Matt Salmon

Matt Salmon

ARIZONA's 5th DISTRICT

THE HILL: Bill would ban funding for National Endowment for the Humanities

2014/07/28

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) has introduced legislation that would prohibit federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Salmon said the independent agency did not deserve federal funding for what he called "frivolous" projects. "The NEH is free to pursue private funding for any programs it wishes. In light of our astronomical debt, burdening the U.S. with these thoughtless projects is insulting," Salmon said. Last week, Salmon introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars toward the NEH's "Popular Romance Project" to study romance in popular culture. Salmon listed other programs in addition to the Popular Romance Project, such as a documentary on "Comic Book Superheroes," a website debating "What is the Meaning of Life," an undergraduate course on "What is belief?", and a seminar on "What is the Good Life and How Do I Live It?". "Just one of these programs is outrageous enough, but to think that we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars supporting projects most Americans would find frivolous at best is offensive," Salmon said. The National Endowment for the Humanities has requested $146 million for fiscal 2015. Read More

AZ CENTRAL: Rep. Salmon sees bigger problem than kids on the border

2014/07/26

Those thousands of Central American kids crossing the border actually represent a small part of a huge problem, one that Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon has been trying to get Washington to face, without much luck. Now, at least, Congress and the president are looking in that direction. But is it just a passing glance? "I certainly hope something gets done with these kids, and I hope it doesn't end there," Salmon told me Friday. "A lot of my colleagues didn't want to do anything for the fear that the senate might tack something on that we didn't like or that whatever we passed the president wouldn't implement, or he would pick and choose what to implement. "But I don't agree. To me, that's like saying let's not throw any passes because someone might intercept it, or let's not run the ball because we might fumble. I don't want to take a knee. Well, that's not what I came to Washington to do." He believes some legislation will move forward next week. One sticking point is the argument politicians are having over changing federal law to treat Central American kids like those from Mexico. "People who have studied the issue know the law must be changed," Salmon said. "Under the current law it takes too long to process the Central American kids, three to five years. Our proposal is to speed up the process immensely. But at the same time, if they qualify for asylum under our laws they would be granted asylum." A number of immigration groups and religious organizations are against changing the law. Salmon believes the concern is misplaced. "People argue about the crime and gangs and the dangers in countries like Honduras and Guatemala," he said. "But I don't think that any sane person would argue that there are not gangs in Mexico. That there is not violence in Mexico. Some of the most dangerous places in the world are in Mexico. The other nations in the region want very much want to work with us on these problems." Salmon knows all about this. He is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. "We have totally neglected the Western Hemisphere, our own neighborhood, as we have pivoted to other parts of the world," he said. After the United States helped to crush the drug cartels in Colombia the operations moved to countries in Central America. "When you squeeze a balloon the pressure shifts to another location," he said. "If we could stage an operation like the one in Columbia for these other countries it would bring security and stability to the region. This isn't to simply help Central America.It is to help us. Drugs from these countries are a scourge on our land. Heroin is cheaper than OxyContin now, and causing deaths all across the board, from poor to rich." However, Salmon is worried that our national attention will shift to something else immediately after Congress acts on the crisis with the children. "We will try to put a Band-Aid on that problem next week," he said. "But the root cause is going to take a lot more work. The issue de jour six months ago was Syria. Then the issue was Ukraine. Then the issue was Iran. The issue has been North Korea. Israel. It goes on. Nothing changes. But if we don't focus on our own neighborhood we are going to be in trouble." He said that officials in Central America are eager and willing to work with us, not simply to save their children, but our own. It's something Salmon knows about personally. "If you haven't has a friend or family member who has had to deal with this scourge of drugs you might be able to turn a blind eye," Salmon said. "But I actually have a friend from high school who just lost a daughter to a heroin overdose. He's a guy from an upper-middle class family. They're good people. Their daughter, like a lot of our kids, got caught up in this. These stories are happening all over. It's a problem that is hurting us. It's hurting the whole hemisphere. We need to work together to solve it." Read More

Twelfth SOS Bill Eliminates Funding to National Endowment for the Humanities

2014/07/25

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05) announced his twelfth bill in a series of proposals to cut wasteful and duplicative federal spending.  After introduction of the latest bill, which would eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Salmon released the following statement: “After releasing my eleventh SOS bill last week, I took a closer look at where the NEH’s funding is spent and was shocked at the enormous waste this unaccountable non-profit facilitates with our tax dollars.  Just one of these programs is outrageous enough, but to think that we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars supporting projects most Americans would find frivolous at best is offensive. “To waste taxpayer funds creating undergraduate courses to distract from the actual accumulation of knowledge by analyzing ‘the good life’ seems to run contrary to the NEH’s mission and demonstrates exactly why such excesses should be eliminated.  The NEH is free to pursue private funding for any programs it wishes.  In light of our astronomical debt, burdening the U.S. with these thoughtless projects is insulting.” Background: The National Endowment for the Humanities was founded by the “National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965,” and requested over $154 million in taxpayer funds in fiscal year 2013.  The wasteful projects funded by NEH include: Comic Book Superheroes Documentary ($825,000) – This documentary superheroes project has received three federal grants over the past three years. Puppets Take Long Island ($150,000) – While the Muppets may have taken Manhattan, the federal government spent $150,000 to support Puppets Take Long Island, an eight-week long festival in Sag Harbor, New York. What is a Monster? ($24,999) – The development of an upper-level undergraduate seminar on the question, “What is a monster? -- from Antaeus to Zombies.” What is the Meaning of Life? ($24,953) – A website devoted to an interdisciplinary course which explores the question “What is the Meaning of Life?” What is Belief? ($24,562) – The development of a lower-division undergraduate course to investigate multiple perspectives on the question, “What is belief?” What is the Good Life and How Do I Live It? ($25,000) – The development of a seminar by four faculty members on the question, “What is the good life and how do I live it?” Background on Rep. Salmon’s SOS Initiative: Click here to watch the video. “Our nation is drowning in debt – $17.5 trillion dollars of it…Yet, our nation’s leaders continue to approve wasteful spending without a blink, and continue to spend your tax dollars in the most imprudent ways. Enough is enough. We must have the courage to start cutting spending somewhere… Every federal department, agency and office has wasteful spending within their budgets. To address this problem and honor my promise to you, I am pleased to announce the launching of my Shrinking Our Spending Initiative, or SOS Initiative. My SOS Initiative will push to make the hard spending cuts we refuse to make, in the areas of government we refuse to touch. My goal through the SOS Initiative is to find at least 1.5 billion dollars in wasteful spending that can be eliminated. As part of my SOS Initiative, I plan to introduce a new bill each week we are in session to cut wasteful spending in a different area of our federal government. These bills will highlight wasteful and duplicative programs that your tax dollars are currently funding. And some of these wasteful programs will surprise you…” Click here for more information about the SOS Initiative. Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. ### Read More

BREITBART: Salmon: On Border Crisis, Let's Not Take a Knee

2014/07/25

As a Member of Congress from a state on our southern border, I see firsthand the realities of illegal immigration. In fact, much of the recent public outcry originated from busloads of illegal immigrants dumped in Arizona a few short months ago. The strain placed on state and local governments overwhelms security, education, and medical services, making them harder to come by for citizens and immigrants alike. We’ve all read the stories of blown budgets and rising crime, but Members of Congress who come from border states don’t need to read those stories. We are already acutely aware of the disproportionate toll illegal immigration takes on our districts, which is why I was honored to join with several of those members in serving on the House Border Crisis Working Group that spent the past month evaluating the issue and looking for the best solutions to address it. Every member of Congress knows something must be done to tackle this crisis. The recommendations we proposed are common sense solutions that we all agree on—change the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA) to allow unaccompanied children from Central America to be treated the same as those from Canada and Mexico, secure our border with National Guardsmen, ensure Border Patrol agents full access to the border, and end what is referred to as “catch-and-release.” These four reasonable recommendations will help address this crisis and actually improve our immigration and border security policies. First, we must end the catch-and-release policy that has been so heavily promoted in Central America. It’s true that the President’s unconstitutional actions surrounding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals played a large part in creating this problem, but it is without doubt the story of “permisos,” or de facto citizenship while you wait for your immigration hearing, that have exacerbated it. If you enter the country illegally, you should be held until your appearance date in a secure government facility, not released and allowed to integrate into our communities as if citizenship is around the corner. This is the only proper way to ensure attendance at court dates, and a key tool in dissuading others from attempting to enter the country illegally. Second, we propose placing the National Guard on the border. It is clear that the recent influx of the illegal border crossers, particularly the nearly 60,000 UACs so far this year, is an enormous load for our border agents to handle alone. Sending the National Guardsman to provide temporary relief will not only ensure that our border agents are able to again focus on drug and human traffickers, but also that the children continue to receive humane treatment. Third, we need to give our Border Patrol agents the tools they need to enter any federal land in their search for those crossing the border illegally. As it stands now, our border agents are barred from entering “federally protected” land on or near the border due to concerns that their presence could harm the environment. The cartels are keenly aware of this fact, and—you guessed it—they utilize this loophole for their trafficking activities. Instead of protecting these areas for environmental reasons, the current policy is actually encouraging mass trampling and trash disposal on these lands. Allowing our border agents to access these lands and apprehend illegal border crossers will take away one of the cartels favorite entry points. Finally, we must make a key change in our handling of unaccompanied minors who enter our country without authorization. Currently, the TVPRA treats unaccompanied children from Mexico and Canada differently from those of all other nations. To date, no one has provided a sound reason as to why the 2008 law discriminates amongst children of different nations, but it makes no difference. We need to provide parity in the treatment of children from all nations in order to provide a swifter mechanism to send them back home and deter their families from forcing them on the perilous journey in the first place. Now, I understand that the biggest fear among my Republican colleagues is that the Senate will take advantage of our proposal and play politics; attaching some version of “comprehensive immigration reform” and sending it back to the House. They forget that we have an obligation as our nation’s leaders to take action. Doing nothing is not an option. Doing nothing allows the Obama Administration to continue their failed policies that have led to lack luster border protection, illegal immigrant families being released into our communities, and thousands of unaccompanied alien children being wards of the state for more than 3 years at enormous taxpayer expense. We can either pick up the President’s fumble and advance the ball by protecting our borders and requiring our immigration laws be enforced or we can watch the administration continue to fumble, leaving our communities to suffer the consequences. Right now, the House is leading this debate with these thoughtful and bold recommendations. We’re holding the ball, but we need to act. We cannot be a team that is afraid of throwing a pass for fear that the other team might intercept it. We cannot snap the ball just to take a knee. That failed argument can be made for any legislation that we work on, but if that is our position, why are we here? The Speaker has guaranteed numerous times over the past year that we will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion, and he’s been as good as his word. He’s also been clear we won’t accept any attempt to offer a more targeted immigration reform measure, such as the DREAM Act, or any other immigration reform proposal. Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis, and any attempt to add them will run into a brick wall in the People’s House. If the Senate decides to play politics rather than address this crisis on our border, then it will be they that ultimately fail the country. If we decide to take a knee out of fear, we will never score, we will never win, and most importantly, we will fail to heed the cries of our constituents demanding action to secure our border. Read More

Salmon-Polis Bill on Competency-Based Education Passes the House of Representatives

2014/07/24

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 3136, the Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act, sponsored by Representatives Matt Salmon (AZ-05) and Jared Polis (CO-02), by a vote of 414-0. The bill would increase access and affordability in higher education by allowing institutions the flexibility to provide a degree that is based on a student’s knowledge and skills instead of seat time. “It is rare to have bills that would do so much for our country pass either chamber of Congress unanimously, but this bill would do so much for students that it’s really a no-brainer,” said Representative Salmon. “It is common sense to evaluate students on what they know rather than how long they spend in a classroom, but years of government regulation have created a system that places more value on credit hours than years of actual experience.  This bill is a boon for so many, including our veterans and non-traditional students who have often performed above and beyond their instructor’s level of proficiency in a certain area.  These students will now be rewarded, instead of penalized, for that experience.  With such an overwhelming vote in the House, and the President’s support, it is my hope that the Senate will soon bring this bill to the floor and help us make college more accessible and affordable for students across our nation.” “I am thrilled that the House of Representatives recognized the promise of competency-based education by overwhelmingly passing this bipartisan bill,” said Representative Polis. “This legislation will allow colleges and universities the flexibility to shorten the time it takes to earn a degree and reduce college cost through self-paced programs based on student comprehension, rather than seat time. Competency-based education can increase access to higher education for contemporary students, who may have a full-time job, a family, or other commitments that make it difficult to achieve a postsecondary degree with the conventional schedule. I urge the Senate to bring this bipartisan legislation to the floor for a vote, so that we can provide high-quality colleges and universities with the flexibility to meet their students’ needs, and to study the opportunities competency-based education presents to cater to the needs of adult learners, decrease college costs, and increase innovation in higher education.” Currently, institutions of higher education must adhere to rigid structures, based on the Carnegie unit, or credit hour, which limit the schedules on which students can enroll and when students can receive financial aid. Competency-based education can help speed up to completion, making higher education more affordable for students who need flexibility to achieve their dream of a postsecondary credential. ### Read More

Salmon Statement on House Border Crisis Group Recommendations

2014/07/23

Washington, D.C.— Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today released the following statement at the completion of the Border Crisis Working Group’s assessment of the humanitarian situation at our southern border and the release of their recommendations to Congress: “Since I first learned of the crisis on our southern border, I've been working day and night to find solutions that can safely and quickly return these children to their families in their home countries, sending a clear message, through our actions, that our immigration laws will be enforced and there is no policy of blanket amnesty or de facto citizenship. “The tried-and-true Washington method of problem solving won’t work here; we simply can’t write the president a check for billions of dollars and expect that our borders will be more secure and these children will be safely returned to their families. What we need is decisive action and innovative solutions that are both compassionate and strong. I believe the Working Group’s recommendations released today accomplish these objectives. “My proposal to correct the 2008 law that prevents children from Central America being treated the same as those from Mexico and Canada and allows them to be quickly repatriated has become a key component of our recommendations.  With the release of the Working Group's recommendations, the House is proposing a number of new solutions that will quickly and effectively stem the tide of illegal immigration, secure our border, and provide a humanitarian response to this difficult situation. “The House will now take up these recommendations so that we can quickly send them to the Senate for a vote and to the President for implementation. I expect that whatever proposal we pass will remain fiscally responsible and not add to our deficit. “What we need now is quick, bipartisan action on the part of the Senate and the President.  Let's get these solutions deployed and secure our border.”   Recommendations and Solutions Deploy the National Guard to the Southern border to assist Border Patrol in the humanitarian care and needs of the unaccompanied minors. This will free up the Border Patrol to focus on their primary mission. Prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from denying or restricting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities on federal land under their respective jurisdictions. Require a DHS strategy and implementation plan to gain operational control of the Southwest border.  Establish independent third party commission to develop border security metrics as a means to accurately gauge progress on border security. Establish border security in Central American countries and Mexico. Establish repatriation centers in originating countries in order to facilitate the return of family units and unaccompanied minors.  Deploy aggressive messaging campaigns in originating countries and the U.S. to dispel immigration myths, clarify that individuals will be deported on arrival and advise on the dangers and legal penalties of traveling through Mexico to enter the United States illegally.  Mandate the detention of all Family Units apprehended at the border with the ultimate goal of processing family units 5-7 days. Congress must continue stringent oversight to ensure this mandate is being met. Amend the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008 so all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as Mexicans and Canadians for the purpose of removals. This would require unaccompanied children who do not wish to be voluntarily returned to their home country to remain in HHS custody while they await an expedited immigration court hearing that must occur not more than 7 days after they are screened by child welfare officials.  Deploy additional judge teams and temporary judges to expedite the hearing of asylum and credible fear claims. Congress must address the occurrences of fraud in our asylum system. Baseless claims crowd the immigration court system and delay processing for those with legitimate claims. The standard under current law that allows an alien to show a "credible fear of persecution" needs to be examined and addressed to ensure a fraud-free system moving forward.  In addition, criminal aliens and criminal gang members should not receive asylum. Establish tough penalties for those engaged in human smuggling, including the smuggling of unaccompanied minors by strengthening penalties for human smugglers and those who assist them. Increase law enforcement operations domestically and in originating countries to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations and encourage originating countries to pass strict laws against human smuggling. The House Border Crisis Working Group was convened by Speaker John Boehner on June 24, 2014 and was led by Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12).  The group included Rep. John Carter (TX-31), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10), Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02). Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. ### Read More

Eleventh SOS Bill Eliminates Funding to the Popular Romance Project

2014/07/18

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05) announced his eleventh bill in a series of proposals to cut wasteful and duplicative federal spending.  After introduction of the latest bill, which would eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Popular Romance Project, Salmon released the following statement: “Since I started my SOS program, I’ve found more than my share of pointless government programs hidden deep inside our spending bills.  When I first read about the Popular Romance Project, even I was surprised that the National Endowment for the Humanities would waste money on a project like this. Romance novels are some of the most prolific literary works available, and for good reason; according to the Popular Romance Project’s own website, ‘Popular romance sells.’ The website goes on to highlight the strengths of the genre, saying ‘romance fiction generated $1.37 billion in sales in 2008,’ yet the NEH has still given nearly one million taxpayer dollars to the program since it was first created. My question is simple: Why would we continue wasting our money on a pet project that gives nothing worthwhile to the taxpayer?” Background: The National Endowment for the Humanities began funding the Popular Romance Project in 2008.  Intended to “explore the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction,” the project has spent over $914,000 in taxpayer funds. Background on Rep. Salmon’s SOS Initiative: Click here to watch the video. “Our nation is drowning in debt – $17.5 trillion dollars of it…Yet, our nation’s leaders continue to approve wasteful spending without a blink, and continue to spend your tax dollars in the most imprudent ways. Enough is enough. We must have the courage to start cutting spending somewhere… Every federal department, agency and office has wasteful spending within their budgets. To address this problem and honor my promise to you, I am pleased to announce the launching of my Shrinking Our Spending Initiative, or SOS Initiative. My SOS Initiative will push to make the hard spending cuts we refuse to make, in the areas of government we refuse to touch. My goal through the SOS Initiative is to find at least 1.5 billion dollars in wasteful spending that can be eliminated. As part of my SOS Initiative, I plan to introduce a new bill each week we are in session to cut wasteful spending in a different area of our federal government. These bills will highlight wasteful and duplicative programs that your tax dollars are currently funding. And some of these wasteful programs will surprise you…” Click here for more information about the SOS Initiative. Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. ### Read More

THE HILL: House Republicans linking trafficking law changes to Obama border crisis bill

2014/07/15

House GOP leaders on Tuesday said they will insist that changes to a human trafficking law be included in any legislation responding to the wave of child immigrants crossing the border. Republicans have blamed the influx of children at the border on the 2008 law, which they say has served as an incentive for people to enter the United States. The law allows minors entering the country from Central America, but not Mexico, to request asylum hearings. President Obama has asked for $3.7 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to care for people crossing the border, and to hire more judges and lawyers to send them back to their home countries more quickly. The White House has separately asked for more authority to deport people, but has not provided specifics. Democrats have expressed opposition to changing the trafficking law, which has emerged as a flashpoint in the political fight over what to do about the border crisis. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday said Democrats would oppose changes to the 2008 law as a precondition for moving border funds, though he added he was open to a debate and hearings over the law. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at the weekly House GOP press conference that a final decision on legislation would likely come by the end of the week. In the meantime, Boehner said, the GOP was still awaiting final recommendations from the House Appropriations Committee and a border working group led by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas). Her group presented its initial findings to the conference on Tuesday. It is not clear whether House Republicans will push for a smaller price tag for the appropriations package. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he was waiting on the final recommendations from Granger’s group before figuring out how much it would all cost. He added that his team will also be trying to figure out how much of the administration’s $3.7 billion request is needed immediately, and what could be dealt with during the regular appropriations process. “I want a chance to see what they’re recommending, because some of these items could relate to how much money we have to spend. We’ll wait and see what the recommendations are,” Rogers told reporters. “We’ve got a regular process going on now ... if the money’s not needed now, they can be looked at in the regular process.” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced legislation to amend a 2008 trafficking law so that all child immigrants crossing the border undergo the same process, regardless of where they come from. "I think it would be an element of anything we do," said House Majority Leader-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Granger said she would be releasing a formal set of recommendations later Tuesday or Wednesday morning. That group also backs changing the 2008 law, and wants to send National Guard troops to the border. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), a member of the working group who traveled to Honduras and Guatemala over the weekend, said the final review from the group and the House Appropriations Committee later in the week would be combined and possibly yield other demands. "Right now, this group is working on policy, while Appropriations Committee Chairman Rogers is working on the funding," Salmon said. "Once you marry those things, there may be some changes along the way." Members of Granger’s working group left Tuesday’s meeting with House Republicans for a meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, hours before they were set to release their formal recommendations. Read More

THE HILL: Border crisis bill picks up steam

2014/07/12

A Tea Party lawmaker says his bill to deal with the border crisis is attracting a slew of Republican support. Shortly before heading down to Central America on Friday, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) spoke with The Hill about his legislation, the "Expedited Family Reunification Act," that would alter a 2008 human trafficking law that has played a major role in the ongoing migrant surge along the U.S. southern border.  Salmon noted that he introduced the bill on Thursday, and was able to gather a number of co-sponsors during floor votes on Friday morning.  The Arizona Republican joined fellow GOP lawmakers on the Border State Working Group — appointed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in late June — on a quick visit to several countries in Central America. Read More

Tenth SOS Bill Eliminates Funding to National Endowment for the Arts

2014/07/11

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05) announced his tenth bill in a series of proposals to cut wasteful and duplicative federal spending.  After introduction of the latest bill, which would eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Salmon released the following statement: “Here again, we see an example of the U.S. taxpayer burdened by an unaccountable, private entity that receives millions in taxpayer dollars annually to provide grants for artistic expression.  There is no question that artistic expression should not be sanctioned or censored by government.  At the same time, government should not compel taxpayers to subsidize works they find objectionable, such as the controversial work by Andres Serrano titled, Immersion (Piss Christ), which received $5,000 in taxpayer funds. At a time when the United States is over 17 trillion dollars in debt, we should be looking to spend our money on causes and programs that unite and protect our nation.  The National Endowment for the Arts is an agency that, at best, inserts government into the freedom of artistic expression from which it should remain carefully separated.  At worst, the NEA favors certain works and excludes others, picking artistic winners and losers.” Background: The National Endowment for the Arts was founded by the “National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965,” which included a congressional finding that “encouragement and support of national progress and scholarship in the humanities and the arts” was “primarily a matter for private and local initiative,” and that the purpose of the act was to “compliment, assist, and add to” local, state, and private programs encouraging artistic expression.  In 1966, the NEA received just under three million dollars in funding.  The program was expanded in the 1970s and has received over 100 million dollars each year since 1978.  In 2014, the NEA is scheduled to receive over 146 million dollars in taxpayer funding. Background on Rep. Salmon’s SOS Initiative: Click here to watch the video. “Our nation is drowning in debt – $17.5 trillion dollars of it…Yet, our nation’s leaders continue to approve wasteful spending without a blink, and continue to spend your tax dollars in the most imprudent ways. Enough is enough. We must have the courage to start cutting spending somewhere… Every federal department, agency and office has wasteful spending within their budgets. To address this problem and honor my promise to you, I am pleased to announce the launching of my Shrinking Our Spending Initiative, or SOS Initiative. My SOS Initiative will push to make the hard spending cuts we refuse to make, in the areas of government we refuse to touch. My goal through the SOS Initiative is to find at least 1.5 billion dollars in wasteful spending that can be eliminated. As part of my SOS Initiative, I plan to introduce a new bill each week we are in session to cut wasteful spending in a different area of our federal government. These bills will highlight wasteful and duplicative programs that your tax dollars are currently funding. And some of these wasteful programs will surprise you…” Click here for more information about the SOS Initiative. Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. ### Read More

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Matt Salmon was elected to the United States Congress on November 6, 2012 to represent the people of Arizona’s 5th Congressional District. Matt was appointed by his peers to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He also serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Matt attended public school in Mesa, Arizona and graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and an MPA from Brigham Young University.

After completing his education, Matt spent thirteen years in the telecommunications industry in Arizona. In his early career, Matt learned invaluable lessons regarding the effect of government regulation on private enterprise. With the ever increasing expansion of government and burdensome tax rates on American citizens and small businesses, Matt was called to begin a life of public service.

In 1990, Matt was elected to the Arizona State Senate, where he served from 1991 until 1995. During this time, he served as Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Rules Committee.

In 1994, Matt was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served three terms. As the only Member of Congress fluent in Mandarin, along with his position on the International Relations Committee, Matt led multiple U.S. delegations to China, one of which secured the release of political prisoner Song Yongyi. During his service, Matt was named a “Watchdog of the Treasury” for six consecutive years and earned the “Taxpayer Hero” award from Citizens Against Government Waste. In 2000, Matt remained faithful to a self-imposed term limit pledge and retired his seat.

After the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act and the expansion of government regulation during an economic crisis, Matt again answered the call to serve. In 2012, Arizona reelected him to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Matt wants to ensure the voices of all Arizonans are heard and looks forward to advancing pro-business policies, cutting government waste and balancing the federal budget once again.

Matt has spent the last 34 years happily married to his best friend, Nancy. They are the proud parents of four children and the proud grandparents of six grandchildren.


Serving With

Paul Gosar

ARIZONA's 4th DISTRICT

David Schweikert

ARIZONA's 6th DISTRICT

Trent Franks

ARIZONA's 8th DISTRICT

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