Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce




Washington, D.C.(November 5, 2018) Congressman Steve Pearce proudly presented three New Mexico veterans with medals today, honoring their service and valor in Korea and Vietnam.

“As Veteran’s Day quickly approaches, it provides an excellent reminder for just how important our military members are to our nation’s freedom and success. We should not only think of their great service and sacrifice just once a year, but throughout the year. Their dedication to our nation, sacrificing their freedoms for our own, should never go overlooked. That is why I am glad to honor three New Mexico veterans today for their service to our country in the Korean and Vietnam wars. As a veteran myself, it is a privilege to work on behalf of these three families.”

“A Valencia, New Mexico native, Jose Urban Reinaldo Otero is receiving seven military awards –one being the Purple Heart. Mr. Otero served in Korea after attending Airborne school at Fort Benning and was wounded in combat on November 26, 1950.”

“Participating in twenty-five aerial missions and over 125 hostile territory support missions, Mr. Larry G. Armstrong served in Vietnam from February 1968 to February 1969. Mr. Armstrong is receiving eight military awards, including the Bronze Star Medal.”

“I also thank Mr. Cruz Felipe Bustillos, who is receiving fourteen military awards such as the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. After serving in Vietnam, our nation and our state are grateful for Mr. Bustillos’ service to our country.”

“Every American who serves or has served in the military deserves to know the deep thanks that the American people have for their service and sacrifice. New Mexico is proud to represent these three veterans and all of the veterans from our great state who have sacrificed so greatly so that we may live life freely. I am also thoroughly grateful for the families of servicemembers who stand behind their loved ones as they brave hardships and dangers for liberty’s cause. I stand proudly behind their families and behind each and every member of our military, past or present, always.”


Jose Urban Reinaldo is receiving:

  • Purple Heart
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Army of Occupation Medal & Japan Clasp
  • Korean Service Medal & Silver Start Attachment 9singel & Arrowhead
  • Combat infantryman Badge 1st Award
  • United Nations Service Medal
  • Parachutist Badge – Basic

Larry G. Armstrong is receiving:

  • Bronze Star Medal
  • Air Medal & Numeral 1
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal & Bronze Star Attachment (Quadruple)
  • Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon w/Device
  • Sharpshooter Badge & Machine Gun Bar & Rifle Bar
  • Marksman Badge & Auto Rifle Bar

Cruz Felipe Bustillos is receiving:

  • Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
  • Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 1 gold star
  • Navy Unity Commendation with 1 bronze star
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation with 4 bronze stars
  • Navy “E” Ribbon
  • Navy Good Conduct Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal & Silver Star & Bronze Star Attachment
  • Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
  • Navy Pistol (marksman)
  • Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Color with Palm)
  • Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Sections First Class Color with Palm)
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal


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Washington, DC (October 19, 2018) Congressman Steve Pearce Introduced H.R. 7074 in the House of Representatives today to reauthorize Grazing Advisory Boards that were created under Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).

“When the FLPMA was originally introduced decades ago, it was only authorized to be in effect for a decade. Since then, there has been no reauthorization of the Grazing Advisory Board. This bill introduced today will reinstate the FLPMA for another ten years, in order for ranchers to provide their own advice to the Forrest Service on management. It is becoming increasingly more important for communities to be more aware of decisions made by federal agencies where they can better advise what is best for the land they know so well. This bill is a step toward cutting the red tape on regulations provided by the federal government. I was pleased to receive numerous letters of support from various entities throughout New Mexico who also look forward to handing more power back to the people of New Mexico,” said Pearce.

“We believe that many of the problems we are facing with these federal land management agencies stems from the lack of contact with allotment owners on the ground. Grazing Advisory Boards used to be a place for ranchers to work with the BLM and the USFS. We simply don’t have that connection any more,” said in a letter from the New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association.

Letters of support were also received from the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Wool Growers, and the New Mexico Federal Lands Council.






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Washington, DC (October 19, 2018) Congressman Steve Pearce Introduced H.R.7075 in the House of Representatives today to protect tribal cultural items that are subject to international trafficking.

“New Mexico’s rich heritage is preserved and cherished through cultural items that date back to before New Mexico was a state. Stories are told through these items and that is why I have dedicated my time in Congress to protect them and protect our history. After leading a bipartisan effort to condemn the illegal theft and sale of tribal cultural items which have surfaced in various auctions across Europe, I am confident that this bill will help bring these items back to their respective homes where they belong, while preventing future items from being illegally exported. This bill is especially historic, as it is the first of its kind to be the result of a collaborative process between tribes and dealers. It also addresses the concerns and advice given to my office through the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that I requested two years ago. I am especially thankful to the Pueblo of Acoma for their dedication in continuing to pursue this very serious issue,” said Pearce.

“The Pueblo of Acoma thanks Representative Pearce and his staff for working diligently to help put into place tools tribes will need to stop the international trafficking of federally protected tribal cultural heritage items.  To see a sacred item in a foreign auction and to be told there is nothing that can be done to stop the sale is a terrible experience.  We hope Representative Pearce’s bill will help to prevent that situation in the future,” said Governor Riley from the Pueblo of Acoma.

“Congressman Pearce demonstrated exceptional leadership and judgement in listening to the concerns of all and crafting legislation that is balanced and properly addresses the tribes’ valid claims while recognizing the importance of a vibrant art market to New Mexico’s economy,” said Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association (ATADA).

Background: In 2016, Congressman Pearce passed a resolution, H. Con. Res. 122, condemning the sale of stolen tribal artifact. Additionally, this resolution required the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on how the Departments of the Interior, State, Commerce, and Homeland Security can better take affirmative action to stop this illegal practice, as well as create a repatriation mechanism for tribes to once again obtain these important cultural items.

Read the letter to the GAO, here.

Read the report from the GAO, here.


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Washington, D.C. (October 9, 2018) Today, Congressman Steve Pearce toured Sandia National Lab with United States Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry.

“New Mexico’s national labs have played a central role in our nation’s national security since the Manhattan Project in the 1940s. Today, Sandia and Los Alamos are the corner stone of our nuclear arsenal. Not only does Sandia’s mission support the nation and our safety, but it helps promote and expand New Mexico’s STEM capabilities. Sandia supports thousands of jobs and billions in investment in our State. It is vital we continue to support the lab and its ongoing mission. I greatly appreciate Secretary Perry recognizing the importance of Sandia, and taking the time to tour the lab with me today.”





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Washington, D.C. (September 27, 2018) Last night, the House of Representatives voted to continue funding for the Department of Defense as well as Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

“It is our job in Congress to ensure that the government is funded. While it is unfortunate that the bill voted on last night only provides a temporary funding through December 7, it will still ensure that our government remains open and funded. Congress has more work to do to provide the certain federal agencies and the American people deserve, but this is a stepping stone.”

“In addition to funding the government, this legislation fully funds and honors our commitment to America’s military. New Mexico is home to numerous military bases and military personnel. Our state is a leader in military research, development, and testing. This is why, to me, ensuring our military is properly funded is a top priority for New Mexico. Not only will this funding bill directly impact our military, it will provide the means necessary for maintenance, training, and base operations –preparing and modernizing our Armed Forces for the future. I am glad to see our service men and women receiving a 2.6% pay raise which is the largest pay raise our military members have seen in nine years. This funding ensures care for not only our troops but their families and veterans, as well. While no amount of funding can express the appreciation and respect I have for our troops, who bravely face danger in order to protect the freedom we enjoy, it will ensure that they are properly supported and funded to be at their best.”



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Washington, DC (September 26, 2018) Today, the House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Included in the reauthorization is a bill introduced by Congressman Pearce to modernize the Roswell International Air center through the Military Airport Program (MAP).

“Today’s reauthorization of the FAA will ensure that both commercial airlines and general aviation enthusiast can continue to operate in a safe and productive manner. In addition to providing aviation certainty, this bill funds disaster relief programs for the communities impacted and now recovering from Hurricane Florence. This legislation also includes legislation I introduced that will benefit Roswell International Air Center and its surrounding communities,” said Pearce.

“My bill expands MAP to ensure that the original intent of the law is followed and that all military installations closed after 1965 are eligible for the infrastructure and modernization available under MAP. Roswell International Air Center has become a major economic driver for the city and Chaves County. Passage of my bill into law will assist the Air Center in making additional infrastructure improvements and attracting more businesses to the area. I appreciate the City of Roswell and Chaves County’s dedication to promoting economic opportunity and diversification at the airport. I am proud to be able to assist the community by passing this legislation today,” Pearce continued.

“Congressman Pearce’s inclusion of his MAP bill into the FAA reauthorization will provide a great economic impact not only to the city of Roswell, but to all of Chaves County. Allowing us to apply for MAP grants will help continue to make our Air Center an international attraction. I appreciate Congressman Pearce, for listening the community and having the determination to get this important piece of legislation included in the FAA reauthorization. I look forward to seeing the lasting impacts that this piece of legislation will have on our great city.” —Robert Corn, Chaves County Commissioner

“On behalf of the citizens of Roswell and all of New Mexico I wish express my thanks to Congressman Pearce for his work in getting his MAP reform bill included in the FAA re-authorization. This legislation allows Roswell International Air Center, the former Walker AFB, to apply for grants that we have never been able to seek before. These grants  help communities transform former  military bases into centers of economic development. This benefits not just Roswell, or the region but all of the State of New Mexico. I wrote to Congressman Pearce six months ago and a problem that has festered for decades has been corrected. Thank You Congressman Pearce.” —Dennis Kintigh, Mayor of Roswell



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Washington, DC (September 24, 2018) Congressman Steve Pearce introduced legislation to re-name a Las Cruces veterans clinic as the Las Cruces Bataan Memorial Clinic. This legislation, the Las Cruces Bataan Memorial Clinic Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives.

“For the veterans of New Mexico, the Battle of Bataan holds a significant place in their history of service for our nation. Nearly 2,000 of the men involved in the Bataan Death March were members of New Mexico National Guard. Facing unspeakable hardship, the soldiers of Bataan looked danger head on for the sake of freedom and their fellow brothers in arms”, Pearce said.

“In an effort to honor the Battling Bastards of Bataan and to pay respect to all servicemembers who have valiantly served our country, I am proud to have introduced the ‘Las Cruces Bataan Memorial Clinic Act’. This bill pays only a small tribute to the soldiers that made that treacherous march, and to the families of the loved ones who never made it home. After receiving multiple letters of support from numerous veteran groups and elected officials in the community, it was clear that this was the best way to honor all of our veterans who put service before self, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our nation’s freedoms”.

Below, please find quotes from the support that my office received, along with the link to the complete content of the letters:

“We must honor these soldiers that sacrificed so much for this country and this community. We must never forget the epic struggle these courageous men went through. In closing, I will leave you with the words of a Lieutenant from the battlefield, “Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made it stand - - a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples pf the world - - cannot fall.” -Letter from The Alamogordo Retired Chiefs (E9) Group

“The Support for one another and perseverance displayed by the New Mexicans in the Bataan Death March exemplifies the American spirit. To express our gratitude, we support this bill to designate this clinic as the Las Cruces Bataan Memorial Clinic.” -Letter from the Disabled American Veterans of District 4 NM

“Our veterans deserve the representation and recognition they have rightfully earned, which is why the Lincoln/Otero Veterans Leadership Council supports the naming of the Las Cruces, New Mexico Community Outpatient Center after the service members who bravely fought in the Battle of Bataan.” -Letter form the Lincoln/Otero Veterans Leadership Council

“The families in this community would also be greatly honored to have the new outpatient center renamed after their loved ones who suffered so much during their four years of captivity. It would be a profound honor to our community and nation to have this center after those veterans.” -Letter form the VFW Post 3242




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Washington, D.C. (September 12, 2018) – A bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) aimed at detecting and preventing terrorism and other illicit finance activity passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The FinCEN Improvement Act would modernize the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) authorizing statute to ensure the law enforcement and intelligence communities work together to detect and stop criminals and terrorist networks.

“As lawmakers, we must make sure that we are doing everything in our power to provide law enforcement and intelligence communities with the ability to prevent illicit uses of our nation’s financial system. This legislation will ensure that FinCEN is able to track down financial crimes wherever they may occur—whether that is on tribal lands or in a case involving virtual currency. I am thankful to my colleagues within this committee for working diligently on this topic and am pleased to see this very important piece of legislation pass out of the House of Representatives,” said Pearce.

“Identifying and combatting the financing of terrorism and other illicit activity is key to keeping the U.S. safe. We need to be prepared and stay vigilant as we examine how terrorists and criminals use cryptocurrencies and other emerging technologies as well as traditional financing methods. This legislation will help FinCEN and our law enforcement agencies better understand potential threats and adapt to the continually changing landscape,” said Perlmutter.

A bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, FinCEN’s mission is to protect the American financial system from money laundering and other illicit uses though the collection, analysis and dissemination of financial intelligence. Currently, FinCEN’s authorizing statute is limited to combatting “international terrorism,” which leaves out domestic terrorist activity which is just as important to protecting our communities. H.R. 6411 would update FinCEN’s authorizing statute to include domestic terrorist activity and prioritizes emerging methods of financing illicit activity, including cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the legislation ensures FinCEN has the authority to work with Tribal law enforcement across the country, building upon the existing relationships with partners in foreign, Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.

Pearce and Perlmutter lead the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, with Pearce serving as the subcommittee’s Chairman and Perlmutter as its Ranking Member. The Subcommittee has held numerous hearings and meetings discussing cryptocurrencies and the role they play in financing illicit activities and terrorist groups, including a recent hearing on September 7th which examined terrorist groups and their means of financing illicit activity.

During that hearing Yaya Fanusie, Director of Analysis for the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance and Foundation for Defense Democracies stated:

“Terrorist groups regularly adapt their methods to their available resources, skill levels, and the opportunities presented in their target areas of operations. This is as true for financing as it is for plotting attacks. Terrorist organizations have a long history of exploiting banks and other traditional financial institutions, as well as semi-formal means of transferring funds, such as the hawala exchange system. But emerging financial technologies offer new channels to raise and move funds.”



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Washington, DC (September 5, 2018) Congressman Steve Pearce requested a detailed report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in order to learn more about how stolen tribal cultural items are surfacing in European auctions in 2016. The intention of this report was to identify current problems in order to introduce legislation that will put an end to these illicit acts and ensure Native American items are returned to their rightful owners - to tribes across New Mexico and the nation.

“Native American cultural items, specifically from New Mexico, have continually been discovered at various auctions houses in Europe. This practice is unacceptable and must be stopped immediately. That is why I requested this report two years ago, to identify failures in our current system and how to better protect and defend these items. I also led a bipartisan effort in Congress that resulted in a resolution condemning these sales. Paralleled by few, our great state is teeming with a rich cultural heritage dating back centuries that must be protected. As a New Mexican, I understand the significance of our culture and the importance behind ensuring that all items related to our history are preserved and kept by the tribes from which they have come. These artifacts have become simply another commercialized item, seen as a souvenir from history. This report outlines a number of problems and I look forward to presenting a bill to fix them and ensure that these items are protected and returned to where they belong.”

"The Pueblo of Acoma thanks Representative Pearce for his work securing this important GAO report.  He has been a champion in efforts to stop the illegal trafficking of tribes’ cultural heritage items.  The GAO's recommendations about the need to strengthen federal laws and to clearly prohibit export of tribes’ cultural heritage items should be followed so that more items come home to tribes.  The report shows an understanding of the sacred importance of these items to tribes," said Governor Riley from the Pueblo of Acoma.

Read the letter to the GAO, here.

Read the report from the GAO, here.




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Washington, DC (August 8, 2018) Congressman Steve Pearce congratulates New Mexico State University on receiving an award from the National Science Foundation.

Background: New Mexico State University is a leading institution for scientific research in the United States. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the University with an amount of $2,633,530.00, starting on September 1, 2018, aiding in the project, Resource Hub: The NSF National Resource Hub for STEM Education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions led by Elba Serrano. The NSF strongly supports research, innovation, and discovery in order to form a foundation for our nation’s economic growth.

“Continuing in its long-standing tradition of scholastic excellence, I am proud of my alma mater, New Mexico State University, for once again setting themselves apart from other universities across the nation. New Mexico houses several great universities that do cutting edge work and I am glad to see the National Science Foundation recognizing the excellent potential that lies within our great state. This NSF grant reiterates the fact that our state is a leading force for growth and cutting edge technology for our nation’s future. Go Aggies!”



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Contact Information

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

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Natural Resources

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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