Good evening from Gilbert -

Today, Congress released the memo.

Since I read the memo, I have been fighting to allow all Americans to have the same access to the memo as Congress. I am grateful that the President has concurred in its release to the American public. The majority of Democrats vehemently opposed the release of this memo. They have tried to prevent the American people from knowing that federal officials abused their power in order to attack a candidate for president.

The HPSCI memo outlines how the Obama administration used government surveillance to spy on a member of an opposition party’s campaign. Key Department of Justice (DOJ) officials used an unverified dossier – paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign – to obtain multiple warrants. They did so without divulging the dubious origins of the Fusion GPS dossier they used to justify these warrants. Former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were among those who approved re-occurring applications for the FISA warrants – the same two individuals who are central to the ongoing Mueller investigation.

Read more of my thoughts in the statement I released to the media this afternoon.

FRIDAYS ARE FOR FREEDOM

Shedding Light on Unconstitutional Federal Regulations

February 2, 2018 – Government Waste Erodes Our Freedoms, Part III:
National Endowment for the Humanities

Every time we pay our taxes, we sacrifice a little of our liberty to the federal government. When those taxpayer dollars are then blatantly wasted, the loss of freedom really stings.

What is the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)?

NEH was created as an independent federal agency in 1965, and has become one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Each year, NEH gives grants to museums, archives, libraries, universities, public television, radio stations, and individual scholars. Since 1965, NEH has funded 7,000 books, supported 56,000 lectures, discussions, and exhibitions, and aided in the development of countless documentaries and cultural resources.

What sort of projects are they funding?

Here is a VERY small sampling of the grant announcements from 2017.  These few total $1 MILLION!

  1. $400,000 for preparation of volumes 9 and 10 of the selected papers of inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931), covering the period 1888-1892. Similarly sized grants have been given for creation of the preceding volumes, now totaling more than $4.5 million.
  2. $250,000 for creation of a traveling exhibition and public programs exploring the historical and ecological contexts of Georgia O’Keeffe’s commercial art commission by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (today known as Dole Food Company, Inc., the largest producer of fruit and vegetables in the world) in the late 1930s.
  3. $150,000 for The Hemingway Legacy Initiative, a series of projects that seek to preserve Hemingway’s Idaho home and library through educational outreach.  
  4. $60,000 for development of a traveling exhibition and companion book on the lifeways and history of the people associated with the Bristol Bay, Alaska salmon fishery.
  5. $60,000 for the expansion of a touring conference that explores the unique cultural landscapes and historic destinations of the state of Montana.
  6. $40,000 to plan a bilingual traveling exhibition about theDia de los Muertos festival and its history in Mexico and the United States.
  7. $40,000 to create a permanent exhibition examining the role of horse-drawn vehicles in American life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

While each of these projects, and the many others funded by NEH, may be worthwhile in their own right, it is unjustifiable that taxpayers are on the hook for them.  Instead, the great thinkers behind these projects should judge the demand for them and seek private funding from those wishing to see their creation.  To restore fiscal discipline, we should only use taxpayers’ dollars for federal government responsibilities as outlined in the constitution.

What am I doing about it?

In 2017, Congress appropriated nearly $150 million to the NEH. Given our $20 trillion national debt and that fact that we will add an additional $1 trillion to the debt this year, continuing to provide funding to the NEH is astounding to me.  That is why I am introducing a bill to defund the agency.

Total Cost to Arizona Taxpayers: $3,218,266

Cumulative Cost to Arizona Taxpayers of “Freedom Friday” Government Waste: $207,503,975, or $80.42 per household.

FEBRUARY EVENTS

This month, my district office will be hosting three exciting events for constituents of Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District.

1. Senior Citizens Resource Fair - February 12th

As tax season approaches, my staff and community advocates are eager to ensure that you have access to expert tax help and the resources you need to protect yourself against fraud and identity theft. We will also have experts on site to provide assistance with federal agencies like Social Security, Medicare, and the IRS. 

Others will be present to assist you in your pursuit of employment, community volunteer opportunities, injury prevention, meal & transportation assistance, legal assistance, home maintenance, and more.

2. Military Service Academy Parent/Student Night - February 20th

    

Congressman Biggs’ District Office will be holding a Military Service Academy Parent/Student Night on Tuesday, February 20, in his District Office from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. This will be a great opportunity for students, and parents alike, to learn about what it takes to receive a Congressional Nomination to a United States Military Service Academy. Students will hear about the importance of graduating as one of the most qualified military officers in the world. They will also hear from a graduate of one of the five Military Academies on his/her experience and will receive an informational presentation on which steps students should take to ensure they are prepared to successfully navigate the nomination process. Most importantly, students and parents will have the opportunity to ask questions and alleviate any concerns they may have.  

Space is limited and will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. RSVPs are required. More information will be forthcoming.

3. Veterans Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) Training & Benefits Fair - February 22nd 

This event will be a great opportunity for veterans to learn of program specifics and speak with representatives from the VA about their claims. Veterans will also have the opportunity to hear a presentation on RAMP, speak to qualified Veteran Service Officers about submitting new claims, speak to VA Representatives regarding the VA Home Loan process, and more.

TAX REFORM SUCCESSES

Even before tax reform has directly impacted the nation, millions of Americans have already received benefits from the historic package we passed last year. I spoke on the House floor this week about some of the successes we are seeing.

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FOR THE GOOD OF THE ORDER

To keep track of what my office is doing for Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, make sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow me on social media:

Our office is currently looking for interns in both my Washington, D.C. and Arizona offices. Click here if you are interested in applying for an internship with my office.

If you cannot get an answer from a federal agency in a timely fashion, or if you feel you have been treated unfairly, my district office may be able to help resolve a problem or get you the information you need. Visit my website to access the privacy consent form and call my district office to set up an appointment with one of my knowledgeable District Representatives.

As always, I am extremely humbled by the trust that you have bestowed upon me and honored to serve as your Congressman.

Sincerely,

Andy Biggs
Member of Congress

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