Dr. Boozman's Check-up

We’ve had a very busy three days traveling around Northeast Arkansas to eight counties. We appreciate all of the warm receptions and more importantly getting to hear from Arkansans about this issues they face in this current economic environment. There are a variety of issues our country is challenged with and we will be discussing them in the coming days and weeks as the Senate convenes for the Second Session of the 112th Congress.

Some of you may have read about our stops in the local paper but in case you missed it here is what some of the locals papers are saying:

Boozman criticizes pipeline decision - Jonesboro Sun

Boozman talks jobs, savings during Blytheville visit – Blytheville Courier News

Yesterday the Obama Administration announced it would not issue a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. You can read my statement here. This is not the right approach to job creation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates this would create 250,000 over the course of the project with 20,000 immediate jobs.

Newspapers from around the country examined the President’s decision and decided it was not the right policy in our current economic climate where 8.5 percent of Americans are looking for employment.

Here is a look at editorial page headlines across the country today:

Obama’s Keystone pipeline rejection is hard to accept  - Washington Post

“…on the substance, there should be no question... clearly, constructing the pipeline would still result in job gains during a sluggish economic recovery.”

Pipeline politics: Misguided Obama blocks Keystone pipeline – Chicago Tribune

“Obama made a decision that will cost the U.S. good jobs. He seems to think those jobs will still be there when he gets around to making a decision on the pipeline. But they may well be gone for good.”

The Anti-Jobs President – The Wall Street Journal

“Only last week the White House issued a "jobs" report praising domestic energy production, but that now looks like political cover for this anti-jobs policy choice.”

Over the past few weeks, the chorus of concerns over Congressional efforts to address online piracy has intensified.  I can say, with all honesty, that the feedback I received from Arkansans has been overwhelmingly in opposition to the Senate bill (S.968, the PROTECT IP Act) in its current form.  That is why I am announcing today that I intend to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act.

I will have my name removed as a co-sponsor of the bill and plan to vote against it if Majority Leader Reid brings it to the floor in its current form.

The PROTECT IP Act seeks to address an issue that is of vital importance to the future of intellectual property rights in the modern era.  However, the concerns regarding the unintended consequences of this particular bill are legitimate.  Therefore, we should not rush to pass this bill, rather we should be working to find another solution so that the epidemic of online piracy is addressed in a manner that ensures innovation and free speech is protected.  I have confidence that we can do this, but not as the PROTECT IP Act stands today.

Online piracy hinders creativity and steals jobs.  Much of this criminal behavior comes from rogue websites operating in countries like Russia and China.  Their ability to operate threatens American ingenuity by distributing copyrighted material free of charge.  We must work to ensure that copyright holders are protected if we want to defend American ingenuity, ideas and artwork.

The goals of the Protect IP Act are commendable, but the potential for damaging unintended consequences is its major flaw.  Moving forward, I will work with my colleagues, the stakeholders and the American people to find a workable solution that protects intellectual property rights while promoting an open and vibrant Internet. 

I want to thank you for raising your concerns about this bill.  Your voice has been heard.

This morning, I begin a three day, eight county swing through Northeast Arkansas where I will be meeting with local officials and hearing what is on the minds of members of the community. I expect it to be much like what I heard on my recent six-county tour in Northwest Arkansas--jobs and the economy.

Arkansas Week

Jan 09 2012

In a special edition of Arkansas Week, I visited with Steve Barnes to discuss issues in Congress during the past year and expectations for 2012. If you missed our conversation on your local AETN station, you can watch it here.

One Tuesday Senator Pryor and I met with leadership of the 188th Fighter Wing and the Arkansas National Guard to discuss projected funding challenges facing the Air National Guard. We understand the importance of the 188th to the community, state and the country and will work to support a continued mission for the 188th.

Senator Boozman Answers Your Questions

"From the Mailbag"

Dec 22 2011

Senator Boozman answers questions about the Keystone Pipeline XL, the failure of the Joint Congressional Committee or what is more commonly referred to as the Supercommittee and the National Defense Authorization Act in this edition of "From the Mailbag."

Earlier this week, I visited with Saxon Coates of KBJT-KQEW 1590 AM in Fordyce about the failure of the Supercommittee, the need for a balanced budget amendment, the economic instability in Europe, U.S. withdrawl from Iraq & the Keystone pipeline among other issues. Listen to it by clicking on the link below.

The Keystone XL Pipeline would not only add more to the energy supply of our country, it would pave the way for hundreds of thousands of American jobs overtime, including hundreds immediately in Arkansas.

Unfortunately, last month President Obama delayed his decision on the permit to build this until after the 2012 election, despite the Administration spending three years reviewing the Keystone XL permit and conducting two comprehensive environmental evaluations of the project.

We’re seeing the impact of this delay in Arkansas. Little Rock’s Welspun Tubular Company, hired to help manufacture the pipe, is now forced to lay off employees.

“We had to make a staffing reduction with some of the temporary employees. Due to the KXL pipeline not being shipped out. We have 500 miles of pipe just sitting in the yard, expected to be shipped out, that some of the employees were working on," President Dave Delie told Fox16 on Tuesday.  

I am a strong supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline and I’m working with my colleagues to move this important project forward. Jobs need to be our number one priority. That’s why I am a cosponsor of the North America Energy Security Act, legislation that would reverse President Obama’s delay in granting a permit and require a construction permit to be issued within 60 days of passage.

“[H]ere’s what I know:  However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline, they're going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.” -  President Barack Obama, 12/08/11

After announcing he will block the construction of the proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to U.S. refineries, President Obama upped the rhetorical ante by claiming the project would not create many American jobs to begin with.

Are you sure about that Mr. President?  Even your allies in the powerful unions would probably disagree with that statement.

Here is what they have had to say about the Keystone XL Pipeline project:

AFL-CIO: "For America's skilled craft construction professionals, any discussion of the Keystone XL project begins and ends with one word: JOBS… Throughout America's Heartland, the Keystone Pipeline represents the prospect for 20,000 immediate jobs, and as many as 500,000 indirect jobs via a strong economic multiplier effect… without one single dollar of government assistance." (Mark H. Ayers, President, Building And Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, "For The 99% Of Americans, Keystone = JOBS," Huffington Post, 11/3/11)

LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA: "…not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women." ("Unions Furious At Obama For Killing Pipeline Jobs," Fox News, 11/10/11)

"'The Keystone Pipeline project will offer working men and women a real chance to earn a good wage and support their families in this difficult economic climate,' said… James P. Hoffa." (TransCanada, "U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association And Unions Pledge Their Support For Keystone XL Project," 9/14/10)

Our country lacks an energy policy.  We are also facing a jobs crisis of enormous magnitude.  And our president is standing in the way of one decision that can help address both of these problems—the Keystone XL pipeline.

We need to move forward on this project.  Our economy needs it.  Our national security needs it.  For that reason, I have cosponsored legislation that would require a construction permit to be issued for the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days of passage.