Jason Chaffetz

Jason Chaffetz

UTAH's 3rd DISTRICT

Chaffetz Statement on Obama taking Executive Action on Immigration

2014/11/21

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jason Chaffetz released the following statement in response to President Obama announcing he will take unilateral executive action on immigration:

“Tonight President Obama sent a message to the world: break our laws and you will be rewarded. This is a dangerous message to be sending. As long as the delays and penalties for navigating the legal process are more painful than the consequences of coming to the United States illegally, we will continue to have a problem regardless of how high or wide our fence is. Our immigration system is broken and in desperate need of reform. It cannot be fixed with a 'pen' and a 'phone.'

There are many common ground reforms that can be agreed upon but are held hostage to the demand of comprehensive legislation. All-inclusive bills are not the answer. We need to stop ignoring simple fixes and work together to find a long-term solution to this broken system.”

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Chaffetz Responds to Being Selected Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman

2014/11/18

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jason Chaffetz released the following statement today upon being selected as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

“The faith placed in me by my colleagues today is a tremendous honor and privilege. I am fully committed to taking on difficult tasks that a chairmanship requires. I’d like to thank Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader McCarthy, other members of the House leadership team, and my colleagues on the Steering Committee for entrusting me with this important responsibility.

I have great respect for Chairman Darrell Issa and can’t thank him enough for his many years of dedicated service leading the Oversight Committee. I thank him for the professional opportunities he has allowed me on the committee, and for his personal friendship. His commitment to the public good is without question. 

I look forward to working with new and current Members of the Committee, Ranking Member Cummings, and other leaders in the House as we continue to ensure that taxpayers’ investment in government is spent effectively, efficiently, and transparently.”

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Chaffetz, Bishop Oppose Listing of Gunnison Sage Grouse

2014/11/12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) and Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) joined together to announce their opposition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the Gunnison sage grouse as a “Threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Gunnison sage grouse species is found in Colorado and parts of eastern Utah.

In May 2014, the D.C. District Court granted a six-month extension of the deadline for final determination on whether to list the Gunnison sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act.  The Gunnison sage grouse has been the subject of a long-term battle waged by conservation groups wanting to curb use and development of public lands where Gunnison populations can be found. It is widely known that the Gunnison’s ESA listing would heavily restrict oil and gas development as well as ranching and recreation on 1.7 million acres of federal land located in Utah and Colorado. Congressman Bishop and Congressman Chaffetz remain concerned that the science used as justification for the listing lacks credibility and that the administration is yet again capitulating to special interest groups.

“States, local governments, and public land users are working collaboratively to restore the Gunnison sage grouse populations and progress continues to be made. Restoration of the species is not something that can fully be measured overnight and it’s premature to supersede state and local actions with an ESA listing. Based on the federal government’s track record of ESA recovery, I’d say that listing this bird is not the panacea. This is yet another case of the federal government thinking it is smarter and more capable than the states and communities, a notion I flatly reject,” said Congressman Bishop, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee.  

“Wildlife management needs to be handled at the state and local level. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Local land-users are better equipped to develop management plans that both maintain and improve the health of wildlife and local habitat.  It is disappointing that the federal government is undercutting local efforts in San Juan County by imposing this listing that will have a big impact on local communities in southeast Utah,” said Congressman Chaffetz, whose district includes San Juan County, where Gunnison sage grouse habitat has been identified. 

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Chaffetz concerned over VA Inspector General findings in Salt Lake City

2014/10/08

Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz released the following statement concerning the release of the OIG report inspecting the Salt Lake City Regional Office of the VA.

"Our nation's veterans deserve the very best care and treatment from the VA. Unfortunately, the VA System has not performed to the standard that veterans deserve and all Americans expect. The latest IG Report shows that challenges persist. Our local VA facility is not immune to systemic flaws. I am pleased that Congress was able to enact bipartisan reforms just two months ago that will help the VA get back on track. I am confident that the Congressional reforms and IG recommendations will assist the Salt Lake City Regional Office in delivering world-class care and treatment that our Utah veterans deserve."

Background

IG Report

On October 8, 2014, the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General released report 14-01688-303, an Inspection of the Salt Lake City Regional Office. A copy of the full report can be found here: http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-14-01688-303.pdf. In the report, investigators and auditors reviewed the Salt Lake City division of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). The VBA primarily processes disability claims but also provides a range of other valuable services for veterans. A summary of the report's finding are included below:

  • Staff did not accurately process 15 of 68 disability claims reviewed.
  • 12 of the 30 temporary 100 percent disability evaluations were inaccurate.
  • Staff delayed ordering medical reexaminations on average for 5 months after receiving reminder notifications, which primarily fueled disability evaluation inaccuracies
  • New implementation plans are needed to process the remaining 135 100% disability applications.

Congressional Action

On July 30, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed the Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act. The bill, later signed into law by President Obama, boosted resources for the Department of Veterans Affairs, expanded access to care for veterans, and gave VA leaders needed tools to clean-up waste, fraud, and abuse within the Department.

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Chaffetz Praises Resignation of U.S. Secret Service Director

2014/10/01

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jason Chaffetz released the following statement today following the resignation of U.S. Secret Service Director, Julia Pierson:

“Director Pierson’s resignation is a matter of national security and I am pleased she is stepping down. The position should be filled immediately by new leadership from outside the Secret Service for a fresh start.

Every day honorable men and women put their lives in danger to protect the President, his family, and others within the Administration. Unfortunately the problems that have plagued the Secret Service are longstanding and go beyond one individual. That is why I stand with Speaker Boehner and Chairman McCaul in an effort to create a Blue Ribbon Commission to conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the Secret Service.

The agency tasked with protecting the highest office in our land should be the crown jewel of federal law enforcement. I will work with my colleagues and the Administration towards returning the agency back to the standards the President deserves.”  

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Gowdy, Goodlatte, Chaffetz Praise Secretary Johnson’s Decision to Keep Ban on Libyans Training as Pilots and Nuclear Scientists in U.S.

2014/09/17

Washington, D.C. – Following pressure from House Judiciary Committee Republicans, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson announced today at a congressional hearing that he will not lift a 30-year old regulation banning Libyans from coming to the United States to attend flight school, work in aircraft maintenance or flight operations, or to study or seek training in nuclear science. The prohibition on Libyans from studying nuclear science or training as pilots in the United States was originally put in place in the 1980s after the wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans. A year ago, the Obama Administration began the process of lifting this longstanding regulation, claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has since “normalized.”

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved in a bipartisan vote the Protecting the Homeland Act (H.R. 5401) – a bill authored by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Oversight and Government Reform National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) – to stop the Obama Administration from lifting this longstanding prohibition.

Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy, Chairman Goodlatte, and Congressman Chaffetz praised Secretary Johnson’s decision in the joint statement below. 

“We are pleased that Secretary Johnson has chosen common sense over the Obama Administration’s foolish plan, but this should never have been a hard decision to make. Given the ongoing terrorist activity in Libya, there is no reason that the Obama Administration should have ever contemplated lifting a decades-old ban on Libyans coming to our country to train as pilots or nuclear scientists. The fact is that Libya’s government remains unstable today and the country is becoming more dangerous as rival rebel groups battle each other for control of Libya’s cities. It’s necessary that we keep this ban on Libyans in place so that we protect Americans and our national security from threats in Libya. Despite assurances from Secretary Johnson that he won’t lift this ban any time soon, the House plans to move forward with legislation to prevent future Administrations from changing this policy.” 

Last week, the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), which represents 51,000 pilots who fly for 31 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, expressed concern about the Obama Administration lifting this regulation from the books. In their letter to Chairman Goodlatte, Captain Lee Moak notes the dangerous conditions in Libya and states that “given the political instability in Libya and the transitory nature of the government, ALPA is concerned that information relevant to a background check on Libyan nationals would be unreliable if not entirely unavailable.”

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Hatch, Lee, Bishop, Chaffetz, Stewart Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Canyonlands National Park, Urge Obama Administration to Work With Them on Future Public Lands Efforts

2014/09/11

Washington, D.C. – Five members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation – U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Representatives Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz, and Chris Stewart – today wrote to President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI) Sally Jewel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Canyonlands National Park.  In the letter, the delegation also urged President Obama and Secretary Jewel to work with them as the delegation continues working on a public lands bill that will benefit all stakeholders in Utah.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to people, both elected officials and citizens, who recognized the value of Canyonlands and worked to create the park fifty years ago.  The park did not come without controversy, and much controversy remains today,” the members of the delegation wrote.  “What better way to celebrate the anniversary of the Canyonlands National Park than by bringing certainty to an area that hasn't had any for a half century.  I would be most grateful for your support of our ongoing process to protect the land surrounding Canyonlands National Park.”

A signed copy of the letter can be found here, and the text is below:

Dear Mr. President:

This week citizens of Utah and friends from around the Country are celebrating an important anniversary in our beautiful state, the 50th anniversary of the creation of Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is one of the "Mighty Five" national parks in Utah and something we are proud of.  Located in the southeastern part of our state this otherworldly gem attracts people from all over the globe. In Moab I have heard languages from German to Japanese and English in accents from all over America. People plan and save for years to travel to Utah to see Canyonlands and it never disappoints. Standing on the edge of a 1000 foot cliff and seeing for hundreds of miles somehow puts life into perspective.

We owe a debt of gratitude to people, both elected officials and citizens, who recognized the value of Canyonlands and worked to create the park fifty years ago. The park did not come without controversy, and much controversy remains today. The area around the park means a lot of things to a lot of people. Many people spend their free time exploring the over 2500 miles of roads in and around the park in 4-wheel drive vehicles while others find a special peace in the solitude of the desert in Canyonlands. These interests may seem in conflict, but the land in Utah is big and there is room to accommodate them all.

For several years now the Utah congressional delegation has been developing a public lands bill that will bring certainty and balance to the areas around Canyonlands and other landscapes in Utah.  The land surrounding the Park would be protected with designations that ensure our grandchildren can stand on the same red rock cliffs and look at the glorious sunsets that our pioneer ancestors saw and view vistas people from around the world come to see today. The bill will benefit our children by exchanging state lands in areas that don't produce revenues, with federal lands that can be developed responsibly. The revenues derived, as a result of the thoughtful development enabled by these exchanges, will benefit school children in Utah. Only Congress can make these changes to the way our public lands are managed.  At a time when Congress doesn’t get much done, this is one area where something positive is happening.

What better way to celebrate the anniversary of the Canyonlands National Park than by bringing certainty to an area that hasn't had any for a half century.  We would be most grateful for your support of our ongoing process to protect the land surrounding Canyonlands National Park.

Sincerely,

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House Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Preventing Libyans from Training as Pilots and Nuclear Scientists in the U.S.

2014/09/10

Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by a vote of 21-11 the Protecting the Homeland Act (H.R. 5401), a bill authored by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Oversight and Government Reform National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), to stop the Obama Administration from lifting a 30-year prohibition on Libyans coming to the U.S. to attend flight school, to work in aviation maintenance or flight operations, or to study or seek training in nuclear science. In July, the Office of Management and Budget approved a final regulation to lift this decades-old policy. Once Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson signs this regulation, it will become effective unless further action is taken.

The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), which represents 51,000 pilots who fly for 31 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, today expressed strong support for H.R. 5401. In their letter to Chairman Goodlatte, Captain Lee Moak notes the dangerous conditions in Libya and states that “given the political instability in Libya and the transitory nature of the government, ALPA is concerned that information relevant to a background check on Libyan nationals would be unreliable if not entirely unavailable.”

Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy, Chairman Goodlatte, and Congressman Chaffetz released the statements below praising today’s approval of this legislation by the House Judiciary Committee.

Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy: “The chief responsibility of government is the security of its people, and as those entrusted to govern, we must be vigilant in fulfilling this duty. Yet, the Administration has not been clear as to why repealing this longstanding rule now, while the situation in Libya is more uncertain and dangerous, will benefit our national security. I am pleased the committee passed our bill, the Protecting the Homeland Act, to stop this policy reversal.”

Chairman Goodlatte: “Given the ongoing terrorist activity in Libya, it is unconscionable that the Obama Administration is carelessly forging ahead with its plan to allow Libyans to attend flight school or study nuclear science in the United States. The Obama Administration justifies its plan by claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has ‘normalized,’ but it is anything but normal. This summer, Americans working at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to rival rebel groups battling each other for control of the area. And less than two years ago, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked by terrorists, leaving four Americans dead.

“Lifting this longstanding ban is not in the best interest of the American people and needlessly places our country at risk. I am pleased that the House Judiciary Committee today approved the Protecting the Homeland Act to stop President Obama from implementing this foolish and dangerous plan so that we protect Americans and our national security from threats in Libya.”

Congressman Chaffetz: “The Obama Administration continues to turn a blind eye to the current situation in Libya. The country is far from normal and remains vulnerable to unchecked terrorist activity. Lifting a decades-old security ban on a country challenged by instability threatens the safety of both countries. The Protecting the Homeland Act will stop the Administration from carelessly lifting this ban. I encourage my colleagues in the House and Senate to swiftly pass this legislation.”

Background: The prohibition on Libyans from studying nuclear science or training as pilots in the United States was originally put in place in the 1980s after the wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans. Not even two years after the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, the Obama Administration justifies lifting this ban by claiming the United States’ relationship with Libya has “normalized.” However, the terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related activities coming from Libya. Recently, the employees at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to violence between rival militias near the facility. Since then, many foreign governments have closed their embassies in Libya and evacuated staff as the violence has spread throughout the country.

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Chaffetz Announces STEM Competition Winners

2014/09/09

WASHINGTON, D.C.–  Congressman Jason Chaffetz today announced the winners of his first annual Congressional App Challenge.  Patrick Chen of Cottonwood Heights and William Guss of Salt Lake City created the winning app, called Breast Cancer Diagnostics.  Kai Reyes, who attends Skyline High School, received honorable mention for his Color Tanks app.

Guss and Chen created a diagnostic tool to analyze numerical or image data to diagnose the malignancy state of the breast more effectively and efficiently.  The app can be used by doctors on a Windows 8 or web-enabled platform.  The app is also an inexpensive option for patients who may wish to seek confirmation of a doctor's diagnosis.  Guss and Chen say their testing indicates the app has an extremely low error rate of 2%.  

Reyes has designed an arcade-style top-down tank battle game for all ages.  The game supports up to four external PC controllers.  

"I am honored to recognize these students for their outstanding work," said Congressman Jason Chaffetz.  "Their efforts demonstrate a high level of problem solving and creativity that will enable each of them to make significant contributions in the workforce.  Our future lies in educating the next generation in the critical disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  I hope the success of these students will inspire others to follow in their footsteps."  

The competition was judged by Murray software engineer Bruce Cutler.  Over one-third of US House districts participated in this first year of the Congressional App Competition.  For more information about the competition and links to other winning entries, visit www.congressionalappchallenge.us.  

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Gowdy, Goodlatte, and Chaffetz Introduce Bill to Stop the Administration’s Plan Allowing Libyan Pilots and Nuclear Scientists to Train in U.S.

2014/09/09

Washington, D.C. – Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Oversight and Government Reform National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) today introduced the Protecting the Homeland Act (H.R. 5401) to stop the Obama Administration from lifting a longstanding prohibition on Libyans coming to the U.S. to attend flight school, to work in aviation maintenance or flight operations, or to study or seek training in nuclear science. In July, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a final regulation to lift this decades-old policy. Once Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson signs this regulation, it will become effective unless further action is taken.

The prohibition was originally put in place in the 1980s after the wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans.  Not even two years after the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, the Obama Administration justifies lifting this ban by claiming the United States’ relationship with Libya has “normalized.” However, the terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related activities coming from Libya. Recently, the employees at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to violence between rival militias near the facility. Since then, many foreign governments have closed their embassies in Libya and evacuated staff as the violence has spread throughout the country. Additionally, it has been reported that Islamist militias stole 11 commercial jetliners last month at the airport in Tripoli, and intelligence agencies have warned that they could be used in terrorist attacks.

Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy, Chairman Goodlatte, and Congressman Chaffetz released the statements below following the introduction of their bill to stop the Obama Administration’s policy reversal from taking effect.

Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy: “Considering the deteriorating situation in Libya, it is hard to understand why DHS is moving ahead with repealing this 30-year old rule. We still have not heard from the Administration why this policy is going to improve national security. Is post-revolutionary Libya secure enough to change the rules? Why now? This is a risk to our national security and compels us to act. Our legislation would codify the current regulation and prevent the Administration from unilaterally carrying out this change.”

Chairman Goodlatte: “Given the ongoing terrorist activity in Libya, it is unconscionable that the Obama Administration is carelessly forging ahead with its plan to allow Libyan pilots and nuclear scientists to train in the United States. The Obama Administration justifies its plan by claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has ‘normalized,’ but it is anything but normal. This summer, Americans working at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to rival rebel groups battling each other for control of the area. And less than two years ago, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked by terrorists, leaving four Americans dead.

“Lifting this longstanding ban is not in the best interest of the American people and needlessly places our country at risk. The Protecting the Homeland Act will stop President Obama from implementing this foolish and dangerous plan so that we protect Americans and our national security from threats in Libya.”

Congressman Chaffetz: “Libya is in chaos. Violent threats in the region continue to grow. Even our embassy in Tripoli was evacuated due to militia violence close to the compound. Lifting the ban to allow Libyans to come to the U.S. to train in aviation and nuclear sciences is not only bad policy, but it threatens the safety of this country. I appreciate Chairmen Goodlatte and Gowdy for their leadership on this important issue.”

Text of the Protecting the Homeland Act can be found here. The House Judiciary Committee will markup this legislation on Wednesday.

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Contact Information

2464 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7751
Fax 202-225-5629
chaffetz.house.gov

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.


Serving With

Rob Bishop

UTAH's 1st DISTRICT

Chris Stewart

UTAH's 2nd DISTRICT

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