WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced H.R. 4779, the CBD Oil Act of 2016, which would bar prosecution of individuals who use cannabidiol (CBD) oil for medical purposes as permitted by existing state law. Fifteen states, including Utah, have passed legislation permitting use of CBD oil for medicinal purposes. This legislation is supported by Utah Governor Gary Herbert.
Chaffetz: “The use of CBD oil to treat epilepsy, cancer, and other intractable diseases has been successful for many patients including children. Patients who qualify to receive treatment should not have to fear prosecution by the federal government. States have taken the lead on this issue and the federal government should follow."
Gov. Herbert: “I support Rep. Chaffetz in his effort to alleviate the fear that many Utah families face over conflicting state and federal laws regarding cannabis oil. This legislation resolves that concern by respecting decisions made at the local level.”
CBD oil is a naturally occurring substance derived from cannabis and, as a Schedule I substance, it falls under the definition of “marihuana” in the Controlled Substances Act. Consequently, the purchase or possession of the substance could subject a patient to federal prosecution. This bill defers to states on the legality of prescribed medicinal CBD oil use.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to concerns expressed by local law enforcement and elected officials, Utah’s Congressional delegation today introduced H.R. 4751, the Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act of 2016. This bill eliminates law enforcement functions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service on federal land, and instead grants authority to local law enforcement.
Congressmen Rob Bishop (UT-01), Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Chris Stewart (UT- 02), and Congresswoman Mia Love (UT-04) released the following statement upon introduction of the bill:
“Federal agencies do not enjoy the same level of trust and respect as local law enforcement that are deeply rooted in local communities. This legislation will help deescalate conflicts between law enforcement and local residents while improving transparency and accountability. The BLM and U.S. Forest Service will be able to focus on their core missions without the distraction of police functions. This is a win all around."
Click here to view full bill text.
Click here to view a letter of support from the Utah Sheriffs' Association.
What the Bill Does:
WASHINGTON– Today, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) released the following statement on news that Brigham Young University (BYU) now owns the deed to the land surrounding Y Mountain Trail:
"BYU owning the land on Y Mountain finally settles who is responsible for maintaining the area surrounding the popular and heavily traveled trail. This is a win for Utahns, Y Mountain visitors, and the federal government. Local control of the trail will provide greater access, improve long-term maintenance, and preserve the beauty of Y Mountain for future hikers to enjoy."
In the 113th Congress, Chaffetz’ introduced and passed The Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act, through the House of Representatives. The bill directed the Department of Agriculture to sell the “Y” block and surrounding land at fair market value to BYU. Language from the bill was signed into law December 2014.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Members of the Utah Delegation sent a letter to President Obama expressing strong opposition to the use of the Antiquities Act to create a national monument within San Juan County. The land in question covers 1.9 million acres in southeastern Utah. The letter encourages the president to support the locally-driven, ongoing Public Lands Initiative (PLI) process instead of unilaterally designating a monument.
Letter signatures include Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Rep. Mia Love (UT-04).
Key excerpts from the letter:
“Federal land-use policy has a major impact on the lives of those residing within and near federal lands. We believe the wisest land-use decisions are made with community involvement and local support. This principle is true whether skyscrapers or sagebrush surround the community.
“Use of the Antiquities Act within will be met with fierce local opposition and will further polarize federal land-use discussions for years, if not decades.
“Make no mistake, both the State of Utah and San Juan County value our public lands. With that said, public participation in land-use decisions is critical to their long-term acceptance and success; the most effective land management policy is inclusive and engaging, not veiled and unilateral.”
Full text of the letter can be viewed here, or below.
February 12, 2015
Dear Mr. President:
As you may know, a coalition of environmental groups and non-profit organizations are lobbying the Department of the Interior, the Council on Environmental Quality, and White House staff to invoke Antiquities Act authority to designate a 1.9-million-acre national monument in San Juan County, Utah. As members of the Utah federal delegation, we write to express our opposition to the Administration’s use of the Antiquities Act within San Juan County.
Federal land-use policy has a major impact on the lives of those residing within and near federal lands. We believe the wisest land-use decisions are made with community involvement and local support. This principle is true whether skyscrapers or sagebrush surround a community. Use of the Antiquities Act within will be met with fierce local opposition and will further polarize federal land-use discussions for years, if not decades.
Make no mistake, both the State of Utah and San Juan County value our public lands. With that said, public participation in land-use decisions is critical to their long-term acceptance and success; the most effective land management policy is inclusive and engaging, not veiled and unilateral. Knowing this, we have collaboratively developed a proposal that would conserve more than 1.2 million acres of federal land in San Juan County—including iconic locations, such as Cedar Mesa, Indian Creek, and the Bears Ears Buttes. We are prepared to work with the Administration to get this proposal signed into law.
As federal elected officials representing the State of Utah, we speak for the vast majority of our constituents. We do not support the use of the Antiquities Act within our community and ask that the Administration withdraw any plans to do so. Prior to any final action, we request that open and transparent conversations occur between the Administration and the state and local elected officials representing any area under consideration for a unilateral monument designation.
Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by voice vote the Corrections and Recidivism Reduction Act (H.R. 759) to reform the federal prison system, strengthen public safety, enhance prison security, provide inmates the help they need, and protect civil liberties. This legislation is one of many bills that have been approved by the House Judiciary Committee as part of its bipartisan criminal justice reform initiative.
At the markup, the Committee adopted a bipartisan amendment in the nature of a substitute that was offered by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Representative Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and Representative Karen Bass (D-Calif.).
Below are statements from the authors of the legislation praising today’s Committee approval of the bill.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Today the House Judiciary Committee approved another important component of its bipartisan criminal justice reform initiative. The Corrections and Recidivism Reduction Act makes meaningful reforms to the prison system that strengthen the safety of our communities and provide inmates the help that they need while in prison to help them better reenter society upon their release. I thank the many members that have worked on this bill and look forward to continue working on other issues facing the criminal justice system.”
Ranking Member Conyers: “I am pleased that the Committee has continued its work on criminal justice reform legislation by approving a bipartisan bill to reform our federal prisons. This bill will provide a meaningful opportunity to many offenders to reduce their time in prison through successful participation in various programs that will reduce their risk of recidivism. For too long, our prisons have simply warehoused individuals whom we know will eventually return to society and, for their benefit and ours, it simply makes sense that we provide incentives for prisoners to be better prepared to re-enter and be productive members of their communities. Adoption of this bill by the Committee is a good first step toward making our federal prison system more humane, more effective, and less costly. I look forward to House consideration of this and other criminal justice reform bills.”
Rep. Chaffetz: “It is not enough to be tough on crime. We have to be smart on crime. More than 95 percent of people that go to prison will be released. Our collective goal should be to lower the recidivism rates and prepare inmates to integrate back into our communities. We all benefit if inmates gain marketable skills rather than criminal insights during their sentence. This legislation will facilitate integration while saving taxpayers money.”
Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Jackson Lee: “Recidivism is a multi-tiered problem with no easy answer. The legislation passed by the committee today is an excellent first step in the direction to helping former inmates. The bill reflects many of the provisions that I fought for including parenting skills and re-entry plans to name a few. Many factors go into a former inmate’s decision to re-offend after release. It is important to note, however, that there have been many studies showing prison programs systems which provide institutional programming have lower recidivism rates among those who are released. Prison programs such as anger management, vocational skills training, educational opportunities, and even trauma support groups are vital to ensuring inmates who are reintroduced to the general population have the life skills necessary to stay on the right path. I look forward to this bill passing the House and going to the President’s desk for his signature.”
Crime Subcommittee Chairman Sensenbrenner: “The Corrections and Recidivism Reduction Act is an important component of our broad criminal justice reform efforts. Ensuring prisoners make a smooth transition from incarceration back into the population is imperative for strong families, strong communities, and long-term success. This bill will reduce the amount of taxpayer money spent on our broken federal prison system, make neighborhoods safer, and provide individuals with the tools they need to stay out of prison and be productive members of society.”
Rep. Richmond: “Being serious about reducing the prison population starts with making the necessary investment to rehabilitate and prepare inmates to lead productive lives once they return home. Increasing access to proven recidivism risk reduction programs will equip them with life skills that help keep ex-offenders from falling back into the same bad choices that landed them in prison in the first place. I’m proud to join my colleagues in getting the federal government out of the business of warehousing inmates and into the business of reforming and rehabilitating people.”
Rep. Collins: “Reducing the likelihood of recidivism through these reforms will be a step toward ending the vicious cycle in which so many former inmates find themselves trapped. The transforming power of a second chance is something I have seen during my time in the ministry. Giving qualified, low-risk offenders increased access to rehabilitative programs during and after their sentences will ultimately help lead them to live productive lives outside prison and increase public safety. This legislation also includes a provision that I co-authored to protect the fundamental right of attorney-client privilege by ensuring that electronic communications are treated the same way as other forms of privileged communication between an inmate and their legal representative. I believe all Americans have a right to legal representation, and interfering with that would be a violation of their Constitutional rights. These common sense reforms will save taxpayers money, while making our criminal justice system more effective.”
Rep. Jeffries: “We have a badly broken criminal justice system in America that has decimated countless families and wasted millions of taxpayer dollars. This bill is a significant first step in the right direction with respect to encouraging rehabilitation, promoting successful re-entry and improving the efficient administration of government funding. The country will be a better place when this legislation is enacted into law.”
Rep. Gowdy: “H.R. 759 is an important step toward creating a smarter and more effective federal prison system. It incentivizes individuals to take steps to reduce their risk of ending up back in federal prison while implementing new policies to enhance public safety and prison security. It also protects inmates’ civil liberties by respecting attorney-client privilege in electronic communications. I thank my colleagues for their hard work on this bipartisan legislation and look forward to continuing to work with them to improve our federal prison system.”
Rep. Bass: “Restraining pregnant inmates, especially when they are giving birth, is barbaric. It is ludicrous to think that a woman prisoner giving birth would be at risk of escaping. I am glad that the final bill contains language that I authored that will prevent women prisoners from being restrained unnecessarily while they are pregnant or giving birth. Several states have already outlawed this practice, and the federal government should as well.”
Key Components of Corrections and Recidivism Reduction Act:
Strengthens Public Safety:
Enhances Prison Security:
Provide Inmates the Help They Need:
Protects Civil Liberties:
• The bill prevents BOP from monitoring the contents of electronic communications to or from a prisoner in a federal prison facility and his attorney or other legal representative. The bill contains an exception when BOP obtains a court order to monitor electronic communications for the purpose of entering it into evidence, or use or disclose, the contents of the communications.
Learn more about the House Judiciary Committee’s criminal justice reform initiative here.
SALT LAKE CITY – In a press conference held in the Gold Room of the Utah State Capitol, Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) released a discussion draft of the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act. Utah Governor Gary Herbert participated in the January 20th event. Reps. Bishop and Chaffetz also announced the website UtahPLI.com where the public and media may access the PLI discussion draft, maps, and a section-by-section description of the potential legislation. Senator Mike Lee will sponsor the companion legislation in the Senate.
Rep. Rob Bishop offered the following statement: “The release of this draft represents the culmination of years of our effort to listen to people. This is a discussion draft, which provides another opportunity for positive ideas. Our goal has always stayed constant. We will conserve areas worthy of conservation. We will guarantee outdoor recreation for all Utahns. We will enhance economic development to fund Utah schools and create good jobs. We will provide certainty by ending the litigation and mindless debates. That certainty will allow everyone to plan for the future without outside groups imposing their misguided will.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz said, “PLI will enhance local land management and provide immediate certainty to eastern Utah communities. This locally driven process has allowed stakeholders to come to the table, engage in conversations, and offer solutions that make the land management system work better for eastern Utah. We've crafted a needed balance between conservation and economic development and I look forward to moving this bill forward.”
Governor Gary Herbert issued the following statement: “There is no doubt Utah stands to gain directly and immediately under the Public Land Initiative,” Gov. Herbert said. “I am supportive of this inclusive, bottom-up approach that moves us in the right direction. While the initiative is not perfect, as no true compromise is, it finds a way to give the state greater control over the use of Utah lands.”
Complete text of the discussion draft available at UtahPLI.com.
WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz released the following statement regarding the passage of his bill, H.R. 1777, the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act:
“No former US president today is dependent on taxpayer subsidies alone for his living. Former presidents have shown they can earn millions of dollars through book tours and speaking engagements alone. The time has come to reduce the taxpayer’s heavy burden of supporting former presidents who have proven to be highly capable of supporting themselves. With strong bipartisan and public support, this bill deserves to be considered by the Senate and sent to the President’s desk."
In FY 2016, GSA estimates that it will spend approximately $3.2 million for former presidents. Former presidents currently receive the following annual benefits: a pension equal to the pay for the head of an executive department, funds for travel, office space, support staff, and mailing privileges.
• Amends and modernizes the Former Presidents Act of 1958 by authorizing a $200,000 annual pension for each former president and a $100,000 annual survivor benefit for each surviving spouse (currently set at $20,000).
• The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act sets an annual allowance of $200,000 for costs such as travel, staff, and office expenses that are associated with post-presidential life. For those former presidents that earn outside income, the $200,000 annual allowance is reduced dollar-for-dollar for every dollar a former president earns in outside income in excess of $400,000.
• The bill does not affect funding for the security or protection of former presidents or a family member of a former president.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) released the following statement after voting in support of the legislation:
“Today the House did its job. Obamacare has been a disaster since it was forced on the American people over five years ago. People are paying more and getting less. Likewise, Planned Parenthood provides no unique services worthy of federal subsidies from the American taxpayer. The president has hidden behind Senate Democrats for far too long. Now, he must choose whether to stand with the American people or stand behind his failures.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) released the following statement after President Obama announced new executive action to restrict gun ownership:
“The president’s actions are out of bounds and vastly exceed his executive authority. This is yet another attempt by President Obama to bypass the American people, their elected representatives, and the Constitution itself. The president’s approach undermines the foundation of our democracy. The Committee will continue to conduct vigorous oversight and shine light on this administration.”Read More
2464 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Selected by House leadership to chair the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, Jason Chaffetz enters his third term in Congress with energy, enthusiasm, and a determination to continue reforming Washington, D.C.
Believing in the core conservative principles of a strong national defense, fiscal discipline, limited government, and accountability, Mr. Chaffetz distinguished himself as a budget hawk by co-founding the Sunset Caucus, identifying budget cutting measures, running a lean office that returned more than $600,000 of his office budget in his first term, and sleeping on a cot in the closet of his office. He was asked by House Speaker John Boehner to chair the House Technology Operations Team, was featured regularly on CNN’s freshman year, and consistently appears in local and national media outlets to communicate the conservative message.
On November 4, 2008, Mr. Chaffetz was elected by a 37-point margin to represent Utah’s Third Congressional District. To secure the Republican nomination, Mr. Chaffetz unseated a 12-year incumbent by a 20-point margin, and did so with no paid campaign staff, no polling, no free meals for potential voters, no campaign office, and a refusal to go into debt to finance the campaign. Despite being outspent by over $600,000, Mr. Chaffetz’ approach to conservative principles resonated with voters and resulted in an unprecedented victory.
Mr. Chaffetz comes to Congress with a 16-year history in the local business community, executive branch experience in Utah State government, a reputation for running strong political campaigns, and a distinguished college football career.
Mr. Chaffetz, who grew up in California, Arizona, and Colorado, was invited to Utah in the mid-1980s by the legendary Brigham Young University football coach LaVell Edwards to be a placekicker. His years at BYU literally transformed his life.
After a successful football career that included two years as the starting placekicker and two school records, Mr. Chaffetz earned a degree in communications and married Julie Johnson of Mesa, Arizona. In February, Mr. and Mrs. Chaffetz celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.
In 1995, Mr. Chaffetz’s mother passed away after a long fight with cancer. Consequently, he was deeply touched by the overwhelming generosity of the Utah-based Huntsman family in fighting the disease that killed his mother. Their commitment was more than words as they personally donated hundreds of millions of dollars to research and treat cancer.
Upon reading an article about Jon Huntsman, Jr. potentially running for Governor of Utah, Mr. Chaffetz sought to meet the man who had given so much to fight cancer. Through a mutual friend, a meeting was set up and Mr. Chaffetz eventually joined the Huntsman for Governor staff. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Chaffetz was named Campaign Manager. In a crowded field of contenders, Huntsman triumphed by running a well-organized, positive campaign and became Utah’s 16th Governor. The Governor invited Mr. Chaffetz to continue working with him as his Chief of Staff.
Mr. Chaffetz used his time in the Governor’s Office to learn about the federal delegation and the issues that matter to the State of Utah. As Utah’s representative in Congress, he is committed to represent Utah to Washington, not Washington to Utah. Mr. Chaffetz made a commitment to voters in 2008 that he would seek to return this country to the core conservative principles of fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and a strong national defense. As he concludes his second term, he has a distinguished record of promoting legislation to restore those values.
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