Dr. Boozman's Check-up

There has been a great deal of misinformation surrounding Senator Boozman's vote to invoke cloture during the debate over the first House-passed continuing resolution. In an effort to clear up the confusion Senator Boozman penned a personal letter to his constituents. You can read it by clicking on the attachment below.

Writing Letter on Cloture Vote

I’m disappointed that the partisanship in Congress has resulted in a government shutdown. What is most frustrating is that this directly impacts the services Americans rely on. A government shutdown has real implications for seniors, veterans and hardworking Arkansas families who rely on the services provided by federal agencies. We need to work together to find common ground to keep the government operating so we can eliminate the threat of interruptions in government services. 

In the past week, I voted to continue funding the government while making policy changes to the President’s healthcare law. Each of these votes was in support of House-passed legislation. Unfortunately, these bills did not have the support of the majority of the Senate and triggered a government shutdown for the first time in 17-years. 

While I don’t believe a continuing resolution is the responsible way to fund the government because it is a short-term funding solution, we need to find common ground to provide the services of government. We will continue to encourage long-term planning and that begins with basics of passing a budget. This is the most basic level of governing. We need this framework to rein in spending and eliminate the waste and abuse of government programs. We need to pass appropriations bills. This proper process is necessary so we avoid interruptions in government like we’re experiencing today. 

The shutdown is already impacting many Arkansas families. My staff is here ready to help and hear about how this shutdown impacts you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can better serve you. You can always contact our office by email or reach us by  phone

To stay up-to-date with what is happening I encourage you to monitor upcoming votes in the House and the Senate

Our efforts to avoid a government shutdown 

Floor speech – Boozman calls on Senate to consider House-passed bill that defunds Obamacare 

Press Release – Senate should take up bill to delay Obamacare and keep government operating 

Press Release - Boozman Statement on Votes to Defund Obamacare and Avoid a Government Shutdown

Fact vs. Fiction - The Government Shutdown and Obamacare

Learn more about the impact of a government shutdown   

Congressional Research Service (CRS)- Shutdown of the Federal Government:
Causes, Processes, and Effects 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)- Guidance for federal agencies and employees in the event of a shutdown furlough

 

 

The Government Shutdown and Obamacare

What Does Senator Boozman Think of the Government Shutdown?

A government shutdown has real implications for seniors, veterans and hardworking Arkansas families who rely on the services provided by federal agencies.

Boozman has tried to prevent a shutdown, but there has been no willingness to on the part of Majority Leader Reid to compromise. He has refused to even allow the Senate to consider the last three House-passed continuing resolutions. And now he just shot down an effort to form a committee between the two chambers to resolve this and has stated he will not entertain the idea of individual spending bills to keep agencies like the

It’s time to come together and find commonsense solutions to our challenges. America functions best when we work through our differences and come together and address our country's problems.

Does Senator Boozman Oppose Obamacare?

YES. Senator Boozman has been fighting against Obamacare for nearly five years. He opposed Obamacare when Nancy Pelosi brought it to the floor of the House of Representatives. He’s voted to repeal Obamacare. He’s voted to defund ObamaCare. He’s voted to chisel away at parts of Obamacare. And he’s fought against Obamacare’s waste, abuse, and fraud.

Does Senator Boozman Support Defunding Obamacare?

YES. Senator Boozman has always supported defunding, delaying, repealing, and replacing Obamacare.

Does Senator Boozman Support the “Defund Obamacare Political Campaign” associated with the current CR?

NO. The current “Defund Obamacare Effort” is a misleading campaign. Some suggest that if Republicans threaten to shut down the government, we can force Harry Reid to defund Obamacare. This is simply not true. 

As Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has said, the defunding claims are “tremendously erroneous” and “not intellectually honest.” The independent Congressional Research Service concluded that even with a government shutdown, Obamacare would remain alive and funded.  The vast majority of Obamacare spending is mandatory spending that Congress does not control.

Case in point: On the same day the government shut down, the Obamacare exchanges still launched, albeit with problems as we predicted. The wheels in motion cannot be stopped by defunding because of the manner in which the program is funded. We need another approach to stop this terrible law.

Does Senator Boozman Support a Government Shutdown to Repeal Obamaare?

NO. Causing a government shutdown does not move us closer to repealing or defunding Obamacare. In fact, shutting down the government is making it harder for us to repeal Obamacare. Instead of focusing on higher healthcare premiums, government rationing, Medicare cuts, and President Obama's false promises, the White House and the Senate Majority are playing political games. This distraction plays into President Obama's hand

Moreover, a shutdown is the wrong way to govern. In this fragile economy, it is simply not fair to hold Americans hostage for political gain. It’s not the right way to run government. It’s the very reason the American people hold Washington in low regard.

We must repeal Obamacare. However, we need to be smart about how we oppose this President and his agenda. President Obama will not sign legislation that destroys his signature initiative and the Democratic Senate majority won’t approve this legislation that accomplishes this. Moving forward, Senator Boozman will continue to fight against this failed law so the American people demand its full repeal.

Why did Senator Boozman support cloture on the Continuing Resolution?

Senator Boozman supported each of the House-passed bills to keep the government operating. The first bill the House sent over would have accomplished our goals of keeping the government operating and defunding Obamacare. Avoiding a government shutdown is a good policy that protects hardworking Americans. Unfortunately, that bill was changed. Majority Leader Harry Reid stripped language to defund this problematic law and Senator Boozman could no longer support it. This is not the end of our fight. We will continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that contain costs.

Senator Boozman voted for cloture on the first House-passed bill because it would defund Obamacare and keep the government operating. It defies logic to vote against a bill that accomplishes our objectives.

Failure to have obtained cloture would have only resulted in a government shutdown, which is eventually where Majority Leader Reid led us. However, failing to move that first bill forward would have put the blame for a shutdown squarely on the Republicans. A government shutdown doesn’t repeal Obamacare. The vast majority of Obamacare spending is mandatory spending that Congress does not control.

If President Obama were to somehow receive a continuing resolution that defunded his landmark law, he would veto it. We would need 67 votes in the Senate to override that veto. Simple math shows you that with a Democrat Majority, the numbers are simply not there.

There was no end game with this strategy, outside of a government shutdown, which is why Senator Boozman could not support it.

If you had been told anything different would result from voting against cloture, you were being misled.

Wasn't this the last chance to end Obamacare?  

Not by a long shot. This program is falling apart faster than it can roll out. We have seen the snags in the programs when it launched and there will continue to be problems. Leaders who helped usher the bill through Congress have called its implementation a ‘trainwreck.’ We have opportunities to capitalize on that by picking it apart piece by piece. 

A government shutdown has real implications for seniors, veterans and hardworking Arkansas families who rely on the services provided by federal agencies.

This is exactly what we were trying to prevent, but there has been no willingness to on the part of Majority Leader Reid to compromise. He has refused to even allow the Senate to consider the last three House-passed continuing resolutions. And now he just shot down an effort to form a committee between the two chambers to resolve this.

It’s time to come together and find commonsense solutions to our challenges. America functions best when we work through our differences and come together and address our country's problems.

Agriculture is critical to Arkansas and our rural communities and our state’s economy. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am committed to supporting both the producers of our food and fiber and the communities in which they live. One out of every six jobs in Arkansas is tied to agriculture and we’re working to craft agriculture policies that ensure our state’s agriculture continues to thrive. The Farm Bill, legislation that directs government policy for major agriculture and nutrition programs, expires today and we need to have the necessary protections in place for our industry. 

Our agriculture producers need certainty to plan for the future. The reauthorization of a five-year Farm Bill is required for our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities to plan for the future and continue to create good jobs for working Arkansas families. 

The Senate and House of Representatives have passed bills that protect our agriculture producers and I am encouraging my colleagues in Congress to work together to pass a five-year Farm Bill into law. This needs to be a top priority for Congress as it discusses spending in the continuing resolution and the upcoming debt ceiling debate.  We cannot allow our agriculture economy and the neediest members of our communities to suffer the uncertainty created by the failed politics of Washington.

With the exchanges opening tomorrow, we see it is clearly not ready to provide the American people what they were promised; affordable health care. We have seen the problems caused with already with implementing this problematic law. The authors and opponents of the law called it a ‘train wreck.’ It costs too much, hurts American job creators and increases premiums for Arkansas families.

Americans overwhelmingly reject this law. They also overwhelmingly want to avoid a government shutdown, which we are hours away from if the Senate fails to act on a bill to keep the government running.

That is why I support the bill the House of Representatives passed over the weekend to delay Obamacare for one year and keep the government open. The President has already granted multiple exemptions from the law to his political allies. Let’s be fair and give the same relief to every American.

Along with that bill, Majority Leader Reid should also bring up the House-passed bill to ensure our troops are paid if the Senate Majority refuses to work with the House Majority to avoid a shutdown.  For our brave men and women in the armed services, receiving their salary to pay their bills as a result of Washington’s inaction is the last thing they need to worry about.

The Administration is failing to protect the Second Amendment by signing the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (U.N. ATT). Secretary of State John Kerry signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty today without the support of many Senators including myself. This is a policy reversal from both the Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration. 

This is the ultimate disregard for our Constitution, a challenge to the authority of Congress to regulate firearms within the United States and infringement on our Second Amendment right. I believe this is a backdoor approach to chip away at every law abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. I will vote against this treaty when it comes before the Senate. 

Fortunately, two-thirds of the Senate must approve the treaty for ratification and I don’t believe that support exists. Earlier this year 53 Senators went on record supporting an amendment to prohibit the State Department from negotiating this treaty.

As a cosponsored of S. Con. Res. 7, a bipartisan resolution that makes clear a U.N. ATT that undermines constitutional freedoms of American gun owners will not be ratified by the Senate, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the Senate does not ratify this unnecessary and unconstitutional treaty.

Tele-Town Hall

Sep 24 2013

We hosted a tele-town hall last night. Don’t worry if you missed it, you can listen to the conversation here. If you are interested in participating in our next event sign-up here. We had a great conversation about some of the issues Washington is debating and working to solve.  We appreciate the involvement and taking the time to talk with us.

It's Been Five Years

Sep 19 2013

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the State Department receiving TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. After four environmental studies that all concluded that there would be no significant impact along the proposed route to refineries in Texas, we are still waiting for the President to sign off on this important project that will jumpstart job creation and help reduce our dependence on oil from unstable regimes. 

If the President is serious about job creation, he needs to give Keystone XL the green light. This would support more than 40,000 jobs nationwide during construction including in Arkansas. Natural State businesses and workers would benefit from this project. Keystone XL would have a big economic impact, with the investment of $5.3 billion in the U.S. economy. 

While governors in the states in which the pipeline will travel through support the project, the ultimate decision rests with the State Department and the President. The State Department has conducted the studies, and each time, the results show it is environmentally safe. It’s time to stop talking and analyzing and finally begin construction.

Earlier this month, I joined Senator John Thune (R-SD) to introduce the Union Bailout Prevention Act. This bill would prevent the Obama administration from granting unions a special exemption from Obamacare.

While we work to bring this bill up for a vote, we have to remain vigilant as this Administration makes it a practice to impose its will through the regulatory process when legislative success is unachievable. 

That’s why I joined twenty of my colleagues to urge the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Sylvia Burwell to prohibit union health plans from receiving a carve-out in Obamacare, specifically premium assistance tax credits that are intended for the uninsured to purchase health insurance – a benefit no non-union member in America would receive.

Our letter reads in part, “The new health care law is clear that taxpayer-funded premium assistance credits are intended for low-to-middle income Americans without access to affordable insurance through an employer and who purchase health insurance through the new state-based exchanges. The fact is that Taft-Hartley union health plans are not exchange-based plans—rather, they are employer-sponsored health plans. Providing union members with a benefit not afforded to non-union employees is grossly unfair to every non-union worker in America who would receive no such special carve out from the health care law.”

Click on the attachment below to read the letter in its entirety.