John Boozman

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John Boozman
John Boozman, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Arkansas
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Mark Pryor
Preceded by Blanche Lincoln
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd district
In office
November 20, 2001 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Asa Hutchinson
Succeeded by Steve Womack
Personal details
Born John Nichols Boozman
(1950-12-10) December 10, 1950 (age 63)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Boozman
Children 3
Residence Rogers, Arkansas
Alma mater University of Arkansas, Southern College of Optometry
Occupation Optometrist, rancher
Religion Southern Baptist[1]
Signature
Website www.boozman.senate.gov

John Nichols Boozman (/ˈbzmən/ BOHZ-mən; born December 10, 1950) is the junior United States Senator for Arkansas (since 2011). A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the United States Representative for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district (2001–2011).

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, he was the brother of state Senator Fay Boozman. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry. He co-founded a private optometry clinic in 1977 and worked as a volunteer optometrist for low-income families. He won a special election in 2002 to the United States House of Representatives, where he served as assistant majority whip and sat on the Republican Policy Committee. He was an advocate for drug policy issues and chaired the Veteran Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, where he led the passage of bills expanding services for unemployed veterans.

Boozman was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, defeating Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln by a 21 point margin, and took office in January 2011. He is the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources, the Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, and the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Boozman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana,[2] the son of Marie E. (née Nichols) and Fay Winford Boozman, Jr. (1923–1991).[3] Boozman's father, whose last address was in Rogers, Arkansas, was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force.[4] His elder brother Fay (1946–2005) also was a politician. After graduating from Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Boozman played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas while completing his pre-optometry requirements without graduating from the University of Arkansas.[5] He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year as co-founder of Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinic in Rogers, which has become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas. He established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families.

Prior to his election to Congress, Boozman served two terms on the Rogers Public School Board, which governs one of the largest school districts in Arkansas.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

Boozman was elected to Congress in a special election after his predecessor, Asa Hutchinson, resigned to become the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Boozman was unopposed in 2002, defeated Democratic State Representative Jan Judy by a margin of 59 percent to 38 percent in 2004, and again won re-election in 2006, defeating Democrat Woodrow Anderson III. He was unopposed for reelection in 2008.

Tenure[edit]

In October, 2002, Rep. Boozman voted in favor of the authorization of force against the country of Iraq Iraq War.[6] Boozman spoke on the floor of House, regarding the authorization of force, saying "Mr. Speaker, last night President Bush followed through on a promise to the American people when he stood before a crowd gathered in the Cincinnati Museum Center and outlined the reasons Saddam Hussein's regime must be dealt with now. The President acknowledged the doubts some Americans have about confrontation with Iraq, and he offered answers to those questions. He outlined why Iraq is unique and why we cannot afford to wait to act. He explained how Saddam's regime has oppressed the Iraqi people and violated United Nations resolutions for the past 11 years by continuing his quest for weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Speaker, September 11 taught us that we are vulnerable and that there are those who wish to harm us. I commend the President for taking steps to convince the public that Saddam Hussein is a very real threat that must be dealt with before he follows through on his desires to use weapons of mass destruction against the American people. [7]

Starting during the 108th Congress, Boozman served as an Assistant Whip, making him responsible for helping House Republican Whips Roy Blunt and Eric Cantor secure the votes for or against major legislation. Boozman was also named to the Speaker's Task Force for a Drug-Free America in 2003. The task force advised House Speaker Dennis Hastert on major drug policy issues and helped author comprehensive legislative solutions to illegal drug problems, including anti-methamphetamine legislation. Boozman is the lead author of the Stop Marketing Illegal Drugs to Minors Act, a bill that would increase penalties on criminals who design and market drugs, such as candy-flavored meth, that are targeted to kids.[8] Boozman was praised by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, earning the organization's Congressional Leadership Award in 2009.[9] In 2006, Congress passed a Boozman-authored provision promoting an expanded role for Drug Courts in efforts to reduce drug abuse and recidivism.[10] During the 2008 presidential campaign, like most Arkansas Republicans, Boozman endorsed former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee for President.

In the 109th Congress, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, which focuses on ensuring veterans have a smooth transition to civilian life. He has since served continuously as the Ranking Member on this Subcommittee.[11] Boozman has used his seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee to pass critical legislation honoring the service and sacrifice of United States Military Veterans and increasing benefits to them and their families. In the 111th Congress, Boozman has introduced and the House of Representatives has passed the Veterans Retraining Act of 2009, which provides resources and training opportunities for unemployed veterans.[12] The House of Representatives also passed several other Boozman-authored bills, including a bill that creates grants to help disabled veterans adapt their homes and vehicles to meet their unique needs.[13]

In May 2004, Boozman was appointed to the House Policy Committee, the committee of key Republicans who vet issues and formulate legislation to address them.[14]

Boozman is also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), which is an inter-parliamentary organization of legislators from the 19 member countries of NATO and 20 associate countries. He was also appointed vice-chairman of the British American Parliamentary Group, a group of American and British lawmakers who meet to discuss issues of concern and fortify the already strong alliance between the two nations.

Boozman was a member of numerous House caucuses including the Congressional Caucus to Fight & Control Methamphetamine, the National Guard & Reserve Components Caucus, the Congressional Rural Caucus and the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus. Boozman was also one of the founding members of the Congressional I-49 Caucus to promote completion of Interstate 49 and he is the chairman of the Congressional Caucus on the Côte d'Ivoire and West Africa Caucuses.

Congress.org's power rankings rate Boozman's power rating at 7.31, making him the 386th most powerful member out of 435. Congress.org's power rankings for members of the Minority Party fell significantly when Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats retook the House of Representatives in 2006.[15]

According to the April 28, 2007 Washington Post, Boozman was told by officials in the White House about its intention to fire Bud Cummins, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and replace him with Tim Griffin, an aide to Karl Rove. According to the Post, none of the Democrats in Arkansas' congressional delegation were told that Cummins was to be one of eight U.S. Attorneys to be fired. Although Boozman did not represent any counties in the Eastern District, he was informed because he was the only Republican in the state's congressional delegation.

Boozman told the Post and the Associated Press that White House officials had promised him that Griffin would be subject to Senate confirmation. Instead, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appointed Griffin as interim U.S. Attorney, using a provision of the Patriot Act that has since been repealed due to the controversy. Boozman also said that he didn't think Cummins should have been fired because he was "very well respected and has served the president well."[16][17]

U.S. Senate[edit]

2010 election[edit]

Boozman decided to retire from the lower chamber to run for the United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2010 for the seat held by incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln. He won the May 2010 Republican primary and then defeated Lincoln in the general election while winning nearly 58% of the vote.

Tenure[edit]

Boozman began his term in the Senate in January 2011.

Committee assignments[edit]

Source: United States Senate[18]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions and votes[edit]

As an optometrist, Boozman has taken a strong interest in eye health issues. Boozman saw firsthand the damage done by misuse of unregulated decorative contact lenses. As a result, Boozman led a bi-partisan effort to pass legislation requiring the FDA to improve safety by regulating non-corrective colored contact lenses as medical devices.[20] This legislation was signed into law by President Bush in 2005.[21]

As a former Public School Board Member, Boozman has a strong interest in education policy. In the 111th Congress, he introduced legislation (H.R. 2230) to provide tax credits for teachers and principals who work in challenging, low-income schools.[13] Boozman has also introduced legislation to reform the No Child Left Behind Act. One bill (H.R. 2229) would give states the latitude they need to adopt alternate and modified standards for children with disabilities.[22] Boozman stated that this legislation "preserves accountability and helps to ensure our good schools stop ending up on the 'Needs-Improvement List'."

Other Boozman bills include legislation to provide a tax credit for volunteer firefighters, a bill to provide for parental notification and intervention when a minor seeks an abortion, and a bill to create alternatives to traditional foreign aid to poor countries in sub-saharan Africa.[13][23]

Arkansas history[edit]

Boozman has worked to honor and preserve the historical record of the role Arkansas played in the westward expansion and development of the United States. Boozman introduced legislation in the 110th Congress calling for a study of the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Trail for the potential addition to the National Trails System. This legislation passed as part of an omnibus bill (P.L. 111-11), and was signed by President Obama on March 30, 2009.[24]

In addition to preserving the historical significance of the Butterfield Trail, Boozman assisted the effort to secure the home of the U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith.[25] Boozman worked with the Fort Smith Marshals Museum Steering Committee, the Western District U.S. Marshals Office to “Bring It Home.” In January 2007 it was announced that Fort Smith would be the permanent home of the U.S. Marshals Museum. In the 111th Congress, Boozman introduced legislation to recognize the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service with a commemorative coin to be minted in 2014.[26]

Among other legislative achievements, Boozman has penned three bills, each enacted into law, to name certain U.S. Post Offices in Arkansas.[27] In particular, the Harrison Post Office was named after former Arkansas Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt. In his remarks on the Hammerschmidt Bill (H.R. 4811), Boozman stated that "no one understands my congressional district like the kind and thoughtful gentleman who represented much of Arkansas in the Congress from 1967 through 1993. I consider John Paul Hammerschmidt a mentor and a friend. During his 26 years in Congress, John Paul became known for his strong work ethic and attention to individual constituent service. His fellow Members came to rely on his legislative expertise in highways, aviation and waterway infrastructure" and other issues, such as the needs of veterans.[28]

Health care reform[edit]

Boozman, an optometrist and a member of the Doctors Caucus, voted against the House-passed comprehensive health care reform bill on November 7, 2009. Boozman issued the following statement that same day: "I am for health care reform, unfortunately, this bill does more harm than good. The American people deserve health care reform that gives them access to quality and affordable health care and allows them to make decisions that are best for the care they need. Instead of increasing taxes, entitlement programs and red tape to reform health care we need to let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines; allow small businesses to pool together to buy health insurance at lower prices and end lawsuits that contribute to escalating costs because of doctors being forced to practice defensive medicine.”[29] Throughout the debate, Boozman has pointed to Medicare cuts, including cuts to Medicare Advantage, increased taxes on health insurance and innovations, and anti-abortion concerns.[30][31][32]

Cap and trade[edit]

Boozman voted against the cap-and-trade bill on June 26, 2009. Boozman delivered the following remarks on the House Floor:

At a time when this country faces the possibility of a double-digit unemployment rate, a tax that will lead to fewer jobs, force Americans to pay more for energy costs and raise the price of every manufactured good is unthinkable. My constituents as well as I wonder how we will afford the predicted $1200 to $3100 increase in annual energy costs. If cap-and-trade were to become law, it would amount to the largest tax hike in United States history, and in our current economic climate, it would leave many Americans pinching pennies simply to turn on their lights. No one is opposed to clean air and water, but there are other methods of protecting our environment that support the best interests of our citizens. Instead of legislation that would deepen our economic troubles, Congress should prioritize legislation that will protect jobs, create jobs, and stimulate the economy.[33]

Boozman has stated,

I am co-sponsoring an ‘all of the above’ energy solution that produces American energy made by American workers, encourages greater efficiency and conservation, and promotes the use of alternative fuels. H.R. 2300, the “American Energy Innovation Act” focuses on energy innovation, conservation, and production. This legislation will give the United States more control over its energy future, facilitate job creation to help revive the economy, and incentivize new technologies to leave our children with a cleaner, more sustainable environment.[34]

Background Checks[edit]

In April 2013, Senator Boozman was one of forty-six senators to vote against the passing of a bill which would have expanded background checks for all gun buyers. Boozman voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the bill. Many newspapers predicted that Boozman would vote Nay based on his prior statements and conservative home state of Arkansas.[35]

Employment Discrimination[edit]

In November 2013, Senator Boozman was one of thirty-two senators (all Republican) to vote against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill prohibiting discrimination of individuals in organizations of 15 or more employees, based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[36]

Electoral History[edit]

Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 141,478 98.90%
Independent George "Ozone" Lyne 1,577 1.10%
Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 160,833 59.47% -39.43%
Democratic Jan Judy 102,529 37.91% +37.91%
Independent Dale Morfey 7,103 2.63% +1.53
Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 124,904 62.24% +2.77%
Democratic Woodrow Anderson 75,788 37.76% -0.15%
Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 215,196 78.53% +16.29%
Green Abel Noah Tomlinson 58,850 21.47% +21.47%
Arkansas's U.S. Senate Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 451,618 57.90%
Democratic Blanche Lincoln* 288,156 36.95%
Independent Trevor Drown 25,234 3.24%
Green John Gray 14,430 1.85%

Personal life[edit]

Boozman lives in Rogers with his wife, the former Cathy Marley, and the couple has three daughters. He has successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University. The Boozman family was active in the 4-H program.[37]

On April 22, 2014, Sen. Boozman successfully underwent emergency heart surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34378
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ 1
  4. ^ "Veterans' Affairs : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". Boozman.house.gov. 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  5. ^ US News & World Report, November 8, 2010
  6. ^ [2] House roll call vote
  7. ^ Congressional Record (2002-10-8) [3] House Session Oct 8, 2002
  8. ^ "Bill Text - 111th Congress (2009–2010) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  9. ^ "Boozman Recognized for Pioneering Efforts in Drug Courts". Cutting Edge Law.com. 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  10. ^ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d109&querybd=@FIELD(FLD003+@4((@1(Rep+Boozman++John))+01687))
  11. ^ "Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity - House Committee on Veterans' Affairs". Veterans.house.gov. 2005-08-31. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  12. ^ "Bill Text - 111th Congress (2009–2010) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  13. ^ a b c http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD003+@4((@1(Rep+Boozman++John))+01687))
  14. ^ http://www.boozman.house.gov/News/DocumentPrint.aspx?DocumentID=14106
  15. ^ http://www.congress.org/congressorg/power_rankings/power_card.tt?id=48793
  16. ^ Eggen, Dan (April 28, 2007). "GOP Lawmaker Told of Plan to Fire U.S. Attorney". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  17. ^ The San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/04/27/national/w162323D03.DTL |url= missing title (help). [dead link]
  18. ^ Erickson, Nancy, ed. (2011). Committee and Subcommittee Assignments for the One Hundred Twelfth Congress. United States Government Printing Office. 
  19. ^ Rep. John Boozman, Republican Doctors Caucus
  20. ^ "Not Authorized". Ciclt.net. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  21. ^ "S. 172 [109th]: A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide for the regulation of all...". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  22. ^ "Education Reform : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". Boozman.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  23. ^ http://www.boozman.house.gov/News/DocumentPrint.aspx?DocumentID=123282
  24. ^ http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Law_Enforcement/nlcs.Par.9712.File.dat/PublicLaw111-11.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.swtimes.com/articles/2007/01/05/news/a-news01.txt
  26. ^ http://www.swtimes.com/articles/2009/06/20/news/news062009_04.txt
  27. ^ "Rep. John Boozman [R-AR3". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  28. ^ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=109-h20060502-24
  29. ^ "Boozman Votes ‘No’ To A Takeover of Government Healthcare : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". Boozman.house.gov. 2009-11-07. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  30. ^ "Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice". YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice". YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10. [dead link]
  32. ^ "Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice". YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10. [dead link]
  33. ^ “”. "Opposing job killing cap and trade". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  34. ^ "Energy Policy : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". Boozman.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  35. ^ Silver, Nate (2013-04-18). "Modeling the Senate's Vote on Gun Control". The New York Times. 
  36. ^ http://www.advocate.com/politics/2013/11/07/breaking-senate-approves-enda-initial-vote?page=0,1
  37. ^ "Boozman Biography : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". Boozman.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  38. ^ John Boozman Undergoes Emergency Heart Surgery

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
Blanche Lincoln
United States Senator from Arkansas (Class 3)
January 3, 2011–present
Served alongside: Mark Pryor
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rob Portman
R-Ohio
United States Senators by seniority
74th
Succeeded by
Pat Toomey
R-Pennsylvania
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Asa Hutchinson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd congressional district

2001–2011
Succeeded by
Steve Womack
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Holt
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Arkansas (Class 3)
2010
Succeeded by
Current nominee