Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce


Pearce Votes to Approve SAFE Act



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following his vote to approve the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038), which passed the House today by a vote of 289-137. 

“The bill today will ensure anyone attempting to enter the United States as a refugee from Syria or Iraq has gone through a rigorous and extensive background check,” said Pearce. “The bill mandates that the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of National Intelligence unanimously certify that each and every person is not a threat to our nation. While not perfect, it is a needed step to make certain our nation’s values and security are appropriately balanced.”

“Our founders built a nation around faith, freedom, and compassion. Over time, these values have established the very bedrock of what it means to be an American. They have been seen time and again as a beacon of hope, which for centuries, people have sought to escape persecution, harm, and danger. The same is true today. These are values we must never forget or relinquish, but we also have a responsibility to all our citizens, and all those looking for safe harbor, to protect our shores.

“Containment,” the strategy President Obama has touted to combat ISIS, is clearly not working. Since his comments last year calling ISIS a JV team, the terror group has only grown in power and size. To truly secure our nation, and the world, against this threat, we must search out and destroy ISIS once and for all.  As I’ve said for over a year, we must cut the terror group off at its source – oil – by continuing massive airstrikes against its oil assets until their funding is cut off entirely.

“Today’s vote is a necessity because of the failed leadership and action by the Obama Administration. The global threat that ISIS poses is a result of not taking the group seriously when they first emerged, and not properly combating ISIS when we did finally engage.”

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Pearce: “YES” to Native American Sovereignty, Jobs



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following his vote to approve the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015, H.R. 511. 

“Today’s bill will provide Native American Tribes the sovereignty and autonomy they deserve, ensuring they have the same business rights as states and local governments,” said Pearce.

“The current system is yet another example of the federal government involving itself when it should not, and hindering the ability for families and communities to prosper. Increased bureaucracy and federal mandates have significant negative impacts on businesses everywhere and are especially damaging on Native American reservations. Removing this overly burdensome federal red tape provides Native American businesses the certainty they need to add jobs, expand their business and better their communities’ economies.”

H.R. 511 adds tribes to the list of entities that are excluded from the definition of employer for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The change would essentially codify a previous National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) standard that excludes any enterprise or institution owned and operated by a tribe and located on its land from being considered an employer so that tribal governments would be treated in a manner similar to state and local governments under the National Labor Relations Act.

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Pearce: We Honor the Sacrifice of Veterans, Families



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement in honor of Veterans Day:

“Today, we honor and celebrate our nation’s veterans,” stated Pearce. “Our service heritage in New Mexico is profound – through the decades, our soldiers have so selflessly answered the call around the world. From Bataan to Operation Inherent Resolve, New Mexicans have served.  They fought so we have the ability to live freely, and practice and hold dear the rights of our Constitution that are the envy of the world.” 

“As a Vietnam veteran, my pride and appreciation grows each Veterans Day. Nationwide, Americans come together to show love and support for our current troops, and celebrate the achievements, the courage, and the lives of those who answered the call. When I returned home from Vietnam, my experience was not like the homecomings of the last decade. We were not celebrated or cheered, and having served was not an immediate source of pride. No longer the case, we must be resolved to never return to that shameful period.

“Of course, none of their successes would be possible without the support of a great community and a family at home. We must thank the loved ones of those who serve, for their sacrifices often go unrecognized. Our military families are the backbone of our armed forces, standing tall and proud while their loved ones face adversity head on. While the security of the nation rests on our soldiers, the families at home are keeping the country together with their own two hands. We must not forget that as we honor our veterans today; we must thank those around them as well.

“Our men and women in uniform exemplify the best of our nation, embodying valiance and bravery. Please thank our veterans today, remember those not with us, and pray for those still serving our nation overseas. 

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President Says “NO” to Jobs



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following the President’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline:

“In the beginning of the year, a bipartisan majority of both Houses sent the President a bill, requiring the approval of the Keystone XL project. Through the President’s veto and this announcement, we have learned that the Administration does not wish to work across party lines and will cave to radical special interest groups within his party,” stated Pearce. “The project would have created good-paying jobs and would have furthered America’s national energy security, two priorities that this President clearly wishes to ignore. While I am dismayed by this announcement I am not surprised. I look forward to working across the aisle with my colleagues to find a path forward that puts Americans first and not political interests.”


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Highway Bill Misses Target



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following his NO vote on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 22), which passed the House today:

“This bill fails to fix the overarching spending problem that is plaguing our nation’s infrastructure projects,” said Pearce. “The highway trust fund needs serious reform centered on a user-pay system. The gas tax provides nearly 90% of the money that goes to the highway trust fund, yet an increasing amount is being spent not on roads or bridges, but rather on community planning, bike paths, landscaping, and other sources that do not pay into the fund. Instead of bailing out the highway trust fund again, I believe we should prioritize the money for its original and intended purpose, to maintain our nation’s roadways and bridges. I appreciate the attempted longevity of this legislation. However, by ignoring the reforms that are necessary to fix the system, the certainty in this bill only lasts as long as the bailout Congress provides the trust fund. A true long term highway bill, that provides true certainty, is one that is fully funded and fully self-sustained.”

“Additionally, the ways that this bill pays for itself are questionable at best. The bill continues the dangerous precedent of selling off oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at an estimated price of over $85 per barrel. Continuing to flood the market with government oil will hurt New Mexico’s economy, job growth, and the state budget -- while also pushing the Reserve below its legally required threshold. I would urge the Committee to go back to the drawing board and introduce legislation that would fix the problem once and for all, instead of providing our nation with another short term patch to a long term problem.”


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Pearce Statement on the Election of Paul Ryan as House Speaker



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following the election of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to be the next Speaker of the House:

“As I’ve said often, every American deserves a government that is effective, efficient and accountable. Today’s election marks a transition. My hope is that it will be a turning point toward transparency and away from brinkmanship.

“I supported the nomination of Mr. Webster (R-Fla.) in yesterday’s Conference vote.  Today, 34 of the 43 who voted for Mr. Webster yesterday, including myself, joined in supporting Mr. Ryan on the House Floor.  

“With his experience as a committee chairman, I am confident that Speaker Ryan can kick-start the legislative process and restore effectiveness.  I congratulate him and his family and look forward to working together to create a healthy economy and rebuild our nation one step at a time.”

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Backroom Budget Bad for New Mexico and Seniors



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement on the Budget bill, H.R. 1314, which passed the House today by a vote of 266 to 167:

“To quote a recent commentary in the Las Cruces Sun-News, Washington is ‘so divided and paralyzed that it lurches from one crisis to another.’ I agree; this brinkmanship must end.  Passage of this budget, does nothing to change this precedent, it simply encourages closed-door negotiations and last minute deals,” stated Pearce.   “Not only does this bill fail to make the hard choices, it raises the debt ceiling and changes spending priorities without so much as a single amendment. The resulting bill will hurt New Mexican farmers and ranchers, seniors on fixed incomes, and our state’s economy.”

“To pay for the spending increases included in this budget, Congress yet again raids the livelihood of the west and the poor. 58 million barrels of crude will be sold from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which will cause excess surplus in the market, hurting the price for our oil and gas producers in the state where revenues make up 40% of our state’s operating budget. Changes to Social Security’s funding will provide short term stabilization to disability payments, while placing greater stresses and uncertainty on the overall program. We should not be raiding the Social Security retirement fund, that working people have contributed to over their lifetimes, to pay for Social Security Disability.  It is not sustainable and not fair. The bill also fundamentally changes the Federal Crop Insurance program that will limit farmers and ranchers’ access to insurance, and makes it nearly impossible for the government to continue the private-public partnership that has been working so effectively in recent decades.

“Both parties are to blame for what the process has become and the failures in this bill.  We should start work on annual funding bills on the first day of the year. There should be weeks of debate, not just one hour. More transparency and more time would move us away from panicked legislation. This year, the House started the budget process the earliest it has since the 1970’s.  By August recess, we had passed 6 Appropriations bills and were working on the 7th.  This was real progress and momentum. Members were able to offer and debate amendments to the underlying bills and contribute to a stronger, final product. Unfortunately, since returning in September, the House has not taken up one additional funding bill, instead waiting until the last possible minute to strike a ‘grand’ bargain. This isn’t good for jobs and the economy, and it isn’t good for New Mexican families.”

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Pearce Votes to Protect U.S. Jobs



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement on the Reform Exports and Expand the American Economy Act of 2015,  H.R. 597, which passed the House today by a vote of  313 to 118:

“At a time when millions of Americans remain out of work -- some giving up all together -- or are at risk of losing work due to stressed economic conditions, the U.S. must be able to open new markets and preserve existing ones,” said Pearce.  “Exports have a significant impact on the American economy and on our economic future.  Moreover, we still hold a trade deficit; we buy more from other countries, than we sell to them.   This shortfall threatens our economy.  96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, Congress should be striving to promote and expand our exports globally to correct this problem.” 

“Many small businesses in New Mexico, especially in the Borderland, need financing to help them access foreign markets. The Export-Import Bank provides necessary loans to help them be competitive with foreign manufacturers.  Export-Import Banks exist globally to support our trade competitors. Without reauthorization, we run the risk of placing our export community at a severe, irreparable disadvantage.   Reauthorization benefits small business and large business alike – helping protect good-paying American jobs.

“Under this bill, the reauthorized bank will have greater accountability, fraud protection, small business promotion, and increased reserves than the former bank that closed on July 1.  In addition, H.R. 597 makes a number of important reforms to the bank’s charter that will reduce risk, protect taxpayer investment, and prevent fraud and abuse.

“The bank will also have the requirement to ensure that 25 percent of its lending is reserved solely for small business, and it will conduct a pilot project to enter into risk sharing with private enterprise interested in working with the bank.  The reforms made in this bill will result in an improvement in the Bank’s lending practices and it will provide certainty to our exporters and the millions of people who depend upon trade for their livelihood.”

Background:  While some critics have labeled the Export-Import Bank as ‘corporate welfare,’ its financing plays a critical role in supporting the U.S. economy and jobs. In FY2014, by approving over 3,700 transactions for U.S. companies, it authorized $20.5 billion in credit and insurance transactions worldwide, to support an estimated $27.5 billion of U.S. exports - including more than 3,300 for small businesses. These exports supported an estimated 164,000 American jobs at financed companies as well as firms and employees in their U.S. supply chains. The lapse of Ex-Im Bank’s authority since July has put American jobs and economic benefits at risk and has resulted in the loss of international sales.


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Pearce Votes to Repeal Job-Killing Obamacare Provisions



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement on the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, H.R. 3762, which passed the House today by a vote of  240-189:

“Obamacare continues to fail the American people. From increasing costs of healthcare for families, limiting patients’ options, and reducing overall employment around the nation – Obamacare is not in the best interest of New Mexican families. Unfortunately, despite the demands of the American people and the continued efforts of the House, the Senate and President have chosen not to act and replace this harmful law.

“So far this year, New Mexicans have been hit with increased penalties, Blue Cross Blue Shield fully exited New Mexico, and the state exchange removed all PPO plans entirely.  In short, New Mexicans are facing higher costs, fewer options, and less service. Obamacare continues to betray Americans nationwide, but especially those on fixed incomes -- dependent on quality care at an affordable price.

“By no means does this bill end the fight to replace Obamacare, or provide New Mexicans with an affordable and effective healthcare system, but it is a step in the right direction. By voting for this bill today, the House has voted to end the most egregious policies implemented within Obamacare. From the individual and employer mandates, to the ‘Cadillac tax’ – the provisions the House repealed in this bill will instantly help New Mexicans. Relief from these mandates and taxes will provide businesses with the certainty and confidence to grow again, create jobs, and allow families to choose health plans that best fit their needs regardless of coverage or size.”


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House Passes Critical Minerals Bill with Pearce Amendment



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement on the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015,  H.R. 1937, which passed the House today by a vote of  254-177:

“Development of critical minerals in the United States will provide states like New Mexico with good-paying, stable jobs,” said Pearce. “Critical minerals are vital to a variety of industries including agriculture, technology, construction, manufacturing, and transportation. Unfortunately, lengthy permitting processes and overregulation have prevented new mines from opening in New Mexico and across the country. As a result, we are forced to purchase these minerals overseas. Each day that we continue to allow foreign imports to dominate the critical mineral trade, our nation loses out economically. And, by relying on other countries to supply us with these minerals -- essential to the technological world in which we live -- we run a serious national security risk.

 “The bill passed today includes an amendment I offered to ensure that New Mexico’s potash and oil and gas producers are able to continue to safely and efficiently develop these valuable resources without conflict. Southeastern New Mexico has become a hub for resource development and production.  The addition of my amendment will provide both of these industries with the certainty needed to continue to grow, create more jobs, and benefit industries nationwide. This issue is of the utmost importance and I call on the Senate and the President to move this bill forward immediately.”

Background:  According to the Congressional Research Service, “Aside from a small amount of recycling, the United States is 100 percent import reliant on 19 minerals that provide critical support for the U.S. economy and national security.”  H.R. 1937 is designed to streamline the permitting process for mineral exploration and mining projects and allow the U.S. to develop these critical resources, thereby creating jobs, strengthening the economy, and enhancing national security. 

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Contact Information

2432 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2365
Fax 202-225-9599

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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