Paul Gosar

Paul Gosar

ARIZONA's 4th DISTRICT

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Rep. Gosar to Attend May 2nd Public Meeting in Lake Havasu City and Speak Out Against Arbitrary Boating Restrictions

2016/04/29

For Planning Purposes

Date: April 29, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) will be attending the public meeting taking place in Lake Havasu City on May 2, 2016, to examine the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) controversial draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for Havasu National Wildlife Refuge announced April 12, 2016, which threatens to close significant portions of Lake Havasu to recreational boaters.

Originally, the Service only scheduled two public meetings on examining the CD to take place in Laughlin, Nevada on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Congressman Gosar and Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen pressured the Service to add a public meeting for Lake Havasu City which was ultimately granted on April 21, 2016.

The updated Service news release announcing a change in venue for the public meeting to be held in Lake Havasu City can be found HERE

The Service is also currently accepting written comments from the public on the CD which can be emailed to Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov.

Additionally, Congressman Gosar spearheaded a bipartisan letter today signed by 21 member of the House to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Regional Director and Havasu Refuge Manager raising serious concerns and requesting a 60-day extension of the public comment period for the draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. More information on that letter can be found HERE

WHAT:

Public meeting to provide comments on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge’s recently released draft recreational boating compatibility determination

WHEN:

Monday, May 2, 2016 6:00-8:00 PM/MST

WHERE:

Lake Havasu City Community/Aquatics Center 100 Park Avenue Lake Havasu City, Arizona 86403

Additional Information:

The CD aims to close significant portions of Lake Havasu within the Refuge to boating and prevent water-skiing, tubing, wake boarding, and other recreational towed devices within the 4,000-acre manmade Topock Marsh and on an additional 520 acres on Lake Havasu Reservoir.  Motorized boating is already restricted by the Service within on 17 ½ miles within the Refuge. Further, the proposed restrictions for Topock Marsh will likely prohibit bass boats and other large fishing boats from entering these waters.    

According to the Service’s own estimates, nearly three million visitors vacation at Lake Havasu each year and a typical holiday weekend draws nearly 50,000 boaters to the area. According to a 2008 Lake Havasu City Tourism Survey, nearly 75% of tourists are interested in water skiing, wakeboarding or boating while visiting Lake Havasu. The survey also revealed tourists spend more than $200 million and support nearly 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Click HERE to read more. 

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Rep. Gosar Spearheads Bipartisan Letter Requesting 60-Day Extension of Comment Period for Lake Havasu Boating Closures

2016/04/29

For Immediate Release

Date: April 29, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after spearheading a bipartisan letter signed by 21 members of the House of Representatives to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Regional Director and Havasu Refuge Manager requesting a 60-day extension of the public comment period for the draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for Havasu National Wildlife Refuge announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on April 12, 2016, which threatens to close significant portions of Lake Havasu to recreational boaters:

“Prohibiting tubing, water-skiing and wake boarding in an area utilized by recreational enthusiasts for decades, two days before Memorial Day Weekend, without public comment and without merit is appalling. Pursuing massive new unwarranted boating restrictions not based on science less than a year later is outrageous. Countless stakeholders and members of Congress from both parties have voiced opposition and are calling on the Service to heed their concerns. Given the significant flaws with the CD, I’ve called on the Service to drop this proposal. At minimum, the comment period should be extended 60 days as few people understand what is actually going on, including staff within the Service.”

On April 20, 2016, Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen wrote the Service on behalf of the City and expressed significant concerns with the CD and requested an immediate 60-day extension of the public comment period. In his letter Mayor Nexsen stated, “To truly benefit from public input, it is important to provide a more robust opportunity for involvement than what you currently propose. We strongly request the Fish and Wildlife Service grant an immediate 60 day extension for public comments…We have seen virtually no documentation to date justifying additional restrictions on recreational boaters in the Refuge. Should these restrictions be approved, the citizens and visitors of our community will be adversely affected and our local economy will be damaged.”

The Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce opposes the CD and also asked for a 60-day extension for public comments in a letter to the Service dated April 22, 2016, stating, “The federal government's proposed action in the Refuge will be like a nail in the coffin for Lake Havasu City and our neighboring river communities with any efforts we are currently working on or have planned to create a sharing, strong, local economy. We are not advocating that protection of native wildlife and fish should be ignored, but we are also not satisfied with the information provided that supports your desire to take this action. There are also many questions from community stakeholders that require answers.”

Background:

The full text of the bipartisan letter requesting a 60-day extension of the comment period for the CD can be found HERE.

The 21 bipartisan cosigners of the letter include: Mark Amodei, Ken Buck, Jason Chaffetz, Paul Cook, Kevin Cramer, Jeff Duncan, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Cresent Hardy, Walter Jones, Cynthia Lummis, Tom McClintock, Martha McSally, Dan Newhouse, Devin Nunes, Steve Pearce, David Schweikert, Kyrsten Sinema, Scott Tipton, Greg Walden and Ryan Zinke.

Yesterday, Congressman Gosar met with Regional Service Director Benjamin Tuggle to reiterate concerns about the CD. He sent a follow up letter which can be found HERE.

Congressman Gosar’s three primary requests of Director Tuggle in the meeting and subsequent letter include:

1. Stop moving forward with the current CD announced April 12, 2016 that aims to prohibit water-skiing, wakeboarding and tubing in significant areas on Lake Havasu. If the Service is intent on pursuing such large restrictions, the agency should instead go through the normal scoping process, prepare an environmental impact statement and fully comply with National Environmental Policy Act from the outset. 

2. If Director Tuggle chooses to move forward with the CD, Congressman Gosar asked that he personally make the final decision as to whether or not to implement the CD and remove that decision from the current refuge manager. The current refuge manager has demonstrated a clear conflict of interest and disregard for public involvement in this process. 

3. Congressman Gosar again requested a 60-day extension of the public comment period.

Additional Information/Timeline of Events:

On April 12, 2016 the Service announced a draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge and the agency’s intent to pursue significant boating restrictions on Lake Havasu. Click HERE to read more. 

The Service is currently taking comments for 30 days on this flawed proposal which can be sent to the following email address: Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov

 As a result of requests by Congressman Gosar and Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen, the Service will host a public meeting and allow comments on the CD on Monday May 2, 2016 from 6-8pm at the Relics and Rods Hall Lake Havasu City Community/Aquatics Center, 100 Park Avenue, Lake Havasu City, Arizona 86403.

Written comments on the CD can be sent to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Attn: Draft Recreational Boating CD 317 Mesquite Avenue Needles, CA 92363

Written comments may also be emailed to:  Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov

The CD aims to close significant portions of Lake Havasu within the Refuge to boating and prevent water-skiing, tubing, wake boarding, and other recreational towed devices within the 4,000-acre manmade Topock Marsh and on an additional 520 acres on Lake Havasu Reservoir.  Motorized boating is already restricted by the Service within on 17 ½ miles within the Refuge. Further, the proposed restrictions for Topock Marsh will likely prohibit bass boats and other large fishing boats from entering these waters.    

 According to the Service’s own estimates, nearly three million visitors vacation at Lake Havasu each year and a typical holiday weekend draws nearly 50,000 boaters to the area. According to a 2008 Lake Havasu City Tourism Survey, nearly 75% of tourists are interested in water skiing, wakeboarding or boating while visiting Lake Havasu. The survey also revealed tourists spend more than $200 million and support nearly 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

On April 20, 2016, Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen sent a letter to Havasu Refuge Manager Linda Miller and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe raising various concerns about the draft compatibility determination, asking for a 60-day extension of the comment period and asking for a public meeting in Lake Havasu City.

On April 21, 2016, Congressman Gosar delivered Mayor Nexsen’s request in person to Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe during a House Oversight Subcommittee on Interior Committee hearing. May Nexsen and Congressman Gosar’s efforts resulted in the Service scheduling a public meeting in Lake Havasu City.

On March 22, 2016, Congressman Gosar hammered U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth during a House Committee on Natural Resources committee hearing over the May 2015 boating restrictions and demanded the agency reopen this part of Lake Havasu to motorized recreational boating. Click HERE to watch the video.

Following that hearing, Service staff reached out to Congressman Gosar’s staff and scheduled a conference call. The call took place on March 31, 2016, and lasted 1.5 hours. The Service provided Congressman Gosar’s staff with rough details of the forthcoming CD. When pressed on the call, Service staff indicated that reopening the ½ mile arbitrarily closed in May 2015 would not be an option in the new CD. Congressman Gosar’s staff asked if reopening any of the 17.5 miles currently closed to wake activities within the Refuge would be an option and the Service responded saying no, making very clear that the intent of the agency’s new CD is to pursue more motorized boating closures on Lake Havasu.

On the March 31, 2016 conference call, Service staff indicated that an increase in boating violations in this area were part of the reason for this closure and that there had been 12 citations since 2012. That’s around three per year. The Service also indicated that the impact on migratory bird habitat contributed to the closure. Yet, Service staff admitted that they had no data or environmental studies which documented any wash outs of threatened or endangered species nests prior to making this arbitrary decision. In fact, when asked if wakes had harmed wildlife in this area, staff stated, “I assume the answer is yes.” “Assume” proves no evidence actually existed.

On April 19, 2016, Congressman Gosar questioned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe about the unwarranted boating closures made last May and the CD. 

The CD falls on the heels of a closure made by the Service last May that prohibited motorized boating within the reservoir in a ½ mile area that had been utilized by recreational enthusiasts for several decades. Specifically, on May 20, 2015, the Service posted an alert on its website that established new boating restrictions and expanded the “no wake zone.” This order was “effective immediately” and the newly closed areas were quickly marked with regulatory buoys and signs. The Service enacted this closure two days before Memorial Day Weekend without engaging local stakeholders or providing any opportunity for public comment. Numerous stakeholders have claimed that this closure was not based on science or merit.

On June 24, 2015, Congressman Gosar sent a letter to the Service demanding the agency rescind the new restrictions implemented on May 20, 2015, and pursue a community-supported plan for resolving this situation. Click HERE to read the letter.

On July 10, 2015, the Service sent a poor response to the June 24th letter. In the letter, the Service stated the arbitrary May 2015 restrictions were allowed under its regulations in the form of (50 CFR 32.22). 

The Service has changed its justification as the CD states the May 2015 restrictions are lawful under 50 CFR 25.21 (e). This regulation allows closures in the “event of a threat or emergency endangering the health of the general public or Refuge resources.” This isn’t the EPA Animas spill and there is no pending threat or emergency. Further, the CD states that a NEPA categorical exclusion was allowed for the May 2015 restrictions “due to the absence of controversy related to environmental impacts.” There was plenty of controversy and the local refuge manager knew about it as documented in multiple Freedom of Information Act requests.

On August 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar’s office submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking all relevant information on this closure. Click HERE to read the letter.

On December 10, 2015, the Service responded to Congressman Gosar’s request. The FOIA request revealed that two residents made up lies and encouraged the agency to take the May 2015 action. The FOIA request also revealed that the agency initially opposed taking such action. Multiple emails from the acting refugee manager indicated that the agency believed it couldn’t arbitrarily close the channel and if they chose to pursue such a closure the agency would be required to hold a 30-60 day public comment period. An email from the acting refugee manager’s boss stating that a closure would likely meet resistance and require NEPA compliance was also discovered in the request. Ultimately, the Service failed to comply with NEPA prior to making the May 2015 closures.

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Public Meeting on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge's Draft Boat Recreation Compatibility Determination

2016/04/29

Havasu NWR Draft Boating Recreation Compatibility Determination  Lake Havasu City, Arizona – To meet the request of the Mayor of Lake Havasu City, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces a change in venues for the public meeting taking place in Lake Havasu City on May 2, 2016. The public meetings offer additional opportunities for members of the public to provide comments on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge’s recently released draft recreational boating compatibility determination (CD). The new location is listed below:

 

May 2, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm

Relics and Rods Hall

Lake Havasu City Community/Aquatics Center

100 Park Avenue

Lake Havasu City, Arizona 86403

 

Additional meetings to be held on May 3 at the following location and times:

May 3, 2016 from 1pm to 3pm

Avi Resort and Casino

10000 Aha Macav Parkway

Laughlin, Nevada 89029

 

May 3, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm

Avi Resort and Casino

10000 Aha Macav Parkway

Laughlin, Nevada 89029

 

The draft boating recreation CD contains several proposed changes including restricting speeds to 30hp and no-wake within the 4,000-acre Topock marsh. Additional proposed changes include adding a two-mile (estimated to be about 520 acres) extension to the 17-mile existing regulations. These existing regulations include prohibiting personal watercraft in all backwaters; limiting watercraft speed in all backwaters as designated by signs and buoys and restricting water-skiing, tubing, wake boarding, or other recreational towed devices

  • No new restrictions (including no-wake) are proposed for the 17-miles from the south regulatory buoy line to the north regulatory buoy line at Interstate 40. 
  • No new restrictions are proposed on the California side of the River in the area of the southern two-mile expansion.
  • No new areas are proposed to be closed or cut off to through passage.

 

A complete copy of the draft boating recreation CD and other information can be found at:  www.fws.gov/refuge/havasu

 

A public comment period on the draft boating recreation CD was opened on April 12, 2016 for 30 days.  To ensure comments are captured accurately, written comments are encouraged.

 

Please send written comments to:

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Havasu National Wildlife Refuge

   Attn: Draft Recreational Boating CD

317 Mesquite Avenue

Needles, CA 92363

 

Written comments may also be emailed to:  Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov

 

All comments will be considered public records. Anonymous comments will not be considered. The Service will take all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. However, individual respondents may request that their names and addresses are withheld from the public record. The Service will honor such requests to the extent allowed by law. If you wish to withhold your name and/or address, you must state that request prominently at the beginning of your comment. Please note that due to public disclose requirements, the Service, if requested, may have to make the names and addresses of those who submit written comments public.

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Rep. Gosar Meets with Director Tuggle On Proposed Lake Havasu Boating Closures

2016/04/29

For Immediate Release

Date: April 28, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after meeting with Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Benjamin Tuggle and sending a letter to reiterate concerns about the draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for Havasu National Wildlife Refuge announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on April 12, 2016, which threatens to close significant portions of Lake Havasu to recreational boaters:

“The CD falls on the heels of a closure made by the Service last May that restricted motorized boating within the Havasu reservoir in an area that had been utilized by recreational enthusiasts for several decades. The Service enacted the May 2015 restrictions two days before Memorial Day Weekend without engaging local stakeholders or providing any opportunity for public comment.

“Considering all of the restricted areas already in place, the cumulative impact of further restrictions proposed in the CD is significant to the recreating public. The Service should have gone through the normal scoping process given the magnitude of the proposed restrictions and because the agency knew the CD would likely generate significant controversy. This process includes issuing a notice of intent, preparing an environmental impact statement and fully complying with the National Environmental Policy Act. I truly appreciate Regional Director Tuggle taking the time to meet with me today and hear concerns about the Service’s flawed proposal. I hope he gives serious consideration to my three primary requests.”

Background:

The full text of Congressman Gosar’s letter sent to Regional Director Tuggle after today’s meeting can be found HERE.

Congressman Gosar’s three primary requests of Director Tuggle in the meeting and subsequent letter include:

1. Stop moving forward with the current draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) announced April 12, 2016 that aims to prohibit water-skiing, wakeboarding and tubing in significant areas on Lake Havasu. If the Service is intent on pursuing such large restrictions, the agency should instead go through the normal scoping process, prepare an environmental impact statement and fully comply with National Environmental Policy Act from the outset. 

2. If Director Tuggle chooses to move forward with the CD, Congressman Gosar asked that he personally make the final decision as to whether or not to implement the CD and remove that decision from the current refuge manager. The current refuge manager has demonstrated a clear conflict of interest and disregard for public involvement in this process. 

3. Congressman Gosar again requested a 60-day extension of the public comment period.

Additional Information/Timeline of Events:

On April 12, 2016 the Service announced a draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge and the agency’s intent to pursue massive motorized boating closures on Lake Havasu. The Service is currently taking comments for 30 days on these unwarranted closures. Click HERE to read more. 

On April 20, 2016, Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen sent a letter to Havasu Refuge Manager Linda Miller and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe raising various concerns about the draft compatibility determination, asking for a 60 day extension of the comment period and asking for a public meeting in Lake Havasu City.

On April 21, 2016, Congressman Gosar delivered Mayor Nexsen’s request in person to Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe during a House Oversight Subcommittee on Interior Committee hearing.

On April 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm Arizona time, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced “that a third meeting will be held in Lake Havasu City, Arizona from 6pm to 8pm on May 2, 2016.” Due to concerns about room size, the May 2nd hearing will now be held at Relics and Rods Hall Lake Havasu City Community/Aquatics Center, 100 Park Avenue, Lake Havasu City, Arizona 86403.

On March 22, 2016, Congressman Gosar hammered U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth during a House Committee on Natural Resources committee hearing over the May 2015 boating restrictions and demanded the agency reopen this part of Lake Havasu to motorized boating. Click HERE to watch the video.

Following that hearing, Service staff reached out to Congressman Gosar’s staff and scheduled a conference call. The call took place on March 31, 2016, and lasted 1.5 hours. During the call, Service staff repeatedly tried to mislead the Congressman's staff by indicating that the agency had heard Congressman Gosar’s concerns. The Service stated they would be commencing a public comment period and holding a public listening session on this matter sometime in April and May respectively. When pressed on the call, Service staff indicated that reopening the ½ mile arbitrarily closed in May 2015 would not be an option in the new CD. Congressman Gosar’s staff asked if reopening any of the 17.5 miles currently closed to wake activities within the Refuge would be an option and the Service responded saying no, making very clear that the intent of the agency’s new CD is to pursue more motorized boating closures on Lake Havasu.

On the March 31, 2016 conference call, Service staff indicated that an increase in boating violations in this area were part of the reason for this closure and that there had been 12 citations since 2012. That’s around three per year. The Service also indicated that the impact on migratory bird habitat contributed to the closure. Yet, Service staff admitted that they had no data or environmental studies which documented any wash outs of threatened or endangered species nests prior to making this arbitrary decision. In fact, when asked if wakes had harmed wildlife in this area, staff stated, “I assume the answer is yes.” “Assume” proves no evidence actually existed.

Following the March 31, 2016 call, Congressman Gosar submitted pointed questions for the March 22 Committee hearing record. Service staff also promised to send maps and various follow-up information in response to questions from the Congressman's staff. To date, neither Congressman Gosar or his staff have received a response to questions for the record or any of the information the Service promised to send. 

On April 19, 2016, Congressman Gosar questioned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe about unwarranted boating closures made last May in a ½ mile backwater area in Lake Havasu as well as massive new boating closures the Service is now pursuing as a result of the Draft Compatibility Determination announced April 12. 

On May 20, 2015, the Service issued a News Release that established new boating restrictions and expanded the no wake zone, effectively closing motorized boating in a ½ mile area that had been utilized by recreational enthusiasts for decades. This order was “effective immediately” and the newly closed areas were quickly marked with regulatory buoys and signs. This order was implemented by the acting refuge manager without engaging local stakeholders or providing an opportunity for public comment. These arbitrary closures also became effective two days before Memorial Day Weekend, a very important tourist weekend for Lake Havasu. On a conference call on March 31, 2016, the Service admitted that the idea to close this area was first initiated by complaints made by two paddle boaters.

On June 24, 2015, Congressman Gosar sent a letter to the Service demanding the agency rescind the new restrictions implemented on May 20, 2015, and pursue a community-supported plan for resolving this situation. Click HERE to read the letter.

On July 10, 2015 the Service sent a poorly worded response to the June 24th letter stating that the “Service recognizes the importance of public involvement in decisions regarding visitor use on the Refuge. Also in the July 2015 letter, the Service stated this arbitrary closure was allowed under its regulations in the form of (50 CFR 32.22). However, this particular regulation deals with regulations for hunting and fishing in the Refuge, not motorized boating.

On August 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar’s office submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking all relevant information on this closure. Click HERE to read the letter.

On December 10, 2015, the Service responded to Congressman Gosar’s request. The FOIA request revealed that two residents made up lies and encouraged the agency to take the May 2015 action. The FOIA request also revealed that the agency initially opposed taking such action. Multiple emails from the acting refugee manager indicated that the agency believed it couldn’t arbitrarily close the channel and if they chose to pursue such a closure the agency would be required to hold a 30-60 day public comment period. An email from the acting refugee manager’s boss stating that a closure would likely meet resistance and require NEPA compliance was also discovered in the request. Ultimately, the Service failed to comply with NEPA prior to making the May 2015 closures.

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Rep. Gosar and Lake Havasu City Mayor Nexsen Secure Public Meeting on Proposed Havasu Boating Closures

2016/04/22

For Immediate Release

Date: April 22, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced late Thursday night that it would adhere to one of the requests made by the Congressman and Mayor of Lake Havasu City, Mark Nexsen, to hold a  public meeting in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and allow for input from local stakeholders on the draft Compatibility Determination (CD) announced last week that aims to close down significant areas to motorized boating on Lake Havasu:

“Last night’s announcement by the Service adhering to our request to hold a public meeting in Lake Havasu City on proposed Havasu boating closures is a victory for the people of Arizona. I applaud Mayor Nexsen for fighting this bureaucratic overreach and his successful efforts to give our citizens a voice in this flawed process. The Service will now have to defend this terrible proposal in front of the community and the people that will be most harmed by these arbitrary boating closures. I thank Director Ashe for responding to part of our request. However, I would like to restate our request for a 60 day extension of the public comment period, reiterate that we would like the public meeting to occur at a venue with adequate space, and once again, encourage the Service to stop trying to shut down water skiing and wakeboarding on Lake Havasu. The Lake should remain open for all users.”

Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen stated, “We are pleased that the Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to hold a public meeting in Lake Havasu City on the agency’s new proposal to close significant portions of Lake Havasu within the Refuge to motorized boating. I want to thank Congressman Gosar for taking our request directly to Director Ashe in order to make this meeting a reality. While we are grateful that Lake Havasu City residents will now have a voice in this process, we continue to have serious concerns about additional boating restrictions which frankly are confusing and not warranted. Further, we are still hopeful that the Fish and Wildlife Service will agree to our request of a 60 day extension for public comments. Recreational users of Lake Havasu have peacefully coexisted for decades and we believe that this all could be resolved if the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to reverse the restrictions implemented in May 2015 and dropped this new proposal that unfairly targets motorized boaters.”

 

Background:

On April 20, 2016, Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen sent a letter to Havasu Refuge Manager Linda Miller and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe raising various concerns about the draft compatibility determination, asking for a 60 day extension of the comment period and asking for a public meeting in Lake Havasu City.

On April 21, 2016, Congressman Gosar delivered Mayor Nexsen’s request in person to Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe during a House Oversight Subcommittee on Interior Committee hearing.

On April 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm Arizona time, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced “that a third meeting will be held in Lake Havasu City, Arizona from 6pm to 8pm on May 2, 2016. Due to concerns about room size, the Mayor’s office and Congressman Gosar’s office are in the process of negotiating a location with the Service that has adequate space for this meeting.

A portion of the transcript of Congressman Gosar and Director Ashe’s April 21, 2016 Subcommittee hearing exchange is copied below:

GOSAR: So, Mr. Ashe. Yesterday, Lake Havasu Mayor -- and I'd like to place this in the record -- Mark Nexsen sent a letter to the Havasu Refuge manager and yourself, raising serious concerns about the draft compatibility determination, asking several questions, asking the Service to conduct an additional public meeting in Lake Havasu and requesting an extension of public comment period by an additional 60 days. Given that you don't even understand what's going on here, and I profess that, you know, you've followed all the laws, which in this case [is] blatantly wrong.

How do you expect the American people to understand this flawed proposal to close down more motorized boating on Lake Havasu in 30 days?

ASHE: How do I expect the American people to understand that?

GOSAR: Yes, to understand [this process], and [that] you still know nothing about.

ASHE: Mr. Gosar, I -- I would suggest and if you want to have a conversation with me about Lake Havasu, that you invite me to your office, so that we can have a conversation. What you appear to want to do is confront me in a public hearing -- in a congressional hearing. If you want me to...

GOSAR: You know, Mr. Ashe. You have absolutely invited this because in March 22nd, I actually had a conversation with the person underneath you, who knew all about this. I find it offensive that you [say you] have no idea what's going on here.

So I'm going to ask you one more time. Are you going to adhere to the Mayor's request and grant a 60-day extension of the public comment period?

ASHE: If the mayor has requested an extension, we will consider it.

GOSAR: Will you adhere to Mayor's second request and host an additional public meeting in Lake Havasu?

ASHE: If he's requested it, we will consider it.

GOSAR: Well you know, I'm -- I'm really taken back by your arrogance, that you -- you are here to serve, which is what I'm here to do. And when you hear a necessary need that has been brought up like this, that is so egregious in this application, I expect better from you.

Timeline of Events:

On April 13, 2016 the Service announced a draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge and the agency’s intent to pursue massive motorized boating closures on Lake Havasu. In the CD announcement, the Service stated it would only hold two public meetings in Nevada on the same day, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at the Avi Resort and Casino. The Service is also taking comments for 30 days on these unwarranted closures. Click HERE to read more. 

On March 22, 2016, Congressman Gosar hammered U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth during a House Committee on Natural Resources committee hearing over this arbitrary closure and demanded the agency reopen this part of Lake Havasu to motorized boating. Click HERE to watch the video.

Following that hearing, Service staff reached out to Congressman Gosar’s staff and scheduled a conference call. The call took place on March 31, 2016, and lasted 1.5 hours. During the call, Service staff repeatedly tried to mislead the Congressman's staff by indicating that the agency had heard Congressman Gosar’s concerns. The Service stated they would be commencing a public comment period and holding a public listening session on this matter sometime in April and May respectively. When pressed on the call, Service staff indicated that reopening the ½ mile arbitrarily closed in May 2015 would not be an option in the new CD. Congressman Gosar’s staff asked if reopening any of the 17.5 miles currently closed to motorized boating within the Refuge would be an option and the Service responded saying no, making very clear that the intent of the agency’s new CD is to pursue more motorized boating closures on Lake Havasu.

On the March 31, 2016 conference call, Service staff indicated that an increase in boating violations in this area were part of the reason for this closure and that there had been 12 citations since 2012. That’s around three per year. The Service also indicated that the impact on migratory bird habitat contributed to the closure. Yet, Service staff admitted that they had no data or environmental studies which documented any wash outs of threatened or endangered species nests prior to making this arbitrary decision. In fact, when asked if wakes had harmed wildlife in this area, staff stated, “I assume the answer is yes.” “Assume” proves no evidence actually existed.

Following the March 31, 2016 call, Congressman Gosar submitted pointed questions for the March 22 Committee hearing record. Service staff also promised to send maps and various follow-up information in response to questions from the Congressman's staff. To date, neither Congressman Gosar or his staff have received a response to questions for the record or any of the information the Service promised to send. 

On April 19, 2016, Congressman Gosar questioned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe about unwarranted boating closures made last May in a ½ mile backwater area in Lake Havasu as well as massive new boating closures the Service is now pursuing as a result of the Draft Compatibility Determination announced April 12. 

On May 20, 2015, the Service issued a News Release that established new boating restrictions and expanded the no wake zone, effectively closing motorized boating in an ½ mile area that had been utilized by recreational enthusiasts for decades. This order was “effective immediately” and the newly closed areas were quickly marked with regulatory buoys and signs. This order was implemented by the acting refuge manager without engaging local stakeholders or providing an opportunity for public comment. These arbitrary closures also became effective two days before Memorial Day Weekend, a very important tourist weekend for Lake Havasu. On a conference call on March 31, 2016, the Service admitted that the idea to close this area was first initiated by complaints made by two paddle boaters.

On June 24, 2015, Congressman Gosar sent a letter to the Service demanding the agency rescind the new restrictions implemented on May 20, 2015, and pursue a community-supported plan for resolving this situation. Click HERE to read the letter.

On July 10, 2015 the Service sent a poorly worded response to the June 24th letter stating that the “Service recognizes the importance of public involvement in decisions regarding visitor use on the Refuge. Also in the July 2015 letter, the Service stated this arbitrary closure was allowed under its regulations in the form of (50 CFR 32.22). However, this particular regulation deals with regulations for hunting and fishing in the Refuge, not motorized boating.

On August 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar’s office submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking all relevant information on this closure. Click HERE to read the letter.

On December 10, 2015, the Service responded to Congressman Gosar’s request. The FOIA request revealed that two residents made up lies and encouraged the agency to take this action. The FOIA request also revealed that the agency initially opposed taking such action. Multiple emails from the acting refugee manager indicated that the agency believed it couldn’t arbitrarily close the channel and if they chose to pursue such a closure the agency would be required to hold a 30-60 day public comment period. An email from the acting refugee manager’s boss stating that a closure would likely meet resistance and require NEPA compliance was also discovered in the request. Ultimately, the Service failed to comply with NEPA prior to making the May 2015 closures.

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Rep. Gosar Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Reimburse Local Law Enforcement for Cost of Incarcerating Criminal Illegal Immigrants

2016/04/22

For Immediate Release

Date: April 22, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5035, to reauthorize the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) and assist local law enforcement with executing the program’s intended purpose:

“The Obama Administration has utterly failed in its most important duty of defending the homeland and securing our southern border. By ignoring boarder security, the president has ushered in an immigration crisis that has required state and local law enforcement to take up the immigration enforcement responsibilities of the federal government.

“It only adds insult to injury when the federal government does not fulfill its legal obligation to compensate state and local governments for the rising costs of incarcerating criminal illegal immigrants. Border states, like my home of Arizona, are effectively being robbed by the federal government for having to face this immigration crisis on our own. It’s time for the federal government to do its job or compensate local and state governments for doing it for them. My legislation priorities the necessary and fair resources for SCAAP which currently falls far short of what states and local governments actually spend to incarcerate aliens convicted of crimes.”

In a written statement of support, Executive Director of National Association of Counties, Matt Chase, stated, “This legislation makes important changes to the legislative language governing SCAAP and has the potential to improve the reimbursement rates for counties’ expenses related to the incarceration of undocumented immigrants. Under the changes put forth in the measure, states and counties would be reimbursed for costs associated not only with undocumented individuals who have been convicted of crimes, but also those individuals who have been charged with crimes. Since local jails incur significant costs in housing pre-trial offenders who many not ultimately be convicted of the crimes for which they have been detained, this change in legislative language is important and necessary.”

Background:

The full text of Congressman Gosar’s legislation can be found HERE.

SCAAP is a grant program that reimburses states and local governments for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens. By law, the federal government is ultimately responsible for immigration enforcement, including the incarceration of these offenders.  When this is not possible, the law requires the federal government to compensate state and local governments for these incarceration costs.

Appropriations levels for SCAAP have decreased dramatically in recent years while the costs incurred by local law enforcement for incarcerating these offenders have increased significantly. To combat this problem, Congressman Gosar has spearheaded multiple appropriations requests calling on House leadership to allocate funding for SCAAP fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017. Those requests can be found HERE and HERE respectively.

This legislation would reauthorize the program through 2020 and has companion legislation in the Senate sponsored by Senator John McCain.

Letters of support from organizations endorsing this bill include National Association of Counties and the California State Association of Counties can be found HERE and HERE.

22 bipartisan  cosponsors joined Rep. Gosar in introducing this legislaiton including: Lou Barletta, Diane Black, Mo Brooks, Barbara Comstock, Paul Cook, Kevin Cramer, Henry Cuellar, Scott DesJarlais, Blake Farenthold, Trent Franks, Walter Jones, Steve King, Ann Kirkpatrick, Steve Knight, Doug Lamborn, Martha McSally, Richard Nugent, Pete Olson, Mike Pompeo, Mike Rogers, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert.

Organizations endorsing this legislation to date include: National Association of Counties, California State Association of Counties and NumbersUSA.

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Witnesses Praise Gosar Consumer Cost Transparency Bill During House Resources Hearing

2016/04/21

For Immediate Release

Date: April 20, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

 (Congressman Gosar pictured with Patrick Ledger following today’s House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans legislative hearing)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after participating in a House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans legislative hearing which included legislation he introduced, H.R. 1869, the Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act, which requires federal Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) active in the wholesale power business to disclose the direct and indirect costs of environmental compliance to their customers in monthly billing statements:

“The millions of retail consumers served by federal PMA’s eat the costs of the Endangered Species Act, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and other federal environmental laws. These costs are real: In the Pacific Northwest, 30% of the rates are related to environmental costs and the Glen Canyon Dam flows in Arizona can cost its customers up to $50 million annually due to foregone power. My bipartisan bill doesn’t repeal a single environmental law and simply requires transparency, helping customers paying these bills better understand where their money is going.”

Patrick Ledger, Senior Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of Arizona G&T Cooperatives, testified, “Unlike investor-owned utilities, every cost impact on rural cooperatives or public power utilities is passed-on directly to our customers—residents of rural areas who are already struggling…While many of the dedicated personnel at Western [Area Power Administration] are willing to share anecdotal information on how environmental compliance affects hydropower generation, the precise cost break down is missing from the public domain. H.R. 1869 would help address this informational gap by requiring the disclosure of compliance costs with Federal environmental laws impacting the conservation of fish and wildlife. In this context we believe it is important to gather and disclose both direct and indirect costs.”

The full text of Mr. Ledger’s testimony can be found HERE.

Bo Downen, Senior Policy Analyst of the Public Power Council, testified, “Support for this bill should not depend upon whether you believe these expenditures in the name of fish and wildlife should be lower, higher, or are just about right. The issue here is information.”

The full text of Mr. Downen’s testimony can be found HERE.  

Background:

The full text of the Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act can be found HERE.

Specifically, the Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act requires the agencies, known as the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), responsible for marketing and delivering power from federal projects like the Hoover Dam, to report to customers the direct and indirect costs associated with any Federal environmental laws impacting the conservation of fish and wildlife in their monthly billing statements.

Direct costs associated with compliance include costs related to environmental studies, capital, operations, maintenance, and staffing. Indirect costs would include forgone generation and replacement power costs.

Congressman Gosar’s legislation does not repeal or change a single environmental law; it simply requires much needed transparency that is long overdue.

H.R. 1869 currently has 21 bipartisan cosponsors including: Mark Amodei, Rod Blum, Ken Buck, John Duncan, Trent Franks, Morgan Griffith, Tim Huelskamp, Walter Jones, Doug Lamborn, Mia Love, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Cynthia Lummis, Tom McClintock, David McKinley, Dan Newhouse, Randy Neugebauer, Steve Pearce, Kurt Schrader, Chris Stewart, Scott Tipton and Ryan Zinke.

The Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act is endorsed by: the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association, the Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association, the Arizona Westside Irrigation and Electrical Districts, the Irrigation & Electrical Districts’ Association of Arizona, the Agribusiness and Water Council of Arizona, and the Public Power Council. 

Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (CREDA) supports the bill stating, “CREDA believes that it is sound federal policy for Western and the other Power Marketing Administrations to identify costs of compliance with environmental laws and mandates to those who are ultimately bearing such costs.”

The Arizona Westside Irrigation and Electrical Districts, an informal coalition of twelve agricultural districts, strongly supports this legislation stating, “The environmental compliance costs to operate those dams are significant, and because our districts are publicly-owned, the costs are borne directly by our customers - and your constituents.”

Joe Kay, representing the Grand Canyon State Electrical Cooperative Association Inc, lent his support to H.R. 1869 adding, “[Your legislation] will strengthen transparency and government management by providing electric co-op consumers with critical financial information related to the direct and indirect costs of federal agencies.”

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Two Gosar Energy Bills Pass the Senate

2016/04/20

For Immediate Release

Date: April 20, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the Senate successfully passed S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, legislation which included two bills Congressman Gosar introduced in the House; H.R.1107, the Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act and H.R. 2663, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act:

“I applaud Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dean Heller and John Barrasso as well as my other bicameral, bipartisan colleagues for all their efforts in passing commonsense legislation through the Senate today that will strengthen our nation’s energy security. Many of the challenges facing hard-working Arizonans and job creators stem from outdated bureaucratic hurdles that need reform. The Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act ensures that Reclamation disclose cost estimates and prioritize major repairs for BOR facilities. Congress needs this information in order to address the agency’s maintenance backlog and ensure an abundant supply of clean water and power for future generations.

“The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act modernizes the outdated federal permitting process that continues to kill jobs and stifle energy security. Renewable energy is an integral part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy and our nation’s public lands should play a critical role in facilitating development. These bipartisan reforms are simply good governance which taxpayers deserve and should be signed into law without delay.”

Background:

The Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act requires BOR to do a thorough inventory of its assets as well as prioritize major repairs necessary at the agency’s facilities. In October 2015, the House Natural Resources Committee successfully passed H.R. 1107, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) by unanimous consent. More information can be found HERE. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Senate companion of this legislation.

The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2015 streamlines the permitting process for wind, solar and geothermal development on public lands and establishes a revenue sharing mechanism that ensures a fair return for relevant stakeholders. More information can be found HERE. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Senate companion of this bill.  

The full text of H.R.1107 and H.R. 2663 can be found HERE and HERE. Both of these bills were included in the final text of the Energy Policy Modernization Act.

S. 2012 was introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and includes several comprehensive provisions and amendments relating to energy security, efficiency and management. More information can be found HERE.

Congressman Gosar supports several other provisions and bills that were also included in S.2012. There are also a few that he would like to see reformed or left out of the final package.

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Rep. Gosar Presses Fish and Wildlife Director for Answers Behind Arbitrary Boat Closures in Lake Havasu

2016/04/20

For Immediate Release

Date: April 19, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

              

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after participating in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing titled, “Recent Changes to Endangered Species Critical Habitat Designation and Implementation” where the Congressman questioned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Director Dan Ashe about unwarranted boating closures made last May in a 1/2 mile backwater area in Lake Havasu as well as additional arbitrary boating closures the Service is now pursuing as a result of the Draft Compatibility Determination announced last week:

“Rather than attempting to defend his agency’s motorized boating closures for Lake Havasu, Director Ashe decided it was best to act like he knew nothing about them. I find that hard to believe given his Deputy Director was well-versed on this topic during a hearing less than a month ago, and because my staff informed the Service that I would be asking the Director about this topic during today’s hearing. I can’t say that I blame him though as the Service’s actions on this issue are indefensible. Closing motorized boating in an area utilized by recreational enthusiasts for decades, two days before Memorial Day Weekend, without public comment, and without merit is appalling. Pursuing massive new closures not based on science less than a year later is outrageous. 

“If implemented the shortsighted proposal announced last week will cause substantial socio-economic impacts, harm navigation and commerce on the River, significantly damage the local economy and deprive a significant recreation resource to the public at large. Such changes should not be made unilaterally and should undergo a full Environmental Impact Statement. It is outside the administrative authority of the acting refuge manager to pursue closures of this magnitude without a full analysis under NEPA. Since Dan Ashe claimed he didn’t know much about this critical topic causing significant harm to Lake Havasu, I took it upon myself today to educate him. I will continue to do everything I can to fight these unwarranted closures.”

Background:

On April 13, 2016 the Service announced a draft recreational boating Compatibility Determination (CD) for the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge and the agency’s intent to pursue massive motorized boating closures on Lake Havasu. In the CD announcement, the Service stated it would hold two public meetings in Nevada on the same day, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at the Avi Resort and Casino. The service is also taking comments for 30 days on these unwarranted closures. Click HERE to read more. 

On May 20, 2015, the Service issued a News Release that established new boating restrictions and expanded the no wake zone within the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, effectively closing motorized boating in an area that had been utilized by recreational enthusiasts for decades. This order was “effective immediately” and the newly closed areas were quickly marked with regulatory buoys and signs. This order was implemented by the acting refuge manager without engaging local stakeholders or providing an opportunity for public comment. These arbitrary closures also became effective two days before Memorial Day Weekend, a very important tourist weekend for Lake Havasu. On a conference call on March 31, 2016, the Service admitted that the idea to close this area was first initiated by complaints made by two paddle boaters.

On June 24, 2015, Congressman Gosar sent a letter to the Service demanding the agency rescind the new restrictions implemented on May 20, 2015, and pursue a community-supported plan for resolving this situation. Click HERE to read the letter.

On July 10, 2015 the Service sent a poorly worded response to the June 24th letter stating that the “Service recognizes the importance of public involvement in decisions regarding visitor use on the Refuge. Also in the July 2015 letter, the Service stated this arbitrary closure was allowed under its regulations in the form of (50 CFR 32.22). However, this particular regulation deals with regulations for hunting and fishing in the Refuge, not motorized boating.

On August 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar’s office submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking all relevant information on this closure. Click HERE to read the letter.

On December 10, 2015, the Service responded to Congressman Gosar’s request. The FOIA request revealed that two residents made up lies and encouraged the agency to take this action. The FOIA request also revealed that the agency initially opposed taking such action. Multiple emails from the acting refugee manager indicated that the agency believed it couldn’t arbitrarily close the channel and if they chose to pursue such a closure the agency would be required to hold a 30-60 day public comment period. An email from the acting refugee manager’s boss stating that a closure would likely meet resistance and require NEPA compliance was also discovered in the request. Ultimately, the Service failed to comply with NEPA prior to making the May 2015 closures.

On March 22, 2016, Congressman Gosar hammered U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth during a House Committee on Natural Resources committee hearing over this arbitrary closure and demanded the agency reopen this part of Lake Havasu to motorized boating. Click HERE to watch the video.

Following that hearing, Service staff reached out to Congressman Gosar’s staff and scheduled a conference call. The call took place on March 31, 2016, and lasted 1.5 hours. During the call, Service staff repeatedly tried to mislead the Congressman's staff by indicating that the agency had heard Congressman Gosar’s concerns. The Service stated they would be commencing a public comment period and holding a public listening session on this matter sometime in April and May respectively. When pressed on the call, Service staff indicated that reopening the ½ mile arbitrarily closed in May 2015 would not be an option in the new CD. Congressman Gosar’s staff asked if reopening any of the 17.5 miles currently closed to motorized boating within the Refuge would be an option and the Service responded saying no, making very clear that the intent of the agency’s new CD is to pursue more boating closures on Lake Havasu.

On the March 31 conference call, Service staff indicated that an increase in boating violations in this area were part of the reason for this closure and that there had been 12 citations since 2012. That’s around three per year. The Service also indicated that the impact on migratory bird habitat contributed to the closure. Yet, Service staff admitted that they had no data or environmental studies which documented any wash outs of threatened or endangered species nests prior to making this arbitrary decision. In fact, when asked if wakes had harmed wildlife in this area, staff stated, “I assume the answer is yes.” “Assume” proves no proof actually existed.

Following the March 31 call, Congressman Gosar submitted pointed questions for the March 22 Committee hearing record. Service staff also promised to send maps and various follow-up information in response to questions from the Congressman's staff. To date, neither Congressman Gosar or his staff have received a response to questions for the record or any of the information the Service promised to send. 

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Rep. Gosar Defends the Rule of Law Against Obama’s Executive Amnesty

2016/04/19

For Immediate Release

Date: April 19, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

   

Click on the picture above to watch Congressman Gosars speech from the House floor.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) took to the House floor last night to speak out against President Obama’s illegal attempt to enact amnesty by executive action during a special order led by Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL). The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the case, United States v. Texas which challenges the president’s creation of the amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expansion of the amnesty program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

The full text of the Congressman’s speech is copied below:

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken many times right here on the House floor about upholding the Rule of Law.

Whether it was about a lawless Attorney General who tried to cover up a gun running operation….

…Or a rogue IRS Director illegally targeting innocent Americans…

…Or a president attempting to enact amnesty by executive action…

…Ensuring the federal government is held accountable for its lawlessness has been one of my top priorities as an elected Representative in the People’s House.  

And while the concept of equal application of the law may not seem like it needs any explanation, I would like to speak to the heart of why upholding the Rule of Law is so fundamental...

Our laws seek to incentivize Americans to behave responsibly and impose consequences when they don’t.

This is the fundamental contract woven into the fabric of our Republic.  

It’s a concept envisioned by our founding fathers not only to protect the individual rights of every man, woman, and child...but also to prohibit executive overreach from an intrusive federal government.

Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis captured these principles best when he stated and I quote, “In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

Sadly, we are witnessing what happens when the federal government becomes a lawbreaker and breeds contempt for the law.

Anarchy.

The Obama Administration has created an immigration crisis as a result of its failure to enforce federal immigration laws on the books.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reported just last week that 2016 could set another record for the number of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC’s) crossing our southern border and that UAC’s increased 1,200 percent from 2011-2014. 

Also last week, 1,000 Cuban aliens stormed the Costa Rica-Panama border demanding to pass so they can continue their journey to enter the United States illegally. 

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress clear jurisdiction on immigration matters, and President Obama’s executive actions on immigration clearly infringe on that authority.

The president even admitted this fact 22 times previously when he stated he did not have the authority to take the executive actions he ultimately ended up taking.

Justice Kennedy rightfully pointed out yesterday that the creation of DAPA was a legislative act, not an administrative act.

Thus, DAPA is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court should uphold the lower court’s ruling that halted Obama’s illegal actions.

What incentive do Americans have to follow the Rule of Law if they have no faith their government will do the same?

How can lawmakers ask immigrants seeking to migrate lawfully to our country to follow these rules when the president so blatantly violates them?

Ultimately, if we don’t take bold action now to hold the president accountable for his lawlessness, we risk permanently damaging the integrity of our laws beyond all repair.

The good news is there is a solution.

The House must utilize our “Power of the Purse” and block any and all funding for the president’s executive amnesty orders.

I am attempting to do just that and recently spearheaded an appropriations rider supported by 35 of my colleagues to block funding for all executive actions on immigration dating back to 2011. 

Returning to the Rule of Law begins with the House enforcing its Constitutional Power of the Purse.

Congress must fundamentally reject this lawlessness by defunding the president’s unconstitutional amnesty orders. 

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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


Rep. Gosar One Minute in Support of Western Water and American Food Security Act

2015-07-16 20:21:40


Ignacio Servin Ceremony

2015-06-11 20:54:20


Feedback Friday with Rep. Paul Gosar

2015-06-05 23:04:20


Rep. Paul Gosar speaking in favor of the Brooks Amendment to NDAA 5/14/15

2015-05-14 19:29:48


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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