WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after the House passed two bills to address the current crisis on the Southwestern border and prevent the expansion of the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“The President has encouraged this tragic, humanitarian crisis on the border by giving the impression through his executive orders, speeches and policies that our laws are optional and our border is open. The President has most of the tools necessary to address this crisis, but he refuses to act. The House has acted: our bill improves a 2008 trafficking law, provides funding directly to governors to increase the National Guard’s border presence, eliminates President Obama’s restrictions on border patrol activities on federal lands and implements essential policy changes to effectively address the recent influx of unaccompanied minors to our border and expedite their return to their home countries. Further, combined with the House-passed bill to prohibit the expansion of DACA and ensure enforcement of our current laws, today’s bills will deter others from attempting the perilous journey to our border, preventing loss of life and future crises.”
H.R. 5230 passed the House by a vote of 223-189. According to a summary of H.R. 5230 from the House Rules Committee, H.R. 5230 provides funding for border security, enforcement of immigration and customs laws, humanitarian assistance and illegal immigration prevention. This funding is targeted to meet the immediate needs surrounding the current border crisis and will be sufficient to cover the estimated costs of these activities for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year. The legislation is fully offset through cuts and rescissions of existing funds within federal agencies and will result in no new or additional federal spending.
Also today, the House passed H.R. 5272 to freeze DACA as of July 30, 2014, a program that has effectively granted temporary legal status to certain unlawful immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16. H.R. 5272 prohibits federal funds or resources from being used to adjudicate new applications under DACA, prohibits the Administration from using federal funds or resources to newly authorize deferred action for any class of aliens and prevents federal funding or resources from being used to authorize work permits for aliens not lawfully present in the United States. The bill passed the House by a vote of 216-192.Read More
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today joined Congressmen Tim Griffin (AR-2) and Steve Womack (AR-3) to announce that five Arkansas fire departments will receive nearly $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) to purchase equipment, training materials, and vehicles.
“Whether it’s providing life-saving turnout gear or vehicles, this program is critical to keeping Arkansas first responders safe on the job,” Pryor said. “I’m proud to support our first responders who do so much to keep our families and property safe.”
“These funds will provide our firefighters with the appropriate tools, resources and training they need to protect Arkansas families and communities and be better prepared to respond to emergencies,” Boozman said.
“As our firefighters work to protect our communities, this investment in communications technology and other needed equipment will help ensure our firefighters are better prepared to respond when life is threatened,” said Griffin.
“These grants are welcomed news for Arkansas’s brave firemen and women. They will provide essential training and equipment to help ensure our firefighters’ safety as they put themselves into harm’s way to protect ours,” Womack said.
The fire departments receiving funding are as follows:
• Hensley: The Hensley Volunteer Fire Department will receive $12,357 for communications equipment including pagers, mobile radios, headsets, portable radios, and responder rehab equipment.
• Jonesboro: The Valley View Fire Protection District will receive $100,482 for turnout gear and breathing equipment.
• Shirley: The Burnt Ridge Volunteer Fire Department will receive $223,250 for the purchase of a tanker/tender, which is used to draft water from hydrants and lakes.
• Rudy: The Crawford County Fire District One will receive $229,197 for SCBA face pieces with cylinders along with additional cylinders.
• Van Buren: The Butterfield District 5 Volunteer Fire Department will receive $132,052 for a manufacturer burn simulator.
The Assistance to Firefighters Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is supported by the omnibus appropriations bill and provides fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations with the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. During Fiscal Year 2013, DHS AFG Program awarded approximately $288.8 million directly to local fire departments and EMS organizations.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement today after the committee unanimously reported to the full House the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 (H.R. 647):
“Arkansans with disabilities face unique challenges and will benefit from this tailored savings instrument. I am proud to cosponsor and support this common sense bill that will help provide a better future and independent living for individuals with disabilities in our communities.”
H.R. 647 amends Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow the use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities to cover qualified expenses related to the individual’s disability, such as health, education, housing, transportation, training, assistive technology, personal support, and other related services and expenses. Individuals with ABLE accounts would also maintain eligibility for means-tested benefits programs, such as SSI and Medicaid, allowing the account to supplement, but not supplant, current benefits received.
H.R. 647 has over 370 bipartisan cosponsors and has been supported by more than 70 organizations and health care professionals, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Autism Society of America, Autism Speaks, the Brain Injury Association of America, Easter Seals, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, National Disability Institute, National Down Syndrome Society, the National Federation of the Blind, and The ARC.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after the House passed a resolution providing for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the President or other executive branch officials inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution of the United States (H.Res. 676):
“The litigation is ultimately about respecting and upholding the U.S. Constitution, which makes clear that the President must faithfully enforce our nation’s laws as written. President Obama has overstepped his executive powers on numerous occasions, from twice altering the health care law’s employer mandate without going through Congress to unilaterally changing the work requirements on President Clinton’s welfare reform law without the legal basis to do so. Today, the House acted to defend our Constitution, our system of checks and balances and the principles our representative government is based upon.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 to address the ongoing issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and help veterans gain access to health care:
“Today’s bill takes the first step to ensure America’s veterans receive the quality health care they need, deserve and have earned in a timely manner regardless of whether it is provided at a VA, private or other medical facility. The bill includes recently passed House proposals to improve our VA health system, hold VA executives accountable and help ensure that the mistreatment of our veterans never happens again. I applaud the collaborative efforts to finalize this comprehensive bill, and I remain committed to working with my colleagues to enact effective reforms at the VA and keep our nation’s promise to take care of America’s heroes.”
House and Senate conferees unanimously adopted the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3230, which was filed on July 28, 2014. Today, the House passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3230, which contains the text agreed upon by House and Senate conferees. For more information on the specifics of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3230 from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, please click here.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after the House passed the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act (H.R. 4315):
“As the federal government seeks to classify endangered species in Arkansas and other states, we must ensure full transparency in the classification process and evaluate the impact of endangered species listings on our local and national economies. This common sense bill modernizes the outdated Endangered Species Act (ESA) to prioritize species recovery, make classification data publicly available, limit needless ESA-related lawsuits and prevent waste of taxpayer dollars and federal resources.”
According to the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was created in 1973 to preserve, protect and recover key domestic species. Since that time, over 1,500 U.S. domestic species and sub-species have been listed. However, today the law is failing to achieve its primary purpose of species recovery and has only a 2 percent recovery rate. According to the Department of Justice, from fiscal year 2009-2012, the federal expenditures on attorney fees for ESA-related lawsuits cost taxpayers over $3.1 million in the southeast region of the United States that includes Arkansas.
H.R. 4315 would:
• Require data used by federal agencies for ESA listing decisions to be made publicly available and accessible through the Internet, while respecting state data privacy laws and private property. (Sec. 2 reflects the text of H.R. 4315 as reported)
• Require the federal government to disclose to affected states data used prior to an ESA listing decision and it would require the “best available scientific and commercial data” used by the federal government to incorporate data provided by states, tribes and local county governments. (Sec. 3 reflects the text of H.R. 4317)
• Require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to track, report to Congress and make available online the federal taxpayer funds used to respond to ESA lawsuits, the number of employees dedicated to ESA litigation and attorneys’ fees awarded in the course of ESA litigation and settlement agreements. (Sec. 4 reflects the text of H.R. 4316)
• Prioritize species protection and protect taxpayer dollars by placing reasonable caps on attorneys’ fees to make the ESA consistent with existing federal law. For example, the federal government limits the prevailing attorneys’ fees to $125 per hour in most circumstances, including federal suits involving veterans, Social Security and disability. But under the ESA, attorneys are being awarded huge sums, in many cases, at a rate much as $600 per hour. (Sec. 5 reflects the text of H.R. 4318)
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) released the following statement after signing on to become a cosponsor of the Unaccompanied Alien Child State Notification Act (H.R. 5129):
“By requiring that governors be notified when unaccompanied minors are relocated to their states, state and local officials will be better prepared to handle the relocation and able to inform their constituents of the current situation. I support this bill to improve communication between federal and state governments.”
While we work in the House to address the surge of unaccompanied minors at our nation’s border in a compassionate and humane way, we must respect taxpayers and do what is best for the United States. This bill will improve communication between federal and state governments by requiring governors’ be notified beforehand and help states better prepare for the impact that the relocation of these minors may have on our schools, budgets and other essential services provided by our state governments.”
Last week, news reports revealed that from January 1, 2014, to July 7, 2014, 166 undocumented immigrant children have been placed with sponsors in Arkansas. The Obama Administration failed to notify Congressman Griffin or the State of Arkansas of this decision.
H.R. 5129, introduced by Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03), amends the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, with respect to an unaccompanied alien child in federal custody by reason of the child's immigration status, to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to notify the governor of a state within 48 hours before the child's placement in the care of a proposed custodian located in that state.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) today announced he is receiving the Citizen of the Year Award from the Heartland District of Civitan International:
“It's an honor to be recognized by such an important organization in our community that serves the needs of our nation’s youth and individuals with developmental disabilities.”
The Heartland District comprises approximately 1500 members in local Civitan Clubs throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. For more information about Heartland District Civitan, please click here. For more information about Civitan International, please click here.
Congressman Griffin will be accepting the award at the Heartland District Civitan event in Bentonville today. For photos from the event, please email: Jennie.Caven@mail.house.gov.
From Heartland District Civitan [PDF]:
“During his time in Congress, Rep. Griffin has continued to serve as an advocate for our nation’s youth and individuals with disabilities. In his first term as the Representative for Arkansas’s Second Congressional District, Rep. Griffin worked with his colleagues to pass essential legislation to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act, which provides funding for autism research, education, and intervention programs for children with autism. The Congressman also worked with his colleagues to protect our nation’s youth by increasing criminal penalties for offenses involving minors and increased funding to prevent internet crimes against children.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, today released the following statement after the House passed the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 4935) to ensure the child tax credit is indexed for inflation:
“Common sense reforms to our tax code, like the ones in this bipartisan bill, let Americans keep more of their hard-earned dollars to help families prosper, which will aid our economy and grow jobs. This bill eliminates the marriage penalty and indexes the child tax credit for inflation to ensure the credit’s benefits keep pace with the rising cost of providing for a family. It also reduces fraud by requiring a social security number when individuals apply for additional child tax credit benefits. I’m proud to support this bill that simplifies tax provisions to ease the financial burden on hardworking families.”
H.R. 4935 makes the current child tax credit more accessible and equitable by increasing the phase-out threshold for the credit for couples filing joint tax returns from $110,000 to $150,000 ($75,000 for individual and married taxpayers filing separately). The bill also indexes for inflation the phase-out threshold for the $1,000 credit beginning in calendar year 2015 as well as indexes the credit for inflation to the nearest multiple of $50. The bill also requires filers to include their social security number on their tax returns in order to access the refundable portion of the child tax credit (sometimes referred to as the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)).
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.
Retweeted by reptimgriffin
Today’s bills will deter others from attempting perilous journeys to border, preventing loss of life & future crises. http://t.co/CkxV96iADZ
Retweeted by reptimgriffin
The President has encouraged the tragic, humanitarian border crisis by giving the impression that our laws are optional & our border is open
Retweeted by reptimgriffin
Key points on the House bill to address the humanitarian crisis on the border: http://t.co/fEdnAQAImq
Retweeted by reptimgriffin
Retweeted by reptimgriffin
The President has encouraged this tragic, humanitarian crisis on the border by giving the impression through his executive orders, speeches and
Key points on the House bill to address the humanitarian crisis on the border: http://tinyurl.com/kd95xo3
As our firefighters work to protect our communities, this investment in communications technology and other needed equipment will help ensure
Arkansans with disabilities face unique challenges and will benefit from this tailored savings instrument. I am proud to cosponsor and support
Myths vs. facts on the House bill to address the crisis on the border: http://tinyurl.com/mmknndf