Contact: Faith C. Vander Voort
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3531, the Downwinders Compensation Act, which will ensure partial restitution to victims who now have cancer and other serious medical issues as a result of being exposed to nuclear fallout and radiation during government testing:
“A strong military is absolutely vital to ensuring our national security, but the testing of government weapons should never jeopardize the well-being and health of Americans,” said Congressman Gosar. “Unfortunately for countless bystanders, this was not the protocol in years past. The exposure to cancer-causing carcinogens from atmospheric nuclear tests by the government has inflicted serious health implications, affecting the lives of thousands of Arizonans.
“Since my first term, I have I heard several gut-wrenching stories from individuals who now have cancer or have lost loved ones due to federal government negligence. For Congress to deny these victims the right to even file a claim is intolerable. It’s time for Congress to quit the cowardice and stand up to the injustice.”
“Congressman Gosar’s bill gives the help and recognition that the people of Mohave County who have suffered from the government’s radiation tests have long needed,” said Mohave County District III Supervisor Buster Johnson.
Gary Watson, Mohave County District I Supervisor, said, “Mohave County is pleased and excited to join forces with Congressman Paul Gosar who continues the fight to secure Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments for our residents who were adversely impacted by nuclear weapons testing. As Chairman of the Board, and Supervisor District 1, We appreciate the continuing efforts of Congressman Gosar to expand the eligibility boundaries to ensure justice for Mohave County residents exposed to government radiation testing.”
“I have been working with Congressman Gosar's office, traveling throughout Arizona, Nevada and Utah giving my Downwinder's presentation to City Councils and Board of Commissioners in support of Congressman Gosar's efforts to bring that portion of Mohave County, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada, previously left out of the RECA bill, into compensation,” said Sherri Hanna, Mohave County resident and Downwinders advocate. “Congressman Gosar has worked tirelessly on behalf of all Downwinders. We are truly grateful for his efforts.”
From 1945 to 1962 the United States government conducted nearly 200 atmospheric weapons development tests as part of our nation’s Cold War security strategy during an era when other hostile nations were also engaged in nuclear weapons testing and proliferation. These tests exposed thousands of innocent Americans to cancer-causing ionized radiation from nuclear fallout.
When the injuries were discovered, Congress subsequently provided an apology on behalf of the nation and passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990, or RECA, to establish a trust fund for partial restitution to individuals—commonly referred to as “Downwinders”—who have contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases that can be directly attributed to the radiation exposure from the nuclear weapons testing.
While the Act which established RECA was well-intended, there are serious boundary flaws that have prevented otherwise eligible Americans from receiving justice and the compensation to which they are entitled. Americans that reside in counties in close proximity to where the testing occurred are excluded from this program for no logical scientific reason, including people that reside in Mohave County, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. This bill corrects this injustice and will provide compensation to qualifying individuals not included in the 1990 Act that deserve restitution. New claimants under this act are subject to the same burden of proof as all other claimants currently covered.
In 2014, Congressman Gosar held a field hearing in Kingman, Arizona in regard to the Downwinders of Mohave County, Arizona. At the hearing, Congressman Gosar heard a range of testimony, from expert reviews on the law and medicine to the personal stories of actual Downwinders. Witnesses included a Congressional Research Service (CRS) analyst, Mohave County officials, the Chairwoman of the Hualapai Tribe and several local residents who either developed radiation-induced cancer themselves or have family members who died from radiation-induced cancer.
The four original cosponsors that joined Congressman Gosar in introducing this legislation include: Mark Amodei (NV-02), Trent Franks (AZ-08), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07, Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09).Read More
For Immediate Release
Contact: Faith C. Vander Voort
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus and the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, released the following statement after two of his energy bills, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (H.R. 825) and the Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act (H.R.2371), passed the House Committee on Natural Resources by a bipartisan vote of unanimous consent.
“I am an ardent supporter of a true all-of-the-above energy policy. The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) underscores my commitment to making this a reality. My bill is a bipartisan reform that promotes the smart development of renewable energy by eliminating unnecessary red tape to create a streamlined process that will, in turn, drive investment toward high quality renewable resources,” stated Chairman Paul Gosar. “The revenue sharing mechanism in this bill will help local governments deliver critical services on important projects such as road maintenance, public safety and law enforcement.”
"The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act offers an innovative approach to advance renewable development while supporting fish and wildlife conservation on our vital public lands, said Steve Moyer, VP of Government Affairs for Trout Unlimited. “It creates a win-win scenario in which states and counties, American energy consumers, and the public lands, all benefit. We thank Representative Gosar for his steadfast leadership on the bill, and we applaud the strong bipartisan list of cosponsors for the bill,” said Moyer.
The second bill to pass the Committee by unanimous consent is Congressman Gosar’s Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act, which requires the administrator of the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) to establish a pilot project to increase transparency of the agency’s costs and rates:
“Customers and Congress have been pushing for years for increased transparency of WAPA’s costs and rates,” said Congressman Gosar. “These reforms are desperately needed as auditors discovered nearly 12,000 questionable purchases totaling nearly $7 million in a two-year period alone. One of the agency’s customers recently told me it’s like WAPA has a credit card without a limit and we can’t see the statement. Customers have gone so far as to offer to pay for the transparency costs sought by this bill as long as they know exactly where their money is being spent. Sunshine on expenditures and increased transparency is good for any federal agency and I am thrilled to see the Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act pass the Committee with unanimous bipartisan support.”
“HR 2371 is the first step to help implement transparency and accountability at WAPA in a manner that will enable Arizona preference power customers to better comprehend WAPA budgeting practices and rate formulation, said John Wallace, CEO of Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative. “After significant rate increases over the past 5 years, we seek appropriate controls to ensure WAPA expenditures are justified and that our Cooperative ratepayers are treated fairly and are truly receiving the lowest possible electricity available on the market. To that end, we are excited this bipartisan measure has advanced and thankful to be partnering with Congressman Gosar.”
H.R.825 – The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act
H.R.825 establishes a revenue sharing mechanism that ensures a fair return for relevant stakeholders, distributes certain revenues derived through this Act by returning 25% to the state where development takes place, 25% to the counties of origin, 15% is directed for the purposes of more efficiently processing permit applications and reducing the backlog of renewable energy permits, and 35% is deposited into a fund for sportsmen and conservation purposes, including increasing access and outdoor recreation like hunting and fishing.
Due to the fact that federal lands are not taxable, state and local governments receive a share of the revenues from the sales of energy production on lands within their borders.
Current Sponsors and Cosponsors of H.R. 825 (37): Gosar*, Polis*, Franks*, Mike Thompson*, Amodei, Biggs, Brown, Cárdenas, Cartwright, Comstock, Cook, Costa, Curbello, DeFazio, DeGette, DelBene, Franks, Grijalva, Hice, Huffman, Kihuen, Labrador, LaMalfa, Lieu, Love, Lowenthal, Ben Ray Luján, McGovern, Pearce, Perlmutter, Polis, Rosen, Schrader, Schweikert, Sinema, Mike Thompson, Tipton, Titus, Tsongas, Valadao.
Endorsements of H.R. 825 include: Western Governors’ Association, National Association of Counties, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, American Fly Fishing Trade Association, American Sportfishing Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Dallas Safari Club, Mule Deer Foundation, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Trout Unlimited and countless other organizations.
Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced S.282 as a Senate companion to this legation.
H.R.2371 - Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act
WAPA is one of four Power Marketing Administrations that delivers hydropower and related services from federal facilities to nearly 700 preference customers that include federal and state agencies, cities, electric cooperatives, tribes, as well as public utility and irrigation districts. Specifically, WAPA markets power from 56 hydropower plants to more than 40,000,000 people in 15 states.
A 2015 GAO study found that WAPA’s unobligated balances exceed the levels it needs to execute its mission. Additionally, questionable and potentially fraudulent spending by WAPA triggered numerous audits by the agency’s Inspector General and made several recent news stories.
In response to calls for increased transparency, WAPA created an online repository with financial information. While this is a step in the right direction, power customers and Members of Congress have been calling for a more detailed understanding of how WAPA is spending its money. The establishment of this pilot program answers that call and could result in significant taxpayer savings.
Specifically, H.R.2371 requires the WAPA Administrator to establish a publicly available website containing:
• Rates charged to customers by power system
• Amount of energy or capacity sold by power system
• For headquarters and by region, a detailed accounting of expenditures, capital costs, and staffing
• Capital expenditures expended including the sources of capital for each investment
Current Sponsors and Cosponsors H.R.2371: Paul Gosar*, Kyrsten Sinema*, Andy Biggs, Trent Franks, Jared Huffman, Doug LaMalfa, Martha McSally, Kristi Noem, Tom O’Halleran and David Schweikert. The full text of the Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act can be found HERE. Senators Flake, McCain and King have introduced companion legislation in the form of S.930.
Contact: Faith C. Vander Voort
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 5836, the Hunting, Education and Recreational Development (HEARD) Act:
“For far too long, miles upon miles of federal land has been poorly managed and neglected,” said Congressman Gosar. “This oversight and misuse has a negative impact on several communities in my home state of Arizona as well as many other western states. As Representative of Arizona’s Fourth Congressional District and the Chairman of the Western Caucus, it’s my priority to improve the way we utilize our land by reducing waste and focusing resources in a way that ensures hunters, fishers, and outdoor recreationists can enjoy the best of what our public lands have to offer. That’s why I introduced the HEARD Act, a bill that addresses these issues by establishing a mechanism for the disposal of unnecessary federal land and generates much needed revenue for local governments. This legislation ensures that public lands will be utilized more efficiently while also yielding significant benefits for hunting, education, and recreation.”
Andy Groseta, a rancher, past President of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and past President of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, who resides in Cottonwood, Arizona stated, “The HEARD Act provides a much-needed opportunity for federal land management agencies to work in coordination with local ranchers, sportsmen and municipalities, improving land use and management throughout the West. This legislation establishes an orderly process that makes better use of lands that the federal government has stated it no longer needs. This important bill will provide additional revenues for individual communities, spur job creation and foster economic growth.”
“The HEARD Act would enable the [Bureau of Land Management] to dispose of underutilized and poorly managed land through sale, conveyance, or exchange, which could generate funds through a revenue sharing mechanism that would be of enormous benefit to K-12 and higher Education in Arizona, and nationally,” stated University of Arizona President, Robert C. Robbins in a letter of support. “The legislation would especially benefit and create new investment and funding opportunities for America’s land grant universities, which have been a significant source of educational achievement and innovation in the United States since land grant colleges were created through law signed by President Lincoln in 1862.”
H.R.3333 will yield significant benefits for education, counties and states by establishing a revenue sharing mechanism that ensures a fair return for all. The HEARD Act distributes certain revenues derived through this Act by returning 15% to the state where the disposal takes place for K-12 and higher education; 15% to one or more land grant universities in the State where the disposal takes place; 10 percent to one or more counties where the disposal takes place; and 10% to a special account in the treasury in order to increase access for hunters, recreational fishing, recreational shooting, OHV use, and other purposes.
This legislation is modeled after the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA). This public law has a proven track record of success. To date, more than 35,000 acres have been sold, conveyed or exchanged in Nevada and sales have generated nearly $3 billion in revenue. The revenue sharing mechanism instituted by this law has benefitted education, enhanced recreational opportunities and public access, and achieved better management of public lands.
Although the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) maintains an inventory of land identified as appropriate for disposal, existing law does not require the BLM to dispose of identified lands on a regular or frequent basis. As a result, lands identified as potentially available for disposal under valid resource management plans are rarely disposed by the BLM. The Forest Service has several authorities to dispose of Federal lands, but such authorities are rarely used. SNPLMA is one of the few proven models that has allowed for an orderly process to make better use of lands not being utilized by the federal government.
By injecting transparency into this process and building on the successful SNPLMA model, Congress can better utilize all lands that belong to the American people while also yielding significant benefits for local stakeholders.
Original Cosponsors Include: Mark Amodei, Trent Franks, David Schweikert, Pete Sessions, Don Young. Endorsements: The University of Arizona, Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona, Arizona Liberty, Arizona Pork Council, Arizona Rock Products Association, Bullhead City Chamber of Commerce, Concerned Citizens for America - Arizona Chapter, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Yavapai Cattle Growers
For Immediate Release Contact: Faith C. Vander Voort Faith.VanderVoort@mail.house.gov
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018:
“I am proud to support the robust resources our military needs included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act,” said Congressman Gosar. “The men and women that make up the United States Armed Forces put their lives on the line to serve this country, protect our freedom and defend our rights – they deserve our support.
“After a half-decade of military spending cuts, I’m proud to say that we’ve switched the script and are granting a 2.4 percent raise to our troops. Additionally, this bill will give our military the tools it needs to defeat our enemies.”
Background: From House Armed Services Committee:
“For 56 years, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been the primary way in which Congress executes its Article 1 constitutional obligation to “provide for the common defense.” More than that, the NDAA equips, supplies, and trains our troops; cares for them and their families; and sets national security policy in a dangerous world.
“The Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) NDAA meets all of these commitments, while also continuing to reform the way the Department of Defense operates and organizes, equips our troops, and buys goods and services. It begins a much-needed rebuilding after a half-decade of cuts slashed nearly a quarter of the defense budget at the same time the military remained in steady combat.
For Immediate Release
Date: June 22, 2017
Contact: Faith Vander Voort
“This legislation should be the gold standard for developing practical, bipartisan solutions at the local level without spending a dime of taxpayer dollars.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3005, the bipartisan Grand Canyon Bison Management Act:
“The Grand Canyon has a bison management problem and we have the solution, said Congressman Gosar. “While the National Park Service has languished in analysis paralysis for years, we have worked the Arizona Game and Fish Department and dozens of stakeholder groups to develop a commonsense plan. This bill addresses immediate population concerns and provides a long-term Management Plan to reduce bison numbers in the Park to a healthy level. By authorizing the immediate use of lethal and non-lethal methods, this bill will allow for the reduction of the bison herd, ensure its long-term sustainability and provide Grand Canyon National Park’s resources a respite from degradation and a chance to rejuvenate and heal.
“A coordinated effort with Game and Fish and the National Park Service will save taxpayer dollars and allow citizen hunters to participate in a fair and humane hunt. Successful citizen hunters will be allowed to retain the entire animal in an ethical way governed by Game and Fish rules and regulations, again in concert with the Park Service. Better still, this bill takes immediate steps to solve this growing population at no federal cost. This legislation should be the gold standard for developing practical, bipartisan solutions at the local level without spending a dime of taxpayer dollars.
“The Grand Canyon is a national treasure worth protecting, and the Grand Canyon Bison Management Act helps preserve the Park and wildlife diversity for future generations to enjoy.”
"The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is encouraged that Rep. Paul Gosar is striving to not only put the protection of the Grand Canyon and its resources first, but that he also considers utilizing Arizona's dedicated hunters as a part of the solution to this serious issue," Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Pat Madden said. “This bill would provide hunters increased opportunities to harvest buffalo, feed their families, improve bison herd health and positively impact the entire habitat for all of the Park’s diverse wildlife.”
The complete text of H.R. 3005 can be found HERE.
Cosponsors of H.R. 3005 include: Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-02), Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06)
The Grand Canyon National Park has a bison problem that has reached borderline epidemic proportions over the last few years as the National Park Service (NPS) has assessed and evaluated the problem to an exhausting degree, all the while ignoring a commonsense solution.
The bison residing in the Grand Canyon National Park are no ordinary bison. They are a crossbreed between bison and cattle that have migrated from the Kaibab National Forest and found sanctuary inside the Grand Canyon National Park, protected from hunters. The non-native animals are wreaking havoc on Park lands, eating native grasslands and polluting wetlands with their waste. A Fox News article documenting the devastation caused by the bison in the Grand Canyon National Park can be found HERE.
Through the Grand Canyon Bison Management Act, NPS is directed to collaborate with the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD) to not only manage a reduction in the number of bison but also bring relief to the Park’s beleaguered resources at the same time. With federal regulations in place restricting citizen hunters from helping reduce the herd size, the bison population has risen from approximately 200 animals to projections now reaching nearly 600 head. Absent a proactive effort by AZGFD and volunteer citizen hunters, this herd could grow exponentially to the further detriment of the Park.
This legislation advances a commonsense proposal that would cull this unmanageable herd and eliminate federal barriers by permitting volunteer hunters to take home the meat, head and hide.
The text of the 201-page NPS Environmental Assessment (EA) where the Park acknowledges the problem can be found HERE.
The EA proposes reducing the size of the herd to fewer than 200 animals by enlisting the assistance of skilled volunteers (supervised hunters) for humane lethal culling. The EA’s preferred alternative also allows for these skilled volunteers to keep the meat. Congressman Gosar has consistently pushed NPS to adopt these two policies. The preferred alternative also allows for reduction of the herd through sharpshooters and other nonlethal means which include corralling, hazing, herding, fencing and the use of attractants.
It is estimated that the herd needs to be reduced by about 400 head to meet sustainable management levels. NPS estimates the target herd level can be achieved over the course of the next three to five years. NPS also estimates “that this bison herd could grow to nearly 800 bison in the next three years and as large as 1200 to 1500 animals within ten years if further management actions are not taken.”
On March 19, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced the Grand Canyon Bison Management Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill that authorizes volunteer hunters to cull bison inside Grand Canyon National Park and to take home the meat. Specifically, the bill directed the Park Service to use state-licensed skilled volunteers as part of the solution for addressing this invasive population. The tags sold for these bison would result in significant revenues for state and conservation coffers. The bill also clarified that bison meat is not ‘federal surplus property’ and that the full bison is allowed to be removed from the park.
Congressman Gosar initially attached his bill from the 114th Congress, H.R. 1443, to H.R. 2406 by passing an amendment during markup when the bill passed the House Committee on Natural Resources in October 2015. It was then included in Title XV of the SHARE Act, the 114th Congress’ Sportsmen’s Package, and passed the House on February 26, 2016. Read more HERE and HERE.
The following organizations have expressed their support for the Grand Canyon Bison Management Act: AZ Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation; Anglers United; AZ Antelope Foundation; AZ Bass Federation Nation; AZ Big Game Super Raffle; AZ Bowhunters Association; AZ Catfish Conservation Association; AZ Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation; AZ Chapter of Safari Club International; AZ Council of Trout Unlimited; AZ Deer Association; AZ Desert Bighorn Sheep Society; AZ Elk Society; AZ Flycasters Club; AZ Houndsmen; AZ Outdoor Sports; AZ Shooting Sports Education Foundation; Christian Hunters of America; Coconino Sportsmen; Kahuna’s Kida Mohave Sportsman Club; Outdoor Experience 4 All; South Eastern Sportsmen Club; Southwest Wildlife Foundation; SRT Outdoors; The BASS Federation; Valley of the Sun Quail Forever; Xtreme Predator CallersRead More
For Immediate Release
Date: June 16, 2017
Contact: Kelly Roberson
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) penned the following op-ed for for The Hill that dispels some of the most egregious myths that surround the AHCA.
The HillJust the Facts: ObamaCare is Generational Theft By: Congressman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. June 15, 2017
Even as ObamaCare continues to crumble under patients’ feet, there are partisan and special-interest groups that are hellbent on defending the broken system and spreading disinformation about conservative proposals that will create a functional, affordable and patient-centered health insurance market.
I would like to tell you why I voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and set the record straight about the bill without the emotional delirium the left is whipping up to muddy the waters of the policy debate.
Here are the facts:
The American Health Care Act is good for states. As a dentist in rural Arizona for more than 25 years before being elected to Congress, I understand healthcare from both the medical provider and policy maker perspective. This is why I am so passionate about passing reform that gets the federal government out of the way. The AHCA does this by increasing states’ authority to effectively repeal the most expensive ObamaCare regulations that superfluously drive up the cost of premiums. The healthcare needs of Arizonans are often different from those of Alaskans, Californians or New Yorkers. The AHCA respects those differences and permits individual state governments, not a disconnected federal bureaucracy, to make the critical decisions that impact healthcare regulation.
The AHCA reduces costs for every age group. AARP and other special-interest groups employ alarmist half-truths and gin up hysteria to promote their self-serving political agendas. One of the most nefarious myths perpetuated by these organizations is the bill’s so-called “age tax” on seniors. In reality, the American Health Care Act fixes the age rating rules to stop the generational theft ObamaCare imposed upon the nation’s young adults, and restores market balance to the premiums charged for each age group. ObamaCare tried to hide massive increases to the cost of care by requiring young, healthy adults to pay artificially inflated premiums in order to subsidize older Americans. This type of cost shifting onto the backs of our children and grandchildren is not only unfair, it is wrong. The AHCA lowers premiums for all ages by instituting reforms that actually lower the costs of care, not just hide them by making your kids pay for it. In fact, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability, seniors over 60 could see up to 45 percent lower premiums under the AHCA while young adults and other age groups would see savings of up to 50 percent.
The AHCA covers preexisting conditions. Despite fear mongering from the Democrats and blatant lies from their allies in the media echo chamber, the AHCA does, in fact, maintain the federal standard that no individual may be denied insurance coverage due to a preexisting condition. Period. And it does so in a more effective and cost efficient manner than ObamaCare. Similar to the cost-shifting hijinks of the age rating, ObamaCare did nothing to actually lower the cost of care for the extremely ill, it just attempted to cover it up by charging everyone more. That is not smart or sustainable. Under ObamaCare, everyone was priced as if they were already sick. Under the AHCA, everyone is priced as if they are healthy, and the additional costs for those patients with known high risks (such as a preexisting condition), are subsidized by state and federal dollars through high-risk pools. This is a much smarter and cost efficient way to not only control costs for those with expensive medical needs, but also to prevent premiums for healthier patients from spiraling out of control due to a lopsided risk pool. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 50 percent of the nation’s healthcare costs come from just 5 percent of the population. The AHCA will provide the sickest patients with a variety of affordable insurance options and safety nets while keeping premiums low for the general population as well.
We must deal in facts. ObamaCare is not working. Not for Arizona or America. While I still support a full repeal and replacement of ObamaCare, the revised AHCA finally opens the door to free-market solutions that empower individuals to have more control over healthcare decisions. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues in Congress as well as President Trump to deliver the healthcare reform we were sent to Washington to deliver.
Congressman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. represents Arizona’s 4th District. He is a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus and has more than 25 years of experience as a healthcare provider.Read More
For Immediate Release
Date: June 16, 2017
Contact: Kelly Roberson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement in response to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kelly’s rescission of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program:
“Ending the DAPA program is a long overdue victory for the Rule of Law and our Constitution,” stated Congressman Gosar. “This amnesty program was yet another example of gross overreach by an out-of-control Obama Administration that trampled on the clear jurisdiction of Congress. One of the hallmarks of our Constitutional Republic is the separation of powers among the branches of our government. When President Obama took action by executive fiat in defiance of Congress, it was an affront to every bedrock principle of this country and opened the door to further expand a monolithic federal regime.
“I applaud Secretary Kelly and President Trump for rescinding this lawless program and their stalwart commitment to upholding the Constitution and heeding the will of the people. The list of federal judges, states and Members of Congress who have long-opposed the DAPA program is long and I am pleased that we can finally report a victory on this matter. However, our work is not done and we still need to rescind other lawless Obama immigration policies. The Central American Minors (CAM) program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be the next two amnesty schemes, created by the Obama Administration without the consent of Congress, terminated by the Trump Administration.”
In his first six years in office, President Obama stated at least 22 times that he did not have the authority to unilaterally change immigration policy. Yet, that is exactly what he attempted to do by issuing unconstitutional executive actions in November 2014, creating the DAPA program and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which upheld Judge Andrew Hanen’s injunction that temporarily blocks President Obama’s unconstitutional November 2014 executive amnesty orders. Click HERE to read the Supreme Court Opinion.
Congressman Gosar has been fighting President Obama’s executive amnesty orders since they were first announced. In March 2016, the Congressman submitted multiple appropriations riders to the House Appropriations Committee aimed at securing the border and defunding President Obama’s executive actions that sought to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Read more HERE.
In February of 2015, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction halting President Obama’s November 2014 executive amnesty orders from going into effect.
Judge Hanen’s injunction stemmed from a lawsuit led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and 25 other states, including Arizona, which argues President Obama did not have legal authority when he bypassed Congress and took executive action to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and create the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.
On May 11, 2015, Rep. Gosar and more than 100 members of Congress filed a bicameral amicus brief in support of the continued injunction. The amicus brief can be found HERE.
In November of 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s injunction.
On March 17, 2016, Rep. Gosar voted for, and the House passed, H. Res. 639, legislation that authorized the Speaker to file an amicus brief on behalf of the entire House of Representatives and in defense of Congress’ Article I powers.
Courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security
On June 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.
The rescinded memo purported to provide a path for illegal aliens with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child to be considered for deferred action. To be considered for deferred action, an alien was required to satisfy six criteria:
(1) as of November 20, 2014, be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
(2) have continuously resided here since before January 1, 2010;
(3) have been physically present here on November 20, 2014, and when applying for relief;
(4) have no lawful immigration status on that date;
(5) not fall within the Secretary’s enforcement priorities; and
(6) “present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make [ ] the grant of deferred action inappropriate.”
Prior to implementation of DAPA, twenty-six states challenged the policies established in the DAPA memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The district court enjoined implementation of the DAPA memorandum, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and the Supreme Court allowed the district court’s injunction to remain in place.
The rescinded policy also provided expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years. This policy was also enjoined nationwide and has now been rescinded.
For Immediate Release
Date: June 12, 2017
Contact: Kelly Roberson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's submitted a 45-day interim report on Bears Ears National Monument to President Donald J. Trump and the Department released a statement:
“I applaud Secretary Zinke for recognizing President Obama acted inappropriately when unilaterally designating the massive 1.5 million acre Bears Ears national monument and for recommending that this bureaucratic monstrosity be reduced,” stated Congressman Gosar. “The Secretary put a lot of effort into this report and personally spent time listening and learning from those whose daily activities, livelihoods and traditions are hindered and directly jeopardized by this new monument in Utah. The Obama administration turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to these communities and blatantly trampled the spirit and letter of the Antiquities Act by designating more than 553 million acres as national monuments over the course of eight years with the stroke of a pen. A far cry from ‘the smallest area compatible’ required by the Antiquities Act, I have seen less gluttony at a hot dog eating contest.
“The people of Utah do not want this monument that wrestles both state and private land from their hands in an overt attack on federalism. And tribes in Utah certainly do not want to see their sacred lands converted into federal lands that are sure to be threatened by mismanagement. I encourage the Trump Administration to fully rescind this gross overreach by the Obama administration, go back to the drawing board on Bears Ears and work with Congress as well as local stakeholders to find a viable and carefully crafted solution.”
On April 26, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) 13792 directing Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of the 1906 Antiquities Act and massive monuments designated in recent years. Members of the Western Caucus praised this review in a press release found HERE.
As a result of the president’s EO, DOI identified 27 National Monuments eligible for review.
The EO directed the Secretary to provide an interim report within 45 days addressing the Bears Ears national monument (BENM) and a final report summarizing the findings of the review for all other monument designations covered by the EO.
The 45-day Bears Ears interim report can be found HERE.
A press release from the Department of the Interior on the interim report and announcing extension the formal public comment period for Bears Ears through July 10th can be found HERE.
On December 16, 2016, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop and Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar sent then President-Elect Trump a letter raising serious concerns and recommending the last-minute monument be repealed.
On May 5, 2017, Rep. Gosar wrote an op-ed discussing President Trump’s EO, Bears Ears and past abuse of the Antiquities Act, which can be found HERE.
On May 26, 2017, the Utah Delegation sent a letter to Secretary Zinke urging “a full rescission of Utah’s most excessive monument”, including Bears Ears.
On December 28, 2016, President Obama signed Proclamation No. 9558.
Last Congress, Rep. Gosar introduced H.R. 3946, the Protecting Local Communities from Executive Overreach Act, legislation which sought to reform the 1906 Antiquities Act in order to protect property rights, water rights and jobs from presidential abuse.
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. Compared to early application of the Antiquities Act, where the average size of a national monument was merely 422 acres, in recent years it became commonplace for a monument to exceed a million acres in size.
President Obama exceeded the intent of the Antiquities Act more than any other president in the history of this nation. With designation of the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the 300,000 acre Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, President Obama designated or expanded 34 national monuments, more than any other president in history. These unilateral declarations locked-up 553,555,000 million 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.
Courtesy of the Department of the Interior
In May, Secretary Zinke traveled to Utah and held a four-day listening tour across the state to learn more about Bears Ears National Monument and the neighboring Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. When accounting for state and private land within the boundaries, the perimeter of Bears Ears encompasses almost 1.5 million acres. This is four times larger than the Canyonlands—the largest national park in Utah. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is 1.7 million acres.
“I spent a lot of time on the ground in Utah, talking with people and understanding the natural and cultural significance of the area. There is no doubt that it is drop-dead gorgeous country and that it merits some degree of protection, but designating a monument that - including state land- encompasses almost 1.5 million-acres where multiple-use management is hindered or prohibited is not the best use of the land and is not in accordance with the intention of the Antiquities Act,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke. “I’ve submitted my 45-day interim report to President Trump expressing my belief that the monument needs to be right-sized and that it is absolutely critical that an appropriate part be co-managed by the Tribal nations. I also recommend that Congress take action to protect some areas.”
“Having conducted the review set forth in section 2 of the Order, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and based on information to date, I find the designation of the BENM does not fully conform with policies set forth in section 1 of the Order.”
“Specifically, the review shows that rather than designating an area encompassing almost 1.5 million acres as a national monument, it would have been more appropriate to identify and separate the areas that have significant objects to be protected to meet the act, including that the area reserved be limited to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objectives."
For Immediate Release
Date: June 7, 2017
Contact: Kelly Roberson
(Courtesy of the Congressional Western Caucus)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03) and Western Caucus members Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04), Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05) and Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08) issued the following statement in response to the delay of the October 2015 Ozone Rule promulgated by the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“When pristine national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain are in danger of being in nonattainment under the proposed Obama standard, there is a serious problem with the numbers,” said Chairman Gosar. “I am glad to see common sense finally prevail at the EPA with the announcement that the agency is postponing and reevaluating the job-killing Ozone Rule promulgated by President Obama and former Administrator Gina McCarthy. By delaying this out-of-touch standard, the EPA can fully consider what levels of ozone occur organically, the amount of background ozone from international sources and the impacts of exceptional events. The currently proposed 70 parts per billion standard is unattainable for numerous counties throughout the country. Furthermore, it is not based on sound science and would absolutely decimate states, killing tens of thousands of jobs and costing our economy tens of billions of dollars annually.”
Congressman Tipton said, “Instead of performing the scientific due diligence to tailor ozone standards to fit the naturally occurring conditions of each state, President Obama’s EPA rushed through an unworkable standard that would have a severe impact on the U.S. economy. I am pleased that Administrator Pruitt took action to provide states with more time to meet the proposed standards. It is critical that the EPA take into account naturally occurring atmospheric ozone formation in mountainous states like Colorado and give the West the opportunity to continue to improve air quality and support jobs and the economy.”
"The mishandling of the EPA's proposed Ozone Rule is a prime example of out-of-touch, Washington bureaucrats making costly decisions with no regard for how they may adversely affect hard-working Americans. I applaud the new EPA Administrator's decision to delay the implementation of the Ozone Rule and look forward to further reducing government red tape," said Congressman Johnson.
“I am pleased the EPA will delay the Obama Administration’s implementation of the October 2015 Ozone Rule,” said Congressman Biggs. “For eight years, Arizona and many other states suffered under the nefarious, regulatory eye of the Obama Administration – most significantly under the EPA. President Trump has wisely surrounded himself with leaders, like Scott Pruitt, who place a premium on listening to states and respecting their 10th Amendment rights. Under Secretary Pruitt’s direction, the era of politically-motivated and job-killing environmental policies is finally over.”
“While I would take the air in Missouri over that of the coastal cities any day, the standards of this Obama era rule were so strict, that even the fresh air in a place like Mark Twain National Forest would not be compliant,” said Congressman Smith. “Stopping this rule and keeping jobs and revenue in rural areas is one of the things Administrator Pruitt and I talked about in our meeting last week. I am glad to see President Trump’s EPA taking action to make sure rural areas are no longer going to be held to unattainable standards or suffer the economic costs of trying to meet those unattainable standards.”
Courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA announced this week through letters to each Governor that the agency is extending by one year the deadline for promulgating initial area designations for the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), from October 1, 2017 to October 1, 2018.
The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone is an outdoor air regulation under the Clean Air Act. As part of the process to determine what areas of the country are able to meet the current air quality standards, states are currently submitting their proposals for area designations under the 70 parts per billion (ppb) standard, which was lowered from 75 ppb in October of 2015. This additional time will also provide the Agency time to complete its review of the 2015 ozone NAAQS, prior to taking the initial implementation step of designation.
Areas designated as being in “nonattainment” of the standard face consequences, including: increased regulatory burdens, restrictions on infrastructure investment, and increased costs to businesses.
Since 1980, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants have dropped by 63 percent and ozone levels have declined by 33 percent.
The full EPA press release and full statements from EPA Administrator Pruitt can be found HERE.
Courtesy of the Congressional Western Caucus
Most states are just beginning to adopt the 75 parts per billion ozone standard proposed in 2008 as the EPA didn’t announce implementation guidance and a final rule until March 6, 2015.
Rather than allowing time for that standard to be implemented, the Obama Administration moved the goal posts and unilaterally sought to dramatically lower the ozone standard once again to 70 parts per billion in October of 2015.
More than 260 organizations representing businesses of all sizes oppose reducing the ozone standard to 70 parts per billion.
Courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The revised 70 ppb standard will cause significant portions of the country to fall into nonattainment. Compared to the previous 75 ppb standard, which had 28 areas classified as nonattainment, according to EPA data 241 counties violate the 70 ppb standard. Industry analysis projects a significantly higher number, with an estimated 958 counties falling into nonattainment under the 70 ppb standard. Counties and areas classified as nonattainment can suffer stringent penalties; including: (1) EPA overriding states on permitting decisions; (2) new facilities and major modifications having to install the most effective emission reduction technologies without consideration of cost; and (3) federally supported highway and transportation projects being suspended.
In the Regulatory Impact Analysis released with the final rule, EPA estimated a cost of $1.4 billion for the revised 70 ppb standard. However, a year prior in 2014, EPA estimated that a 70 ppb standard would cost $3.9 billion. Going back to 2010, EPA projected that a 70 ppb standard would cost $19 to 25 billion annually. Industry cost estimates have also differed drastically from Agency projections, EPA's cost estimates for a 60 ppb standard was as high as $90 billion but industry projections placed the real cost at closer to $1 trillion.
Courtesy of American Action Forum
The 2008 Ozone standards resulted in a loss of $56.5 billion in earnings for workers in nonattainment counties ($690 per worker). In addition, nonattainment counties lost 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013. This has implications for the recently-promulgated 2015 standards.
Courtesy of the Arizona Chamber Foundation and Prosper Foundation Policy Brief
The EPA’s new ozone standard of 70 ppb will be virtually impossible for Arizona to meet due to Arizona’s high levels of background, limited local sources, and unique geography….Implementation of the current rule in Arizona is not reasonable, based in sound science or achievable.
The cost and feasibility of compliance will simply prove too great for many businesses, forcing them to shut down, relocate operations, or forgo growth and expansion. This says nothing of the businesses that will simply choose not to come to Arizona due to the uncertainty of obtaining necessary permits to operate, an unfortunate consequence that has already come to fruition. The full text of the Arizona Chamber Foundation and Prosper Foundation Policy Brief can be found HERE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 2630, which would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land to La Paz County, Arizona, in order to create economic development opportunities and facilitate renewable electricity generation for the Western United States:
“I have long been an advocate of a true all-of-the-above energy strategy, and solar power is an integral part of a diverse, market-based energy mix. This bill will allow La Paz County to take advantage of one of their best assets, sunshine.”
“Because the immense federal footprint in the County leaves only roughly six percent of land available for taxable use, a land transfer is necessary for the County to secure enough space for this type of development. H.R. 2630 allows the County to secure title to 8,000 acres from the BLM for fair market value. The County can put this otherwise under-utilized land to more effective use by partnering with private renewable energy developers to create good-paying local jobs and build a diverse tax base to support basic public services. Supervisor Irwin and the County have done amazing work in helping craft this commonsense legislation.”
Following the introduction of H.R. 2630, La Paz County Supervisor Holly Irwin stated, “Congressman Gosar has his finger on the pulse of rural America to help jump start the economy of a western Arizona county in conveying a disturbed parcel of property that could instead act as an anchor to attract jobs and stimulate our local economy as we struggle under federal ownership that leaves less than 6% of private property available to support government-mandated services."
The full text of H.R. 2630 can be found HERE. Original cosponsors of the bill are Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05) and Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08).
The BLM-prepared map depicting the site of the proposed land conveyance can be found HERE.
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
La Paz County currently is working with Congressman Paul Gosar, from the Fourth Congressional District in Arizona, to facilitate the purchase of 8,000 acres of property from the BLM with the intent to develop large scale, solar generation facilities. The La Paz County Board of Supervisors’ intent is to create long-term, lease contracts with renewable energy project developers that respond to national demand to increase renewable power generation while also helping to create new sources of revenue to address the economic challenges inherent to a jurisdiction with almost 95% of the County’s property owned by Federal, State or Tribal governments.
There are a number of precedents setting examples of other Western Counties using legislation to seek the conveyance of federal lands to stimulate economic development in rural locations. La Paz County proposes to use a similar process to acquire a large parcel of property that could interconnect with the Ten West Link currently proposed to transect La Paz County.Read More
504 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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As an Arizonan, border security is a personal matter. I'm excited to see @POTUS making moves on his promises to secure our borders.
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