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WASHINGTON (AP) — The three Republican senators responsible for comprehensive immigration legislation, which remains stalled in Congress, Thursday urged President Barack Obama to hold off on any steps to shield millions of people from deportation.
"Acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you could take — completely undermining any good-faith effort to meaningfully address this important issue, which would be a disservice to the needs of the American people," Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida wrote to Obama.
Obama has said he would act after next week's midterm elections as Congress has failed to pass legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration system. The president said he would take steps to increase border security, upgrade the processing of border crossers and encourage legal immigration.
He also said he would offer immigrants who have been illegally in the United States for some time a way to become legal residents, pay taxes, pay a fine and learn English.
The president had promised to act this past summer, but delayed any decisions until after the elections, drawing the wrath of immigration advocacy groups and complaints from Republicans of "raw politics."
The three senators said in the letter that no presidential action should be taken until "we have properly secured our southern border and provided for effective enforcement of immigration laws." They complained that any executive action would undermine congressional efforts to reform the system.
McCain, Graham and Rubio were members of the so-called Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group that put together a broad overhaul of immigration that boosted border security, increased visas for legal immigrants and a provided a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.
The Senate passed the measure on a bipartisan vote in June 2013, but the Republican-led House has failed to act on any broad measure despite promises from GOP leaders that they would address the issue. Time is running out on the Senate-passed bill, with no indication that the House would vote during a postelection, lame-duck session.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The three Republican senators responsible for comprehensive immigration legislation, which remains stalled in Congress, on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to hold off on any steps to shield millions of people from deportation.
Arizonans are painfully aware of the skyrocketing costs of health care. Both federal and state governments continue to ask for more tax dollars to pay for Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taxpayers are contributing more than ever for health care for the less fortunate. Those below 133 percent of the federal poverty level now qualify for Medicaid and those using an ACA exchange receive a heavy subsidy. These programs will be inordinately expensive. Proposition 480 fails to acknowledge these massive changes and the sacrifices taxpayers are already making by asking for a 27-year, $1.6 billion bond and tax increase for the old way of doing health care business. At this point, the county hospital is only a true safety net for illegal immigrants because they do not qualify for AHCCCS or ACA, which begs the question why only Maricopa County property taxpayers should pay for a federal responsibility.
Q: Why are you running
Q: Why are you running?
A: I want to grow our economy and provide a bright future for our children. Our Legislature needs to focus on long-term goals, not just short-term requirements.
I’m running because a strong economy demands a prepared workforce and a reliable infrastructure. For over 25 years, I’ve been in business. I’ve worked for multi-national corporations as a computer systems analyst, and I’ve been an entrepreneur. For 25 years, I’ve been building coalitions of parents and community members for quality public education. With a team, I co-founded the local group, Yes Public Ed, and the statewide group, the APPLE Coalition, to develop continuous dialogue between elected officials and community members — parents, teachers, retirees, and business leaders — for quality public education.
We need leaders who understand technology and collaboration because those are the keys to the innovation economy and the good jobs with great pay and a ladder to advancement. I will work to bring business and education leaders together to focus on preparing our most important resource, our people, for the challenges of global competition. I will always keep a keen eye for innovations that can support Arizona’s businesses, because when our businesses are strong, Arizona is strong.
Q: Arizona is predicted to be among the fastest-growing states in terms of job growth in the coming years. What can Arizona do to accelerate the growth and what industries should it target, especially for residents of your district?
A: There are several opportunities to accelerate job growth in Arizona, and growing jobs is my No 1 priority. We need high-paying jobs that have a ladder for advancement, and create positive economic ripple effects for all of Arizona.
The Research and Development Refundable Tax Credit has been a successful program to help startups in the innovation economy to grow. The return on investment has been beneficial. With a $15 million investment, we can attribute $2.26 billion of growth in our economy. From millions to billions is a good ROI! I have been meeting with innovation entrepreneurs in places like TechShop and Gangplank to learn more about the resources they need to grow manufacturing jobs here.
To encourage more companies to relocate or expand in Arizona, we need a great business environment that includes a full complement of factors: talented workforce, low taxes, reliable infrastructure and quality of life. We need a talented workforce to continue to attract companies, like Intel, Honeywell and Fuji Film, as economic anchors. In conversations with people who work in these large multinational firms, I’ve heard repeatedly that they want more Arizona graduates in STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math. I’ve attended the Sci-Tech Festivals to learn more about how excellence in these important fields is being encouraged.
By supporting education, and certain capital programs for startups, we can help more and more people to not only get a job, we can help them to make more jobs!
Q: Given the state’s decision to back out of the PARCC test, should Arizona continue to follow Common Core standards? If not, what standards should the state implement for its students?
A: The ACCRS (Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards) are not perfect. We need an Arizona solution to prepare our students to be college and career-ready. We must have high standards in our schools so that we will have high standards in our workforce and quality of life.
Q: The approval of Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid funding was a contentious issue in 2013. Now with a year gone, was the decision by Brewer and the Legislature the correct decision for Arizona?
A: It was the correct decision. With the AHCCCS Restoration, we have a healthier workforce and a healthier budget. Repealing the plan is and extreme reaction. That would leave a huge deficit in the budget and it would mean that our tax dollars — paid by Arizonans — would go to other states instead of helping our state.
With the plan in place, health care providers — that are major economic pillars — are reporting much better financial results. The math continues to work. The health care industry provides not only great jobs with high pay, but also helps to keep more Arizonans healthy and productive at work.
Q: Given recent protestations about “dark money” affecting political campaigns, is there a problem with the campaign finance system in Arizona? Similarly, would you vote to present campaign finance reform legislation to voters in the next two election cycles?
A: “Dark money” is dangerous because it can open the door to corruption. If we don’t know who is donating to a campaign, we cannot know the true intentions of the campaign.
Accountability and transparency have always been important to me. As a school board member, I worked hard with staff members to bring more community members into the district to be included in decisions, and I spoke up repeatedly for clear communications that did not hide the truth behind jargon. I will continue to stand for improving transparency in the state.
Q: Why are you running?
A: Washington doesn’t get it. I’ve been there less than two years and I have watched both parties spend more time fighting each other than working to solve our country’s problems. The layers of bureaucracy are mind-numbing. The unwillingness of leadership to face our real problems and propose realistic solutions that can actually get done is frustrating.
I ran for Congress to change Washington, and I am not giving up. I voted for the No Budget No Pay Act because Congress should not get paid if they don’t do their work. I also voted against my own pay raise. Congress doesn’t need a pay raise, especially when Arizonans are struggling. I am also fighting to reform the VA and ensure that veterans get the health care they have earned and deserve. I voted to protect Social Security and Medicare for our seniors and future generations and I support efforts to make sure every woman has access to birth control.
Q: Have the issues at the VA been properly addressed? What else would you like to see done to help veterans in our area?
A: No, when I read the allegations about false record-keeping and fraudulent wait times at the Phoenix VA, I was furious. I demanded answers from the VA and called for Secretary Shinseki’s resignation. We created a Phoenix VA Information Center on our official website to keep constituents updated on our work to hold the VA accountable and get veterans the care they deserve. I co-sponsored the VA reform legislation recently signed into law and am working with the VA to implement these critical reforms. Our office convened a working group to bring the VA and community organizations together to better serve veterans in Arizona. We also hosted a Veterans First resource fair in Phoenix that served over 400 veterans in one day and we are planning another one in the East Valley now. We created a Veterans Resource Guide to help veterans find resources for medical and mental health care and services.
Q: What kind of effect has the Affordable Care Act had on Arizonans?
A: The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect and I am frustrated with how the administration has handled it. Rather than spending time trying to repeal it, members from both sides should come together to improve it, so it works better. The law makes important changes that will help families. Health insurance companies are no longer in charge of people’s health care decisions, and can no longer deny people with pre-existing conditions and drop people when they get sick. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to cover all Americans and hold down costs.
Q: What are your thoughts on the recent ruling and impending hearing about gay marriage in Arizona? And do you support the state’s ban on it?
A: I oppose the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Every committed family should be treated equally under the law and have the same rights and protections.
Q: What can Congress do to spur job growth in our area? What industries would you target?
A: Working with Arizona businesses is one of my top priorities. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I pushed for the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which supports hundreds of jobs across Arizona. I also supported the recent extension of the R&D tax credit to encourage innovation, job growth and research for companies in Arizona. Every month, I meet with businesses and business leaders in our community to hear their concerns and work to support the business community. I am dedicated to making sure business owners — both large and small — have what they need to succeed.
Q. Why are you running?
Republican congressional challenger Andy Tobin blamed incumbent Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick Wednesday for everything from higher health care premiums to the problems in the Veterans Administration health care system.
Democrat Fred DuVal and Republican Doug Ducey sparred on several issues during their first gubernatorial debate Wednesday in Chandler.
Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal are set to debate for the first time this week as they seek to replace Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
The outcome of the race for governor could turn on who can scare the middle class more, especially over the high cost of college.
Lost in all the big statewide races in Arizona's primary election are hard-fought congressional battles in which Democrats are trying to clinch a Phoenix-area seat and Republicans are vying for the chance to unseat Democratic incumbents in three districts.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake received praise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the second year in a row in regards to his business-friendly voting record.
Five of the six Republican candidates for governor debated a multitude of topics at a forum hosted by the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance on July 28.
Andrew Walter sat down with the Ahwatukee Foothills News and East Valley Tribune on July 11 to answer questions dealing with the economy, education and the Veteran Affairs scandal.
The questions were about improving Arizona's economy.
Ben Franklin once said. “If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.” He wasn’t talking about government, but the wisdom applies.
The signs are up and the campaign to get elected to the Tempe City Council is on.
The signs are up and the campaign to get elected to the Tempe City Council is on.
A proposed utility rate increase in Mesa will bring in an additional $13.9 million in revenue, the city says.
Despite what people see in the media, Congress is working together to find a solution to education and immigration issues, according to two members of Congress who addressed the crowd at the East Valley Partnership’s Statespersons Luncheon on Monday, May 12.
A plan by some Republican gubernatorial hopefuls to eliminate the state income tax is getting a cool reception from the woman they hope to replace.
Agriculture is a central pillar of the Arizona economy, but without workable immigration laws that provide growers with a dependable, legal workforce this essential industry faces huge barriers to success. Western Growers Association has stressed the urgent need for immigration policy changes in recent meetings with Arizona Congressional delegation representatives, and will continue to do so in the next several months. It is important to urge our leaders to make fixing our broken immigration system one of their top legislative goals this year.