Rep. Ben Quayle Reiterates Call for Holder Resignation Following Hearing

WASHINGTON (DC) – Congressman Ben Quayle released the following statement after a House Judiciary Committee hearing where he questioned Holder directly about the fundamentally flawed “Operation Fast and Furious”.

“Once again, Attorney General Holder tossed away an opportunity to cooperate with the Congressional investigation into the tragic ‘Operation Fast and Furious’. Once again, he did not come clean with the American people about who authorized the operation; who knew about the operation; or when officials at the Justice Department became aware of the operation.”

“I have previously called for Attorney General Holder’s resignation, and more recently called for an immediate floor vote on a contempt of Congress resolution against him. I have long felt that this Attorney General does not garner the confidence and respect demanded of the nation’s top law enforcement officer. I certainly do not believe he’s demonstrated the forthrightness and transparency we expect to see from a person in that post. Today’s hearing unfortunately did nothing to erase my concerns, and in fact strengthened them.

“Attorney General Holder must resign immediately. ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ was ill-conceived and the victims of it deserve to see those responsible held accountable. Attorney General Holder has stood as a roadblock to accountability since this operation came to light. The foot dragging must end, and this Attorney General must go.”

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Rep. Ben Quayle Responds to Disappointing Jobs Report

WASHINGTON (DC) – Congressman Ben Quayle released the following statement in response to the May jobs report, which showed the unemployment rate rising to 8.2% and just 69,000 jobs being added.

“Today’s poor jobs report is yet another sad testament to the failure of President Obama’s economic policy. Well into a supposed economic recovery, the unemployment rate is still above 8%. The President’s policies have failed to energize our economy and bring security and opportunity to struggling families in Arizona and across America. 

“The President has tried debt-driven stimulus measures. He’s tried tax-code gimmicks and subsidy stunts. It’s time he tried simplifying the tax code, reining in regulation and red tape and scrapping his disastrous healthcare bill. For Arizona, where our unemployment rate exceeds the national average, the time for smart economic policy can’t come soon enough.”

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Rep. Ben Quayle Pays Tribute to Our Fallen Soldiers

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Wil Cardon: Congressman Jeff Flake Continues to Waste Money for Travel

Phoenix, Arizona – A recent study by CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, found that Congressman Jeff Flake has no shame when it comes to the amount of government money he is willing to waste. Phoenix’s KPHO-TV highlighted the study’s findings in which Congressman Flake has reimbursed himself $20,000 for travel, meals and other expenses. In a time when our country faces over $15 trillion of debt and 14 million Americans are unemployed, Congressman Flake thinks we should be footing the bill for his extravagant congressional lifestyle. When KPHO-TV reached out to Congressman Flake for an answer on why he finds it appropriate to waste $20,000, the sixth term congressman had no response.

Arizonans can’t afford Congressman Flake!

In case you missed it…

KPHO CBS Channel 5

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Study: Some AZ Reps. Use position to benefit themselves

PHOENIX (CBS5) – Do you ever wonder how much money your lawmakers give to groups?

A new study spells it all out for the United States House of Representatives.

Of Arizona’s seven representatives, only three are mentioned in the study.

The group behind it is CREW, or Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

It decided to look into how many U.S. representatives used their positions to benefit themselves or their families.

The group claimed the answer is more than half.

People like Rep. Ron Paul, who’s campaign paid more family members than any other representative, the study said.

You’ll also see Congressman Jeff Flake, Ben Quayle and Ed Pastor mentioned.

Quayle seems to be the lightest offender in the report.

It said he gave $250 to his dad’s company for facility rental and staffing services.

The report claimed Flake reimbursed himself nearly $20,000 for travel, meals and other expenses.

Then there’s Rep. Ed Pastor.

According to the report, his wife and nephew used to work with Chicanos Por La Causa, and CREW claimed Pastor has earmarked more than $1.8 million to the group from 2008 to 2010.

The report also said Pastor gave his daughter a big one up on the competition getting her a job at South Mountain Community College.

It said Pastor earmarked nearly a million dollars in 2008 and 2009 to the school’s ACE program and steered over a million dollars in federal grants to the program four months after his daughter was hired.

Coincidentally, her salary was at the very top of the pay scale.

CBS 5 News reached out to Quayle, Flake and Pastor for this story.

The only one who responded was Pastor.

His office said he has declined to comment.

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Rep. Ben Quayle Legislation Wins Committee Passage

WASHINGTON (DC) – Congressman Ben Quayle issued the following statement after his bill, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2012 (H.R. 3862) passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. H.R. 3862 would increase the transparency and fairness of federal rulemaking by allowing public input and requiring notice when activist groups seek to impose new rules and regulations on the public through lawsuit settlements with regulatory agencies–a process known as sue-and-settle regulation.

“The Obama Administration’s regulatory onslaught has done more than saddle America’s small businesses with thousands of new rules and regulations. It has also opened the door to pro-regulation environmental and other interest groups to use sue-and-settle agreements to impose even more, and harsher rules. To make matters worse, this is being done behind closed doors with little or no public input. 

“I’m grateful that the House Judiciary Committee has taken action on this bill and passed it on for a vote of the full House. The real world consequences of backroom regulation are great. Arizonans’ electricity costs may soon increase by 20% as a result of a regulation created through the “sue and settle” process. It’s time to restore transparency and fairness to federal rulemaking, and slow the onslaught of sue-and-settle regulation.” 

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith praised Rep. Quayle’s work on the bill and congratulated him on committee passage:

“I thank Mr. Quayle for his introduction of H.R. 3862 and congratulate him on its passage by the House Judiciary Committee. America’s small businesses and job creators need relief from the flood of new regulations and red tape made in Washington. A heavy contributor to the burden of new regulation is the use of consent decrees and settlement agreements to force federal agencies to issue new rules. This bill makes sure that those to be regulated have a fair opportunity to participate in the resolution of litigation over the regulatory process. And it provides needed transparency on the ways agencies conduct their business.”

BACKGROUND ON HR 3862

An avalanche of federal regulations is burying America’s job creators. The Small Business Administration recently estimated the annual federal regulatory burden to reach $1.75 trillion—equal to $15,586 per year for each U.S. household. According to a recent Gallup survey, “small-business owners in the United States are most likely to say complying with government regulations . . . is the most important problem facing them today.” Yet the Obama Administration’s current regulatory agenda has 3,118 regulations in the pipeline, 167 of which will have a major impact on the economy—on top of 1,010 regulations already completed, including 45 with major impacts.

A critical, growing driver of the regulatory onslaught—particularly environmental regulation like EPA’s Utility MACT and Greenhouse Gas rules—lies in consent decrees and settlement agreements that force new regulations to be promulgated. In what is known as “sue-and-settle” regulation, pro-regulatory interest groups often sue agencies that have not yet promulgated rules authorized or required by statute. In these cases, plaintiffs and the agencies agree behind closed doors to fast-moving deadlines for new rules, then propose consent decrees and settlement agreements that back the deadlines with judicial authority. These decrees and settlements often blindside states and regulated entities that will be affected by the new regulations, provide little time for public notice and comment or assessment of small business impacts, and short-circuit White House review of costs and benefits. Even the text of proposed rules is sometimes pre-negotiated by the sue-and-settle parties—foreordaining the regulations under which everyone else will have to live.

H.R. 3862, the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2012,” introduced by Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ), contains strong reforms against collusive sue-and-settle regulation, including terms that:

  • force agencies to inform the public and Congress of all sue-and-settle consent decrees, settlement agreements, judicial complaints, and attorneys’ fee awards;
  • prohibit sue-and-settle parties from proposing consent decrees and settlement agreements until intervenors have had a chance to enter the case and participate in settlement negotiations;
  • require decrees and settlements to go through public notice and comment before they can be filed with the court;
  • allow public commentors presumptive amicus curiae status when the parties move the court to approve the decrees and settlements;
  • require the court to consider the agency’s competing mandatory duties before approving a decree or settlement;
  • assure that the decree or settlement allow sufficient time and procedure for the agency to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable statutes and executive orders that govern rulemaking; and
  • make it easier for subsequent administrations to seek modification of sue-and-settle consent decrees due to obligations to fulfill other duties or changed facts and circumstances.

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Ben Quayle Decries President Obama’s Duplicity and Weakness

WASHINGTON (DC) – Congressman Ben Quayle released the following statement regarding President Obama’s comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev which were caught on an open microphone. President Obama asked for “space” on the issue of missile defense until after he is reelected:

“It is hard to believe that a President of the United States could demonstrate as much duplicity, weakness and cynicism as President Obama did in his open-mic comments to President Medvedev. For the leader of the free world to communicate to another nation that he would say one thing to the American people and do another as a reelected President is absolutely stunning.

“The purpose of American missile defense is to protect America and its allies from the terror of nuclear weapons—no matter their source. The President’s willingness to compromise that security in any way is a gross dereliction of duty.

“Since the President was caught on tape admitting he will say one thing and do another on a vital national security matter, I have to wonder what other issues he would shift positions on if he were elected to a second term. America needs a President that will lead with clarity and conviction. We need a leader that will negotiate from a position of strength—not a leader who will negotiate away our strengths.

“President Obama has shown that his word cannot be trusted either by the American people, or America’s allies. That alone should disqualify him from the second term he hopes will liberate him from his duty to stand up for America’s interests.”

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Guest Opinion: Has Raul Grijalva Finally Met His Match?

By Andy Kirchoff

It’s time for another round of America’s favorite political quiz game, “Who’s that Politician?”

Blanca GuerraFor 100 points and a trip to Arizona: “This Grand Canyon State resident was one of 31 congressmen to vote to refuse to certify Ohio election results in 2004, and in 2008 was rated the most liberal congressman in the country by the National Journal. He even co-chairs the House Progressive Caucus with Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN).”

The correct answer is Rep. Raul Grijalva (minus 100 point for anyone who answered Gabrielle Giffords. She’s far more moderate in both her politics and persona). In spite of this deeply liberal worldview (and voting record to match), he has handily won re-election in his D+6 District since his first foray into Congress back in 2002. There are various reasons for his electoral success. I would speculate that part of his success is simply due to his visible contrast to the rest of the Arizona political class. In a political climate defined by the politics of immigration restriction, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is an anomaly. Rather than embrace the “stand with Arizona” motto of the tea party, he opted to organize a “big-business” boycott of the very state he represents in Congress. When SB1070 author and now former State Senator Russell Pearce (R-AZ) was pandering to neonazis and racists, Grijalva was organizing for the pro-reconquista group MEChA. If nothing else, Grijalva has been the voice of the disaffected fringe left of Arizona – such political posturing is bound to attract some political support, even as it alienates other potential allies.

A more likely (admittedly partial) explanation of Grijalva’s political success is his strong support from Veteran’s Groups. His record on veteran’s issues is indeed very commendable; he’s filed and/or supported many bills on behalf of Veterans over the years, including the popular REVAMP Act, a bill designed to repair crumbling Veteran’s facilities. Certainly, focusing constituent services on veteran’s assistance is a praiseworthy trait. Alas, “one-issue” voters do not a Republic make, and Grijalva’s attention to this issue can’t conceal his far left-of-center beliefs on other issues.

Enter Blanca Guerra, Arizona co-leader of Café Con Leche Republicans. She’s pro-immigration reform, but doesn’t embrace Rep. Grijalva’s economic extremism. She’s socially conservative with private sector experience and business acumen. She’s even able to neutralize Grijalva’s pro-veteran bona fides, as Blanca is a veteran of the United States Air Force. Grijalva’s renown and the overall partisan nature of the 7th CD will certainly be difficult to overcome. Nonetheless, Grijalva’s intemperate and ill-fated response to SB1070, when combined with his virulently left-wing ideology, could allow a Republican the opportunity to oust him from his seat. Needless to say, we’re very proud of Blanca here at CCLR, and we’d love nothing more than to see Blanca’s campaign send shockwaves throughout the Arizona political establishment. Here’s your chance, Arizona GOPers: let’s give Blanca the support she needs to win this thing!

Grijalva has little support from fellow Democrats, voters prefer Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

TUCSON, AZ – In a survey of Southern Arizona voters, over 78% of Democrats and Independents disapproved or strongly disapproved of Congressman Raul Grijalva’s performance as their congressman. Republican challenger, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer is the preferred choice of Independents and Republicans.

Congressman Grijalva called for a boycott of Arizona in his protest of immigration law passed by the state’s legislature. He struggled to secure a win in his last race for Congress against Republican opponent, Ruth McClung.

In the same poll, when asked which candidate voters favored between his new Republican opponent Gabriela Saucedo Mercer and Grijalva, 65% of Democrats and 43% of Independents choose Saucedo Mercer, and 30% of Democrats and 19% of Independents were undecided.

“The congressman turned his back on the people of Arizona. Rather than working with them on the difficult issues facing our region, he called for a boycott. At a time when other representatives were fighting to bring jobs back home to their states, Grijalva was destroying jobs in our state. When I get to the Capitol, I will work to create policies that will allow small business owners to put America and Arizona back to work,” said Saucedo Mercer.

The poll was commissioned by Arizona Strategies.

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Rep. Ben Quayle Pushes Border Security Bill to Committee Passage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
CONTACT: Zach Howell

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ben Quayle released the following statement after legislation he cosponsored, the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012 (H.R. 4119), was reported out of committee by a unanimous vote. The bill increases criminal penalties for constructing, financing or using cross-border smuggling tunnels. Congressman Quayle has been working with the sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), to advance the bill through the Judiciary Committee.

“For more than twenty years, dangerous drug cartels have been using illegal cross-border tunnels to smuggle drugs into the United States—74 of these tunnels have been found in Arizona alone. The penalties for those caught constructing, financing and using these tunnels have been absurdly low, and I’m glad to join Congressman Reyes in addressing this problem.

“I have been working to get this bill through the Judiciary Committee, and I’m grateful to Chairman Smith and my colleagues for their support in reporting this bill out of the committee to the House floor. It is time to stop the rampant construction and use of border tunnels and I believe that this legislation will accomplish exactly that when it is enacted”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith congratulated Rep. Quayle following the committee’s passage of the bill:

“I congratulate Representative Quayle on the Committee’s passage of the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012. I appreciate his leadership on this important legislation to help combat the construction of cross-border tunnels. Drug cartels will stop at nothing to get their destructive products into the U.S. In the last five years, 40 tunnels have been discovered in California and 74 in Arizona. This bill gives law enforcement officials the tools they need to investigate and prosecute those who construct, finance and use cross-border tunnels.”

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Rep. Quayle Responds to Obama’s Latest Budget Bust

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2012
CONTACT: Zach Howell

WASHINGTON (DC) – Congressman Ben Quayle released the following statement regarding the release of President Obama’s proposed FY 2012 budget:

“President Obama has already added trillions to the national debt, but he’s not done drowning us in red ink yet. Far from keeping his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, the President sent us a budget blueprint that would continue increasing the size of the deficit, and would pile on trillions in new debt over the next decade.

“At a time when the economy is struggling to get back on track, the last thing we should be doing is adding $1.9 trillion in new taxes as President Obama suggests. The President just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that our nation is in real danger unless we take meaningful actions right away to reduce spending and debt. This willfully ignorant budget is more about the President’s reelection than it is about finding solutions to this country’s problems.”

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