Matt Salmon

Matt Salmon


Rep. Salmon Statement on Venezuela’s Admission to the U.N. Security Council


Washington, D.C. — Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today issued the following statement upon hearing news that Venezuela had been elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council. “Today’s election of Venezuela as a non-permanent member to the United Nations Security Council representing GRULAC (the Latin America and Caribbean Group) is a terrible blow to the region’s commitment to human rights and democracy. “Since succeeding his mentor, late President Hugo Chavez, President Maduro has been undermining the pillars of democracy in Venezuela.  In addition to violating the rights of peaceful protestors and dissenters, including the improper and purely retaliatory detention of Leopoldo Lopez, Venezuela has used its weight to undermine basic human rights and democratic values in regional organizations, including the OAS.  We can expect the same during its term on the United Nations Security Council. “There should be no expectation that Venezuela, under its current leadership, will promote international peace and security, nor support respect for human rights during its two year term. GRULAC members know this intuitively, but have chosen the path of least resistance over the lofty goals of the United Nations. This is a truly tragic development.” 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

Letter to DHS Secretary Johnson Requesting Additional CBP Agents at Arizona Ports of Entry


Click here to download the full letter and view all signatories The Honorable Jeh Johnson Secretary U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC 20528 Dear Secretary Johnson: We write regarding the assignment of new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at ports of entry in Arizona. As you are aware, the fiscal year 2014 consolidated appropriations legislation (P.L. 113-76) provided funding to hire 2,000 new officers by the end of fiscal year 2015.  Toward enhancing security and improving service levels at ports of entry, CBP announced the allocation of the new officers in March of this year and we are pleased that Arizona ports are among the 44 ports in 18 states that will receive additional staffing.  While this is a good start, we believe that additional officers will have to be hired in the coming years to fully staff ports of entry in Arizona and throughout the United States. This news is particularly welcome given the completion of the renovation and expansion of the Mariposa port of entry.  The port will support twelve car lanes, a bus lane, and have the capacity to process more than 4,000 trucks per day.  It has been suggested that Mariposa could see as much as $35 billion in trade goods move through it this year, with that number likely to increase given the benefits of the expansion.  Arizona benefits directly from vibrant cross-border trade.  With four years of record setting exports nationally, the U.S. economy does as well.    It will be difficult to fully realize all the benefits cross-border offers if the busiest ports of entry are not adequately staffed.  Unfortunately, stakeholders report that the Tucson field office, which includes the port facilities in Nogales, Arizona, is understaffed and suffering from a high percentage of vacant positions as compared to other districts.  We believe that the shortfalls those stakeholders have identified are urgent needs that must be fully addressed in order for the ports to function at their optimum capacity.  CBP has indicated that it will work aggressively to recruit and train applicants to meet the hiring mandate by the end of Fiscal Year 2015.  As CBP moves forward in that process and makes decisions on the assignment of newly trained officers, we request answers to the following questions: What is CBP’s plan for assigning newly trained officers, including the relative priority of the ports of entry slated to receive additional staffing and the number of CBP academy graduates they will be assigned by a given date? What criteria is CBP using to determine the relative priority of the ports in being assigned new officers and the number of officers likely to be assigned over time? Can you provide the five field offices with the highest percentage of vacant positions as well as the five field offices with the highest rates of attrition? Is the collective bargaining agreement between CBP and its workforce a factor when determining where officers are assigned?  If so, please explain how those considerations are met while considering CBP’s plan for assigning officers and overall homeland security priorities. We appreciate your consistent attention to Congressional requests for information and issues associated with ports staffing.  We request your assistance in ensuring a transparent process in the allocation of these critical resources and thank you for your attention to this matter, in accordance with all existing agency rules, regulations, and ethical guidelines.  We look forward to a timely response. Sincerely, Read More

Rep. Salmon Announces Letter Urging President Obama to Protect Americans from Ebola


Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) signed a bipartisan letter urging President Obama to impose increased screening and travel restrictions to help curtail the potential spread of Ebola in the United States.  He issued the following statement: “Today I signed a letter asking the President to do everything in his power to protect Americans from the threat of Ebola by enhancing current screening measures at U.S. airports, quarantining potentially affected travelers, and issuing a travel ban for the nations experiencing outbreaks of the Ebola virus. “Put simply, current screening practices instituted by our personnel are not enough for what is one of the most challenging global health epidemics faced in decades.  As it can take up to 21 days for Ebola symptoms to present themselves, those traveling from affected areas should be treated with more care than a cursory screening that ensures they are not immediately symptomatic.  In addition to enhancing screening and quarantine procedures, I also urged the president to restrict travel from the affected areas by revoking and refusing to issue entrance visas to citizens of those nations. “Only through our continued vigilance can we ensure Americans are protected from the spread of this disease and I believe these measures will go a long way to ensuring the safety and security of Americans across the country.” A copy of the letter is available at 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

Letter to President Obama Regarding Increased Protections Against the Threat of Ebola


Click here to download the full letter and view all signatories The Honorable Barack Obama President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, DC 20500 Dear President Obama: With three nations in Africa currently facing an Ebola epidemic, our government must take aggressive action to combat and prevent the spread of this disease in the United States. We strongly urge the Administration to take immediate and decisive action to protect and prevent American citizens from further exposure to the deadly Ebola virus. The United States needs to institute travel restrictions, enhanced airport screening and possible quarantine of individuals who have traveled to, or from, the West African countries that have been most impacted by this tragic Ebola epidemic. In Dallas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.  Sadly, his death was announced this morning. An estimated 50 individuals who had contact with that individual in Dallas are being monitored for symptoms of Ebola, as well. In addition, a freelance NBC cameraman covering the outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia tested positive for Ebola and is being treated in Nebraska. He is the fifth confirmed American diagnosed with Ebola. According to the CDC, individuals who have been exposed to Ebola likely will show signs of the disease within 21 days of exposure, but not necessarily before then.  Hence not only are we at risk from travelers showing symptoms of the disease, but also asymptomatic travelers who harbor the disease and become symptomatic and contagious after arrival.  We urge you to direct the CDC, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, to order our Customs and Border agents to begin more active screening of travelers to and from affected countries in West Africa, to prevent further exposure to Ebola in the United States. Furthermore, these agencies should also consider a possible quarantine for any individual who has traveled to or from affected countries in West Africa within the dormancy period, aside from responsible health and military personnel sent there to fight the disease, to ensure that they have not contracted Ebola and are not contagious.  Lastly, we ask the State Department to impose a travel ban and restrict travel visas issued to citizens of the West African countries experiencing this epidemic, until such countries have defeated the epidemic.  Such a ban should be instituted by suspending earlier-issued visas until further notice, halting the issuance of such visas, and denying entry to the nationals of such counties upon presentation of a passport from those countries at our ports of entry.  We note that Congressman Grayson made this request to your administration in July, and that 27 African countries already have taken such action to protect their own citizens, but the United States inexplicably has not. You have suggested that you will not take such action until the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends it.  We specifically call on you not to “pass the buck” on this crucial issue.  The WHO is an organization of unelected bureaucrats and political appointees of foreign countries.  It has no duty to protect the lives and well-being of Americans, as you do.  Furthermore, it has utterly failed to stem this epidemic through its own action.  The responsibility for this decision is yours, not theirs. Please note that we support all efforts to provide humanitarian relief to the stricken countries in question, and that the measures that we propose should not be misconstrued as a substitute for such relief.  Additionally, such measures are meant to protect Americans from citizens of the affected countries who, wittingly or unwittingly, harbor the disease, and these measures are not meant to constrain American citizens in any manner not already in effect under our health laws.  Finally, we do not intend that such measures impede trade with any of the countries in question, nor that they last for any period beyond the current crisis.  Because of its extraordinary and unprecedented death rate, the current Ebola outbreak is, by far, one of the most challenging global health epidemics that the world has faced in decades.  It is of the utmost importance that your Administration take these commonsense steps to protect U.S. citizens from this Ebola epidemic. Sincerely, Read More

Read Chairman Salmon’s Opening Statement


Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere “Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi: Our Marine in Mexican Custody” Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Welcome, everyone, to this important hearing on Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, our Marine in Custody in Mexico.  I want to thank Chairman Royce and all my colleagues who have come back to Washington to take part in this hearing.  And I want to thank our witnesses, particularly Mrs. Tahmooressi, who has been a steadfast and strong advocate on behalf of her son.  Montel Williams and Pete Hegseth, your work on behalf of veterans is noble and important and it is a pleasure to have you hear speaking on behalf of Andrew.  And finally, retired Marine Sergeant Robert Buchanan, who served with Andrew in Afghanistan, we sincerely appreciate you appearing on behalf of your friend, and I would like to personally thank you for your service to our nation.  Not long after the VA scandal story broke in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, exposing widespread mismanagement of veteran care on the part of the VA, I first traveled down to Tijuana, Mexico to visit Sgt. Tahmooressi in prison.  I had been following his story—how he had served with distinction in the U.S. Marine Corps on the battlefields of Afghanistan, returning to the United States with the physical and psychological scars of war.  How he made his way to Southern California, where he was diagnosed with PTSD, living mostly out of his truck where he carried all of his belongings, including his three registered guns.  And how he got turned around and found himself at the Mexican border where it is illegal to carry guns.  By the time I visited Andrew back in late May and again in June with Chairman Royce, he had been through a lot; he had attempted to escape and take his own life—haunted by the hyper-vigilance that is the hallmark of his PTSD.  Even so, he was polite and soft-spoken; a brave American who had defended this country and now needed our help to return home.  Interesting anecdote:  on my way back from visiting Andrew the first time, just as I was crossing the border back into the United States, I learned of the news that the Obama administration had negotiated with the Taliban for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  Sgt Tahmooressi's circumstances are obviously very different than Sgt. Bergdahl's.    But it still struck me then that Sgt. Tahmooressi had served his country with honor twice in Afghanistan, and now finds himself in a Mexican prison after getting turned around, probably in great part, due to his PTSD. Clearly, President Obama couldn’t find time between negotiating with terrorists to call our ally, the Mexican President, to appeal to him on behalf of our Marine.  If we in Congress don't do everything in our power to try to get Sgt. Tahmooressi, an injured war hero, back to the States for treatment, then what are we doing here?  Making sure that our combat veterans are taken care of when they return is one of our most important obligations. As Chairman of this Subcommittee, I have been consistently supportive of our bilateral relationship with Mexico, committed to our security partnership, and to helping Mexico reform and improve its justice system.  Our commercial relationship with Mexico is strong and vital.  Today, I feel the same way.  I am optimistic about Mexico's energy reforms, the growth of its middle class, and the increasingly close trade and diplomatic relationship we share.  But our significant and growing bilateral cooperation must also come with the ability to resolve important issues, particularly along our shared border.  I firmly believe that Sgt. Tahmooressi meant no harm, nor did he willfully violate Mexican law when he crossed the border. Now, he has spent over 6 months in prison for what amounts to a wrong turn. I’m disappointed that more could not be done to address this situation in a more timely manner.  The fact is that Mexican citizens violate U.S. law on a regular and continuing basis, illegally crossing our Southern border. Mexican officials respond by asking the U.S. for compassion and amnesty for their citizens to remain in the U.S.  But frankly, compassion goes both ways.  Mexico does not have the ability to provide Sgt. Tahmooressi with the care he needs.  Our war hero needs to come home. Last week, I spoke with the Mexican Attorney General who explained that while Sgt. Tahmooressi had broken Mexican law by approaching the border with weapons, his combat-related PTSD could not be adequately treated in Mexico. The good news is, the Attorney General explained to me, and, I understand, to Chairman Royce separately, that he has the authority within Mexican law to dismiss Sgt. Tahmooressi’s case on humanitarian grounds once he has expert testimony that verifies his combat-specific PTSD diagnosis.  Chairman Royce and I obtained the appropriate expert medical reports and forwarded them to the Mexican Attorney General’s desk this past Friday.  In addition, at the court hearing yesterday, a Mexican psychologist submitted his official diagnosis confirming Andrew’s PTSD.  Now with all the information available to him, I am confident that Attorney General Murillo Karam will very soon order the release of Andrew so that he can begin his treatment and move forward with his life back home with his family and friends. Once again, we are asking our men and women in uniform to embark on the mission of fighting on behalf of our nation in our war against the terrorist organization, ISIS.  Making sure that Sgt. Tahmooressi is brought home and provided the treatment he needs demonstrates to our military men and women who are in harm’s way that America stands up for their soldiers and Marines.  That is how it should be.  I look forward to hearing from all the witnesses and thank you all again for being here. A live stream of the hearing is available at 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

MEDIA ADVISORY: Chairman Salmon to Convene Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Hearing on Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi: Our Marine in Mexican Custody


Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene a hearing TOMORROW to examine the plight of U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi.  The hearing is entitled, “Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi: Our Marine in Mexican Custody” and will begin at 10 am ET. Chairman Salmon on the hearing: “As Congress begins to contemplate once again committing our nation's servicemen and women to the fight against terrorism, it is incumbent on us to stand by our heroes when they return home.  As a direct result of his honorable service in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi now suffers from combat related PTSD.  Tragically, instead of receiving the treatment he needs, he is being held in a Mexican prison.  As a Member of Congress it is my obligation and duty to protect heroes like Andrew who have suffered the ravages of war in service to our nation. I'm convening this hearing to honor his service and work to ensure his immediate release so that he can receive the treatment he needs.” What: Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi: Our Marine in Mexican Custody When: October 1, 2014 from 10:00 am ET to 1:00 pm ET Where: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building Witnesses: Mrs. Jill Tahmooressi Mother of Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi Lieutenant Commander Montel B. Williams, USN, Retired Veterans Advocate Sergeant Robert Buchanan, USMC, Retired Served with Sergeant Tahmooressi in Afghanistan Mr. Pete Hegseth Chief Executive Officer, Concerned Veterans for America 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

Letter to the Department of Homeland Security Regarding Current Immigration Law Enforcement


Click here to download the full letter The Honorable Jeh Johnson Department of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. 20528 Dear Secretary Johnson, As you know, in this fiscal year we have seen an unprecedented number of illegal border crossings along our southern border.  Like many of my colleagues, I believe this is a direct result of President Obama’s June 2012 Rose Garden speech indicating his decision not to enforce some of our immigration laws. As a member of Congress from the border state of Arizona, I have followed this issue very closely.  Furthermore, I recently served on the Speaker’s House Task Force on Securing our Southern Border and Humanitarian Crisis where I was also able to visit the holding facilities in Nogales, Arizona and McAllen, Texas as well as visit the Central American countries from which many of these individuals originate.  It is a well-known fact that our borders remain porous and our interior enforcement is lacking. With this in mind, it was with great dismay that I learned of your Department’s new policy that would allow for the release of illegal aliens, so long as they promised to return for a court date fifteen days later. Upon learning this fact, my colleagues and I warned that this was bad policy. It goes without saying that individuals willing to break our laws and enter a country illegally are certainly willing to break the legal commitment of appearing for a court date. Unfortunately, we have been proven correct by the recent figures that indicate a lack of compliance by these illegal aliens across the board.  The figures for this fiscal year indicate that family units entering illegally number more than 66,000.  Additionally, recent media reports indicate that an estimated 70 percent did not appear for their court date. To combat this bad policy and provide meaningful solutions to our nation’s border crisis, I coauthored bipartisan legislation, which passed the House in July, to end the policy of catch-and-release.  Due to the lack of action by the Senate on this important bill, this policy of catch and release continues.  Now, we as a nation have added 41,000 families to the ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants residing in the shadows of our communities. Recognizing the seriousness of these numbers, please provide us with answers to the following questions: What is the DHS going to do to locate and remove the 41,000 illegal family units who failed to appear for their court date? Under what specific authority did the DHS release illegal immigrant family units rather than immediately put them through deportation proceedings? What policy changes is the DHS going to implement to ensure this will not happen in the future? Why does the DHS refuse to enforce immigration laws as passed by the American people’s representatives? As our nation faces this perpetual wave of illegal border crossings, it is critical that we have answers to these questions in order for Congress to respond appropriately.  I look forward to your swift response.  Sincerely,   Matt Salmon Member of Congress Read More

Rep. Salmon Statement on Attorney General Holder’s Resignation


Washington, D.C. — Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today issued the below statement following the news that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will resign. “Eric Holder holds the distinction of being the only Attorney General or cabinet member in the history of our nation to be held in Contempt of Congress.  He has actively impeded Congressional oversight of the Justice Department; he has obfuscated, where he has not outright concealed, potentially criminal activities in Department of Justice initiatives, such as operation Fast and Furious; he has violated the First and Fourth Amendments by spying on members of the media, and doing so without a warrant; he has failed to uncover the IRS’ politically motivated intimidation and harassment; and he has steadfastly refused to act on the orders of the House to prosecute individuals in Contempt of Congress. “General Holder’s resignation should be welcomed by advocates of justice across our nation, and the Senate should seek to confirm a replacement who will exemplify a commitment to upholding justice.  I urge them to take action without delay and confirm a sound candidate as soon as possible.” 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

Happy Constitution Week


This week, we celebrated the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.  In honor of the document that sets out the bounds of the federal government, I had a special Constitution Week chat with Skyline High School’s “We the People” class and released a special video to commemorate the day. I also want to mention three important votes.  First up was H. J. Res 124 (House Joint Resolution 124) that would fund the government after current appropriations are set to expire on September 30.  This is commonly called a Continuing Resolution (CR) since it continues to fund the government at current levels and allows money to be spent without passing what we would traditionally think of as a “budget.”  Since the Senate refuses to take up any bills to appropriate money for the government (something they’ve been doing for years), this is how government is funded today.  This is a very irresponsible way to run a government. The CR also included the most contentious piece of the President’s strategy to combat ISIS, providing American weapons to the Free Syrian Army.  Like many of you, I’m concerned that the President lacks the ability to positively differentiate between our allies and our adversaries in the Syrian conflict.  As we have seen in Iraq, arming a group of fighters is not wise if those individuals will either desert their posts or support the enemy they claim to oppose. For these reasons, I voted no on the CR.  We should fund our government responsibly, and simply throwing money (and guns) at the problem in Syria is not a responsible way to handle an enemy like ISIS. On Thursday, we passed two other bills, H. R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act, and H.R. 4, the Jobs for America Act.  These were easy yes votes. H.R. 4 contained 15 bills that the House has already passed, which would change federal law to empower job creators, fuel economic growth, and ensure the competitiveness of our nation.  It would also ensure that Congress is required to vote on all new major regulations before they can be enforced by the executive.  H.R. 2 contained 14 bills that already cleared the House to increase domestic energy production and improve our independence.  It would ensure that the Keystone pipeline project moves forward and create a new approval process for pipelines that cross our borders with Canada or Mexico.  It also reins in the out-of-control EPA’s agenda, which needlessly hampers job creators and destroys the very jobs Americans need most. Read More

Rep. Salmon Congratulates Mesa Mayor John Giles on his First Day


Washington, D.C. — Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today issued the following statement on Mayor John Giles’ first day as Mayor of Mesa. “As a lifelong resident of Mesa, I am excited and proud to see John Giles take the helm as our next Mayor. He’s been a tireless and strong advocate for Mesa for over two decades, and I am confident that Mesa will continue to thrive under his leadership. I look forward to working with him and his entire team as we work together to build a better community and a better America." 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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Contact Information

2349 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2635
Fax 202-226-4386

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.

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