Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce


Pearce Comments on FWS Proposal to List Minnows



Washington, D.C. – Following today’s announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of its proposal to list the headwater chub and a population of roundtail chub as “threatened species under the Endangered Species Act,” U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement:

“The Fish and Wildlife Service has absolutely no reason to list these two species,” said Pearce. “States and local authorities have shown time and again that they can effectively carryout conservation efforts. This listing could threaten local economies that rely on the Gila for agriculture, recreation, and tourism. As we all know, local conservation efforts have been tremendously effective in preserving the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. Instead of impeding progress already being made, the Fish and Wildlife Service should focus on the management and conservation of species already listed and allow the current practices to continue to work.”


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Putting American Troops and Military Families First



Washington, D.C. – After weeks of working with the Senate to find common ground, the House today passed H.R. 1735 -- the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2016 -- to put our troops and their families first.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement following his vote to approve the Conference Report to accompany H.R. 1735.

“In order to remain ready, agile, and safe, our troops must be equipped with both the most advanced training and modern equipment. The bill the House passed today empowers our soldiers and their families, while cutting ineffective, wasteful programs.  In the face of global challenges, the federal government must prioritize those who sacrifice their personal safety for our national security,” stated Pearce.

“Paramount to readiness is the peace of mind for soldiers that their families are cared for while they are deployed. Military families must be given the tools they need to stand united as the backbone of those who keep our nation safe. The NDAA starts new programs and empowers others that strive to make the lives of our military communities stronger. It broadens travel programs to reunite families who are separated during deployments longer than 30 days. Further, the bill looks beyond their service alone, establishing portable retirement plans for the 83 percent of servicemembers currently ineligible for any form of retirement benefits, and creates programs to ensure departing members have the resources necessary to find employment in the civilian world.

“While this version of the NDAA does not provide the same level of troop and family support as the original bill passed by the House on May 15, this new bill does continue to make progress. Each NDAA we pass must make strides to continue to improve our military, and this bill does that. Congress has work left to be done in supporting our armed forces, and I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Thornberry to ensure these reforms are made.  

“Throughout his time in office, the President has decreased military personnel by over 20 percent. The American people have every right to be alarmed by his dismantling of our military.  The world is in a tumultuous state. For years to come, our military will be faced by new and old foes alike, all striving to attack America. In order to ensure the prosperity of our nation and the safety of the lives of our generations to come, we must give the military the tools it needs now to remain the most lethal, powerful force in the world.”

NOTE:  Like in recent years, the President has already threatened to veto the NDAA, even though Congress met the exact budget amount requested by the Administration. He is willing to put our troops in harm’s way for the sake of politics. The President claims that the NDAA utilizes a pot of money – the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund – incorrectly; however, our forces are stretched thin around the globe, as the world is plagued by adversaries on every continent and sequestration at home. The dollars allocated to OCO are used solely for the purposes of military activities abroad.   

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Pearce: New EPA Ozone Mandate Hurts New Mexico’s Working Families



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement in reaction to the Obama Administration’s newly announced federal ozone mandates, which were released today by the EPA.

“The current federal ozone standard has already proven to be effective, despite it not being fully implemented. Yet, instead of allowing these existing regulations to work, the Obama Administration has decided to arbitrarily change the standard further,” said Pearce.

“The administration’s change is an unnecessary regulation that will kill jobs, stall economic growth, and stifle continued business investment and expansion. While harmful throughout the nation, this rule will be especially devastating for New Mexico. Nearly half of the state’s counties will be in non-compliance under this rule.  This new mandate creates winners and losers among the states as companies will flock to areas not affected by the rule.  Jobs will be shipped out of New Mexico and overseas as manufacturers look to relocate to more business-friendly countries. We all want clean air and healthy citizens, which is why the EPA should scrap this proposal and allow the current standard to work -- without putting Americans out of work.”

Background: In March 2008, EPA lowered the primary 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) from 80 parts per billion (ppb) to 75 ppb.  The new mandatory standard imposed today lowers the current level to 70 parts per billion.  

The danger is that this new mandate requires burdensome offsets for any new business that will generate emissions.  This will particularly handicap economic development in rural areas. 

For example a 2014 economic analysis found: such a requirement that any economic entity that wishes to obtain a permit to establish a new facility that will emit the pollutant(s) … must first find an offsetting reduction of those same emissions from another facility that is exiting the area, or has voluntarily reduced its own emissions below its permitted level.   A tightened ozone standard has the potential to cause nonattainment areas to expand into relatively rural areas, where there are few or no existing manufacturing facilities to generate a supply of offsets.

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Pearce: Short-Term CR Fails to Provide Certainty for Job Creation



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement on his vote against the Senate Amendment to H.R. 719, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through December 11. 

“Congress did not complete its duty to the American people,” stated Pearce.  “Yes, we avoided a ‘shutdown,’ but we, the Congress, did not provide the certainty, flexibility, or the honesty the American people deserve and need to invest for the future, to hire more employees, or to expand a business.  Despite being hailed as a victory – in just 10 short weeks -- Congress and the federal government will be right back in the same position. To me, that is a failure and completely unacceptable.”

“It did not have to be this way. Congress showed signs of true progress by passing a funding bill late last year, which made beneficial changes to how the government spends -- for the first time in years.  In April, the House continued this positive trend by starting the Appropriations process the earliest it has since the 1970’s. At the end of July, the House had voted on and passed half of the needed Appropriations bills, and made significant progress on the rest. Unfortunately, everything changed after the August recess. The Senate not only failed to take up any of the House bills, but also failed to develop or debate any of their own.  And, the House failed to accomplish its goal of passing all 12 Appropriations bills – the general baseline for regular order.

“It is disappointing that Congress is regressing to its old ways, after clear progress was made to support job creation and economic growth.  Supporting this bill allows the House and Congress to fall back into its old method of only funding the government for weeks at a time. The result:  businesses will not have the confidence to purchase new equipment, hire more employees, or expand to new markets.  In Carlsbad, WIPP will not be able to plan its recovery efforts for the next year. And, in Alamogordo, Holloman Air Force base will be forced to forgo full-year planning of the training mission our pilots and airman need.

“This short-term bill stifles progress being made at New Mexico’s universities and threatens to delay grant funding for businesses working to improve our communities. It also doesn’t provide any assurance to families -- looking to visit our state’s beautiful federal parks this holiday season -- that they will be open.

“It is my hope that in the next two months Congress can come together to craft a funding bill that provides the reform and certainty the American people need. As a Congress, we must not rest on successes we have already made; we must continue to improve and progress for the benefit of the American people.”

NOTE:  The House voted today to concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 719 – the Continuing Resolution for FY2016.                                      

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Pearce: States Should Not Be Forced to Fund Abortion


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following House passage of H.R. 3495, the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act:

“This summer, gruesome and despicable acts performed by Planned Parenthood were exposed in undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. Since then, the House has responded to calls from the American people for a halt to these horrific practices,” stated Pearce. “The House’s actions include today’s passage of the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act.”

In New Mexico, there are only 6 Planned Parenthood facilities.  Conversely, there are 165 federally qualified health clinics that provide genuine care to New Mexican families all across the state – including in rural and underserved areas.  Defunding Planned Parenthood at the federal level, or in an individual state, as H.R. 3495 authorizes, would benefit New Mexican women and families by providing greater funding to these other, more accessible clinics.

Pearce continued:  “Today’s vote ensures New Mexico, and every state, the freedom and flexibility to determine whether or not Medicaid funds should be granted to instate clinics that provide abortions, instead of allowing the federal government to uniformly dictate how New Mexico spends its own funds. By allowing states to have maximum flexibility in their Medicaid programs, we can ensure that New Mexicans have a voice in how and where their taxpayer dollars are spent.”

“Each state has the right to act on behalf of its citizens, as does the federal government. Unfortunately, despite a number of attempts from around the country, states have found it nearly impossible to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood; some states were even sued.  Americans absolutely should not be coerced into funding organizations that violate their core beliefs and values.

“On a related note, the House is using every possible investigative tool – hearings, interviews, document requests and subpoenas -- to hold the President and Planned Parenthood accountable for the inhumane practices exposed this summer.  Women and children are not experimental or expendable objects and American taxpayers should not be forced to fund Planned Parenthood’s atrocities.”

Background:  The recent undercover videos of Planned Parenthood document depraved practices that shock the conscience. It is horrifying to watch their abortionists and staff discuss the harvesting and sale of body parts of aborted babies and to see them pick over dismembered arms and legs, hearts, kidneys and livers that can be sold.  These barbaric practices are not only inhumane; partial birth abortion; altering abortion procedures on women to harvest baby parts, and selling organs for profit – also implicate serious crimes under federal law and some state codes.

New Mexico has 165 federally qualified community health providers and rural clinics that can provide poor and underserved women increased access to healthcare.

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Pearce Statement on Speaker Boehner



Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement on the announcement of Speaker Boehner’s resignation:

“I would like to thank Speaker John Boehner and his family for his nearly 25 years of service to our Nation as a Member of Congress.  I commend him for his work and wish him well as he enters the next phase of his career.”


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Pearce Statement on Historic Address by Pope Francis



Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following His Holiness Pope Francis’ historic address to Congress:

“At this key moment in our nation’s history, when we face extraordinary challenges involving our economy, national security and the general lack of trust in Washington, D.C., Pope Francis’ address called us to return our attention to the common good, unity, the defense of life, and the family,” stated Pearce. 

“His message was one of hope and healing.   He urged us to rediscover the Judeo-Christian values that exemplified the lives of four distinguished Americans:  Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.  All were people of faith who sought to elevate the human person by applying the Golden Rule – ‘doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Each worked to promote a more just and caring society based upon liberty, fairness, opportunity, and the dignity of the human person.   The Pontiff emphasized defending life at ‘every stage of its development’ – i.e., from conception to natural death.  Echoing our Declaration of Independence, he reminded us that every life is sacred and every human is ‘endowed with an inalienable dignity.’  His challenge to protect and defend life could not have been clearer.

“He also called upon all Americans to create a caring culture and to combat poverty and hunger through personal and community service. Pope Frances reminded us of the indispensable role of the family in this effort.  His comments reiterated that the family is the foundational institution in American society.  Strong families lead to a strong nation. I agree with Pope Francis that Americans must renew our spirit of service to support and strengthen the family, and with it the future of every millennial and member of following generations. 

“I would like to thank Bishop Cantú for joining me today and I look forward to engaging him as we work together for the common good of New Mexicans.”

Today’s address marked the first time that the head of the Roman Catholic Church addressed the U.S. Congress in an official state visit.  Congressman Pearce’s personal guest was the Most Rev. Oscar Cantú, S.T.D., D.D., of the Las Cruces Catholic Diocese. On January 10, 2013, Bishop Cantú was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to succeed the Most Rev. Ricardo Ramírez, C.S.B., as the second Bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces.  The Second Congressional District contains the entire Las Cruces Diocese in southern New Mexico as well as some parish communities in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Diocese of Gallup.


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Pearce Takes Fight Against Atrocities to the Gates of Planned Parenthood #DefundPP



Albuquerque, NM – Following Friday’s decisive vote in the U.S. House to defund Planned Parenthood for one year, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce stood today with Students for Life of the University of New Mexico and representatives of grassroots organizations to call upon New Mexico’s U.S. Senators and the entire Senate to take the same critical vote to approve this legislation.  At a press conference outside the gates of Albuquerque’s Planned Parenthood on San Mateo Blvd., Pearce issued this statement:

“The videos (by the Center for Medical Progress) document atrocities against women and children that are ghastly and have no connection whatsoever to healthcare,” said Pearce.  “Top-level Planned Parenthood officials from across the country repeatedly state in clear terms that they are actively harvesting the sale of dead babies’ body parts and selling them for profit.  An unborn baby is not an expendable object.  The House is investigating these practices for violations of several federal laws, which may entail felony offenses.”

“On September 18, we voted to move money away from the corrupt Planned Parenthood sites to federally qualified community health care centers and rural clinics.  Contrary to what Planned Parenthood is saying, this transfer of funds will improve New Mexicans’ access to healthcare. By moving the over $500 million dollars the federal government spends annually on Planned Parenthood to these healthcare providers, we will provide expanded access to genuine preventative care for poor and rural women throughout all of New Mexico.  With this change, federal funding will no longer subsidize 6 Planned Parenthood locations in urban areas of New Mexico.  Instead, women will be able to visit one of 125 authentic clinics throughout the state in both rural and urban areas (see the enclosed chart).

“I call upon Senators Udall and Heinrich to put New Mexico women’s healthcare ahead of the inhumane, profit-seeking interests of Planned Parenthood. Any organization willing to disregard basic human rights doesn’t deserve American taxpayer funding.  The Senate must act swiftly to pass this critical legislation.”

Background:  The recent undercover videos of Planned Parenthood document depraved practices that shock the conscience. It is horrifying to watch their abortionists and staff discuss the harvesting and sale of body parts of aborted babies and to see them pick over dismembered arms and legs, hearts, kidneys and livers that can be sold.  These barbaric practices are not only inhumane; partial birth abortion; altering abortion procedures on women to harvest baby parts, and selling organs for profit – also implicate serious crimes under federal law and some state codes.

New Mexico has 165 federally qualified community health providers and rural clinics that can provide poor and underserved women increased access to healthcare.

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Obama Administration Ignores Will of the People to Implement Its “Iran Deal”



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement in regard to the purported expiration of the 60-day congressional review period set by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.

“The President covertly moved today toward implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement without fanfare or a public address,” stated Pearce. “His off-the-grid movements are clearly in direct response to the nation’s strong sense of disapproval toward the agreement. Such disregard for the opinion of the American people, the Congress, and the democratic principles that built our nation is deplorable.”

“To counter the President from taking unilateral action, Congress responded in a bicameral, bipartisan effort to assert its co-equal voice. In May, Congress passed legislation providing a 60-day window to vote to approve or disapprove the nuclear agreement. True to form, the President concealed documents, secret side deals, and damaging portions of the multilateral agreement. The Administration has turned a deaf ear to requests from Congress and the American public to see the entire deal. Although legally bound by his own signature on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which required him to disclose every document related to the negotiations, the President continues to blatantly dismiss the law by withholding pertinent information.”

“This is not the first time the President has chosen to act outside the law. Within the last year, the courts have ruled that President Obama’s administration overstepped its legal authority multiple times.  First, the courts have said he and the Justice Department cannot independently change immigration law.  Secondly, a federal court invalidated his unilateral action in listing the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species. And, another recent ruling held that the Administration does not have the legal authority to control all of the streams, ponds, rivers, and waterways in the United States through the Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS).”

“As he has proven time and again, the President ignored the will of the people, denied participation by the Legislative Branch, and acted outside the law in order to check off his foreign policy wish list. The President is paving the way for Iran to obtain a deliverable nuclear weapon and launch it anywhere in the world. The President is supposed to ensure security for our nation and allies; instead, his actions will further destabilize the Middle East, undermine the livelihood of our family -- Israel, and jeopardize the safety of our generations to come.”

NOTE: The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (which was signed into law by President Obama on May 22, 2015) required President Obama to provide every appendix, annex, side agreement, and related material of the final deal to Congress before a 60-day review process elapsed. The revelations in August of at least two secret side agreements clearly voided the 60-day review process, which began in July.



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Pearce Votes to Protect Women and Children from Planned Parenthood Atrocities



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R.-NM) released this statement today following House passage of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act (H.R. 3134) and Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act  (H.R. 3504). 

“The nation, like an individual, is judged by the way it speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves,” said Pearce. “Our Founders brought this country together under the premise that each and every one of us is endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, the right to life being the very first of those God-given rights. Our children are the most innocent amongst us; it is our duty to protect the unborn and to speak for those without a voice of their own.”

“Over the last several months, videos released to the public by the Center for Medical Progress have brought to light the ghastly behavior of Planned Parenthood employees in multiple states.  I am appalled by the callousness displayed in these videos.  Any organization that is willing to disregard the basic human rights that our Founders valiantly defended, does not deserve funding by the American taxpayer.”

“If enacted, Congresswoman Black’s bill (H.R. 3134), which passed today, will ensure that those responsible for these deplorable actions are held accountable.  As an added safeguard, it provides that federal funds will go only to those who act in accordance with the law. Defunding Planned Parenthood will not reduce New Mexicans’ access to safe and effective health services. New Mexico has 165 rural clinics and other federally qualified health providers that will benefit from the money no longer directed to Planned Parenthood,” Pearce added.

The House has listened to the American people and has taken action to demand accountability for Planned Parenthood’s inhumane practices.   

NOTE: H.R. 3134 defunds Planned Parenthood clinics for one year.  It passed the House today 241- 187.  H.R. 3504 strengthens penalties for health providers who violate the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. It passed 248-177 and mandates that the physician’s Hippocratic Oath applies to children born alive during an abortion. Physicians who fail to provide immediate and standard medical care to born-alive abortion survivors will face a minimum of 5 years of prison, and be charged with murder if found intentionally  denying care to a child born alive.



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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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