Dr. Boozman's Check-up
Week in Review: March 23-27
Mar 27 2015
Ag Committee examines the impacts of the EPA’s proposed overreaching water rule, Arkansas veterans getting a new state veterans home, Franklin and Yell counties improving first responders capability and the Senate approves a budget. Read more about this busy week in Washington in this Week in Review.
- Senate Approves Budget to Rein in Spending: The Senate voted to balance the federal budget in ten years, without raising taxes, while strengthening our national defense and creating economic growth and opportunity for hardworking Arkansans. Included in the budget resolution approved in the unusually late night of votes was an amendment I introduced to cut waste, fraud and abuse across Washington. I also cosponsored an amendment to improve prevention and treatment measures that would mitigate the impact of virus outbreaks—such as the avian flu—on agriculture and the economy.
- Preventing EPA’s Water Power Grab: I appreciated hearing testimony from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge about the potential impact the EPA’s proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule and its impact on our state. The Senate Ag Committee held a hearing about the agency’s overreaching proposal.
- Rein in the IRS: As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee I'm working to rein in the IRS and hold the agency accountable to the taxpayers. Read my blog post.
- Obamacare Anniversary: On Monday, we recognized the fifth anniversary of Obamacare becoming law. It’s not an anniversary worth celebrating. With a price tag in the trillions, the law creates more problems than it solves. It drives up health care costs, busts our budget, stifles job growth and raises taxes on hardworking Arkansans.
- Iran Nuclear Talks: The United States is in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. What I’m hearing from Arkansans is that we need to be working to ensure that Iran does not become nuclear. I am especially concerned about this development as reported by the Associated Press.
- North Little Rock State Veterans Home: We received great news for Arkansas veterans. The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs approved a 30 acre land transfer. This is a critical step in building a new veterans home in central Arkansas.
- Veterans Choice Program Update: VA updated criteria eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program to now allow veterans to see non-VA providers if a veteran lives 40 miles driving distance or more from a VA health facility.
- Golden Triangle Video: Members of the Golden Triangle Economic Development Council updated me on the economic improvements and needs of South Arkansas. I appreciated hearing about their efforts and how we can help create an environment that encourages job growth and development. MyArklaMiss highlighted a video of the group’s visit.
- Grant Funds for Emergency Response Equipment: Our first responders need the necessary tools to keep the community safe. USDA Rural Development awarded Franklin and Yell counties grants that will make it easier for first emergency personnel to respond and protect residents in emergency situations.
- Leading the Global Fight Against Human Trafficking – Our nation is a leader in the global fight to end human trafficking. However our efforts are hurt by the actions of few bad apples in the State Department who contribute to the demand for the human sex trade. That’s why I recently joined bicameral efforts urging the State Department to resolve the situation.