WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, members of the Arkansas House delegation introduced H.R. 5542, the Farm Protection Act of 2014. The legislation was introduced to help protect ag-producers who may become creditors in a bankruptcy. Earlier this summer, a grain merchandiser, known as Turner Grain, located in the First District ended their operations and has since entered in to bankruptcy litigation causing problems for producers.
“The Arkansas House delegation is moving forward to assist ag-producers who stand to be impacted the most as a result of poor management by those who worked at Turner Grain. We believe this bill would ensure that ag-producers aren’t burdened with unreasonable expectations of meeting their loan requirements or the accrual of interest on their loans while they work through bankruptcy proceedings as creditors. We are hopeful that this bill will be considered later this fall as the extension granted by Secretary Vilsack comes to an end but bankruptcy proceedings will likely be just beginning.”
Earlier this summer, the House delegation wrote U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack requesting a 180-day grace period on loan repayment for ag-producers who have contracts with Turner Grain while the complicated issues around Turner Grain were handled. While the full grace period that was requested was not granted, Secretary Vilsack did agree to an extra 60-day grace period for the producers who were affected in addition to the 30-day period that had already been granted.
The bill would prohibit the USDA from trying to collect any loan from producers who have become involved in a bankruptcy as a creditor until at least 180-days after the final disposition of the bankruptcy case. The bill also would also allow for a similar extension of 180-days following the final disposition for loans made under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. Lastly, the bill will help protect farmers whose loan repayments have been pulled back into a bankruptcy case.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT), issued the following statement after the House passed the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act (H.R. 2), which is a compilation of fourteen bills previously passed by the House during the 113th Congress:
“While prices for groceries, school supplies, gas and other goods keep increasing for Americans, the Obama Administration continues to block production of America’s energy resources. Arkansas is a leader in hydraulic fracturing innovation and natural gas production, and today’s commonsense energy plan will enhance our ability to complete important infrastructure projects, expedite natural gas exports that will support thousands of jobs in our state and remove government barriers to safely increase our nation’s domestic energy production. I urge the Senate to pass this important bill that lowers energy prices to help hardworking Americans save more of their paychecks and helps put folks back to work.”
Sixty-two percent of Americans say the cost of basic household items like gas and groceries has strained their finances this year more than last year. According to reports, exporting natural gas will create 18,285 jobs by 2035 in Arkansas.
H.R. 2, which passed the House by a vote of 226–191, removes federal government obstacles to the production of more domestic energy, ensures transport of that energy reliably to businesses, consumers and other end users, lowers the cost of energy to consumers and enables manufacturers and other businesses to access domestically produced energy affordably and reliably in order to create and sustain more secure and well-paying American jobs.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, issued the following statement after the House passed the Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4):
“It’s clear that top-down Washington policies have failed to spur the economic growth America needs to lower unemployment and reduce our staggering debt. This comprehensive package reduces and streamlines onerous federal regulations that strangle our nation’s job creators, simplifies our tax code to provide certainty to small businesses, encourages investment to enhance our nation’s global competitiveness and promotes innovation to help grow jobs. This bill is a fresh approach to grow our economy organically from the ground up, providing more opportunities for Arkansans and Americans across the nation to find jobs and take home more of their hard-earned paychecks.”
H.R.4, which passed the House by a vote of 253-163, consists of the text of 15 House-passed bills that will make various changes to federal law to improve the conditions necessary for economic growth and job creation. The bill is divided into five parts. Each division contains the House-passed bills within the respective Committee’s jurisdiction. The bill includes:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after yesterday receiving the Guardian of Small Business Award and a 100 percent score for his voting record in the 113th Congress from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business association:
“While many Arkansans and Americans across the nation are still looking for employment, job creators are held back by excessive and overly burdensome regulations from the Obama Administration and our nation’s complicated tax code. The House has passed solutions to strengthen our economy and help small businesses expand and hire American workers. I am appreciative of NFIB for recognizing my effort to help small businesses grow jobs, and I’m honored to have a 100 percent career voting record from NFIB.”
Dan Danner, NFIB President and CEO, praised Griffin for his support for small business:
“The record shows that Rep. Griffin is a true champion of small business, supporting the votes that matter in the 113th Congress. This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business.”
In 2012, Congressman Griffin received the Guardian of Small Business Award and a 100 percent score for his voting record in the 112th Congress from NFIB.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House passed the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015 (H.J. Res. 124), which provides short-term funding for government operations through December 11, 2014:
“While the House has passed seven appropriations bills this year, Senate leadership has refused to bring any of these bills to the floor. Today’s bipartisan resolution includes a short-term fix that preserves critical government functions and maintains current spending levels, pre-set by the Ryan-Murray budget agreement.
“Our resolution also contains an important amendment, strongly supported by General David Petraeus, to help address the growing threat of the terrorist group Islamic State. This amendment will allow the U.S. to assist and train and equip properly vetted members of the Syrian opposition to fight Islamic State terrorists, and also includes essential provisions to ensure the President is held accountable in his approach to this terrorist threat.
“I urge the Senate to pass this bill and work with the House to implement a long-term solution for our budget priorities and an effective strategy to eradicate Islamic State terrorists that endanger our safety and freedom.”
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, submitted an amendment to H.J. Res. 124, which would authorize the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition to fight Islamic State terrorists in Syria. This amendment does not authorize additional funds, requires a plan to be submitted to Congress 15 days after enactment and requires a report to Congress every 90 days after the first report. Nothing in this authorization allows for the President or the Department of Defense (DoD) to put U.S. Armed Forces on the ground in Iraq or Syria.
H.J. Res. 124 extends funding for operations for all federal agencies, programs and services until December 11, 2014. The bill provides funding at the current annual rate of $1.012 trillion.
According to the House Appropriations Committee, virtually all existing policy and funding provisions included in currently enacted fiscal year 2014 appropriations legislation will carry forward in H.J. Res. 124. The resolution does not include new controversial riders, or large changes in existing federal policy.
However, the resolution does include some changes to existing law that are needed to prevent catastrophic, irreversible or detrimental changes to government programs, to address current national or global crises or to ensure good government. These provisions are funded within the total level of funding in the legislation. Some of these provisions include:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after introducing the Firefighter Equipment Protection Act of 2014 to address recent decisions made by the Department of Defense (DoD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that impact local firefighting agencies:
“The ridiculous decision by DoD and EPA recently prohibited firefighters from receiving the surplus federal equipment that local firefighting agencies in Arkansas and across America depend on to fight wildfires and keep our communities safe. This rule, in essence, favored the CO2 emissions from raging wildfires over the comparably minimal emissions from the vehicles needed to put them out. My bill permanently reverses this bureaucratic, nonsensical rule, protects the programs that supply this needed equipment from any future overreaching EPA decision and ensures that these programs continue to support firefighters who protect our nation’s communities.”
Since June 19, 2014, the Firefighter Property Program (FFP) and the Federal Excess Property Program (FEPP), which provide local firefighting agencies with more than $150 million in surplus military equipment annually, have been subjected to a number of questionable and disruptive directives by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and EPA. These actions temporarily blocked the transfer of this critically important equipment and created considerable uncertainty about the future of these programs until a DLA/EPA administrative agreement was released on August 13 that fully restored the programs to their previous operating statuses. Rep. Griffin led the effort in the House, along with Senator John McCain in the Senate, to have this questionable course of action reversed and welcomes the news that all remaining issues, including those regarding title status and the resale of this equipment by local officials, appear to have been solved for the time being.
To prevent this problem from occurring in the future, the Firefighter Equipment Protection Act [PDF] would codify the DLA/EPA administrative agreement into law, prohibiting the DLA from basing any decisions about firefighting equipment donations on EPA emissions standards.
Six original cosponsors joined Rep. Griffin in introducing the bill: Reps. Richard Hanna (NY-22), Jim Bridenstine (OK-01), Mark Amodei (NV-02), Hal Rogers (KY-05), Tom Cotton (AR-04) and Dave Reichert (WA-08).
The Firefighter Equipment Protection Act is endorsed by: the Arkansas State Firefighters Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs and National Association of State Foresters.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after the House passed the Employee Health Care Protection Act (H.R. 3522):
“The President’s oft-repeated promise that ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it’ proved untrue last fall as millions of Americans, primarily those in the individual market, received health insurance cancellation notices due to Obamacare. Now, millions of American workers who have employer-sponsored health insurance could lose their current coverage due to Obamacare requirements. Our bill allows workers to keep their current health care plans, but it remains clear that Obamacare is the wrong approach and must be repealed and replaced with real, patient-centered health care reform.”
According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, insurance experts testified that approximately 50 million American workers with fully insured health coverage could face plan cancellations or disruptions due to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requirements. (Testimony of Stan Veuger, American Enterprise Institute, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, July 28, 2014)
H.R. 3522, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 247-167, provides that health insurance coverage in the group market during calendar year 2013 may continue to be offered through calendar year 2018. The bill specifies that health insurance coverage in the group market during calendar year 2013 shall be treated as a grandfathered health plan under Section 1501(b) of the PPACA for purposes of the PPACA’s minimum essential coverage requirement. The bill clarifies that H.R. 3522 does not preempt state law.
H.R. 3522 expands on the Keep Your Health Plan Act (H.R. 3350), which passed the House in November 2013. H.R. 3522 extends plans in the small group market, while the “Keep Your Health Plan” bill applied only to individual market plans.
Rep. Griffin is a cosponsor of the American Health Care Reform Act (H.R. 3121), which would repeal and replace Obamacare.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement in remembrance of the September 11, 2001 victims:
“The horrific acts of terrorism that occurred in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania 13 years ago today gave way to some of the most inspiring acts of heroism in our nation’s history. We will never forget the victims of 9/11 and the Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life who joined in these heroic efforts, many of whom sacrificed their own lives to save the lives of others. Today, as we remember those we lost and pray for their families and loved ones, let us also reflect on the courage of all those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our citizens and our men and women in uniform who honorably serve to defend our nation.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House passed the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078):
“The EPA’s proposed expansion of the ‘waters of the United States’ would subject Arkansans, especially farmers and ranchers, to costly and overly burdensome federal regulations, harm our agriculture industry that is vital to our state’s economy and replace state and locally based conservation efforts with a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach. Our vote today stops this massive government overreach in its tracks and requires federal agencies to consult with states and local governments when proposing these regulatory measures on local waters.”
H.R. 5078 passed the House by a vote of 262-152. According to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, H.R. 5078 will uphold the federal-state partnership to regulate the nation’s waters by preserving existing rights and responsibilities with respect to “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The bill prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering or enforcing:
- The proposed rule that would redefine WOTUS under the CWA, or using the rule as a basis for future administrative actions that would undermine the federal-state partnership or usurp Congress’ express authority to change the scope of the CWA through a redefinition of WOTUS.
- Any agency guidance that would expand the scope of waters covered by the CWA, as the Administration’s proposed WOTUS rule and draft guidance would do.
- The agencies’ interpretive rule that would broaden regulation of the agricultural community by restricting the exemption from CWA Section 404 permitting for certain agricultural conservation practices.
The bill also requires the EPA and the Corps to engage in a federalism consultation with the states and local governments by:
- Jointly consulting with relevant state and local officials to formulate recommendations for a consensus regulatory proposal that would identify the scope of waters to be covered under the CWA, and those waters to be reserved for the states to determine how to regulate. The proposal would need to be consistent with the applicable rulings of the United States Supreme Court.
- Preparing a draft report describing the recommendations for a consensus regulatory proposal developed as a result of the consultation with relevant state and local officials, and publish the draft report in the Federal Register for public review and comment.
- Preparing and submitting to Congress a final report describing the recommendations for a consensus regulatory proposal, based on the consultation with relevant state and local officials and the public review of the draft report.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after the House passed a resolution condemning and disapproving of the Obama Administration's failure to comply with the lawful statutory requirement to notify Congress before releasing the Taliban Five detainees from Guantanamo Bay (H.Res. 644):
“The release of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay endangers our soldiers abroad and our citizens at home, and the President’s decision was not only wrong, but also unlawful. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), led by an Obama appointee, published a report in August confirming what we already knew, that the President violated the law in two ways: he violated the requirement to notify Congress before releasing the detainees and he spent money that was not appropriated by Congress, in violation of the Antideficiency Act, to transfer them. Today’s bipartisan resolution makes clear that the President’s go-it-alone approach is unacceptable. Instead of keeping Congress in the dark, especially on high-risk national security issues, the President should work with us to ensure the safety of all Americans.”
Rep. Griffin is a cosponsor of H.Res. 644, which passed the House by a vote of 249-163. The nonpartisan, independent Government Accountability Office (GAO)’s report confirmed that the Obama Administration exceeded its authority when releasing these detainees. According to the House Armed Services Committee:
- GAO concluded the transfer of the Taliban Five was a violation of the law and the Antideficiency Act.
o From the GAO report, "In our view, the meaning of the (law) is clear and unambiguous" the report reads. "Section 8111 prohibits the use of 'funds appropriated or otherwise made available' in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, to transfer any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the custody or control of a foreign entity' except in accordance (with the FY2014 NDAA.)"
- Section 8111 of the FY2014 Defense Appropriations Act was a reinforcement of the FY2014 NDAA
o The transfer of the Taliban Five was in violation of Section 1035 of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (FY2014 NDAA) which requires the President to notify Congress not later than 30 days before the transfer or release of any terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay takes place.
1232 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Tim Griffin was elected the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District on November 2, 2010. The youngest son of a minister and teacher, Tim is a fifth generation Arkansan, veteran, attorney and former small business owner who lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth and their two children.
For the 113th Congress, he serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the oldest committee in Congress. It is responsible for considering legislation related to trade agreements, the national debt, the tax code and programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Since its founding in 1789, only eight Arkansans have served on the committee. Tim’s predecessor in the Second Congressional District and fellow Hendrix College alumnus, Wilbur D. Mills, was chairman from 1958 to 1975, making him the longest-serving chairman in the Committee’s history. Tim is the first Arkansas Republican ever to serve on the Ways and Means Committee. He also serves as an Assistant Whip for the majority.
Tim serves on the Human Resources and the Social Security subcommittees of the Ways and Means Committee.
Tim grew up in Magnolia where he attended public school before attending Hendrix College in Conway. He is a cum laude graduate of both Hendrix College, where he received his B.A., and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, where he received his J.D. He also attended graduate school at Pembroke College, Oxford University, in England.
Tim is currently serving in his 17th year as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, holds the rank of lieutenant colonel, and is assigned to the Southeast Medical Area Readiness Support Group as the Command Judge Advocate.
In September 2005, Tim was mobilized to active duty to serve as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the home of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). In May 2006, Tim was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and sent to serve in Iraq. From May through August 2006, he served as an Army JAG in Mosul alongside the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), for which he was awarded the Combat Action Badge.
He founded the Griffin Law Firm, PLLC, a Little Rock law firm and Griffin Public Affairs, LLC. He is licensed to practice in both Arkansas (active) and Louisiana (inactive) and is a fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation.
From 2006-2007, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. During his tenure, in addition to federal criminal prosecutions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office provided outreach and training in rural counties and provided federal civil rights law training to law enforcement and community leaders.
In 2005, Tim served as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director, Office of Political Affairs at the White House.
He served as Research Director and Deputy Communications Director for the Republican National Committee (RNC) during the 2004 presidential campaign and Deputy Research Director for the RNC during the 2000 presidential campaign. From 2001-2002, he served as Special Assistant to Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Michael Chertoff and was detailed as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock where he prosecuted gun and drug cases. From 1997-1999, he served as Senior Investigative Counsel for the Government Reform Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, and from 1995-1997, as Associate Independent Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel David M. Barrett.
Tim served on the board of the Florence Crittenton home for unwed mothers and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas. He and Elizabeth are members of Immanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock.
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Today is 6yr anniversary of filing of #KeystoneXL pipeline application. #TimeToBuild #4jobs http://tinyurl.com/orqn499
The Arkansas House delegation is moving forward to assist ag-producers who stand to be impacted the most as a result of poor management by those
While prices for groceries, school supplies, gas and other goods keep increasing for Americans, the Obama Administration continues to block production
It’s clear that top-down Washington policies have failed to spur the economic growth America needs to lower unemployment and reduce our staggering
Happy 67th birthday to the @usairforce! Thank you to all who honorably serve to protect our nation. #AFbday LRAFB