Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Spending and immigration reform dominated this week’s action in the Senate. Here’s a wrap-up of some of the big issues of the week:

  • Immigration Reform: A framework for bipartisan immigration reform was unveiled in the Senate this week. I am pleased that members on both sides of the aisle are involved in serious reform discussions, but I believe we have a long way to go before we have a bill that everyone can agree on. I shared my initial thoughts and concerns about the effort on my blog.

  • E-Verify: When we discuss how to deal with our nation’s illegal immigration problem, one vital component is providing employers the right tools to ensure they are hiring a legal workforce. That is why I am cosponsoring the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act of 2013. Introduced this week, the bill seeks to require all employers to confirm the legality of their employees through a federally approved system known as E-Verify, which has a proven track record of combating the hiring of illegal immigrants and is currently used by nearly 270,000 employers nationwide.

  • Talking Second Amendment, Aid to Egypt & “No Budget, No Pay” with Mountain Talk Radio:  On Tuesday, I joined the team at Mountain Talk Radio (KJMT-OD - 97.1 FM) in Mountain Home for their morning show. We discussed the debate over Second Amendment rights, aid to Egypt and my support for the No Budget, No Pay Act. If you missed it, you can listen to the entire interview online

  • No Budget, No Pay: Does the Senate need extra incentive to pass a budget? Given that it has been almost 1375 days since the Senate Majority has accomplished this basic task, we have to hold the members of our institution accountable. That is why I am an original cosponsor of the No Budget, No Pay Act, which withholds pay for members of Congress until they pass a budget. A similar bill passed as part of the debt ceiling extension that passed the Senate this week. Learn about the bill here.

  • Non-Emergency Sandy Disaster Aid: I support providing emergency relief to Americans whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, just as we do when disasters strike in Arkansas. That is why I supported the initial $9.7 billion aid package which was unanimously passed by the Senate without any controversy. However, I could not support the bill passed by the Senate this week. That bill included non-emergency spending that could be debated in the regular FY2013 and FY2014 appropriations process and paid for with offsets, which this bill did not include. Read my full statement here.