A Note from John
I am honored by the trust you have placed in me to serve as your United States Senator in Washington, D.C. It is a privilege that I do not take for granted. Recently I was asked by a young constituent what I liked the most about being a Senator. To me the answer is pretty clear - I like having the ability to help the people of Arkansas. Whether there’s an issue with Social Security, or someone having a problem with getting the medical care they need, I enjoy responding to their calls and finding a solution.
When I first ran for the Senate, I made a promise to my fellow Arkansans - that I would not be intimidated by old school politicians in Washington and that I would listen to the people of Arkansas and work on the issues most important to you. No doubt, there's a lot of work to do, but I am pleased that we are making progress and getting the people's work done. Here’s some of what we’ve accomplished this year:
I Voted No to Irresponsible Spending
I voted NO on the latest funding deal. With our national debt reaching over $18 trillion dollars, the American people are demanding that Washington make serious efforts to rein in the out of control spending of the Obama Administration.
Instead, both Houses passed a $1.1 trillion bill that grows the federal government and busts the budget caps with $50 billion in new spending.
Even though this massive bill contained some provisions that I support because they will help Arkansans, I simply could not vote for legislation that contains such irresponsible spending. It's the same reason I voted against the budget agreement that was reached at the end of October. We must show taxpayers that we are serious about reining in federal spending.
I Voted to Repeal Obamacare and Defund Planned Parenthood
I voted to repeal key parts of Obamacare and to defund Planned Parenthood. Americans are tired of the broken promises of Obamacare. The law remains unworkable, unaffordable and more unpopular. With this vote, the Senate took a crucial step forward in beginning to lift the burdens and higher costs the law has placed on all Americans.
Planned Parenthood has shown a clear disregard for the sanctity of life and hardworking taxpayers should not be footing the bill for these inhumane practices. This bill redirects money from the organization to other women's health services providers to ensure that taxpayers are not funding Planned Parenthood's indefensible actions.
Fighting EPA Power-Grabs
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated federal law when promoting its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
The EPA’s illegal campaign shows the desperate measures the agency was willing to take to hide the overwhelming opposition to WOTUS. The GAO ruling proves that this was a manufactured public relations campaign unknowingly funded by taxpayers who oppose this EPA power-grab. It’s proof that the Obama Administration is willing to break the law to get its way.
Arkansans understand we don’t need DC bureaucrats controlling our land. That is why I stand with the homeowners, small businesses and family farmers in Arkansas in opposition to the WOTUS mandate. The Senate passed a resolution that reflects the American people’s rejection of this heavy-handed mandate and shows our commitment to a balanced and thoughtful approach to water quality protection. The President needs to understand the American people’s opposition to this power-grab is very real.
I also joined with my colleagues to pass two similar resolutions of disapproval of the EPA’s misguided carbon mandate. These resolutions would prevent this carbon mandate power-grab from taking effect, protecting Arkansans from a dramatic increase in electricity costs, which would be devastating for low-income families and seniors living on fixed-incomes.
Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Approves My Bill to Help Homeless Veterans
I authored legislation that would reauthorize current veteran homelessness programs and clarify qualifications for existing housing assistance benefits. This is a great step toward ending the cycle of homelessness endured by so many of our veterans. I will continue to work to ensure that my legislation becomes law. Enacting long-term programs that provide the resources, tools and training our veterans earned will help eliminate veteran homelessness.
Important Senate Action in 2015
- Passed the first bicameral budget since 2009, which was the first balanced budget since 2001
- All twelve appropriations bills were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee for the first time in six years
- Passed legislation that would create jobs and strengthen our economy by moving the Keystone XL Pipeline forward, a project that was unwisely rejected by the Obama Administration
- Landmark education reform expanding state and local control was passed and signed into law
- The first long-term highway bill since 2005 was passed and signed into law
- Major Medicare reform legislation that will ensure seniors can receive care by permanently ending automatic cuts to providers was passed and signed into law
- Passed legislation to ensure the American people would have a say in the Iran nuclear agreement, an ill-advised and dangerous move by the Obama Administration that was negotiated behind closed doors
- The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a bill that will help America continue to lead in the international fight to end modern day slavery, was passed and signed into law
- The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a landmark bill to improve mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans, was passed and signed into law
Next year I will be campaigning for reelection. 2016 is also a Presidential Election year. After almost 8 years living with the Obama Administration, I know you will agree that we must elect a conservative Republican President - someone who will return our country to the core conservative principles that have made America great.
Radical terrorism must be dealt with quickly and effectively and I am confident that a Republican President will do exactly that. I look forward to bringing jobs to Arkansas, replacing Obamacare with a patient-centered health care plan that the people of Arkansas want, and continuing to work on the issues that are important to the people of our state.
All Americans want our nation to be confident again. Americans need to be confident that if they don't have a job, they can find one and that it will pay well.
Our seniors need to be confident that their years of hard work, and years of paying taxes, will be rewarded and that Medicare and Social Security will be there for them.
Our children and grandchildren need the assurance that we are not going to tax and spend their future away.
And when our veterans return home they must be confident that they will return to a grateful nation, and that our country will provide all of the benefits that they were promised.
And America needs to regain the respect of the world. Our nation stands for freedom - we must continue to shine that beacon brightly.
I personally ask for your support of my reelection campaign. Please be an active member of our team. There are many ways to be involved – make a financial contribution to my reelection, become a fan on Facebook and/or follow our campaign on twitter.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful wrap up of 2015 and a terrific New Year!