Arkansas Congressional Delegation

Boozman: Farm Bill Efforts Moving Forward

Jan 8, 2014

Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says efforts are underway to finalize provisions in the federal farm bill. A group of congressmen and senators are expected to meet Thursday to approve additional changes to the conference report.

“As you start putting ideas in the form of legal language, it takes time. Those ideas then have to be scored by the Office of Management and Budget. Hopefully we will get this thing wrapped up soon,” said Boozman.

Arkansas' all-Republican House delegation split over a budget bill that eases across-the-board federal spending cuts and prevents future government shutdowns.

U.S. Reps. Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted in favor of the bill, while U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford and Tom Cotton opposed the measure. The bill passed with bipartisan support Thursday on a 332-94 vote and heads to the Senate.

The agreement would set overall spending levels for the current budget year and the one that begins on Oct. 1, 2014.

Some conservative advocacy groups and Tea Party supporters in Arkansas and elsewhere are not pleased with measures outlined in a new bipartisan budget agreement.

They are concerned that the measure does not balance the budget, nor does it include major reforms to Medicare and Social Security. 

U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says he understands the criticisms and will not be supporting the deal.  

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor says he has signed on to legislation that would grandfather thousands of Americans' health care plans.

Pryor said in a statement Thursday that he signed on to a measure that would oblige insurance companies to continue offering existing paying customers continued coverage under any plans in effect at the end of 2013.

Millions of consumers received health care cancellation notices, and lawmakers in both parties have

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Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt is preparing to announce whether he'll run for the Democratic nomination for a south Arkansas congressional seat.

Witt scheduled a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon to announce his decision regarding the 4th Congressional District seat. Witt has been exploring a run during the past several weeks and has been touring the district.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
minnesota.publicradio.org / Minnesota Public Radio

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is urging passage of the nation's farm bill. Vilsack spoke in Little Rock yesterday as politicians in Washington were set to begin negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion bill.

The farm bill sets policy for farm subsidies, rural development projects and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, better known as food stamps. The fight over renewing the farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamps program.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
minnesota.publicradio.org / Minnesota Public Radio

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is traveling to Arkansas this week amid questions about the nation's farm policies.

Vilsack is scheduled to visit Little Rock on Wednesday to talk about the need for Congress to pass the nation's farm bill.

The farm bill sets policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other rural development projects. The fight over renewing the farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program.

Members of the House and Senate are set to begin negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion bill this week.

Ann Clemmer
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The Republican primary for a central Arkansas congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin could get more crowded.

State Rep. Ann Clemmer of Benton planned Wednesday to announce whether she'll seek the Republican nomination for the 2nd Congressional District. If she runs, she'll be the third Republican to launch a bid since Griffin announced last week that he wouldn't seek re-election next year.

Members of Arkansas's congressional delegation supported legislation to reopen the federal government and avoid a threatened national default. 

The House voted 285-144 in support of the bill Wednesday night. Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted for the measure. 

After the House vote, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he reluctantly supported it. It passed the U.S. Senate 81-18 on Wednesday night with the support of Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, according to the Senate's website.

Pryor Targets Cotton Over Syria Stance

Sep 27, 2013

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is criticizing Republican rival Rep. Tom Cotton for supporting military action in Syria, while a conservative group backing Cotton is launching radio ads portraying the Arkansas senator as too liberal.

Pryor's campaign on Thursday targeted Cotton for being the only member of the state's congressional delegation who publicly supports giving the president authority to strike Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

A website launched by the campaign cited the stance as an example of misplaced priorities by Cotton.

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