Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce

NEW MEXICO's 2nd DISTRICT

Pearce Statement on Attack in Nice, France

2016/07/15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

Pearce Statement on Attack in Nice, France

Washington, DC (July 14, 2016) - Congressman Pearce issued the following statement following reports of the attack in Nice, France that has killed 84 people and wounding 202 others.  

"On a day our friends in France are to celebrate liberty and freedom, I am saddened about the cowardly act of terror in Nice. My prayers are with those who've lost their lives and with loved ones who must bear that loss," said Congressman Pearce.

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Pearce Statement on Passage of Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill

2016/07/14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

Pearce Statement on Passage of Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill

Washington, DC (July 14, 2016) - Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5538, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2017: 

This Administration’s consistent overreach has does nothing but hurt New Mexico’s economy.  Passing this bill is clear evidence that the people’s Congress is pushing back against the Obama Administration’s excessive and unnecessary regulations that threaten New Mexican jobs. This bill balances the need to preserve our natural resources, such as providing funding to fight and prevent forest fires, while simultaneously allowing for the responsible development of American energy resources.

I am pleased to see key provisions vital to New Mexico were included in this bill.  For example, President Obama is trying to take control of ditches and farm ponds through the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.  This bill stops him. The legislation also includes amendments that would block the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) venting and flaring rule and the BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing rule, which would both be devastating to New Mexico energy production and jobs.  These provisions will help lower energy prices, meaning New Mexicans will not have to pay more for their electricity and at the gas pump.  They also will ensure that schools, local law enforcement, and hospitals have the funding they need to provide essential services for local communities.

“Overall, this bill will support local economies and start to make government agencies work for the American people not against them,” said Congressman Pearce.

Included in the final House passed version of the bill are both of Congressman Pearce’s amendments that are significant for New Mexico’s economy. 

The first would protect ranchers’ water rights in New Mexico by prohibiting funds from being used to treat the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse as endangered pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.  Essentially, this means the government would no longer be able to construct fences around the mouse’s habitat, ultimately opening up water access for cattle. 

Access to these water rights is essential for the survival of ranching in New Mexico.  Despite the lack of scientific evidence that the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse still lives in these designated areas, the Forest Service began fencing off and restricting access to these privately held water rights, threatening these ranchers’ livelihoods,” continued Pearce.  

The second amendment effectively de-lists the Mexican Wolf from the Endangered Species Act and will allow the states to manage the wolf recovery independently. 

“FWS has consistently proven its inability to manage the Mexican Wolf program in New Mexico. This is clear in the recent Inspector General (IG) Report substantiating claims from Catron County that those at the top levels of the program at FWS tolerated a culture of lies, falsification, mismanagement, and manipulation of scientific data, ultimately at the cost of public trust and species recovery.  I am pleased that the House passed this amendment, it is time to give this program back to the States,”  added Pearce.   

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Pearce Statement on Passage of the Conscience Protection Act of 2016

2016/07/13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

 

Pearce Statement on Passage of the Conscience Protection Act of 2016

Washington, D.C. (July, 13, 2016) Today, the House of Representatives passed the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (S. 304).  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement:

This bill ensures that the religious liberties of all Americans are protected. It safeguards the First Amendment rights of doctors, nurses, religious organizations, churches, insurance companies, and employers to ensure they are not forced to violate their conscience by providing or funding abortion procedures. Further, this legislation reinforces no American can be forced to act in contravention of their beliefs.  No one should ever be made to violate their faith and values to participate in the brutal act of abortion.

“The abortion industry continues to exploit women and harm the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. We must protect the Constitutional rights of those who are being persecuted for having moral convictions and religious beliefs. In light of recent findings by the Select Panel on Infant Lives, it has become increasingly clear that steps need to be taken to protect life in New Mexico and around the country. Until a time in which we can repeal Roe v Wade and finally stand for those who cannot stand or speak for themselves, we must be fighting to guarantee that Americans are never forced to defy their faith or act outside of their values,” said Congressman Pearce.

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Pearce Statement on Separation of Powers Restoration Act

2016/07/12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

Pearce Statement on Separation of Powers Restoration Act

Washington, D.C. (July, 12, 2016) Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Separation of Powers Restoration Act, (H.R. 4768):   

New Mexicans know the consequences of an overly powerful Executive Branch that rules through executive fiat. The Separation of Powers Restoration Act, (H.R. 4768) seeks to restore proper boundaries between the branches of the United States government and stop the Executive Branch from overstepping its bounds. Separation of powers is one of the fundamental principles that allow our government to work and one the Founding Fathers held particularly important. The current Administration has consistently sidestepped the Constitution and is costing New Mexico jobs as a result. Today, my colleagues and I stood up to defend the Constitution by supporting this legislation that ensures that you, as citizens, have a government that works for you,” said Congressman Pearce. 

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Pearce Statement on Inspector General’s Report on Alleged Misconduct in Managing Wolf Program

2016/07/11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

Pearce Statement on Inspector General’s Report on Alleged Misconduct in Managing Wolf Program

Washington, D.C. (July, 11, 2016) Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the Inspector General (IG) released a detailed report substantiating numerous allegations made by Catron County regarding potentially illegal actions by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) management of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery program. 

The IG report confirms allegations of falsifications by FWS employees and their failure to properly manage the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. 

For example, the IG Report shows: 

(1) Falsified case of wolf bite (p. 15-16); (2) Falsified location of multiple wolf kills (p. 11); (3) Lied in a press release about wolf bite (p. 15-16);(4) Failed to communicate with the public and county officials (p. 7-8); (5) Failed to properly manage IFT team (p. 8); (6) Manipulated scientific data (p. 5); and (7) Sought to manipulate USDA invesigator to falsify findings about wolf kills (p. 11). 

“This IG report is damning; the FWS has blatantly disregarded the law and requirements for this program.  At this point, they must make changes.  They claim they have fixed the problem by reassigning one person.  Their problems are much bigger than one employee and extend to the highest levels of the Agency.  Merely reassigning one person in an Agency does not fix the larger issue that has existed for years.  Those at the top levels at FWS tolerated a culture of lies, falsification, mismanagement, and manipulation of scientific data, ultimately at the cost of livelihoods and the public trust. This mismanagement has caused economic harm to the state, county, and individuals. This is unacceptable and my office will not be silent.

“Right now, people feel like they cannot trust the federal government and this IG report substantiates that feeling.  It is clear from the IG report that the local community in Catron County feels lied to and does not trust the FWS to properly manage the wolf program.  It is my responsibility to be a voice for all citizens, especially at times when they feel abused, disadvantaged, or harmed by the bureaucracy,” said Congressman Pearce.  

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Background of IG Report:

(1)    Falsification by FWS:

-          Falsified wolf bite (p. 15-16): A volunteer injured her hand while removing a wolf from a trap, the FWS issued a press statement detailing the wolf had merely “scratched” the volunteer.  However, when pressed further, the volunteer admitted the wolf “nipped” her. 

-          Falsified location of wolf kill (p. 9): A rancher videotaped a pack of wolves eating an elk carcass near the back door of the rancher’s home.  Later, the Interagency Field Team (IFT) reported the wolf pack at an alternate location – essentially moving the kill site away from the rancher’s home and onto public land.

-          Attempt to falsify reports over a dozen times: (p.11) The former IFT program director attempted for over thirty minutes to try and get the USDA-WS investigator to falsify a report regarding a wolf kill and made similar attempts on “a dozen other occasions”.

-          Falsified wolf attributed to a kill (p. 11): There are also allegations the former IFT coordinator assigned a cattle kill to a wolf that was more than “15 miles away from a kill site,” to protect a wolf she viewed as more valuable.  

(2)    Lies:

-          FWS lied in Press Release about wolf biting volunteer - (p. 15-16) – When County officials pressed further, the story changed to the “wolf’s tooth had contacted volunteer’s thumb”.

-          Employee lying directly to IG – (P. 5) The former IFT coordinator initially claimed not to show “preferential treatment” toward genetically valuable wolves and later in the interview acknowledged she did treat them differently.

-          Lied about wolf not being a “nuisance”– (P. 3) – Former IFT coordinator released a wolf that later had to be re-captured by FWS because of a danger to people. Initially the IFT coordinator claimed the wolf had no nuisance history, however when questioned whether the wolf had a nuisance history (documented or not) she did not answer.

(3)    Mismanagement:

-          Incompetent to head IFT Team (p. 8) – A team member states to the IG that the former IFT Coordinator was unprepared to assume the coordinator role.

o   Failure to accurately identify correct wolf breed (p.8) – Did not know the differences between the Alaskan Wolf and the Mexican Gray Wolf.

-          Poor communication with public (p.8) – The IG report claims the former IFT coordinator had undermined public trust and had a volatile personality.

o   Never met with County Employees – (P. 7-8) Former IFT coordinator acknowledged that she never met with County employees.

(4)    Manipulation of Scientific Data

-          Admitted to manipulating data (p.5) – Former IFT coordinator initially denied consciously manipulating data in favor of wolves that had a genetic value, she admitted later in the interview she treated those wolves “differently” from other wolves.

-          Refused to fill out required reports –(p. 3-4) Often a practice of not compiling required reports.

-          Encouraged other federal employees not to fill out nuisance forms  - (P. 4) – The former IFT coordinator did not require team members to complete nuisance forms because she did not believe “they were necessary.” 

-          Did not document nuisance complaints – (p. 4) Even though the nuisance information would significantly affect science and management decisions.

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Congressman Pearce: We need to start healing this nation

2016/07/09

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

Congressman Pearce:  We need to start healing this nation

Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2016) - In the wake of so many devastating incidents around the country, Congressman Pearce issued the following statement:

“My heart is heavy over everything happening in this country right now- from the violence this week in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and in Dallas last night. 

“We have a spiritual emptiness that is pervasive in the country today.  As a person of faith, I believe that every person is made in God’s image, which means everyone has inherent worth, regardless of skin color.

“Even though the violence that we have seen in recent months does not exist in every community, we are all Americans and must join together to solve the problem. The answer is far more complex than pointing fingers, assessing blame, or a making a rigid recalculation of the rules.

“Healing will begin with a simple imperative: Love Your Neighbor.  It must take place one community at a time and one person at a time; it will begin around our kitchen tables.  It must start today,” said Congressman Pearce.

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Pearce Statement on Passage of Legislation to Safeguard our Nation’s Financial System

2016/07/08

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

 

Pearce Statement on Passage of Legislation to Safeguard our Nation’s Financial System

Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2016) –  Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5485, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill for FY 2017.  In addition to funding the agencies that safeguard our nation’s financial system, this legislation included a number of reforms aimed at easing the burden on families and businesses. 

Passage is another sign to the American people that Congress is completing its work. This legislation was able to find the balance between not increasing spending, while ensuring needed agencies and programs have the resources they need. At the same time, we were able to make key reforms that bring accountability and transparency to government agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. New Mexico families and small businesses deserve government agencies that are not ineffective, bureaucratic, and abusive. To combat this, HR 5485 helps to address years of IRS misconduct by implementing reforms ranging from prohibiting the IRS from targeting conservative groups or auditing churches without cause to imposing limitation that would not allow people who don’t pay their taxes from working for the IRS. While the bill reduces the IRS’s funding to 2008 levels, it protects taxpayer services and even adds money for customer service and fraud prevention.

“In addition to reining in the IRS, we were able to implement significant reforms on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is one of the most unaccountable and reckless agencies in the government. The CFPB, as it is known, has nearly unlimited power to regulate and restrict New Mexican families access to any financial product. In just the last year, the CFPB has tried to or announced they will work to ban payday loans, limit access to pre-paid credit cards, reduce access to mortgages, and even make it more difficult to buy a car. This bill strengthens oversight by moving the CFPB into the yearly appropriations process and creates a 5-member commission to run the Bureau versus a single director. Not to mention limits the CFPB’s ability to implement rules and regulations that will make it harder for New Mexico families to make ends meet. Overall, this bill is a strong step toward reducing government red-tape and overregulation while also promoting opportunity and keeping agencies accountable to the American people,”  said Congressman Pearce.

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Pearce Statement on Passage of Mental Health Systems Reform Bill

2016/07/06

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Megan Wells                                               Tel. 202-225-2365Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

Pearce Statement on Passage of Mental Health Systems Reform Bill  

Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2016) –  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015:

“Today, the House of Representatives passed a much needed bill aimed at reforming our nation’s approach to mental illness. This bipartisan effort addresses the broken mental health system by providing greater access to quality care, engaging families whose loved ones are affected, and ensuring federal funds are spent effectively. Millions of Americans struggle with mental health issues - many not receiving the care and support they need. Far too often institutions like prisons, hospitals, and homeless shelters carry the weight of treating the mentally ill – despite the billions the federal government contributes to combat this issue. 

“A recent GAO study found that the federal government has 112 programs serving mental health, unfortunately, few – if any – coordinate efforts.  This bill targets the governmental agencies tasked with the stewardship of mental health services to make these programs as accountable and effective as possible, while also ensuring resources are going to programs that work and blocks funding from those that don’t. Only through cohesive efforts can Congress effectively reconstruct this broken system. Though this bill is not the final answer to the mental health question, it is a significant step in supporting Americans and their families affected by mental illness,” said Congressman Pearce. 

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Congressman Pearce, Chairman Goodlatte, and Chairman Sensenbrenner Initiate Investigation into Illegal Theft and Sale of Tribal Artifacts

2016/07/05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 5, 2016

Congressman Pearce, Chairman Goodlatte, and Chairman Sensenbrenner Initiate Investigation into Illegal Theft and Sale of Tribal Artifacts

Washington, D.C. (July 5, 2016) – Last week, Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM), Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Chairman James Sensenbrenner, initiated a request with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine how the federal government currently investigates the theft and sale of tribal items and what reforms can be made to further prevent this practice in the future.  This letter follows Congressman Pearce’s introduction of H. Con. Res. 122, the Protection of the Right of Tribes to Stop the Export of Cultural and Traditional Patrimony (PROTECT Patrimony) Resolution, which was introduced in early March:   

The protection, education, and promotion of our culture and heritage are vital to the survival to the way of life and civilizations. Deeply embedded into what it means to be New Mexican are the cultures, religions, and histories of the tribal people that called our state home long before the United States existed. Unfortunately, all too often, Native American remains, religious symbols, and artifacts are stolen and lost to the black market. It is a practice that is not well known, but one that must stop.

“This is why I introduced the PROTECT Patrimony Resolution, which called for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine how we can overhaul the way we currently protect these sacred items and make them more successful in their mission.   Last week, Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman Sensenbrenner, and I sent a letter to the GAO to do just this.  The study will shed light on what methods will work best to protect these items. We must avoid blindly introducing legislation that will only add to the bureaucracy or possibly duplicate current efforts.  Rather, we should look at how to make this system as efficient as possible.  I look forward to having the report back by the end of the year.     

“I greatly appreciate the support of my colleagues in this fight. Of equal significance, has been tribal leaders’ work throughout the nation, that have come together to raise greater awareness about this issue. They are a true example of how Washington can and will react when the people demand it,” said Congressman Pearce.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA): “It is important that we preserve America’s heritage, including valuable Native American artifacts. I thank Representative Pearce for his work on this issue and look forward to reviewing the GAO’s report to see if more can be done to protect these cultural items.”

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Knowing and preserving a culture’s history is vital to its future. That’s why it’s important to stand with our nation’s Native American tribes as they fight to reclaim their heritage and preserve the artifacts that show their long and rich history.”

Acoma Governor Kurt Riley:  “The Pueblo of Acoma thanks Congressmen Stevan Pearce, and Chairmen Bob Goodlatte and F. James Sensenbrenner for requesting that the Comptroller General of the United States investigate the illegal removal and trafficking of Native American cultural objects.   These objects are central to the cultural identity and practices of Indian tribes across America.  A GAO report will not only provide valuable information for combatting this illegal activity, but also is consistent with House Concurrent Resolution 122, otherwise known as the PROTECT Patrimony Resolution, which Congressman Pearce sponsored and which condemns such illegal activities.   Acoma looks forward to continuing to work closely with Congressman Pearce and Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Sensenbrenner to identify further how the Federal government can assist tribes in addressing this ongoing concern.”

NCAI Executive Director Jackie Johnson Pata: NCAI is appreciative that Chairmen Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner, along with Congressman Pearce have requested that the General Accountability Office review the federal government’s actions in relation to the trafficking of illegally obtained Native American cultural items.  This report will provide a roadmap for how the federal government can fulfill its trust responsibility in a way that preserves and protects the tribal cultural items that are such a fundamental part of our history and are core to the well-being of future generations.

Background:

In 2013, a New Mexico Pueblo requested reached out to Congressman Pearce’s office requesting help in retrieving sacred masks.  My office worked with the Pueblo to ensure a majority of these items were returned to their rightful owners.  This year, a number of cultural items were listed for auction overseas, one of the items a sacred shield from the Acoma Pueblo.  The shield was eventually withdrawn from auction.  However, the Congressman still moved forward with his resolution.

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Contacts: Jessica Collins (Goodlatte) 202.225.3951 / Nicole Tieman (Sensenbrenner) 202.225.5101 / Megan J. Wells (Pearce) 202.225.2365 /

 

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Pearce Leads Meeting Between Ranchers and Forest Service to Resolve Water Dispute

2016/06/30

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Megan Wells                                               

Tel. 202-225-2365

Email: meganj.wells@mail.house.gov

 

Pearce Leads Meeting Between Ranchers and Forest Service to Resolve Water Dispute

Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2016) – Today, Congressman Pearce along with State Representative Jim Townsend, representatives from the United States Forest Service, and local ranchers visited the Penasco Pens electrified fencing area in the Sacramento Ranger District to discuss potential solutions to ranchers’ concerns over grazing allotments and water access points:   

This has been a long standing problem for the past decade. Recently, efforts to resolve the issue have focused on finding the appropriate balance between protecting threatened species habitat, while ensuring ranchers’ livelihoods are not destroyed. These negotiations have been less than productive, posing a very real threat to ranchers’ ability to do their jobs and survive.

“Today, on a dirt road in the middle of the forest, ranchers, the Forest Service, and elected officials walked together to work out this very issue.  While there were some points of absolute agreement between the Forest Service and the Ranchers, other points will require continued conversation to work out the final details.

“Based on our conversations this afternoon, I am cautiously optimistic.  I think the Forest Service and the ranchers can come to an agreement that will allow ranchers to stay in business and the Jumping Mouse to be protected. The goal of a final agreement is obtainable in the very near future, due to the work done today. I sincerely commend all of those that participated.  I have rarely seen this level of collaboration and hard work between an agency and local officials during my time in officeIn the coming days and weeks, the Forest Service has an opportunity to prove their commitment to helping and protecting our communities – I seriously hope they capitalize on it.  Should the Forest Service stay the course, my office is prepared to assist in any way we can,” said Congressman Pearce.  

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Background:

The Congressman’s team has been actively engaged on water rights issues for over a decade.  

On April 14, 2016, a bipartisan group of fifty New Mexico state legislators wrote Mr. Tom Blaine, the New Mexico State Engineer, asking him to review the actions of the United States Forest Service that were limiting access to water rights held by residents of New Mexico.  The letter argued the Forest Service’s actions were intrusive and excessive, and called on Mr. Blaine to terminate these actions. 

On May 10th ,  Congressman Pearce sent a letter directly to Mr. Tom Blaine reiterating the need to evaluate this matter – and expressing his support of the state legislators’ efforts to request termination of USFS’s activities.  On May 13th , Congressman Pearce wrote to Governor Martinez requesting her intervention and assistance over this ongoing matter.   

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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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