Arkansas Congressional Delegation

Bruce Westerman
c-span.org

A bill sponsored by Arkansas’s fourth District Congressman Bruce Westerman, to recalibrate management plans of forests on federal lands has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill passed on a 262 to  167 vote, with many Democrats voting against. On the house floor Westerman spoke of the need for better forest management.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (4th District) speaking in 2013 at the Arkansas Capitol when he was a State Rep.
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Republican Congressman Bruce Westerman's first piece of major legislation is to go up for a final vote Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives.

KUAR's Chris Hickey has a look at what the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 would do and why it came about.

Westerman has a background in forestry, having received a Master's Degree in the subject from Yale University. So it goes that Westerman turned his Congressional attention to a bill affecting management of forests on federal land.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A measure filed Thursday by Arkansas's Fourth District Representative would direct expanded Medicaid funds to the ailing Federal Highway Trust Fund. Republican Bruce Westerman's bill would direct expanded medicaid funds to the Fund. The bill would lower the amount the federal government contributes to state Medicaid programs, expanded under the Affordable Care Act, by returning the federal matching rates to pre-expansion levels.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R) at Little Rock's VA Hospital
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

KAUFFMAN: President Obama is in Panama meeting at the Summit of the Americas and it could pay big dividends for Arkansas rice growers. U.S. Senator John Boozman - a Republican from Rogers – joins me in the studio. Thanks for being here. 

BOOZMAN: Thank you so much for having me Jacob.

KAUFFMAN: The more sensational news coming out of the President’s journey to meet with leaders from South America, Central America and the Caribbean, is that for the first time Cuba will be there. Is this one more signal, in an avalanche that better economic ties are around the corner?

U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R) at Little Rock's VA Hospital
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas health care provider are hoping a conversation they've started with staff members of U.S. Sen. John Boozman will help speed up the payment of thousands of outstanding reimbursement claims for medical care provided to military veterans.

Boozman's staff met Wednesday in North Little Rock with representatives of health care facilities, physician advocacy groups and veteran's liaisons to address what they say is a growing problem in Arkansas - that of unpaid medical bills of veterans.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (4th District) speaking in 2013 at the Arkansas Capitol when he was a State Rep.
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas’s new delegation in the U.S. House voted in unison Wednesday on a funding bill intended to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from following President Obama’s executive order on immigration.

4th District Representative Bruce Westerman took to the floor for his first time ever to address an amendment related to the funding bill. Westerman objected both to the President’s policy and the fact it came through an executive order.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The former chairwoman of Arkansas's Public Service Commission now holds a position on the influential Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission, also known as FERC. An investiture ceremony for Honorable was held at the federal courthouse in Little Rock Friday.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (4th District) speaking in 2013 at the Arkansas Capitol when he was a State Rep.
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas's members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to remove a requirement that employers with over 100 employees (50 next year) have to offer health insurance to those working more than 30 hours a week or face a penalty. The legislation would set the new standard at 40 hours a week. 

The previous class of the House passed a similar measure but this year, with the Senate in Republican hands, the legislation could head to the President's desk for the first time.

U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-2nd Dist.)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Kauffman: I’m joined by central Arkansas’s Congressman-elect French Hill. Thanks for coming down.

Hill: My pleasure, good to be with you.

Committee Assignment

Kauffman: It’s not quite final yet, but you’ll be taking your seat next month and you’ve already received a committee assignment – and it’s an important one. You’ll be dealing with housing, banks…names like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Arkansas Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman says he's confident the legislation to build the Keystone XL Pipeline project will pass the next Congress when Republicans take control of the Senate.

Boozman's remarks came on the heels of the Democrat-controlled Senate's narrow defeat of a bill to approve the project on Tuesday.

The final vote was 59-41. The bill needed 60 votes to reach the White House. The House passed it overwhelmingly last week.

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