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.
May 23 2016
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.
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.
PHOENIX – Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema was recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Arizona and the Arizona Council of Vietnam Veterans of America for her work to ensure Arizona veterans have access to the highest quality care.
“No one deserves our gratitude and respect more than those who put their lives on the line for our freedom,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “We’re working every single day to reform the VA, improve resources and benefits, and ensure all Arizona veterans have the very highest standard of care. There is so much left to do, and I pledge to keep fighting until all veterans have access to the care they've earned.”
NAMI Arizona named Congresswoman Sinema a Collaborative Community Champion for her work to ensure Arizona veterans get the mental health care they need.
“NAMI Arizona is pleased to recognize Congresswomen Sinema as one of our Collaborative Community Champions,” said Jim Dunn, Executive Director, NAMI Arizona. “Congresswomen Sinema's nonpartisan leadership on veterans and mental health issues at both state and national levels set much needed examples for her contemporaries. Her most recent legislation addressing the needs of veterans who can't disclose their past is much needed and greatly appreciated.”
The House of Representatives recently passed Congresswoman Sinema’s Sergeant Daniel Somers Classified Veterans Access to Care Act to ensure veterans with classified experiences have appropriate access to mental health services.
Arizona Council of Vietnam Veterans of America presented Congresswoman Sinema the Achievement Medal for her work to reform the VA and ensure Arizona veterans receive the care they’ve earned and deserve.
“As soon as we learned about the tragedies at the Phoenix VA, Congresswoman Sinema and her staff took immediate action to ensure all Arizona veterans have access to the care they need,” said Gene Crego, Arizona State Council President, Vietnam Veterans of America. “Through her advisory councils, veterans resource clinics, and bipartisan legislation, Congresswoman Sinema is creating lasting change for Arizona veterans and their families.”
Last month, the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame honored Congresswoman Sinema with the Copper Star Award. More here.
PHOENIX – Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement after news that U.S. Navy SEAL and Arcadia High School graduate Charlie Keating was killed by an Islamic State attack in northern Iraq Tuesday morning.
“I join all Arizonans and all Americans in sending our deepest sympathies to Keating’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with the entire SEAL community.
“The Islamic State is a clear and immediate threat to our safety and security. We need a unified, effective strategy to defeat the Islamic State. Now, more than ever, Arizonans expect and deserve strong, responsible leaders who put aside partisan rhetoric and work together to make our country safer.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Congressman Steve Chabot (OH-01) to reduce the regulatory burden on Arizona startups and small businesses.
“Arizona’s innovative small businesses should have every opportunity to grow and succeed,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “This bipartisan solution provides a clear path for startup businesses to connect with angel investors and venture capitalists without the burden of unnecessary regulation and red tape. Arizona is a great place to do business, and I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help our economy thrive.”
The Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act clarifies confusing regulations that prevent small businesses from participating in “demo days”, or business plan competitions, startup days, innovation summits, and other public forums. Demo days provide important opportunities for startups to share their business plans with angel investors, business experts, and other entrepreneurs who can help turn innovative ideas into reality and create good-paying jobs.
Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives passed the Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act of 2016 (H.R. 4482), legislation cosponsored by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) to secure our borders and make Arizona safer against foreign criminal organizations.
“Arizona is ground zero for our federal government’s failure to address the border and fix our broken immigration system,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “The Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act is a commonsense, bipartisan solution to make sure the federal government does its job when it comes to securing our borders. Arizona families expect us to put partisan politics aside when it comes to keeping our country safe, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in both parties to strengthen our borders and keep criminal organizations out of Arizona.”
The Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act of 2016, introduced by Congresswoman Martha McSally (AZ-02) and Congressman Earl Carter (GA-01), Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10), Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), Congressman Mark Walker (NC-06) Congressman David Young (IA-03), and Congressman Ryan Zinke (MT-AL), directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to Congress a southwest border threat analysis that details where and how individuals and organizations are seeking to enter the United States unlawfully. It also requires the Chief of the Border Patrol to report every five years on the most serious border threats and assess what Congress can do to improve our security.
Apr 13 2016
Sinema Statement on U.S. Department of Education’s Action to Improve Student Loan Forgiveness for Veterans with Disabilities
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Education announced action that improves the federal student loan forgiveness process for veterans with disabilities. Congresswoman Sinema released the following statement in response:
“For too long, government bureaucracy has made it difficult for Arizona veterans to take full advantage of the benefits they’ve earned. Today’s action makes it easier for veterans with disabilities to obtain student loan forgiveness.
“While this is an important step, there is more work to do. We introduced the Servicemember Higher Education Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to streamline and improve the federal financial aid process for servicemembers and their families. Congress should pass this legislation and make government work better for military families.”
Among other provisions, the Servicemember Higher Education Protection Act:
More information on today’s action on student loan forgiveness by the U.S. Department of Education can be found here.