WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman, Senator-elect Tom Cotton and Rep. Tim Griffin sent a letter yesterday to the Secretary of the Army urging him to award the Purple Heart to victims of the June 2009 shooting at the Little Rock recruiting center - Privates William Long and Quinton Ezeagwula - based on criteria approved by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Section 571 of the FY 2015 NDAA clarifies that an attack carried out by an individual will be considered an attack by a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) if the individual or entity was in communication with a FTO before the attack, and if the attack was inspired or motivated by a FTO.
The members detail actions and statements by Abdulhakim Muhammad, the man who pled guilty to charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder for the shooting at a Little Rock military recruiting station, that meet the criteria established in NDAA.
“Throughout his (2011) trial, Muhammad repeatedly admitted that he was a soldier in the cause of war—or jihad—against the United States and that he targeted Privates William Andrew Long and Quinton Ezeagwula because they wore the uniform of the U.S. Army. Additionally, in 2007, Muhammad traveled to Yemen where, as he admitted, he consorted with known members of Al Qaeda including discussing attacks on American military personnel," members wrote in the letter.
The members urged the Secretary to correct this wrong and award the Purple Heart to Private Quiton Ezeagwula and to the family of Private William Long.
To read the letter click here.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) today issued the following statement after the House passed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83), which includes full Appropriations legislation and funding for 11 of the 12 annual Appropriations bills through the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, and includes the 12th bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security under a temporary “Continuing Resolution” that expires on February 27, 2015:
“During my time in Congress, Senate leadership and the President have blocked many of our attempts to implement long-term reforms and eliminate excessive spending in Washington, further worsening our nation’s debt crisis that threatens future generations. Today’s bipartisan agreement contains important policy changes to rein in federal overreach and provides targeted funding for critical programs. Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters worked hard to defeat today’s bill, but they failed, and the bill we passed lowers discretionary spending to pre-FY 2008 levels.
“The agreement remains consistent with the Ryan-Murray budget agreement caps, cuts $60 million in funding for the overreaching Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and blocks regulations that would stifle important energy projects, hurt small businesses and destroy jobs. It limits EPA’s proposed expansion of the ‘waters of the United States,’ which would subject Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers to costly and overly burdensome federal regulations and harm our state’s vital agriculture industry. The bill slashes over $345 million from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and puts restrictions on the job-crushing, bureaucratic Dodd-Frank law.
“Some claim that this bill funds the President’s illegal executive actions. That’s not true. Despite criticism to the contrary, this Congress has not and will not fund illegal activity, and this bill funds the law as written. I agree wholeheartedly that President Obama has used funds intended for a legal purpose for an illegal one. This last week, Congress took a big step to fight against the President’s illegal actions, and I am confident that the new Congress will continue fighting the President’s illegal executive overreach.
“Today’s bill is, of course, not perfect, but unlike a continuing resolution, this bill makes substantive changes to reduce spending and reject a government shutdown, which is bad policy, helps no one and wastes taxpayer dollars. With the incoming Republican majorities, I know my colleagues in the House and Senate will continue our work to uphold the Constitution, cut federal spending and save taxpayers’ money.”
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which passed the House by a vote of 219–206, contains emergency Overseas Contingency Operations funding to combat the emerging real-world threat brought by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and a total of $5.4 billion in emergency funding to address the domestic and international Ebola crisis. Also included in this package are important policy provisions to improve accountability and transparency, to ensure good government and to put the brakes on harmful overregulation by federal agencies.Read More
WASHINGTON – On December 3, 2014, Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Tim Griffin (R-AR) introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5787, to ensure tax protections for students attending colleges that require students to participate in a comprehensive work-learning-service program as an integral part of the institution’s educational program.
The conundrum of how best to integrate work and education is as old as the notion of higher education itself. The Work Colleges – seven higher education institutions in middle America all based on promoting the purposeful integration of work, learning, and service – include Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky; Berea College in Berea, Kentucky; Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois; College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri; Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas; Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont; and Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.
Work Colleges are narrowly defined in higher education law, and the majority of Work Colleges administered work-learning programs long before Congress created the Federal Work-Study Program in 1964. Given the fundamental role of work in the academic program and the requirement that all students complete work-learning-service programs, tax statute and regulations for decades have distinguished income earned via work-and-learn programs from that earned via work study and research or teaching assistantships. Although IRS rulings continue to recognize this exemption narrowly for Work Colleges due to the unique circumstances of their work-learning-service programs, the Internal Revenue Code should be clearer about these protections.
Congressman Davis said, “Work Colleges, such as Blackburn College in Illinois, are attractive, accessible, affordable, liberal arts colleges. I am pleased to join with my colleague from Arkansas to lead legislation that clarifies that credits and payments to students as part of these distinctive work-learning-service programs constitute scholarship aid, not wages. As per regulations, this exemption applies only to part-time work as a condition of an integrated work-learning-service curriculum, not to voluntary work on campus.”
Congressman Griffin noted, “As the costs to pay for college continue to skyrocket, we must work to implement smart reforms that make college more affordable, and Work Colleges have been successful in providing students with means to earn a college degree while reducing their student debt. I’m proud to introduce this bill with Mr. Davis to clarify that tuition and payments to students under ‘work and learn’ programs do not constitute wages so that Work Colleges like Ecclesia College remain an attractive, affordable educational option for students.”
John Comerford, President of Blackburn College, noted, "Blackburn College is the most affordable independent college in Illinois, even offering free tuition to the neediest students. This is only possible because our students work on campus to earn a substantial portion of their tuition. This tax provision would ensure these earnings will not be lost to taxes by ensuring the Work Program is recognized for what it is - a scholarship program".
Oren Paris, President of Ecclesia College, stated, "Ecclesia College has the lowest debt upon graduation of any college in Arkansas. Our students learn to help perform the essential functions of the college which substantially lowers the net cost for their education. Our whole life approach of intentionally integrating work with learning proves effective in preparing students for gainful employment, warranting the scholarships granted."
Immediately following the introduction of the bill the National Association of Independent College and Universities, American Council on Education, and the Council of Independent Colleges voiced their support.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) today announced that he received the “Friend of Farm Bureau” recognition from the American Farm Bureau Federation. Below are excerpts from his award acceptance speech, which was featured during the Arkansas Farm Bureau’s annual convention:
“It is an honor to be named a ‘Friend of the Farm Bureau’ and to be recognized by Arkansas and national farmers with this prestigious award. During my time in Congress, I’ve worked to support the priorities of our agricultural community. Our state’s agriculture is a vital component of Arkansas’s economy, accounting for over 280,000 jobs and $20 billion in value. Y’all do the hard work necessary that not only supports our economy, but also puts healthy food on our tables that’s safe for our families.
“I want to commend and thank the Arkansas Farm Bureau and all of you for your efforts to grow jobs, keep our nation’s agriculture industry flourishing and provide food for our families. Implementing policies that support our nation’s farming communities is critical to our future, to America’s future, to Arkansas’s future – and we must continue to support the hardworking farmers across the country.”
Congressman Griffin also received this award in the 112th Congress. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, this award is given to individuals who have supported Farm Bureau issues, as demonstrated by their voting records, and who were nominated by their respective state Farm Bureau and approved by the Board of Directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation. The voting records were based on issues selected by the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) released the following statement today after the House passed the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act (H.R. 5759) in response to the President’s recent executive action on immigration:
“Today’s bill is largely symbolic – unlikely to be taken up by Harry Reid’s Senate or signed by the President – but we cannot sit by and do nothing while the President makes unilateral decisions that circumvent the constitutional role of Congress and insult the majority of the American people who voted on November 4th to reject the President’s go-it-alone policies. My colleagues and I in the House took the first step to stop the President’s unconstitutional immigration action in August, we took another today and we will continue to seek additional options to fight the President’s plan, including legal action. Although I leave Congress in January, I am confident my Republican colleagues in the House and Senate will see this fight for the Constitution and the rule of law through and will prevail.”
The Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act, which passed the House by a vote of 219-197, prohibits the executive branch from exempting from removal or deferring removal of categories of undocumented immigrants who are unlawfully present in the U.S.—whether by executive order, regulation or any other means. The bill prohibits the executive branch from treating such undocumented immigrants as if they were lawfully present or had a lawful immigration status, or granting them work authorization. The bill contains exceptions for extraordinary humanitarian and law enforcement reasons. Actions taken for the purpose of circumventing the bill shall be null and void and without legal effect. The effective date is November 20, 2014 and applies to requests (both original requests and requests for reopening previously denied requests) submitted for work authorization or exemption from, or deferral of, removal.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) released the following statement today after the House passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Agreement (H.R. 3979):
“This year’s NDAA agreement provides crucial funding for our military, grants our troops a much-deserved pay increase, rejects the President’s proposed cuts to TRICARE and commissary benefits, works to prevent military suicide, builds upon efforts to combat sexual assaults and addresses the growing threats posed by cyber attacks. While I am disappointed that the request to transfer 10 C-130Js from Keesler Air Force Base (AFB) to Little Rock Air Force Base (LRAFB) is delayed until a required cost assessment is completed, I am actively working to ensure the proposed transfer occurs as quickly as possible.
“The NDAA agreement also establishes new criteria to allow for the awarding of Purple Hearts to servicemembers that have been wounded or killed in an attack motivated by a foreign terrorist organization. For the past 4 years, I have urged the Department of Defense (DoD) to award the Purple Heart to Pvt. William Long and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, the victims of the 2009 terrorist attack on the Little Rock Recruiting Station. Under the newly established criteria, there is no longer any excuse to refuse these men the Purple Heart. I was proud to vote for this bipartisan bill that supports our brave servicemembers and their families.”
The NDAA agreement, which passed the House by a vote of 300–199, authorizes and prioritizes funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) and other select national security programs within the Department of Energy for FY 2015. The FY 2015 NDAA authorizes $521.3 billion in discretionary spending and authorizes $63.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), $15.7 billion below the House-passed NDAA.
Section 571 of the NDAA agreement establishes new criteria for awarding the Purple Heart to members of the Armed Forces killed or wounded in attacks inspired or motivated by foreign terrorist organizations. This allows for awarding the medal to members of the Armed Forces who were killed or wounded in the attacks on Fort Hood and the Little Rock recruiting station, both in 2009. Since coming to Congress, Rep. Griffin has fought to ensure that Private Quiton Ezeagwula and Private William Andrew Long are honored with the Purple Heart that they have earned and deserve for their service and sacrifice, and Rep. Griffin supported the inclusion of this language in the NDAA.
Section 138 of the NDAA agreement limits the availability of funds for the transfer of U.S. Air Force (USAF) C-130H or C-130J aircraft until a period of 60 days has elapsed following the date on which the Secretary of the Air Force submits to the congressional defense committees an assessment of the costs and benefits of the proposed transfer. Rep. Griffin supported the USAF proposal to relocate 10 C-130J aircraft from Keesler AFB to LRAFB in 2015. Keeping these 10 aircraft at Keesler AFB will be done to the detriment of our nation’s airlift capabilities, C-130 pilot training and the common-sense, money-saving consolidation of our C-130J Reserve aircraft at LRAFB.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement today after the House passed 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. I urge the Senate to pass this important legislation.”
H.R. 647, which passed the House by a vote of 404–17, is designed to provide individuals and families with the opportunity to save for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities in maintaining their health, independence, and quality of life without losing access to Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Starting in 2015, states would have the option to establish an ABLE program, under which eligible individuals with disabilities may establish ABLE accounts, modeled after current Section 529 savings accounts, which could be used to pay for qualified expenses related to the disability, including education, housing and transportation, and health and wellness. To be eligible, individuals must: 1) be severely disabled before turning age 26, based on a marked and severe functional limitation; or 2) receive benefits under the SSI or Disability Insurance (DI) programs.
H.R. 647 has 380 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.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement today after the House passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771):
“It’s disappointing that the President’s veto threat has blocked House and Senate negotiations on bipartisan priorities, including House-passed policies to permanently extend tax provisions – which would have been an important step toward comprehensive tax reform. Today’s bill is not the answer to our broken tax system, but it is critical to preventing onerous tax increases on American workers, families and businesses. I will keep working to reform our tax code, boost economic growth and help America grow good-paying jobs.”
H.R. 5771, which passed the House by a vote of 378 – 46, extends a number of tax relief provisions in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that expired either at the end of 2013 or during 2014 for one year. Specifically, this legislation extends eight separate provisions for individuals, including the deductibility of state and local sales taxes and the extension of the above the line deduction for qualified tuition. Moreover, this legislation extends 30 business-related provisions, including the research and development tax credit, bonus depreciation and increased section 179 expensing. H.R. 5771 also extends 11 energy-related provisions and two provisions relating to multiemployer defined benefit pension plans. Finally, the bill makes a number of technical corrections to previously enacted tax legislation. For a section-by-section analysis, please click here.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the No Social Security for Nazis Act (H.R. 5739):
“We must never forget the millions of Jews and the many other innocent victims throughout Europe and the world that suffered under the Nazis. We must hold these war criminals accountable for their horrific actions. I am pleased that I was able to work quickly with my colleagues to introduce legislation that will close this loophole in the law and prevent Nazi war criminals from receiving U.S. Social Security benefits. I urge the Senate to pass this important bill quickly to protect Social Security benefits for hardworking U.S. taxpayers.”
Recent press stories have highlighted a loophole in the law that allows some Nazis to continue receiving Social Security benefits. Under the Social Security Act, Social Security benefits are terminated when individuals are deported due to participating in Nazi persecutions. Some individuals whom the Department of Justice identified as Nazi persecutors were denaturalized (stripped of their citizenship), or voluntarily renounced their citizenship, and left the country to avoid formal deportation proceedings. Under current law, these individuals are able to continue receiving Social Security benefits. (The Congressional Budget Office has determined that Social Security is the only U.S. public benefit these denaturalized Nazis living outside the country are able to receive under current law.)
Rep. Griffin is an original cosponsor of H.R. 5739, which stops Social Security benefits to any individual who: 1) has been denaturalized due to participation in Nazi persecutions; or 2) has voluntarily renounced their citizenship as part of a settlement agreement with the Attorney General related to their participation in Nazi persecution. Individuals who are ineligible for benefits under this Act would not be eligible to receive spousal benefits due to marriage to a Social Security beneficiary or Supplemental Security Income benefits. H.R. 5739 requires the Attorney General to certify to Congress that the Social Security Administration has been notified of all those whose benefits should be terminated, and requires the Commissioner of Social Security to certify that benefits were terminated.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after his Washington, D.C. office shut down as required by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“As I complete my time in Congress, I want to show my appreciation and give a big thanks to the many Arkansans who came up and visited me in my Washington, D.C. office. I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you, and it has been an honor to listen to your views and work for your priorities in Congress.
“With the transition into the 114th Congress, the departing Members are required to vacate their office spaces by late November. Although my Washington, D.C. office shut down today, I encourage my constituents to continue to contact me so that I can help with any concerns or issues with a federal agency. I will continue to work hard and remain dedicated to providing essential and effective services for my constituents until the new Congress begins on January 3, 2015. Until then, Arkansans may also reach out to my district offices, which will be fully operational through the end of my term. It has been my deepest honor to represent Arkansas's Second Congressional District for the past 4 years. It has been a pleasure serving you, and I thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”
1501 North University, Suite 150
Little Rock, AR 72207
Phone: (501) 324-5941
Fax: (501) 324-6029
1105 Deer Street, Suite 12
Conway, AR 72032
Phone: (501) 358-3481
Fax: (501) 358-3494
Twitter: @RepTimGriffinRead More
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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Nancy Pelosi worked hard to defeat this bill, but failed. H.R. 83 lowers discretionary spending to pre-FY '08 levels. http://t.co/Dm2np1C7Lk
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Proud to introduce bill w/Mr. Davis to provide means for students to earn a degree while reducing their student debt http://t.co/0xydYEMY2d
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Honored to be recognized by AR farmers. Y'all do the hard work that drives our economy & puts healthy food on tables http://t.co/DKkQN4DukH
AR delegation again urges Army to award Pvts. Long & Ezeagwula w/ the Purple Heart, which they have earned. #ar2 http://tinyurl.com/kttnlln
During my time in Congress, Senate leadership and the President have blocked many of our attempts to implement long-term reforms and eliminate
As the costs to pay for college continue to skyrocket, we must work to implement smart reforms that make college more affordable, and Work Colleges
Today we honor & remember those we lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor - "a date which will live in infamy"
It is an honor to be named a ‘Friend of the Farm Bureau’ and to be recognized by Arkansas and national farmers with this prestigious award.