WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced H.R. 3174, Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2015. This legislation will allow America’s 71 million pet owners to shop around for the best price available when filling pet prescriptions.
“Having the ability to shop around will mean real savings for consumers. This legislation will create more competition, lower prices, provide greater medication options, and increase shopping convenience. As prices drop, treating ill pets will be more affordable, allowing owners to enjoy more time with their pets,” said Chaffetz.
Americans spend nearly $10 billion every year on pet medications and pet health-related products. Federal law bars pet owners from buying many of these products without a prescription, but at the same time fails to give consumers the right to a copy of the prescription. The Fairness to Pet Owners Act would give pet owners the right to a copy of their pet's prescriptions from the veterinarian's office.
Among the organizations supporting this legislation are the ASPCA, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the midst of growing bipartisan recognition that America must confront our overcriminalization problem, a group of Democratic and Republican members of Congress have launched an effort to comprehensively address public safety and our broken criminal justice system.
U.S. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) will serve as co-chairs of the newly-formed Congressional Criminal Justice and Public Safety Caucus, a bipartisan membership organization dedicated to educating the public and Members of Congress on crime mitigation, rehabilitation, community collaboration, reform of the prison system, and the advancement of safety and justice in the United States.
Rep. Chaffetz said: "The price of maintaining the largest inmate population in the world is high, both for our communities and for our pocketbooks. Working together across the aisle, I believe we can find common ground on proven strategies to administer justice, rehabilitate offenders, reduce recidivism, and cut costs."
Rep. Labrador said: “Since I took office, I’ve made it a top priority to improve our criminal justice system. This new caucus will accelerate bipartisan momentum for comprehensive reform. Working with colleagues in Congress, the White House and advocates of reform spanning the political spectrum, I believe we have an excellent chance of passing historic legislation in the 114thCongress.”
Rep. Richmond said: “The time has long since come to fix our badly broken criminal justice system. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars and ruined millions of lives with no clear indication that we’re more safe as a result. Members on both sides of the aisle have come together to end the era of mass incarceration. This caucus will continue that spirit of bipartisanship and work to develop and advance real solutions to how justice is served in this country.”
Rep. Jeffries said: “America’s criminal justice system wastes taxpayer dollars, hurts our economic productivity and has unnecessarily devastated countless families. Fixing our badly broken system is an urgent challenge this Congress must confront. The bipartisan caucus will be an important vehicle to generate legislative action that saves money, makes us safer and leads to more equitable criminal justice policies.”
The bipartisan caucus will work with experts and policy makers from the Administration, the judiciary, advocates from throughout the ideological spectrum and community stakeholders in order to facilitate more informed debate and legislative action on criminal justice and public safety issues. It will also seek to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the community in ways that benefit all parties, including by increasing training and promoting positive policing interactions.
At the outset of the 114th Congress, the four chairmen introduced the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act, a bill designed use risk assessment tools to reduce recidivism, lower the crime rate and reduce the amount of money spent on the federal prison system. Reps. Chaffetz and Jeffries also introduced HR 760, the Bureau of Corrections Renaming Act, legislation that would simply rename the “Bureau of Prisons” – under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice – the “Bureau of Corrections”.
WASHINGTON – Today, Utah Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz responded to President Obama’s impending use of the Antiquities Act in Lincoln County and Nye County Nevada to create the 700,000-acre Basin and Range National Monument. In making this announcement, the President will unilaterally wipe away a locally developed land plan without any public involvement or regard for the legislative process.
Rep. Bishop: “Following the example of Jimmy Carter, the Obama Administration is using and abusing the Antiquities Act as a political weapon. The worst part is that the act doesn’t guarantee public input. In fact, the vast majority of monuments that have been created through the Antiquities Act were created with no public input whatsoever. The people in the counties deserve the right to continue their work on locally driven land initiatives without threats like these hanging over their heads.”
Rep. Chaffetz: “Presidents should be barred from using the Antiquities Act within a county that has enacted a land management plan. The Congressional process guarantees public involvement and ensures that all local interests are considered. To avoid the debacle that is now Lincoln County, any county participating in a local planning process should demand such an exemption be included in the final bill, I know that I will.”
Lincoln County, Nevada went through an exhaustive, locally-driven land planning process in 2004 that resulted in the creation of 700,000 acres of wilderness (P.L. 108-424). During floor debate at the time, Senator Harry Reid lauded the bill and said it was a “compromise that is fair, forward-looking and provides for conservation, recreation, and development in Lincoln County and for southern Nevada."
In describing the compromise, Sen. Reid went on to say, “We fully expect some criticism for what the bill does not do. For example, it does not designate the more than 2.5 million acres that the Nevada Wilderness Coalition advocates in Lincoln County. Nor does the bill release all the wilderness study areas in Lincoln County as others would advocate.”
With today’s announcement, the locally developed compromise will be disregarded for a President who never held a single meeting within the Lincoln County community.
Additional Background on the Basin and Range National Monument:
Land Protection Overkill
WASHINGTON – In keeping with their united opposition to No Child Left Behind, Utah’s Congressional delegation voted today to replace many of its provisions by passing H.R. 5 – the Student Success Act.
“The Student Success Act is a step in the right direction,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, who spent nearly three decades as a Utah educator.
After meticulous review of the bill and the passage of key amendments, the delegation expressed confidence that the new provisions are a significant improvement over NCLB.
Representative Rob Bishop: “The Student Success Act limits the role of the federal government, and empowers states and localities to make better choices for our children.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz: “The one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach to education does not work for Utah and it is not working for America. I promised to repeal No Child Left Behind. I’ve long argued there shouldn’t even be a federal Department of Education. It was a pleasure to see NCLB replaced today with provisions that provide more local control. Reauthorizing the status quo is an option we can no longer afford.”
Rep. Chris Stewart: “No Child Left Behind has simply not worked. Programs dictated by the White House and the Department of Education is not how Utah wants to educate its children. Reauthorizing NCLB will not allow us to educate our children according to Utah’s values. Failing to act only results in giving the President and the Secretary of Education more power to unilaterally dictate education policies. By passing the Student Success Act, we will roll back the Administration’s persistent interference in our state’s education.”
Rep. Mia Love: “With this vote, I am continuing my fight for local control of education. During my campaign, I promised to remove the strings attached to Common Core, and today I kept that promise. I demanded strong, clear language to remove the strings that were attached to Common Core, and with the passage of the Zeldin/Love amendment, we voted to make that happen.”
What the Bill Does:
· Reduce the size and influence of the Department of Education. Signing this bill into law eliminates more than 65 unnecessary programs, saves $10 million in overhead costs, and limits the role of the Secretary of Education.
· Reduces the power of federal bureaucrats. Failing to act only results in giving the Secretary of Education more power to unilaterally dictate education policies. This is unacceptable.
· Rolls back the Administration’s persistent interference in education policy. From the bill:
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Secretary to establish any criteria that specifies, defines, or prescribes any aspect of a State’s accountability system developed and implemented in accordance with this [bill]. (p.37)
· Restores greater local control of both curriculum and funding (p.22). With regard to local control, states must proactively opt in to accept the provisions and funding of the Student Success Act. No state is bound by the provisions of the bill should their state legislature vote not to participate. As stated on p. 22:
Any State desiring to receive a grant under this subpart, the State educational agency shall submit to the Secretary a plan, developed by the State educational agency, in consultation with local educational agencies, teachers, school leaders, public charter school representatives, specialized instructional support personnel, other appropriate school personnel, parents, private sector employers, and entrepreneurs.
· Eliminates Common Core’s mandates. The delegation’s support for the Student Success Act was been dependent on strong, clear language removing the requirements imposed by the Department of Education. Page 537 of the Success Act reads:
No officer or employee of the Federal Government shall, directly or indirectly, through grants, contracts, or other cooperative agreements, mandate, direct, incentivize, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curricula, or program of instruction, (including any requirement, direction, incentive, or mandate to adopt the Common Core State Standards….)
· Establishes greater funding flexibility through the creation of a Local Academic Flexible Grant. Provides local educational agencies access to funds for their own priorities that improve academic achievement or protect student safety. These grants can be used in conjunction with not-for-profit or for-profit entities.
· Expands school choice. By insisting that taxpayer dollars follow children, not institutions, H.R. 5 expands school choice through the support of magnet schools and the expansion of high-quality charter schools. This act enables the state to direct Title I funds to follow low-income children to the public or charter school a parent chooses, permitting states and, more importantly parents, to determine which educational environment best suits their child.
· Contains important transparency provisions. The law provides tools parents can use to hold schools accountable for results.
The decision to vote for the Student Success Act was contingent upon the approval of many proposed amendments. Below are a few more amendments that strengthened the bill enough to gain delegation support:
· Religious Freedom - H.AMDT.61: reaffirming students', teachers' and school administrators' right to exercise religion and that schools should examine their policies to ensure students and teachers are fully able to participate in activities on school grounds related to their religious freedom.
· Local flexibility -H.AMDT.28: provides flexibility to localities by providing States with the authority to allow local educational agencies to administer their own, locally designed academic assessment systems, in place of the State-designed academic systems.
· Accountability - H.AMDT.59: improves accountability and ensures proper oversight of taxpayer funds authorized by the bill.
· Common Core – H.AMDT.53: Allows a State to withdraw from the Common Core Standards or any other specific standards.
· Privacy – H.AMDT.54: Expresses the sense of Congress that students’ personally identifiable information should be kept private and secure.
· Testing Opt Out – H. AMDT.47: Allows parents to opt their student out of the testing required under this bill and exempts schools from including students that have opted out in the schools’ participation requirements. Key Votes – organizations advocating in support of the amendment are Freedom Works; Club for Growth; Heritage.
 Fact Sheet—Education and the Workforce Committee
Today Congressman Chaffetz released the following statement about the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell:
“This decision, while disappointing, does not change the fundamental weaknesses with the law. I will continue to work with fellow Republicans to repeal and replace this egregious law. Given the recent failures of state exchanges in Oregon, Hawaii, and Vermont, significant concerns remain surrounding the billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. We will continue to expose the haste and lack of transparency on the part of the Administration in drafting and implementing Obamacare."Read More
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Chaffetz and a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA), a bill that will modernize our nation’s outdated sales tax collection process. The legislation, which will be referred to the House Judiciary Committee because of its interstate commerce nexus, will promote states’ rights, and bring sales tax parity to e-retailers and brick-and-mortar stores.
Lead cosponsors of this bill include: Reps. Steve Womack (R-AR), John Conyers (D-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Suzan Delbene (D-WA).
“A broad coalition of large and small businesses, online and brick-and-mortar retailers, and state and local government leaders asked Congress to modernize our nation's outdated sales tax collection framework. RTPA would modernize current law and strike the appropriate balance between sales tax parity and a state’s right to manage tax policy within its borders. This bipartisan legislation was developed as part of an open and transparent process, with input from stakeholders on all sides of the issue. I look forward to working with all Members of the House and Senate to return more power to the states and create parity within the retail community.”
The current tax loophole skews the free market. It allows businesses that employ fewer people and contribute to the economies of fewer states to avoid collecting sales taxes. This not only forces more brick-and-mortar stores to close their doors and lay off their employees, but also requires consumers to shoulder the burden and liability of the sales tax themselves - taxes that the consumer is by current law required to compute and pay as a part of their yearly taxes. The RTPA would close this loophole in a way that is generous to small remote sellers and puts our neighborhood retailers on a level playing field - without completely changing our current state sales and use tax structure.
RTPA includes significant audit protections for small businesses – and, except in the case of intentional misrepresentation or fraud, exempts businesses under $5 million in gross receipts from remote state audits entirely.
Additionally, this legislation also exempts more small businesses from collection requirements in the first year – while the MFA only exempted businesses under $1 million in sales, the RTPA in the first year exempts small business under $10 million, phasing to $5 million in the second year and $1 million in the third.
Finally, the RTPA calls for states to give remote sellers the software needed to collect and remit the taxes due. It also requires states to pay for set-up, installation, and maintenance costs on the software.
Additional cosponsors include Lou Barletta (R-PA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Robert Dold (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-PA), John Larson (D-CT), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA).
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – After a meeting with Federal Security Director Ron Malin in Utah this morning, Congressman Jason Chaffetz released the following statement:
“In response to concerns I raised on March 19 about TSA wait times at Salt Lake International Airport, TSA did a thorough review of the situation. The results of this review lent support to TSA's own analysis indicating that additional personnel are needed to provide service to an increasing number of travelers. With airport traffic up 11% this year, the TSA plans to bring on additional staff– potentially as many as 20 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)- to meet the travel demand. I applaud this decision.
“TSA indicated in response to my March 19 request that staffing levels at the airport are down 7% compared to the first three months of 2014, but that wait times still average 20 minutes or less. This morning State Rep. Curt Oda and I met with Director Malin at the airport to discuss some of these challenges. Mr. Malin is committed to making the TSA screening operation, including TSA Pre-Check, work consistently and effectively. His commitment to keep the Pre-Check lines open during advertised hours will ensure passenger safety and preclude a repeat of unexpected line closures and delays.
"I am also pleased to learn that the TSA seeks to add dogs to the screening process in Salt Lake. Experts in the Defense Department determined that no existing technology more effectively detects explosives than a dog's nose. I stand ready to work with TSA leadership in Washington, DC to expedite efforts to incorporate more dogs in the screening process here in Salt Lake and elsewhere.”
Following a 21-12 vote by the Judiciary Committee to pass the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, Congressman Chaffetz released the following statement:Today the Judiciary Committee took an important step in plugging a hole in our legal immigration system that has long been abused. By providing additional resources – including judges and attorneys to more quickly adjudicate asylum cases, we can more quickly assess the credibility of claims and reduce the wait times for those with legitimate asylum requests. As a result, unaccompanied children can more quickly reunite with their families. Furthermore, by strengthening the standards for "credible fear" claims, we will have the ability to more quickly identify those abusing the asylum program and provide a disincentive for others to follow their lead. Read More
“I want to represent Utah to Washington, not Washington to Utah. I need your input.”
Congressman Jason Chaffetz Invites YOU to a town hall meeting
Wednesday, March 11 - 12:30 pm Draper City Hall, Council Chambers 1020 E. Pioneer Road Draper, Utah
Wednesday, March 11 - 7:00 pm Brighton High School, Auditorium 2220 East Bengal Boulevard Cottonwood Heights, UtahRead More
Today Congressman Chaffetz released the following statement regarding his vote against the nine-month DHS funding bill:
"Today I voted against the bill to fund DHS through September 2015 – the end of the current fiscal year. I am opposed to the President’s executive actions granting amnesty from deportation for millions of illegal immigrants. I believe this action will entice millions more to cross our borders in defiance of our laws. Although the bill was passed without restrictions on the President's illegal amnesty, the debate is far from over. A federal judge in Texas has stopped the President's actions through an injunction, and bills such as the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, which I introduced last week, will work to substantively address the issues at the heart of the matter."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.
Kerry to speak in Alaska on global warming. I wish he would go to Mexico and speak about the hot violence. http://t.co/wZnzu7on6O
"It is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken to address land use in eastern Utah, and for that reason alone the long awaited Public Lands
"This administration cannot misinterpret the law in order to potentially hide evidence of wrongdoing. No administration is above the law."
Utah was not a party to this particular lawsuit, but is a party to a similar one. The rule should not be applied anywhere.
Judge Erickson's ruling is a significant and rightful win for states' rights. I am pleased that the arbitrary and subjective guidelines imposed
Saying, "the risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely," a federal judge today blocked the EPA's WOTUS rule.