Ending Tax Loopholes for Profit-Rich Oil Companies
It is too much to ask taxpayers to subsidize profit-rich oil companies with $21 billion in tax breaks in addition to the $4 a gallon we are paying at the pump. That's why I voted this week to end oil subsidies to some of the most profitable companies in the world. While there is no silver bullet that will immediately reduce gas prices, we should take steps to put us in a better position in the future such as expediting domestic production of oil and gas in a responsible manner and diversifying our energy portfolio.
In addition, I have called on the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) to exercise its new watchdog authority to reign in excessive oil market speculation. This speculation leads to higher gas prices and it's harming our wallets and our economy.
Fighting to Protect Arkansans from FEMA's Mistakes
Three years ago, FEMA erroneously distributed disaster payments to Arkansans, including a 73-year-old woman from Mountain View. FEMA is now trying to jerk the rug out from underneath these individuals by demanding immediate repayment to cover its mistakes. I have been working tirelessly to gain bipartisan support for this legislation to bring relief to these individuals.
Urging Apple, Google, and Others to Improve Mobile Device Privacy
While there are definite advantages to the "apps" on our phones that allow us to play games, share information with friends, read the news, or find the cheapest gas station, many of us are unaware that these applications are gathering personal information- age, location, gender, income- and sharing it with third parties. At my Consumer Protection Subcommittee hearing this week, executives from Facebook, Apple, Google got a clear message from lawmakers that they need to step up as leaders in the industry and institute privacy protections.
Rebuilding after the Storm
After severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding swept through our state, I have been working with local and state officials, as well as FEMA and the Obama Administration, to ensure that Arkansans receive the assistance they need. We will continue to work together so that those devastated will be able to rebuild, recover, and come out stronger than before. Individuals in 54 counties may be eligible for disaster assistance.
Making Sure Food at Our Dinner Table is Safe
Arkansas catfish farmers go to great lengths to ensure that the catfish we enjoy at the dinner table is safe and affordable. A government watchdog agency recently released a report that indicated foreign producers are not as careful. This report underscores the need to move forward with a requirement in the 2008 Farm Bill that would move catfish inspection from the FDA to U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA is currently undergoing the rulemaking process and will determine whether or not all catfish undergo USDA's food safety inspection procedures. I encourage all Arkansas growers and consumers to comment on this proposed rule before June 24th