Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce

NEW MEXICO's 2nd DISTRICT

Pearce Votes For Enhanced Cybersecurity Protections

2015/04/23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington, D.C.  – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015, H.R. 1731.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

“Technology and the internet improve our lives on a daily basis.  However, despite the benefits, the internet poses a greater threat to our economic and physical wellbeing than ever before,” stated Pearce.

“Every day, individuals, coordinated groups, and foreign governments execute millions of cyberattacks against the United States.  These attacks range from attempts to steal classified defense secrets, which threaten our national security, to stealing the intellectual property of a business for the gain of another – threatening our economic competitiveness globally.  While the target is different, the tactics are often the same.”

Pearce continued:  “The work we have done this week enables businesses to proactively defend and combat against these attacks.  By protecting individual privacy and information through multiple layers of scrubbing, these pieces of legislation allow the federal government and private business to share only the key information from a cyber-threat or the defense measure taken against such a threat.  Cybersecurity is vitally important to the health of our nation, but it cannot come at the compromise of Americans’ civil liberties and right to privacy.  I believe the bills passed strike the correct balance between privacy and sharing of critical cyber-threat information.”   

It's estimated that $445 billion per year is lost to cybercrime across the world economy. In the federal government alone, there were 46,160 incidents reported in 2013.

This week the House passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R. 1560) and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 1731), both strongly bipartisan bills, which help deter cyberattacks and would increase the exchange of hacking data between the government and businesses. 

 

Background:

H.R. 1560 enables private companies to share cyber threat indicators with each other and, on an entirely voluntary basis, with the federal government, with certain liability protections.  However, it prevents this information from being shared with the NSA or the Department of Defense. It would also require the federal government to share cyber threat information it receives from private companies in real-time with relevant federal agencies. Moreover, it would provide several strong protections for privacy and civil liberties including:

  • Protects privacy by prohibiting the government from forcing private sector entities to     provide information to the government.
  • Requires companies to remove personal information before they share cyber threat indicators with the government.
  • Requires the federal agency that receives cyber threat indicators to perform a second check for personal information before sharing them with other relevant federal agencies.

 

H.R. 1731 also encourages voluntary information sharing about cyber threats, with liability protections, between and among the private sector and federal government.  The bill also includes numerous provisions to ensure the protection of the privacy of American citizens and that shared cyber threat information is solely used for cybersecurity purposes:

  • Designates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide a portal for voluntary cyber threat information sharing;
  • Ensures that cyber threat information is used solely to prevent and respond to cyber-attacks and enhance the nation’s cyber defenses. The bill prevents such information from being used for surveillance purposes; and,
  • Requires private companies to scrub and remove personal information unrelated to the cybersecurity risk before sharing with DHS or other private entities.

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Pearce: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Needs Small Businesses' Advice

2015/04/22

Washington, D.C.  – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act, H.R. 1195.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

“Since its creation over 4 years ago, the CFPB has been issuing rules and regulations that have a profound impact on businesses large and small,” said Pearce.  “Yet, these actions have disproportionately hurt small business, which accounts for roughly 98 percent of all private sector jobs in New Mexico.  The legislation passed today simply requires greater accountability by CFPB when making decisions.  With the addition of the advisory board, I hope the CFPB will take seriously its responsibility to govern efficiently and fairly, finally learning that one size does not fit all.”

Despite modest growth in the education and healthcare sectors, most small businesses are not thriving as they should.  Jobs are not being created or are lost – employment remains stagnant.  As a result, the New Mexico unemployment rate remains high at 6.1 percent, compared to the national average -- 5.5 percent.

Why?  One reason is that small businesses and consumers have been harmed by the dangerously powerful and unaccountable CFPB’s regulations and enforcement actions.  For example, CFPB created a cookie-cutter mortgage rule -- causing 25 percent of banks in New Mexico to stop mortgage business entirely.  This reduction means that fewer New Mexicans will be able to buy a home and achieve the prosperity associated with it, especially in small and rural communities where only one banking option often exists. 

It’s not fair that small businesses lack a voice when new regulations are thrust upon them by the CFPB. Washington’s out-of-control bureaucracy and red tape must give way.  Today’s vote is a small but important step to restore accountability at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

H.R. 1195 passed on a vote of 235-183 and creates a permanent and active small business committee to advise the CFPB during the rule-making process. 

Congressman Pearce is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and Vice Chair of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.  

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Pearce Votes to Kill the Death Tax

2015/04/16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement after the House passed the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (H.R. 1105), which fully repeals the federal Estate Tax. 

“Small businesses account for 98 percent of the jobs in New Mexico.  Most of these businesses are family-owned.  Penalizing a family for a death of a loved one is no way for the government to work,” said Pearce. 

“From ranching and farming to an urban small business, families throughout the nation work together to build and grow a successful life.  Yet, the ‘death tax’ authorizes the IRS to take 40 percent of a family’s living, which they have worked so hard to grow - burdening our economy and killing jobs.

“Permanently ending this destructive tax policy will help protect ranching and farming jobs and the entrepreneurship fundamental to the culture and history of New Mexico – as well as many other parts of the nation.  It ensures family businesses can continue to innovate and create jobs -- aiding in the return of a healthy economy -- despite the death of a loved one.  And, it will encourage more Americans to start a business, and achieve their dream – the American dream,” Pearce added.

Last month, the non-partisan Tax Foundation, a research think tank, predicted that full repeal of the death tax would create 139,000 new jobs nationwide.   

                                                                            

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Pearce Votes for Tough New Reforms to Stop IRS Abuse

2015/04/16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement on House approval of a package of reforms to stop IRS abuse.

“Today’s strong bipartisan vote to stamp out IRS abuse should be a breath of fresh air for hard-working American taxpayers,” Pearce stated. 

“This reform package marks a step forward to purge the culture of arrogance at the IRS.  It has been a culture that has authorized the willful targeting of citizens for their political beliefs, the seizure of assets from law-abiding small business people, and the waste of taxpayer dollars.” 

Pearce continued:  “Waste, fraud and abuse at the IRS have led many taxpayers to lose trust.  In America, no one is above the Law, not even the President or the IRS.  That’s why I’m fighting every day to make government effective, efficient and accountable.  While today’s reform marks progress, I will continue pushing to hold the IRS and all federal workers to the same rules followed by hardworking taxpayers.”

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights and the Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act are two key reforms in House package. Another pair is the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act and the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act.  The bills provide that individuals with "seriously delinquent tax debts" would be ineligible for federal employment or federal contracts. Those who are in the process of making a good faith effort to fulfill their tax obligations will not be affected by the legislation.

According to Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), “Among the millions of competent, diligent, and patriotic federal employees are a handful of bad apples whose actions reflect poorly on the entire workforce.  The IRS’s 2014 tax delinquency report identified nearly 100,000 federal employees who haven’t paid their taxes, resulting in a loss of more than $1 billion to the federal treasury.” 

Read below for more detailed information on all nine bills passed by the House today:

H.R. 1058, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2015H.R. 1152, the IRS Email Transparency ActH.R. 1026, the Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations ActH.R. 1314, the Ensuring Tax Exempt Organizations the Right to Appeal ActH.R. 1295, the IRS Bureaucracy Reduction and Judicial Review ActH.R. 709, the Prevent Targeting at the IRS ActH.R. 1104, the Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act

H.R. 1562, the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2015

H.R. 1563, the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015 

 

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It’s time that the VA get with the Choice Card Program

2015/04/11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Las Cruces, N.M. – Following new national reports documenting virtually no relief from excessive wait times and inferior service at the VA, U.S. Representative Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

According to the Associated Press, nearly a year after Americans were shocked by incidents involving sick veterans getting sicker while enduring long wait times, VA statistics show that New Mexico veterans are still plagued with long waiting lists and substandard service.  

In an apparent attempt to respond to these poor reviews, the Albuquerque VA announced this week that it had “established a new (temporary) phone line” for veterans subject to long waits.  

“That should have been done last year when the problem was first discovered or, at the latest, in August 2014 when the president signed into law the most important reform bill in VA history,” stated Pearce. 

“Coming now on the heels of new revelations of poor service, this looks like a public relations stunt.  The fact that this new phone line is available for only two weeks suggests that the Department has no commitment to change.

“The VA is applying a Band-Aid fix.  A 14-day pilot program does almost nothing.  

“On March 13 in Ruidoso, I co-hosted a 90-minute town hall with New Mexico’s newly appointed chief administrator -- Andrew Welch.  In talking with and providing guidance to veterans about the new Choice Card Program, we have observed severe problems within the VA bureaucracy, the appointment process, and its computer system.  It is totally unacceptable that the Department is resisting veterans and medical providers who are trying to access the Choice program.”

Pearce continued: “All Americans -- and especially veterans -- deserve effective, efficient, and accountable government. The VA is languishing in a 100-year old model and needs to be entirely redesigned.  I and my staff will continue to work with the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and the VA to ensure that the Choice Program helps our veterans in the way that the American people intended.”

Background

Earlier this week, it was reported by the Associated Press that, based upon its national study of 940 VA hospitals and outpatient clinics, New Mexico ranks among the worst when it comes to the percentage of appointments delayed. 

According to the AP, veterans in Farmington, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque and El Paso are seeing some of the worst wait times in the nation.

In 2014, to fix the chronic and fatal wait time crisis at the Phoenix VA Hospital, Congress enacted and the President signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. That law generally mandated that veterans having to travel at least 40 miles to a VA facility may seek fee-for-service treatment from a certified private practitioner and then be reimbursed for that care. 

VA Chief Administrator for New Mexico Andrew Welch was appointed in November 2014.  In January, he visited several veteran communities throughout the state.  Last month, he joined Congressman Pearce for a town hall with veteran constituents in Ruidoso which revealed the bureaucratic barriers and delays that veterans and private health providers are experiencing with the newly enacted Choice Card Program.

Veterans seeking assistance with their paperwork should call Congressman Pearce’s district offices at 855-4-PEARCE (732723) or visit www.pearce.house.gov.

 

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Pearce Statement on Iran Nuclear Agreement

2015/04/03

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Representative Steve Pearce today released the following statement on the so-called framework for nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran:

“This announcement raises more questions than answers.  It appears that there is a loose framework to extend negotiations, through June 30, to obtain a commitment from Iran to discontinue nuclear weapon development.  It does not, however, look like an ‘historic understanding or a good deal,’ as the President has stated. 

“International security and stability in the Middle East are undermined by today’s announcement. As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, any agreement with Iran ‘must significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear capabilities and stop its terrorism and aggression.’

“Once again, the Administration is overlooking our allies and partners in the Middle East, whose security is jeopardized by this shortsighted deal.   In a time of great unrest, Israel remains our strongest and most loyal ally in the region and yet, this agreement would embolden her greatest foe.

“Moreover, any offer that would give Iran resources to proliferate nuclear weapons is a threat to our nation and to our allies, regardless of the timeline. Iran has proven itself to be an untrustworthy dealer. To permit expanded nuclear production would release Iran from warranted international sanctions, while allowing its leaders to continue their quest to become the world’s next nuclear power.

“The President does not have the legal authority to lift sanctions law by these negotiations nor does he have the support of the people.  In March, 366 of my colleagues and I, from both parties, sent a letter to the President stating that should a nuclear agreement with Iran be signed, the removal of sanctions would require approval by Congress. 

“The United States must oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions, terrorism and aggression in the strongest terms without concession.  I will work with my colleagues in Congress to push back, to stand with Israel, and to prevent a nuclear Iran,” Pearce added.

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Pearce Votes to Secure Quality Healthcare for Seniors, Children and Families

2015/03/27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington, D.C. – Today, by a vote of 392-37, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2). H.R. 2 repeals Medicare’s flawed formula for reimbursing doctors, and replaces it with a long-term funding plan.  The bill also extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years.  In voting for the bill, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

“H.R. 2 is a critical first step that will help provide seniors with access to quality healthcare, while ensuring doctors will be able to continue serving them within the Medicare program. This is not a perfect bill, but it is a course correction, Pearce said.  

“The current formula, known as the sustainable growth rate (SGR), has forced 17 short-term costly patches over the past 11 years in order to prevent devastating Medicare reimbursement rate cuts.  

“Tackling difficult problems with commonsense solutions is what we were sent to Washington to do. With overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle, this bill is an example of how we can come together to improve access to healthcare and also make government more effective, efficient and accountable,” Pearce added. 

Background:  H.R. H.R. 2 repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and replaces it with a formula that returns stability to Medicare physician payments.  The bill would establish a 0.5 percent payment update every year for 5 years, and would improve the fee-for-service system by streamlining Medicare’s existing quality assurance programs into one single program. The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) is a formula that was enacted in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to control Medicare spending on physician services.  However, the SGR policy flaws have compelled Congress to override the formula-driven cuts for more than a decade.  In fact, since 2003, Congress has spent nearly $170 billion in short-term patches to avoid these unsustainable cuts.  The most recent patch will expire on March 31, 2015.  H.R. 2 repeals the SGR, averting a 21 percent SGR-induced cut scheduled for April 1, 2015. 

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Pearce Votes for Balanced Budget to Spur a Healthy Economy

2015/03/26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2016 House budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 27) by a vote of 228 to 199.  Following his vote to approve the plan, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

“The Price budget proposal has positive provisions, and a number of negative ones. When it was time to vote, the positives outweighed the negatives. This document does not establish law, but rather sets priorities and begins debate that Congress must focus on as it moves into the funding process for the year to come,” said Pearce.

Pearce continued:  “With the passage of this budget, Congress continues its commitment to the American people to shake Washington up. It provides a strong and stable budget for the Department of Defense to ensure our nation’s military has the training and supplies they need to face any threat. It proactively works to reduce bureaucracy, fraud and waste within the federal budget. It also puts forward a way to simplify and expand our tax structure, in addition to providing certainty for critical infrastructure, such as highways and roadways. This document also repeals in full the harsh and heavy regulatory burdens imposed by Obamacare so that we can put money back in people's pockets and empower patients to choose their doctor, their insurance plan and the care that fits them best. Now that we have a framework, we can continue the tough conversations and make the needed changes to put our nation’s budget back on track,” concluded Pearce.

The House budget balances within 10 years while President Obama’s so-called budget plan never balances and only doubles down on Washington’s failed policies.  The House proposal helps keep Americans safe; protects vital programs like Medicare and Social Security for those who need them most, and is a solid first step toward the predictability necessary to rebuild our economy from the bottom up.  

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Pearce statement concerning new GAO Report documenting substantial taxpayer funding for anti-life groups

2015/03/25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released their report, “Health Care Funding: Federal Obligations to and Expenditures by Selected Entities Involved in Health-Related Activity, 2010-2012.” This report came in response to a request U.S. Representative Steve Pearce made seeking current data on federal funding to the following groups: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Population Council, Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

“At the beginning of the 2013, I joined many other pro-life colleagues in requesting that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provide up-to-date information regarding federal funds going to specific abortion advocacy groups. This report has found that between fiscal year 2010-2012, these groups received a total of $481 million in federal funding. Further, these 6 groups received about $1.2 billion in combined federal and state dollars via health programs that require a shared funding plan. I find this to be an extremely disturbing dollar amount and reject the idea that hardworking taxpayers should fund a practice that is in direct violation of their beliefs and values,” said Pearce.

Pearce continued: “I believe strongly that the first civil right is the right to life, which begins at conception. I have been and will continue to be an advocate for the most innocent among us—the unborn. Americans deserve a government that works for them. So long as  federal dollars are being used to fund abortions in opposition to the beliefs of many voters, we cannot fulfill this obligation. It is time for the federal government to respect the hard work and beliefs of Americans and to stop using tax dollars to support abortion.”

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Mobile Office Hours - Fort Sumner

2015/03/24

My staff will hold mobile office hours in Fort Sumner this week!

When: Wednesday, March 24, 2015 from 2:00-4:00 pm

Where: City Hall, 173 East Avenue C, Fort Sumner, NM.

Contact Bernadette Granger at 855-4-PEARCE to schedule an appointment

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Contact Information

2432 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2365
Fax 202-225-9599
pearce.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Steve Pearce was born in 1947 to a large working-class family.  He was raised in Hobbs, New Mexico, where his father worked as a roustabout, selling vegetables on the side of the road to make ends meet.  With six children to feed, times were often hard in the Pearce household, but his upbringing has made it easy for Steve to relate to the hardworking people of southern New Mexico.

Steve attended New Mexico public schools his entire life, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from New Mexico State University and an MBA  from Eastern New Mexico University.  During the Vietnam War, Steve served as a combat pilot, flying over 518 hours of combat flight and 77 hours of combat support.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals, as well as seven other military medals and four exceptional service awards.  Steve continued service at Blytheville Air Force Base in Arkansas, and attained the rank of Captain.

In addition to his firsthand knowledge of the military and its importance to America, Steve is a respected small-businessman who thoroughly understands the economic issues facing our country.  He and his wife Cynthia long owned and operated Lea Fishing Tools, an oilfield services company in Hobbs.  Because of this role, Steve is well aware of the regulations and taxes that plague small-business owners, and wants to help get government out of the way of these hard-working Americans.  Having built his business from the ground up, Steve created 50 jobs in his community.  He is confident that small businesses throughout southern New Mexico form the backbone for job creation and economic growth.

In 1996, Steve was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives, where he served until 2000.  During this time, he was elected as Caucus Chair and served on the Appropriations Committee.  He was widely recognized for his work in economic development, in which he applied the commonsense principles he had gained as a small-business owner.

In 2002, Steve was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until 2009.  With the retirement of Senator Pete Domenici, many New Mexicans were concerned about the loss of a strong conservative voice representing New Mexico in the Senate.  Steve again answered the call to serve by leaving the House and running for U.S. Senate.  His bid was ultimately unsuccessful, but in 2009, amidst an economic crisis, the passage of the President’s healthcare bill, and expansion of government regulation, Steve decided to again run for Congress.  As he explained to friends and family, he made the tough decision because he was afraid for his country, and wanted to keep fighting for New Mexico.

Today, Steve continues a lifetime of service as New Mexico’s only conservative voice in Washington.  Steve was appointed by his peers to serve on the House Committee on Financial Services, and as chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus.  He continues his work making New Mexicans’ voices heard, helping to create jobs in southern New Mexico, and fighting for the liberty of all Americans.


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