we know too well in Arkansas, there is an elevated risk of violence in courthouses. We saw this when a gunman walked in to the Crawford County Courthouse, opened fire and was ultimately stopped before killing anyone by swift-acting law enforcement officers. As we look for fiscally responsible ways in which Washington can help our towns and cities protect their courthouses, it makes perfect sense to allow them to use existing federal money to improve courthouse safety. This bill is the smart way to give law enforcement the tools they need to help to stop these unnecessary acts of violence in our courthouses. More: http://1.usa.gov/12zZYTs