U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today completed his first year in office -- a year in which he introduced 28 bipartisan pieces of legislation and his staff provided direct assistance to more than 2,500 people in Southern Arizona, recovering more than $11 million for them and saving 60 homes from foreclosure.
"Every day, I remember that the word "representative' is not just a title, but a job description," Barber said today. "It is an honor to represent the people of Southern Arizona in Washington and it is a responsibility that I work every day to live up to."
Barber took office June 19, 2012, succeeding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned to focus on her recovery from a gunshot wound. Barber served as Giffords' district director -- her top representative in Southern Arizona -- for her entire five years in office.
During the past year, Barber has introduced 28 bipartisan pieces of legislation, many of them to support veterans. Barber is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Veterans Jobs Caucus. He appointed a Veterans Advisory Council in which Southern Arizona veterans provide advice and counsel on legislation.
Barber also has made a dozen floor speeches during his first year in office -- many of them dealing with his responsibilities on the three committees on which he serves: Armed Services, Homeland Security and Small Business.
Barber has spent a good portion of his first year in Southern Arizona, coming home to his district virtually every weekend.
He played a key role in negotiating an agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative to reconsider a decision that could have increased rates for constituents and jeopardized the jobs of 242 employees.
He also has met with the mayor of every city and town in Southern Arizona at least once, toured the military installations in his district numerous times and heard from employers and employees of more than 20 businesses.
The congressman has held 135 community meetings and events, spent time on the U.S.-Mexico border and listened to Border Patrol agents, ranchers and others concerned with border security.
The constituent services representatives working in Barber's Southern Arizona offices also have had a busy and productive year.
They have handled 2,555 cases from constituents that have either been resolved or are being worked on. And they have recovered more than $11.4 million for constituents while saving 60 homes from foreclosure.
Barber's three offices have received more than 81,000 calls, e-mails and letters from Southern Arizonans.
A complete report on Barber's first year in office is below and attached as a pdf.
Congressman Ron Barber
The One Year Report
Representing Southern Arizona
Armed Services (Readiness; Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittees)
Homeland Security (Ranking Member of Oversight and Management Efficiency subcommittee)
Small Business (Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access; Agriculture, Energy and Trade subcommittees)
Border Security Caucus; Military Families Caucus; Mental Health Caucus; Small Business Caucus; Veterans Jobs Caucus; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Caucus; House Army Caucus; House Air Force Caucus; Congressional Social Work Caucus; and Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition
Work in Washington:
28 bipartisan bills introduced, including legislation to strengthen the Veterans Affairs pension program and combat scams against veterans; the PRIME Act to combat and prevent waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare; the Veterans Health Access Act and Veterans Transportation Service Act to make it easier for veterans to access health care; the No Budget, No Pay Act, to hold Congress accountable for passing a federal budget; and Mental Health First Aid Act to increase awareness of mental illness
4 amendments offered, including an amendment to The Border Results Act to require DHS to hold public meetings to develop their border security strategy by getting input from border residents and other community members and an amendment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2012 to reduce the deficit and provide housing for the estimated 70,000 homeless veterans
Voted for and cosponsored the Violence Against Woman Act to protect victims of domestic violence
Worked on and voted for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 to authorize essential funding to support our armed forces and military families, including those at Southern Arizona's own Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard in Tucson and Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista
Voted for the Require a Plan Act to balance the budget and reduce the federal debt and deficit
Voted for The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations to provide critical funding for agents and technology along the Southwest border and investments in first responders and public safety
12 floor speeches on topics including veterans, mental health, seniors and women's rights
132 meetings with constituents in Washington
Serving Southern Arizona
Constituent Services Work:
769 constituent cases currently open and 1,786 constituent cases closed, totaling
2,555 cases in process or resolved
60 homes saved from foreclosure and received long-term assistance
$11,481,087 has been secured by Congressman Barber's office for constituents
81,018 constituent contacts by e-mail, telephone, fax or mail
616 constituent tours in Washington, D.C.
19 Candidates nominated to U.S. Service Academies
Constituent and Community Events:
240 days in Southern Arizona, with 22 visits to Cochise County
5 Congress On Your Corner events in Tucson, Sierra Vista, Green Valley/Sahuarita and Tombstone with over 500 participants
5 Solar Power 101s, including one each partnering with Davis-Monthan AFB and the Tucson Association of Realtors
6 Constituent Services Days at local farmers' markets
1 Senior Scam Prevention Seminar in Green Valley
2 Congressional Art Competition winners from local high schools
2 Constituent Service Days in Green Valley
Listening to and Working For Southern Arizona
Jobs and Small Business: 21 site visits and meetings with current and potential Southern Arizona employers, including hospitals, utilities, tourism groups, chambers of commerce, tech councils, housing and real estate groups
Border Security: 4 days on the U.S.-Mexico border, 2 public meetings with the Border Patrol and General Accountability Office (one in Tucson, one in Douglas), 3 briefings with Border Patrol and Drug Enforcement officials, 2 meetings with Cochise County ranchers and residents, 2 Border Security Conference Calls with ranchers and residents from border communities, 5 events supporting CBP agents
Veterans: 12 events including 2 Advisory Council meetings, 2 visits to the VA Hospital, 1 Student Veterans Town Hall and 4 medal ceremonies
Military: 14 trips to and briefings at military bases in Southern Arizona, including 6 trips to Fort Huachuca, 6 to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and 2 to the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard; 1 Military Advisory Council meeting; 7 military support organization events and 2 Service Academy Days
Local Government: 16 meetings with Southern Arizona mayors from Tucson, Sierra Vista, Benson, Tombstone, Willcox, Sahuarita, Douglas, Huachuca City and Bisbee
135 Community Meetings and Events: including law enforcement, mental health advocates, schools, seniors groups, non-profits, educators and groups advocating for the environment, arts, children, people with disabilities and women's issues