Press Releases


Sinema, Fitzpatrick Legislation to Combat Terrorist Financing Passes House

Washington DC – Today, a bipartisan counter-terrorism bill introduced by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) unanimously passed the House of Representatives. The National Strategy for Combating Terrorist, Underground and Other Illicit Financing Act (H.R. 5594) directs the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with other federal agencies, to establish a comprehensive strategy to combat the financing of terrorism and related forms of illicit finance.

“Terrorist organizations pose a serious threat to our national security, and it is critical that we cut off the funding that supports these groups,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “I regularly hear from Arizonans who are concerned about the safety of their families and fellow Americans. This legislation is a commonsense solution that ensures the United States denies funding to terrorists and protects America and our allies.”

This legislation creates a strategy that assesses the effectiveness of the United States’ current efforts to fight terrorist financing and aligns future efforts with broader national security goals. It will improve coordination between law enforcement at all levels and establishes priorities and objectives for preventing terrorist financing.

Congresswoman Sinema spoke about her legislation on the House Floor:

Full remarks below:

Thank you Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters.

Over the course of the past year, the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing has found that US government efforts to counter the financing of terrorism lack sufficient coordination, and that the United States has no unified national strategy to guide our counter financing efforts.

The federal government must change its approach and mindset to counter the financing of terrorism.

This is why Chairman Fitzpatrick and I introduced bipartisan legislation to direct the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with relevant federal agencies, to establish a whole-of-government strategy to combat the financing of terrorism and related forms of illicit finance.

This strategy must include:

  • a critical assessment of the effectiveness of U.S. efforts to fight terrorist financing;
  • ways to improve coordination with international, state, and local law enforcement, and the private sector; and
  • a comprehensive discussion of threats, goals, objectives, and priorities for disrupting and preventing terrorist financing.

The strategy should enhance detection, deterrence and prosecution, and ultimately strengthen our broader national security goals.

Our legislation forces the federal government to create a whole-of-government strategy to counter terrorism financing that improves the effectiveness of our efforts and better aligns these efforts with our broader national interests.

Terrorism is an undeniable threat to our country’s security and global stability. Terrorist networks constantly develop new ways to finance their deadly operations and threaten America.

The Islamic State is one of the world’s most violent, dangerous, and well financed terrorist groups. To keep our country safe, we must be one step ahead of IS, cutting off its funding and stopping its efforts.

Thank you Chairman Fitzpatrick and Congresswoman Velazquez for working with me on this important legislation. Thank you Chairman Fitzpatrick and Ranking Member Lynch for your leadership on the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep money out of terrorists’ hands and build on our progress to strengthen America’s security.

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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema’s bipartisan legislation to protect seniors from financial fraud unanimously passed the House of Representatives. The Senior$afe Act (H.R. 4538) helps law enforcement track down financial criminals who target seniors.

“Americans lose billions of dollars each year to financial fraud, and seniors are a top target,” said Congresswoman Sinema.  “These financial crimes devastate their bank accounts and often go unreported. Seniors deserve to retire with dignity, and they shouldn’t have to worry that their hard earned savings are at risk of fraud. This bill is a commonsense solution to help identify, report, and stop financial abuse of Arizona seniors.”

Recent studies estimate nearly 1 in 5 American seniors may be a target of financial fraud or abuse. Even when financial institutions suspect abuse, the abuse may go unpunished. Current laws lack the necessary flexibility to allow financial institutions to report suspected abuse to authorities.

The Senior$afe Act, introduced with Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02), Congressman Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18), and Congressman Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), helps individuals and financial institutions communicate with the appropriate agencies when they suspect financial abuse of seniors. It also encourages firms to train employees to identify and stop financial fraud.

 

House Financial Services Committee Passes Sinema Legislation to Protect Arizona Seniors from Financial Fraud

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Financial Services Committee passed Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema’s bipartisan legislation, the Senior$afe Act, to help law enforcement track down financial criminals who target seniors.

“Seniors deserve to retire with dignity, and they shouldn’t have to worry that their hard earned savings are at risk of fraud,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “Our commonsense legislation ensures that financial institutions can identify fraud, report it, and stop financial abuse of the elderly. We’ll keep working to protect seniors and strengthen consumer protections for hardworking Arizonans.”

Recent studies estimate nearly 1 in 5 American seniors may be a target of financial fraud or abuse. Even when financial institutions suspect abuse, the abuse may go unpunished. Current laws lack the necessary flexibility to allow financial institutions to report suspected abuse to authorities.

The Senior$afe Act, introduced with Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02), Congressman Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18), and Congressman Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), will help individuals and financial institutions communicate with the appropriate agencies when they suspect financial abuse of seniors. It also encourages firms to train employees to identify and stop financial fraud. 

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Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement in response to the VA’s removal of three leaders at the Phoenix VA Health Care System:

“Since the crisis broke, we’ve repeatedly called for the removal of any VA employee who fails to meet the high standards of care our veterans have earned. While I welcome today’s news, this is long overdue. Our veterans deserve better. It’s time for the Senate to pass the VA Accountability Act to hold employees accountable and ensure this never happens again.  I will not rest until all Arizona veterans have the quality care they need and deserve.”

PHOENIX – Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement on Sharon Helman potentially returning to VA:

“This is shameless. At least 40 Arizona veterans died while Helman was in charge of the Phoenix VA. It’s absolutely outrageous that someone responsible for the poor treatment of veterans could get her job back. It is time for the Senate to pass the VA Accountability Act to hold employees accountable and prevent this from happening.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Congressman David Young (IA-03) launched the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat Identity Theft and Fraud and introduced the Justice for Victims of IRS Scams and Identity Theft Act.

This bipartisan legislation requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to produce a plan to expedite the review of identity theft or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fraud-related cases referred to them, and report to Congress about current scams and fraudulent practices and what they’re doing to address them.

“Americans lose billions of dollars each year to identity theft and financial fraud,” said Congresswoman Sinema.  “We created this bipartisan task force to find real solutions that put an end to scams and fraud. By working together, we can protect Americans’ financial security.”

“Scams and identity theft are increasingly complex and growing problems, and many folks in Iowa and across the country are at risk of having their identity, bank or credit card numbers, and other personal information stolen,” said Congressman Young. “Our bipartisan task force will thoroughly examine the scope of fraud and how best to address it. I am encouraged by this opportunity to work with Congresswoman Sinema in leading our colleagues in tackling such an important and widespread issue.”

Congresswoman Sinema and Congressman Young also recently introduced an amendment to protect the personally identifiable information of members of the Armed Forces and their families, which was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 and passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 277 - 147.

About the Task Force:

With a mission of protecting all Americans from hackers, scammers, thieves and fraudsters, the task force seeks to develop and implement commonsense solutions which prioritize individuals’ personal security and increase penalties and punishment for those who break the law.

Additional members of the task force include: Brad Ashford (NE-2), Mike Bishop (MI-8), Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (GA-01), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Bob Dold (IL-10), Tom Emmer (MN-6), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3), John Katko (NY-24), Tom MacArthur (NJ-03), Martha McSally (AZ-2),  John Moolenaar (MI-4), David Rouzer (NC-7), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Dave Trott (MI-11), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Kevin Yoder (KS-3).

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema was recognized today by the Council for Affordable Health Coverage as an “Affordability Champion” for her work to pass the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act and lower health care costs through bipartisan, commonsense solutions.

"When I talk to Arizona families and employers about health care, the concern I hear most is increasing cost," said Congresswoman Sinema. "The PACE Act is an example of how much we can accomplish when we put partisanship aside and work together to solve problems. I’m honored to receive this award and will continue working on both sides of the aisle to find real solutions that ensure health care is affordable for Arizona families and employers.”

The PACE Act protects small businesses from an Affordable Care Act provision that would have forced companies with 51-100 employees into the 2016 small-group market where they would have faced additional mandates, higher premiums, less flexibility, and new barriers to coverage. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the PACE Act will lower health costs and increase employee wages.

"We commend Congresswoman Sinema for her bipartisan efforts to protect and preserve the existing small group market. This critical law helps small and mid-sized businesses dodge futile premium increases," said CAHC President Joel White.  "Achieving this reform in the lead up to a contentious presidential election year was an uphill battle, but thanks to Representative Sinema’s tireless efforts, bipartisanship and common sense prevailed."

The PACE Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed it into law in the fall of 2015.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation introduced by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) to reduce burdensome regulations for certain emerging growth companies passed the House Monday. The Fostering Innovation Act  provides commonsense regulatory relief for companies on the cutting-edge of scientific and medical research.   

“I’ve heard from companies throughout my district that burdensome and unnecessary regulations continue to stifle their ability to grow and succeed,” said Sinema. “The Fostering Innovation Act allows innovative companies to spend valuable resources on product research and development instead of costly and unnecessary external audits. This is a commonsense solution that ensures costly regulations don’t stand in the way of success for Arizona businesses.”

“Startups and emerging companies need to focus on creating jobs, not navigating red tape. This bipartisan, common sense reform to one size fits all regulations allows growing businesses to better compete in critical research and development,” said Fitzpatrick. “The Fostering Innovation Act is a solution that allows Congress the opportunity to remove unnecessary road blocks that prevent growth and economic certainty for small businesses in Bucks and Montgomery counties, and around the country.”

Currently, emerging growth companies (EGCs) are exempt from certain regulatory requirements for five years after their initial public offering (IPO). One of the requirements EGCs are exempt from is Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 (b) - which requires public companies to obtain an external audit on the effectiveness of their internal controls for financial reporting. This reporting requirement is costly and unnecessary because management is still required to assess internal controls and these EGCs, by definition, have limited public exposure.

The Fostering Innovation Act is a very narrow fix that temporarily extends the Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) exemption for an additional five years for a small subset of EGCs with annual average revenue of less than $50 million and less than $700 million in public float.

“By extending the JOBS Act’s SOX 404(b) exemption for an additional five years, the Fostering Innovation Act would ensure that small business innovators can remain laser-focused on the search for groundbreaking cures and treatments,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).  “BIO strongly supports this move away from one-size-fits-all regulations, and applauds Reps. Sinema and Fitzpatrick for their efforts to reduce compliance costs for emerging biotechs and support small business capital formation.”

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Sinema was again recognized by the nonpartisan Campaign to Fix the Debt as a “Fiscal Hero” for her work to address the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. 

"I came to Congress to fix a broken Washington and that includes reining in wasteful, out-of-control government spending," said Congresswoman Sinema. "I'm honored to be recognized again this year for our work to solve our nation's budget issues.  There is more work to do. I’ll continue to break through the political gridlock and find real solutions to cut waste, reduce the debt, and grow our economy.”

“The Members we are recognizing as Fiscal Heroes have worked through a variety of channels to draw attention and find solutions to the nation’s fiscal challenges,” said Maya MacGuineas, Head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. “Many lawmakers have chosen to bury their heads when it comes to these issues, and we want to recognize those who have been willing to show more courage and leadership. It’s not about party. It’s not about seniority. It’s about being willing to stand up for what is right for the country—even when it’s not easy to do so.”

Congresswoman Sinema introduced multiple bills to address the nation’s fiscal challenges:

Balanced Budget Amendment (H.J. Res. 81): introduced with Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15) to require the federal government to balance the budget.

USA Act (H.R. 3300): introduced with Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) to cut at least $57 billion in government spending over ten years.

AUDIT Act (H.R. 3534): introduced with Congressman Frank Guinta (NH-01) to eliminate duplicative federal programs and wasteful spending identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema joined a bipartisan majority to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which authorizes funding and sets defense policy for the coming year. The bill also includes amendments offered by Congresswoman Sinema to protect members of the Armed Forces and their families from identity theft and help servicemembers access higher education benefits.

“We’re working every day to defeat the terrorist threat and keep our communities and families safe,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “This bipartisan legislation responsibly funds our military to ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools they need to protect our national security.

“It also gives our troops a pay raise, funds programs like the A-10, Apache, and F-35 that support good Arizona jobs, and protects and improves the benefits our servicemembers have earned. By working together, we can keep our country safe and support servicemembers, veterans, and their families.”

Congresswoman Sinema and Congressman David Young (IA-03) introduced an amendment directing the Department of Defense to report to Congress on efforts to protect servicemembers’ and Department of Defense employees’ private information against identity thieves.

Congresswoman Sinema, Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06), and Congressman Mike Coffman (CO-06) introduced an amendment requiring the Department of Defense to make a plan and brief Congress on improving its efforts to inform members of the Armed Forces of their rights and resources under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This includes helping servicemembers manage their student debt while on active duty and informing them of right to lower student loan interest rates.