Paul Gosar

Paul Gosar

ARIZONA's 4th DISTRICT

VICTORY! Rep. Gosar Successful in Effort to Block 1.7 Million Acre Land Grab in Arizona

2017/01/20

For Immediate Release

Date: January 20, 2017

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after successfully leading an effort to block Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and extremist environmental groups’ proposed 1.7 million acre land grab in Northwest Arizona commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument proposal:        

“As Barack Obama’s presidency ended earlier today, Arizonans can celebrate knowing that they successfully blocked a massive federal land grab which threatened to stifle economic development and kill jobs in our rural communities. In the face of environmental extremists teaming up with a president hell-bent on abusing the Antiquities Act, Arizonans united in one voice to oppose more of our land being unilaterally locked-up by the federal government. I was honored to lead the charge against this misguided land grab for our communities. But this was a team effort and this massive victory is a result of the tireless work by local stakeholders and grassroots groups who united with my office to send a clear message of opposition all the way to the Oval Office.”

“While we were successful in our efforts to block this monument designation in Arizona, there is still much work to be done during the Trump Administration to rein in the outdated Antiquities Act. Local communities deserve to have their voices heard before a president can lock up millions of acres of land with one stroke of a pen. I continue to call on President Trump to repeal the land grabs executed by former President Obama where significant local opposition was present including Bears Ears, Utah and Clark County, Nevada.”

Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson stated, “Clearly, successfully blocking this effort by the federal government is a huge success story for Arizona and vitally important for Mohave County. My first meeting with Congressman Gosar was in 2010 at a meeting fighting this overreach and he never gave up. Future economic development can now proceed as we move to both preserve the natural beauty of the nearly 2 million acres and create new jobs and opportunities as well. This is a massive victory.”

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer stated, “We are extremely pleased that the Obama administration has come to an end without designating a huge swath of northern Arizona as a national monument. Doing so would have been a monumental mistake. But this was a close call. We look forward to working with the new Congress to reform the Antiquities Act to ensure that even the potential of a similar land grab can’t occur again.”

Chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission Kurt Davis stated, “We are thankful that the preservation of the multi-use doctrine has been protected and that the effective conservation of wildlife can continue on these lands.”

Arizona water law expert and attorney Bob Lynch stated, “What most people don't know is that defeating this proposal, especially the Executive action, dodges troubling unresolved water rights issues that could threaten water conservation at Lake Mead. Thank you, Congressman Gosar!”

 

Background:

Congressman Gosar spearheaded the successful effort opposing the proposed 1.7 million acre land grab in Northwest Arizona under the Antiquities Act. He also defeated Rep. Grijalva’s bill in the 114th Congress, H.R. 3882,  that also aimed to accomplish this misguided designation through legislation. A comprehensive webpage detailing Congressman Gosar’s work on this matter can be found HERE

The president’s ability to set aside land for monuments and national parks comes from the outdated Antiquities Act of 1906, which was originally intended to protect prehistoric Indian ruins and artifacts on federal lands in the West. More than one hundred years later, the original intent of this law, which included language to limit these designations to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects,” has been significantly abused. President Obama exceeded the intent of the Antiquities Act more than any other president in the history of this country. During his presidency, Obama designated or expanded 34 national monuments. These unilateral declarations locked-up more than 553,550,000 acres of land and water.

National monument designations under the Antiquities Act typically have significant consequences that negatively affect grazing rights, water rights, wildfire prevention and other land management activities. These declarations also result in some of the most restrictive land-use regulations possible and also greatly impact hunting, fishing, OHV and other recreational activities.

Unilateral designations that circumvent Congress typically result in devastating consequences for rural America and our future economic prosperity. For every new acre claimed for the federal government, there is an acre of private land lost. Such actions exacerbate challenges for local communities to fund things like education and infrastructure as lands that are added to the federal rolls can no longer be taxed. Arizona already has 18 national monuments, more than any other state. Only 18.2% of Arizona land is private land and the federal government already controls more than 30 million acres of land in our state and more than 635 million acres throughout the country.

Since 2010, extremist environmental groups have been pushing a radical proposal that explicitly seeks to lock-up 1.7 million acres in the Grand Canyon Watershed. Shamefully, some proponents of the monument have been lying to the American people by stating this was an idea that was initiated by tribal governments. This proposal was put forth by the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Wilderness Society. The real intentions of these shortsighted self-interest groups are clear as they boldly state in their literature that this land grab is needed in order to prevent hunting and fishing, mining, timber harvesting, OHV use, energy development and grazing on this massive swath of land.

Three Democrats from Arizona’s delegation sent a letter to the President requesting he appease these special-interest groups by locking-up nearly 2 million acres in northern Arizona. Arizona's southern liberal Congressman, Raúl Grijalva, subsequently introduced a bill that also aims to accomplish this misguided land grab.

In November of 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.R. 3946, the Protecting Local Communities from Executive Overreach Act, legislation which sought to update the 1906 Antiquities Act in order to protect property rights, water rights and jobs from presidential overreach. More information HERE

Congressman Gosar has also passed an amendment and submitted an appropriation’s rider to prevent further abuse of the Antiquities Act. In February of 2015, Congressman Gosar led his initial effort that was supported by 24 members of Congress to oppose declaration of the Grand Canyon Watershed under the Antiquities Act. 

A scientific poll conducted by Coleman Dahm and Associates found that 71.6% of Arizonans are opposed to the proposed Administrative designation of 1.7 million acres in Northern Arizona as a National Monument. While some special-interest groups have commissioned push polls attempting to show support for this misguided proposal, this scientific poll makes clear that Arizonans recognize that future management of this area should be driven by a collaborative processes that includes local stakeholders and that Arizonans overwhelmingly oppose this land grab.

On Monday April 11, 2016, Congressman Gosar held a Public Listening Session in Kingman, Arizona titled, “Government Land Grabs: Exposing The Truth.” During the event, the Congressman heard from concerned citizens for more than three hours on the need to reform the Antiquities Act and the negative impacts that would result should President Obama appease special-interest groups and unilaterally lock up 1.7 million acres in the Grand Canyon Watershed. Learn more HERE.  

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Rep. Gosar Cheers the Return of Rainbow Trout Stocking at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery

2017/01/13

For Immediate Release

Date: January 12, 2017

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) announced rainbow trout stocking would resume today, following a three year hiatus, at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery: 

“As thousands of Rainbow Trout once again return to the Colorado River, Arizonans can be proud of the perseverance and vigilance of many local leaders which ultimately saved this important program at Willow Beach. The return of the trout-stocking program should inspire all Americans to remember that when ‘we the people’ stand together and take bold action against big government overreach, we can accomplish anything.”

 

Background:

Congressman Gosar has created an informational page on his website about his efforts to protect the trout-stocking program at the Willow Beach Fish Hatchery. That page can be found HERE.

In November 2013, the Service arbitrarily changed the priorities for the five different propagation program categories and announced their intent to close propagation programs and possibly hatcheries throughout the nation in fiscal year 2015. The Service also terminated the rainbow trout stocking program at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery threatening 1,700 jobs and $75 million in associated economic output.

The infrastructure problems at the hatchery began nearly five years ago, when broken pipelines and low water levels threatened trout production at the facility. The loss of the trout stocking would have had a devastating economic effect on the communities in Mohave County, Arizona. The state’s sport fishing industry relies on the national hatchery system for more than 97 percent of sport fish stocked in Arizona.

The recreational fishing propagation programs that are on the Fish and Wildlife’s hit list are the only hatchery programs that generate any substantive revenues for local economies. The trout stocking propagation programs in Arkansas and Oklahoma are so successful that a recent economic analysis found that for “every $1 of hatchery operational budget spent, $95 was put back into the economy.”

In order to prevent the Service from terminating important fishing propagation programs at federal fish hatcheries throughout the country, Congressman Gosar introduced the Fish Hatchery Protection Act, H.R. 5026 during the 113th Congress. This important legislation aimed to preserve propagation fish hatcheries and propagation programs within the National Fish Hatchery System and stipulates that only the Congress can authorize the termination or significant alteration of such facilities or programs. H.R. 5026 passed the House Natural Resources Committee in July of 2014. The bill was endorsed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the American Sportfishing Association.

During the hearing on H.R. 5026, Congressman Gosar was able to secure a commitment from Deputy Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Steve Guertin, that if the broken water supply line was fixed, then the rainbow trout stocking program would resume at the Willow Beach Hatchery. This was a significant change, as the Service had previously inflated the cost to fix the water supply line several millions of dollars and stated it was terminating the rainbow trout stocking program to focus on suckers and chubs.

On October 27, 2014, Congressman Gosar received a letter from the Service announcing it was reversing its decision and that “once a sufficient and reliable water supply has been fully reestablished, the Service intends to resume rainbow trout production at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery.”

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Rep. Gosar Introduces Bill to End Obama’s War on the American Suburbs

2017/01/12

For Immediate Release

Date: January 12, 2017

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act of 2017 which would end the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH):

“The AFFH rule marks President Obama’s most aggressive attempt yet to force his utopian ideology on American communities disguised under the banner of ‘fairness’. This overreaching mandate is an attempt to extort communities into giving up control of local zoning decisions and reengineer the makeup of our neighborhoods.

“Just as the president used the DOJ, IRS and DHS as a political weapon, he has now expanded his arsenal to include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a way of punishing neighborhoods that don’t fall in line with his liberal agenda of federally mandated demographics. No president, Republican or Democrat, has the right to dictate where Americans are allowed to live and it is up to Congress to rein in this authority on behalf of the people we represent. This is one of countless rules that President Obama can take with him when he leaves office in 8 days.”

U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Senate Companion version of this legislation today and released a statement saying, “Every American should be free to choose where to live, and every community should be free to zone its neighborhoods and compete for new residents according to its distinct values. We don’t need a National Zoning Board. Washington should let Americans govern local. A better debate would be about how Americans could better spend the money that is wasted every year by the dysfunctional Community Development Block Grant Program.” 

Background:

The full text of the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act can be found HERE.

Original Cosponsors include Representatives Babin, Blackburn, Blum, Buck, Burgess, DesJarlais, Duncan (SC), Duncan (TN), Franks, Grothman, King (IA), Massie, McClintock, Poe, Rohrabacher, Sessions, Smith (MO), Webster, and Yoho.

This legislation is endorsed by Americans for Limited Government.

Congressman Gosar’s legislation withdrawals the AFFH regulation and the Assessment Tool used to implement this new mandate.  Additionally, the bill includes language to prevent any future database of geospatial information on racial disparity with regards to affordable housing. The bill also has an important federalism provision that requires HUD to consult with local governments and local communities for the purposes of furthering the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by means other than top-down federal regulations.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015. Communities that reject this overreach and do not comply will lose out on millions of dollars annually. The damage to local communities that will result from the AFFH rule is well documented and further evidenced in publications about the regulation including the PAHRA MonitorInvestor’s Business Daily and the New York Daily.

In the 113th Congress, the House of Representatives successfully approved Congressman Gosar’s amendment prohibiting HUD from implementing its proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. The amendment was successfully attached to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 but was not included the final version signed into law. This amendment was supported by Heritage and Americans for Limited Government. Click HERE to read more about this effort.

Congressman Gosar wrote and op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily titled Latest Federal Mandate On 'Fair Housing' Is Anything But, which can be read HERE.

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Rep. Gosar Introduces Bill Paving the Way for Obamacare Repeal and to Restore Competition in the Healthcare Market

2017/01/10

For Immediate Release

Date: January 9, 2017

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

             

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017, legislation that would amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 to restore the application of federal anti-trust laws to the business of health insurance:

“The healthcare insurance industry continues to be one of the least competitive and least transparent industries in the entire nation. That’s because for over 70 years health insurers have enjoyed a special legal exemption from anti-trust laws resulting in less competition and higher healthcare costs for every single American family. By restoring federal anti-trust laws to the business of health insurance, my legislation represents a critical first step to establishing the proper foundation for a competitive and consumer-driven health insurance marketplace. Hospitals, doctors and most importantly, patients benefit when health insurers compete to provide quality coverage. Ending this special-interest exemption is an integral piece of any Obamacare repeal effort and is the only reform that will actually rein in insurance company practices, increase competition and lower prices for consumers.”

Co-chairman of the House GOP Doctors Caucus Congressman Phil Roe (TN-01) stated, “As a physician, I know there are several ways we can reduce the cost of care for patients, including increased competition in a fair market. I am proud to cosponsor the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act and thank Dr. Gosar for his leadership on this issue.”

House GOP Doctors Caucus member Congressman Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) commented, “Since its inception, contrary to its designers’ promises, Obamacare was designed as a giveaway to powerful Washington special interests, resulting in fewer choices and higher costs for health care consumers. I’m proud to join Congressman Gosar and more of my House colleagues to offer today’s bill, which puts power in the hands of the American people, both patients and their doctors. Removing artificial barriers, such as state monopolies for the biggest insurance carriers, would increase access and affordability for millions of people still under- or uninsured, despite Obamacare’s enormous price tag and taxes. Our goal is rising job growth, wages, and patients’ ability to make their own health care decisions with their own hard-earned money. Costs and also quality will improve under our replacement plan.”

Background:

The full text of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 can be found HERE.

Original Cosponsors (14): Brian Babin, D.D.S.; Dave Brat; Mo Brooks; Scott DesJarlais, M.D.; John Duncan; Walter B. Jones; Drew Ferguson, D.D.S.; Louie Gohmert; Steve King, Phil Roe, M.D.; Austin Scott; Lamar Smith; Robert Wittman; Ted Yoho.

The Congressman’s legislation is endorsed by: American Dental Association, American Optometric Association and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 amends a section of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, which exempted the insurance industry from the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act – acts that have the purpose of ensuring fair competition.  This broad exemption was intended to assist newly established insurance companies set sustainable premiums by permitting data sharing between insurance companies. These antiquated exemptions are no longer necessary. There is no reason in law, policy, or logic for the insurance industry to have special exemptions that are different from all other businesses in the United States.

Repeal of the specific sections of the McCarran-Ferguson Act which apply to health insurance has bipartisan support. A form of this legislation passed the Democratic-controlled House during the 111th Congress 406 - 19 (Roll no. 64) and passed the Republican-led House in the 112th Congress by a voice vote.

This anti-trust reform provision is included in the Republican Study Committee’s healthcare reform bill and discussed in the Speaker’s “A Better Way” white paper.

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An Early Christmas Gift: Gosar-McCain Jobs Bill Signed into Law

2016/12/24

For Immediate Release

Date: December 24, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the president signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017 which included a Gosar-McCain sponsored bill H.R. 4601, legislation that will resolve a non-controversial legal hurdle allowing for the pursuit of new economic development projects within the City of Flagstaff:

“Arizonans can celebrate an early, bipartisan Christmas gift this year in the form of new jobs and economic growth in Flagstaff at no cost to taxpayers. I’m proud to have worked closely with Senator McCain, BNSF Railroad and the City of Flagstaff to pass this important legislation into public law. This commonsense bill will ensure that private land is utilized for commercial development and will not revert back to the federal government as a result of an outdated provision from the 1860’s. As one of the fastest growing regions in the country, it is critical that federal law supports economic growth and not impede job creators from building a stronger Arizona.” 

Background:

H.R. 4601, legislation introduced by Congressman Gosar, was included in S.2943 as section 2824 and signed into law on December 23, 2016.

S.2943 includes important funding for our troops and their missions. Congressman Gosar strongly supports our men and women in the military and voted in support of both versions of the NDAA that passed the House this year. 

This legislation is endorsed by the City of Flagstaff, which requested that this legislation be introduced, and BNSF Railroad, the two affected parties in this legislation.

The Railroad Act of 1866 granted land to various railroads for establishment of a large rail network to deliver goods throughout the United States.  When the land was given to the railroads from the Federal Government, the Act included a reversionary clause which stated that the land would revert back to the federal government if it wasn’t used as part of the national railroad network.

In 2006, the City traded land of equal value (a little less than 15 acres each) with the BNSF railroad.  The land exchange was appraised using federal standards.  The purpose of the trade at the time was to allow for construction and expansion of the Fourth Street Bridge. Shortly after the City obtained the new parcel, it was sold to a developer.  

Currently, the reversionary clause on the original BNSF parcel still exists. The developer that purchased the original BNSF parcel from the City cannot get title insurance on the land because of that reversionary interest clause. This bill simply transfers the reversionary interest clause from the original BNSF parcel to BNSF’s new parcel.  Such action will resolve the title insurance issue and allow for important economic development to occur within the City of Flagstaff.

PROPERTIES INVOLVED:

Parcel 1 14.98 Acres of Recently-sold City Land (Originally the BNSF Parcel) Parcel 2 14.79 Acres of BNSF Acquired Land (Originally City Parcel)

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Western Caucus Denounces Fish and Wildlife Service’s Overreaching Compensatory Mitigation Policy

2016/12/23

For Immediate Release

Date: December 23, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03) issued the following statements in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announcing the agency’s final Endangered Species Act (ESA) Compensatory Mitigation Policy (CMP):

“Despite losing control of the House, Senate and White House on his watch, President Obama still doesn’t seem to get the message that the American people have rejected his extremist environmental agenda. By desperately seeking to enact almost 100 midnight regulations during the last few weeks of a lame duck presidency, Obama has selfishly put his own legacy ahead of the well-being of hard-working Americans,” said Chairman Gosar. “The Service’s final CMP is the direct result of a lawless directive issued by President Obama in November 2015. With help from his extremist environmental allies, the president has blatantly abused his executive power to instruct federal agencies to unilaterally rewrite environmental laws originally passed by Congress. The Service’s new CPM will have devastating consequences for local communities and job creators while causing significant regulatory confusion. You can add this misguided policy to the growing list of midnight regulations that Congress and the Trump Administration will expunge early in the 115th Congress.”

“This final rule further muddies the regulatory waters, creating unnecessary burdens, confusion and delays in the permitting process for everything from responsible, job-creating energy development projects to important environmental conservation projects,” said Vice-Chairman Tipton. “It's consistent with the Administration’s final push to do everything possible to make life difficult for rural Americans to earn a living.”

 

Background:

The “Presidential Memorandum” on mitigation seeks to provide new instructions and guidance for all federal agencies within the Executive Branch. The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed changes to the agency’s mitigation policy on March 7, 2016 as a result of this memo.

In June of 2016, Chairman Gosar and Vice-Chairman Tipton joined nine of his colleagues in contacting Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to raise serious concerns and request an extension of the comment period for proposed revisions to the Service Mitigation Policy. That letter can be found HERE.

(Courtesy of the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations): Last November 3, 2015 President Obama issued another significant Memorandum to the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requiring sweeping changes to their policies regarding mitigation of natural resource impacts from approved projects and activities. Specifically, the new policy requires agencies considering permitting of projects to incorporate a standard of ensuring a “net benefit” or at minimum “no net loss” of important, scarce, or sensitive natural resources before a permit can be issued.

The Memorandum mandates federal agencies to design policies to require more compensatory mitigation, including advance compensation prior to project approval and mitigation banking methods facilitated by environmental groups and other non-governmental entities that participate in the banking business.

The Memorandum appears to create sweeping new statutory authority through unilateral executive action, and represents a substantial re-write of public land use and water policy by the Obama Administration. The new “net benefit” standard exceeds statutory standards set in law by Congress, and represents a substantial raising of the threshold that will likely result in the rejection of a host of economic and energy-related projects that would otherwise have been approved under the law, and potentially increase the cost and regulatory burden for those projects that are already permitted.

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Western Caucus Members Reject Obama’s Unilateral Offshore Drilling Ban, Pledge to Work with Trump to Immediately Overturn

2016/12/20

For Immediate Release

Date: December 20, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, President Obama took unprecedented unilateral action to block future mineral exploration and development of 118.8 million offshore acres in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) and caucus members Congressman Don Young (AK-At large) and Congressman Garret Graves (LA-06) issued the following statements in response:

“President Obama’s latest political maneuver unilaterally removes 118.8 million acres from U.S. mineral potential, jeopardizes our energy security and threatens to kill good-paying jobs throughout the country. This Christmas give-away for the president’s favorite special-interest groups is not based on merit or need. Making it tougher to produce oil and natural gas in America defies commonsense and could make us more dependent on volatile foreign markets,” said Chairman Gosar. “It has become abundantly clear that in his final desperate days in office, the president is more concerned with appeasing far-left ideological groups than with the well-being of the American people. This latest midnight executive action by a lame duck president won’t stand and I’ll work closely with the Trump Administration to reverse this misguided moratorium that jeopardizes affordable energy.”

“Hell-bent on locking away our resources and suffocating our already weakened economy, President Obama is one step closer to solidifying his place next to Jimmy Carter as Alaska’s worst nightmare,” said Congressman Young. “Frankly, this is a cowardly move by a lame duck President – eight years to take this action, yet it comes at the 11th hour with little to no support from Alaskans. I’ve been adamant with this administration; Alaska is not and should not be used as the poster child for a pandering environmental agenda. This decision only strengthens our resolve – as a resources oriented state – to overturn the heavy hand of government and empower our people and communities with new social and economic opportunities. The groundwork is already being laid to overturn this terrible decision.”

“Today’s White House announcement is disappointing, but unsurprising; it’s a continuation of Obama’s efforts to increase employment opportunities in Iran, Venezuela and other nations rather than the United States. Federal energy policy needs to strike a balance between environmental and economic priorities - not impose ‘government knows best’ mandates like this one. We’re looking forward to working with the next Administration to strengthen our national energy security and foster a job creation environment while responsibly stewarding the environment,” said Congressman Graves.

Background:

The massive mineral withdrawal announced by President Obama today encompasses 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic Ocean and 115 million acres in the Arctic Ocean.

(Courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute) The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) Section 12(a) allows a President to withdraw OCS areas from leasing consideration – It does not say that these withdrawals are permanent. A permanent withdrawal would be entirely contrary to Congress' stated purpose in creating OCSLA, which was to make the OCS "available for expeditious and orderly development.”

In addition, a permanent and unilateral withdrawal by the president would conflict directly with the special role that OCSLA gives governors in OCS leasing decisions. Past precedent shows that the President has power to undo a 12(a) withdrawal through a simple presidential memorandum.

Specifically, in 2008 George W. Bush used a simple memorandum to remove previous 12(a) withdrawal areas and open all OCS lands to leasing except marine sanctuaries. President Trump, once in office, can similarly rescind any areas withdrawn by President Obama with a simple memorandum.

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Western Caucus Slams Obama’s Last-Ditch Effort to Continue the War on Coal

2016/12/19

For Immediate Release

Date: December 19, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) announced the final Stream Protection Rule (SPR) that would supersede the existing Stream Buffer Zone Rule that was enacted in 2008 to regulate surface coal mining. 

Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) and caucus members Rep. Alex X. Mooney (WV-02) and Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) issued the following statement in response:

“The Obama Administration has squandered taxpayer money for eight years on this new regulation, tried to manipulate job loss numbers and even changed the name. You can’t put lipstick on this pig. Whether they want to call it the Stream Buffer Zone Rule or the Stream Protection Rule, this rule still stinks,” said Chairman Gosar. “The American people who want good-paying careers have missed out on hundreds of thousands of jobs around the country as a result of the president’s misguided ‘War on Coal.’ This overreaching new mandate is his latest attempt to put another nail in the coffin of an industry that provides 40% of the world’s electricity. Rest assured, this latest midnight regulation is in the crosshairs of the new administration and Congress.”  

“The Office of Surface Mining released its devastating Stream Protection Rule this week as a final parting shot on the coal industry by President Obama. I can assure the people of West Virginia that I will work with President-Elect Trump and the new head of the Office of Surface Mining next year to make sure that the so-called ‘Stream Protection Rule’ will not go into effect and further harm the coal industry,” said Rep Alex  X. Mooney.

“Even in its final weeks, the administration continues to hammer coal country with excessive and costly mandates, which will achieve very few, if any, environmental benefits.  The Office of Surface Mining needs to back off this rule, consider the science, and further consult with the states before moving forward.” said Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson.

Background:

The text of the pre-published Stream Protection rule can be found HERE

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has a history of producing job crushing regulations based on secret science.

This duplicative new rule conflicts with existing state regulations and will provide no discernable environmental benefit. This new regulation utilizes the fundamentally flawed and unlawful social cost of carbon model. This final rule puts President Obama’s climate change agenda ahead of the needs of the American people. The final Stream Protection rule seeks to implement parts of President Obama’s unlawful mitigation memo issued in November 2015.  This new regulation will cause permitting delays for important projects and kill jobs.

Even the Department of Interior admits that this new rule will increase costs for small businesses, estimating their compliance costs will increase by at least $81 million.

A 2012 Economic Impact Study found that the Obama Administration’s announced Stream Protection Rule could potentially sterilize between 30% and 43% of recoverable reserves which will have devastating effects for both surface and underground coal mines. The study also found that the associated decline in annual coal production as a result of the proposed rule could have a direct impact on our economy and employment, potentially killing between 133,441 and 273,227 mining-related jobs, and having an associated economic impact of $18 to $25 billion annually.

Information provided by the National Mining Association (NMA) confirms that approximately 40,000 coal jobs have been lost in America during the Obama Administration. NMA also stated that up to 64 percent of total U.S. coal reserves nationwide could be off limits to mining as a result of this new regulation. Production of U.S. coal has fallen to the lowest levels in the last 30 years. Since 2009 alone, more than 200 different plants have been forced to close their doors.

 In January of 2016, the House passed H.R. 1644 (Rep. Alex Mooney, R-WV), the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act (STREAM Act).  This bill  sought to block this new regulation and provide transparency for future regulations.

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President Signs Gosar Bill to Honor Arizona WWII Veteran and Survivor of USS Indianapolis into Law

2016/12/18

For Immediate Release

Date: December 17, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the President of the United States of America signed into law legislation sponsored by the Congressman, H.R.6304, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 501 North Main Street in Florence, Arizona, as the “Adolfo ‘Harpo’ Celaya Post Office”:

“I am very happy to see the president sign my bill honoring this great Arizonan into law without delay. Adolfo Celaya’s incredible story will now be officially and permanently commemorated  in his hometown of Florence, Arizona. This legislation ensures that future generations will learn about the incredible sacrifice that Mr. Celaya and the 317 survivors of the USS Indianapolis made for our country.

“Despite living through one of the darkest moments of WWII, Mr. Celaya has continued to inspire countless Arizonans through his eternal patriotism and commitment to serving all Americans. I would like to commend the Town of Florence for their leadership in making this tribute possible and recognize Mr. Celaya for his dedicated sacrifice to our nation and commitment to his local community.”

Background:

Harpo Celaya enlisted in the Navy at the age of 16 to serve his country in World War II. He was only 17 when the ship he was stationed aboard, the USS Indianapolis, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.  The ship sank in 12 minutes plunging Celaya and hundreds of his fellow sailors into the sea where they clung to sparse life vests or rafts, battling dehydration, exposure, and shark infested waters for more than four days awaiting rescue.  Of the nearly 1,200 sailors that had been stationed aboard the USS Indianapolis, only 317 survived and were pulled from the sea.

Mr. Celaya was awarded the Purple Heart and upon recovery returned to Arizona and continued a lifetime of service in his community. He is well known throughout Arizona for sharing his experiences with high school students as part of the Veterans Heritage Project in an effort to keep history alive.

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Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus Fills Senior Staff Positions

2016/12/16

For Immediate Release

Date: December 16, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), released the following statement announcing several senior staff roles in the Congressional Western Caucus and his official office: 

“President Reagan once said, ‘Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out.’ I couldn’t be more proud of the team we have put together to lead and deliver on Western priorities. We have high expectations and will hit the ground running. Rest assured, the Congressional Western Caucus will be a force in the 115th Congress.”

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Jeff Small will lead the Congressional Western Caucus and serve as its Executive Director. He has served as Legislative Director in Chairman Gosar’s personal office and handled his Natural Resources Committee portfolio for the past three years. Jeff previously worked for several other Western Caucus Members including caucus Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton and caucus members Ken Buck and Mike Coffman. Jeff played college football and graduated cum laude from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado where he grew up hunting and fishing. Jeff and his wife Kristie attend St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill. They are expecting their first child in January.

Kelly Roberson will join the Congressional Western Caucus in the 115th Congress as Policy Analyst and Press Secretary. Formerly a part of caucus member Congressman David Schweikert’s office, she managed the energy, environment and natural resources portfolio as the Congressman’s Policy Advisor for the past several years. A native of Scottsdale, Arizona she grew up witnessing firsthand the beauty and amazing resources our federal lands offer. Kelly graduated summa cum laude from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University with a degree in Spanish Linguistics and International Business and Management. She is the President of the State Society of Arizona.

Tom Van Flein, Chairman Gosar’s Chief of Staff, will assume the role of General Counsel for the Congressional Western Caucus. A graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, where he studied mineral law and water rights, he is an avid user of federal lands and the great outdoors in general. He will continue to serve as Chairman Gosar’s Chief of Staff and Chief Legal Counsel in his personal office. 

Leslie Foti will serve as the Financial Advisor for the Congressional Western Caucus. She will continue to serve as the Director of Scheduling & Administration in the Chairman’s personal office, a position she has held for nearly 5 years.  Mrs. Foti is also the Executive Director for Arizona Congressional Chiefs of Staff Organization.  A citrus grower and 7th generation Floridian, Leslie attended Florida Southern College where she obtained a degree in Political Science and a minor in History.  Leslie and her husband Anthony are proud parents to two wonderful boys, Grant and Phillip.

Trevor Pearson has been promoted to serve as Chairman Gosar’s new Legislative Director in his personal office. Trevor previously served as the Chairmans’s Senior Legislative Assistant, managing his Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Interior Subcommittee portfolio. He has also managed healthcare, defense, transportation and infrastructure and other legislative issues. He graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science-Foreign Affairs. Trevor attended graduate school in Saint Petersburg, Russia where he earned a master’s degree in Russian and Eurasian Studies with an emphasis in energy security from European University at Saint Petersburg. Trevor is a 6th generation Arizonan and grew up near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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Day 1: Taking the Oath of Office

2017-01-04 00:20:11


Video from Representative Paul Gosar D.D.S. for ASDOH Awards Brunch

2016-05-27 14:41:24


Rep. Gosar Speak Out Against Arbitrary Boat Closures on Lake Havasu

2016-05-16 19:39:32


Rep. Gosar Addressing Cactus and Pine 2016 Annual Meeting

2016-05-03 15:25:21


Rep. Gosar Questions BLM's Regulatory Overreach into Methane Emissions

2016-04-28 16:05:35


Rep. Gosar Grills Director Dan Ashe on Arbitrary Boat Closures in Lake Havasu

2016-04-20 14:49:37


Rep. Gosar Questions BLM Director on Antiquities Act Abuse

2016-03-23 15:44:22


Rep. Gosar Grills Fish & Wildlife Deputy Director Kurth on Arbitrary Lake Havasu Boat Closure

2016-03-22 22:27:18


Rep. Paul Gosar Slams EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Flint Water Crisis

2016-03-17 17:39:03


Rep. Gosar Questions BLM Director Kornze during Natural Resources Hearing

2016-03-02 21:36:52


Rep. Gosar Questions Interior Secretary Jewell about "transparency"

2016-03-02 17:35:13


Rep. Gosar Full Opening Statement for Water Resources Hearing 2.24.16

2016-02-24 18:20:35


Rep. Gosar toast for Water Resources Hearing 2.24.16

2016-02-24 18:02:04


Rep. Gosar Questions at "Examining the Flint Water Crisis" Hearing

2016-02-03 18:38:04


Congressman Paul Gosar Addressing the 2015 States & Nation Policy Summit

2015-11-19 16:23:05


Prescott Valley 2015 Jobs Fair

2015-10-07 15:55:40


Rep. Paul Gosar Investigating Planned Parenthood

2015-09-29 20:25:34


Rep. Gosar questioning EPA Admin. Gina McCarthy on Animus River Spill 9/17/15

2015-09-17 18:06:31


In Remembrance, 9/11 - 14 Years Later

2015-09-13 17:10:08


Rep. Gosar Questioning EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in House Oversight Committee Hearing

2015-07-29 17:40:26


Contact Information

504 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2315
Fax 202-226-9739
gosar.house.gov

Congressman Paul A. Gosar, DDS hails from Prescott, Arizona and is serving his second term in Congress as the Representative from Arizona’s Fourth Congressional District.  As a health care provider and small business owner, Gosar is focused on bringing jobs back to the district, reforming health care, reining in government spending, and ensuring that the American people are involved in the solution making process.

Before being elected to Congress in 2010, Gosar owned his own dental practice in Flagstaff for twenty-five years.  His experience in Dentistry earned him the recognition of the Arizona Dental Association’s “Dentist of the Year,” and he was also inducted into the Arizona Dental Association’s Hall of Fame.  His experience in working to reform health care first came when he served as the President of the Arizona Dental Association and as the Vice-Chair of the American Dental Association Council on Governmental Affairs.

Whether Gosar is in Washington fighting for his constituents, or back home in Arizona listening to the people and working together to find solutions to the problems that face Arizona’s Fourth Congressional District, he remains committed to ushering in a new era of government that empowers individuals and reforms the bureaucratic procedures that stifle job creation and innovation.


Serving With

Martha McSally

ARIZONA's 2nd DISTRICT

Matt Salmon

ARIZONA's 5th DISTRICT

David Schweikert

ARIZONA's 6th DISTRICT

Trent Franks

ARIZONA's 8th DISTRICT

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