Arkansas Congressional Delegation

Arkansas' four congressmen have split on a $1.1 trillion spending bill for operating the federal government until just before next fall's election.

U.S. Reps. Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted for the measure that passed the U.S. House Wednesday and provides money for virtually every federal agency. Reps. Tom Cotton and Rick Crawford voted against the measure. All four are Republicans.

The 1,582-page bill passed the House on a 359-67 vote. The measure eases many but not all of the automatic spending cuts that took effect last year.

Legislature Will Meet To Discuss 2015 Budget

Jan 13, 2014

The finance department projects a 2% increase of about $95 million  in general revenue, available for state agencies to spend in the upcoming fiscal year. The Legislative Council and Joint Budget Committee begin meetings Tuesday to discuss the current 2014 fiscal session and the 2015 budget which goes into affect July 1st.

Representative Duncan Baird, Joint Budget Committee Co-Chairman, says the Department of Human Services will join them Thursday to discuss Medicaid and the private option.

Delay In Pay For Arkansas National Guard Members

Jan 13, 2014

Members of the Arkansas National Guard aren’t getting paid due to multiple delays delegated by Congress. KUAR's Maggie Carroll spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Keith Moore of the National Guard.

They discussed how the delays are affecting the 10,000 Arkansan members of the National Guard and their families, as well as budgeting issues they are now facing. Click the audio clip above to hear their conversation. 

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

Wikimedia Commons

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.

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