PHOENIX, Aug. 28 -- The Arizona Democratic Party issued the following news release:
Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Luis Heredia released the following statement on Congressman Jeff Flake securing the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate:
"Congressman Jeff Flake is a career politician and former lobbyist who has put advancing his rigid ideology and special interests over Arizona's women, veterans and seniors," said Heredia. "Congressman Flake would block access to contraception, defund Planned Parenthood and privatize Social Security and Medicare. Congressman Flake even opposed the post-9/11 GI Bill and voted against veterans' benefits in the middle of two wars."
Congressman Flake is a former lobbyist and registered foreign agent for a uranium mine partially owned by Iran. The National Journal reported that Congressman Jeff Flake worked "as a Washington lobbyist for an African uranium mine with financial ties to Iran." Specifically, Flake was a "registered foreign agent for Rossing Uranium, a company which operates a mine in Namibia that is among the world's largest suppliers of the nuclear fuel. He earned between $5,000 and $7,000 per month opening doors in the nation's capital and promoting the firm," between 1990 and 1991. [National Journal, 4/18/12]
Congressman Flake wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, endangering health checkups and mammograms for nearly forty thousand Arizona women. In April 2011, Rep. Flake voted bar the use of funds made available in the FY 2011 continuing appropriations bill to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or its affiliates. The move was adopted 241-185. [H Con Res 36, Vote 271, 4/14/11] [AZ Family, 5/7/12]
Congressman Flake supports allowing employers to deny women contraception coverage from their healthcare plans. According to the Washington Post, the "Blunt Amendment" would have "allowed not only religious groups but any employer with moral objections" to opt out of the requirement to cover contraceptive care, as well as any other health service required by the 2010 health-care law. Congressman Jeff Flake signed on as a cosponsor to Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act," along with 219 other House members, which was the "companion to the measure defeated in the Senate... sponsored by Missouri Republican Roy Blunt," according to Politico.com. [Washington Post, 3/1/12; Politico, 3/7/12; THOMAS, HR 1179]
Congressman Flake voted against a new pay equity law that helps ensure employers pay women the same as men for equal work. In 2009, Rep. Flake voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed employees to sue employers for wage discrimination within 180 days of their last paycheck affected by the alleged discrimination. The measure was designed to overturn a 2007 Supreme Court decision (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.) that ruled a worker could not bring a wage discrimination suit more than 180 days after the initial discriminatory act. The bill passed 250-177. [CQ House Action Reports Legislative Week, 1/26/09; S 181, Vote 37, 1/27/09; NY Times, 1/19/09]
Congressman Flake supports privatizing Medicare and turning it into a voucher system, increasing out of pocket costs for seniors by as much as $6,400 every year. In March 2012, Flake voted for the 2012 Ryan budget, which, according to a report from the Congressional Joint Economic Committee staff, would "end Medicare's role as a health insurance provider." Instead "individuals will be forced to purchase private health insurance" with vouchers provided by the federal government. The Committee's staff report concluded that "Based on estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the typical 65-year-old's out-of-pocket health care costs will increase from $6,154 to $12,513 in 2022--or an extra $6,359." [H Con Res 34, Vote 277, 4/15/11; Congressional Joint Economic Committee, 5/20/11]
Congressman Flake supports raising the retirement age and privatizing Social Security, which would allow part of the Social Security trust fund to be invested in the stock market. Congressman Jeff Flake has been a staunch supporter of privatizing Social Security. Reported the Arizona Republic in February 2005, "A separate Social Security bill is to be reintroduced today by Flake and fellow Republican Sam Johnson of Texas to let workers shift 6.2 percent of their wages into a personal or private investment account." In 2009, Flake voted for the Republican budget alternative, aka the Ryan Roadmap, which would have privatized Social Security by diverting "substantial sums from the Social Security trust funds into private accounts" according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. [H Con. Res. 85, Vote #191, 4/2/09; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/07/10; Arizona Republic, 2/2/05] Flake also supported a substitute budget offered by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), which in addition to the tax cuts for the wealthy and a plan to end Medicare as we know it, the Republican Study Committees Alternate proposal would raise the retirement age for Social Security to age 70 for those born in or after 1958. [Vote 149, 3/29/12; RSC, March 2012]
Congressman Jeff Flake Voted Against The Post-9/11 GI Bill. In June 2008, Flake voted against a war-funding measure that revised GI Bill college benefits. According to the NY Times, the bill "provided those who served at least three years on active duty educational assistance equivalent to tuition and fees at a leading public university in their state along with housing assistance, money for books, school supplies and tutorial assistance." Reported the Associated Press, "The 416-12 roll call Thursday by which the House approved spending for revised GI Bill college benefits, a 13-week extension of unemployment checks and other domestic programs as part of the war-funding bill. A 'yes' vote is a vote to pass the bill. Voting yes were 230 Democrats and 186 Republicans. Voting no were 3 Democrats and 9 Republicans." [Associated Press, 6/20/08; NY Times, 6/20/08].
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