Experts predict that EPA’s new standards will be the costliest regulation ever. It is unacceptable that Washington bureaucrats are raising Kansans’ cost of doing business and keeping new manufacturing facilities from being built when so many Americans need jobs, writes U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district.
Pompeo Statement on New EPA Ozone Rules
October 2, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new National Ambient Air Quality Standards:
“Ozone levels have been on the decline for decades and continue to go down, thanks to the standards we already have in place, and that is good news. Yet many areas of the country are still working to meet the 2008 standards and will see any chance of coming into compliance completely erased. EPA has created new standards that it says are meant to limit air pollution, but the only thing they will limit are American jobs and economic growth. Experts predict that EPA’s new standards will be the costliest regulation ever. It is unacceptable that Washington bureaucrats are raising Kansans’ cost of doing business and keeping new manufacturing facilities from being built when so many Americans need jobs. Washington needs to stop trying to fix something that isn’t broken. We cannot continue down this path, or else our nation’s jobs and economy will greatly suffer.”
Pompeo is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which holds legislative jurisdiction over the EPA.
I simply could not support a bill that fails to support our national defense or make progress on protecting human life, writes U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district.
Pompeo Opposes Resolution that Lacks Defense Spending, Funds Planned Parenthood
September 30, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) today issued the following statement on the passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Continuing Resolution, which funds the federal government through December 31, 2015. Pompeo voted against this resolution, citing the bill’s lack of adequate defense spending and its inclusion of funding for Planned Parenthood.
Pompeo said: “While a government shutdown is not in anyone’s interest, Congress could have and should have done better than this continuing resolution. I simply could not support a bill that fails to support our national defense or make progress on protecting human life.
“The values and freedoms that we, as Americans, celebrate each and every day are consistently under attack. Unfortunately, this resolution provides even less funding for defense than what President Obama requested. We owe it to our military service members and their families to do all we can to ensure they have the resources they need to accomplish their mission and return home safely.
“In the wake of the videos that have surfaced about the horrific, inhumane practices of Planned Parenthood, it is absolutely imperative for Congress to stand up for life and defend human decency. This resolution fails to make any forward progress in holding Planned Parenthood accountable for its actions and making sure these abhorrent practices come to an end.”
92 percent of small business owners believe their state’s economic development incentives are biased toward big business.
States spend billions of dollars every year to attract and retain businesses and jobs, but owners of small businesses overwhelmingly believe they are getting the short end of the stick.
That is one of the findings in a new survey by Good Jobs First, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that has been critical of state business subsidies in the past. The group said it surveyed 39 organizations representing 24,000 small businesses nationwide.
Respondents “overwhelmingly believe that state economic development incentives favor big businesses, that states are overspending on large individual deals, and that state incentive programs are not effectively meeting the needs of small businesses seeking to grow,” the study said.
Pompeo, Cotton: IAEA Director Lied to Congress to Ensure Passage of Iran Deal
Reports that Iran has submitted its own sample from Parchin disproves Amano’s claim about terms of secret side deals
September 28, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) last week sent a letter to Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), requesting that Amano clarify his previous claims that the two secret side deals between the IAEA and Iran do not allow Iran the ability to conduct inspections at its own nuclear facilities. It has now been reported that Iran submitted its first self-collected sample from the Parchin military complex. The letter also asks the IAEA to affirm that its arrangement with Iran will not serve as a precedent for future inspections regimes.
The full text of the letter is attached and below:
September 25, 2015
Mr. Yukiya Amano
International Atomic Energy Agency
1 United Nations Plaza, Room DC-1-1155
New York, NY 10017 USA
Dear. Mr. Amano:
As part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed two secret side deals — or “separate arrangements” in the IAEA’s terminology — with the Islamic Republic of Iran. It has been reported that these critically important documents, which have not been provided to any of the JCPOA signatories besides Iran, cover the verification process for Iran’s Parchin military complex and other sites that the IAEA has identified as related to Possible Military Dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program.
This issue quickly became a core matter of contention in the United States during the debate about whether Congress would approve or disapprove the JCPOA. The fact that the IAEA did not plan to release the side deals to the United States or other JCPOA signatories became clear in late July when we travelled to Vienna and met with staff of the IAEA. Despite our numerous requests to be provided the documents, details of these side deals remained hidden from the United States and other parties until August 19, 2015, when the Associated Press (AP) reported on the contents of a draft of one of the two secret side deals. The AP then released the text of the draft side deal the following day. The leaked text states that Iran will be allowed to self-inspect their military facility at Parchin—long-believed to be a significant site for Iran’s military nuclear program.
On August 20, in response to the AP’s reporting, you emphatically stated, “I am disturbed by statements suggesting that the IAEA has given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. Such statements misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work.”
However, news reports this week indicated that Iran was permitted to take its own environmental samples at Parchin. A spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kalmandi, commented on the environmental sampling by stating, “Iranian experts took samples from specific locations in Parchin facilities this week without IAEA inspectors being present.”
In a statement on September 21, you said, “[T]he Agency [IAEA] has, in certain circumstances, permitted States’ representatives to carry out activities in support of the Agency’s verification work. This is done in a way that ensures that the Agency’s verification processes are not compromised. In the case of Parchin, the Iranian side played a part in the sample-taking process by swiping samples.”
As we stated, the strength of the verification regime implemented pursuant to the JCPOA is of the utmost importance in fully assessing the wisdom of the JCPOA. An approach that excludes IAEA inspectors from physically accessing and inspecting sites sets a dangerous precedent for future inspections, whether related to settling outstanding PMD issues or verification issues that arise after Implementation Day of the JCPOA, and undermines the credibility of the IAEA. We ask that you clarify your August 20 statement in light of recent reporting, fully explain the role Iran plays in verifying its nuclear facilities under the secret side deals Iran and the IAEA have concluded, and affirm that this arrangement in no way is precedent setting for future inspections of any kind. We look forward to your response.
The State Department has now confirmed that it failed to release all of the emails from former Secretary Clinton related to Benghazi and Libya. After three years of stonewalling, diversion, and failure to comply with requests by our committee, I am hopeful that this new production will finally give us the answers we need about the surrounding events that led to the tragic death of four Americans in Benghazi, writes United States Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district.
Pompeo on State’s Release of New Clinton Benghazi Emails
September 25, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) today released the following statement after the State Department announced that it has produced a small number of emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server related to the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans. The State Department today informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi, of which Pompeo is a member, that it would turn these “new” Clinton emails over to the committee, among them a small number of Benghazi-related emails that the State missed during its previous review.
Pompeo said: “The State Department has now confirmed that it failed to release all of the emails from former Secretary Clinton related to Benghazi and Libya. After three years of stonewalling, diversion, and failure to comply with requests by our committee, I am hopeful that this new production will finally give us the answers we need about the surrounding events that led to the tragic death of four Americans in Benghazi. Three years is too long, and Clinton needs come clean with our committee and the American people.
“I, along with other Republican members of our committee, remain committed to the mission we have been given: to do all that we can to obtain the truth about the events surrounding this tragic event and to share all of the facts with the families of the deceased and with the American people. We still have brave Americans operating at the tip of the spear keeping us all safe — we owe them nothing less than that effort.”
Pompeo is a member of the Select Committee on Benghazi. He also serves on the House Intelligence Committee.
A good portion of a recent Kansas City Star editorial appears to be a regurgitation of Duane Goossen’s bogus commentary for the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, an organization that favors high spending, high taxes and is afraid to come out in public and defend their claims against those who can expose their false claims, says Dave Trabert of Kansas Policy Institute.
Kansas City Star repeats bogus claim on school funding
A good portion of a recent KC Star editorial appears to be a regurgitation of Duane Goossen’s bogus commentary for the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, an organization that favors high spending, high taxes and is afraid to come out in public and defend their claims against those who can expose their false claims. A link to his piece is included in my blog post that shows how he tortures the truth.
The Star and Goossen (who may be the only state budget director ever involved in a Securities and Exchange Commission indictment for misrepresenting facts) both refer to “General Classroom Aid” as though it is an official form or aid, but they both know that that is not true. The Star didn’t capitalize the term as did Goossen but they get no pass for that; they repeated his claim (without attribution) that GCA is down $6 million. The claim is false because there is no such thing as general classroom aid! The state provided multiple funding sources in the old formula — including some that were authorized by the state but not run through the state general fund budget — but only local school districts and superintendents decide how much money goes to Instruction. Legislators and governors have no control over the amount of money allocated to Instruction.
Total funding increased nearly $2 billion over the last ten years. Instruction spending, only available through FY 2014, increased by $845 million since 2005 without counting a dollar of KPERS. That $845 million represents a 32% increase in per-pupil spending while inflation was 21%; the increase could have been even more if local school boards had chosen to direct some of their increased spending on other operating areas to Instruction, had chosen to operate other areas more efficiently and spent the savings on Instruction or used some of their unused aid from prior years instead of holding it in cash reserves.
Here’s where things stand on achievement after those large spending increases:
Only 32% of the 2015 graduating class who took the ACT test are considered college-ready in English, Reading, Math and Science. ACT test scores have barely changed.
Only 38% of 4th grade students are Proficient in Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a test that the Kansas Department of Education declared to be valid and reliable in a November 1, 2011 press release.
Low Income 4th graders are almost two years’ worth of learning behind others in Math (NAEP).
Only 24% of Low Income 8th graders are Proficient in Math (NAEP) and at the current pace, it will take 240 years for them to catch up to other students, and only 54% were Proficient on the last exam. FYI, the Legislature increased At Risk Aid, intended for helping low income kids, by more than 7-fold between 2005 and 2014.
27% of students who graduated from Kansas high schools in 2013 and attended university in Kansas signed up for remedial training (Kansas Board of Regents); no data is available on students who went out of state or attended a private college.
These unacceptable outcomes are not necessarily anyone’s fault but it is everyone’s responsibility — especially the Legislature’s — to get it fixed. And just spending more on a system that for whatever reasons produced these results it not a solution. Been there, tried that.
Unless President Obama provides the Iran nuclear deal side agreements to Congress, the sanctions must remain in place, write United States Representative Mike Pompeo and others. From the office of Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district.
Pompeo, Roskam, Zeldin: No Side Deals, No Sanctions Relief
Reports Claim Iran Now Submitting Self-Collected Samples from Parchin to IAEA
September 21, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) released the following statement after reports indicate that Iran has begun submitting self-collected samples from its Parchin military complex to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The news is consistent with an Associated Press report that one of the two Iran-IAEA side agreements never submitted to Congress allows Tehran to conduct critical portions of what should be independent, international inspections at Parchin — a site where Iran allegedly tested detonators needed to weaponize nuclear technology in the past.
“This report appears to confirm our grave concern that the Iran-IAEA side agreements permit Tehran to self-inspect its own nuclear sites. Without access to these documents it’s impossible to verify that necessary mechanisms are in place to ensure Iran will abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. This is why, until the President complies with the law and provides the side agreements to Congress, we must keep the sanctions regime in place.”
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 explicitly requires the President to submit any “side agreements” negotiated between “Iran and any other parties” to Congress prior to a mandated review period and vote, and before any statutory sanctions are lifted. As the law states:
“Not later than 5 calendar days after reaching an agreement with Iran relating to the nuclear program of Iran, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership — (A) the agreement, as defined in subsection (h)(1), including all related materials and annexes;”
“The term ‘agreement’ means an agreement related to the nuclear program of Iran that includes the United States, commits the United States to take action, or pursuant to which the United States commits or otherwise agrees to take action, regardless of the form it takes, whether a political commitment or otherwise, and regardless of whether it is legally binding or not, including any joint comprehensive plan of action entered into or made between Iran and any other parties, and any additional materials related thereto, including annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understands, and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future;”
At the regular September meeting, the State Board of Education accepted staff recommendations and approved the new state assessment cut scores with only a single dissenting member. The vote was a culmination of an intensive process that took several months and created not only the cut scores, but a new set of levels based on the new College and Career Ready standards (CCR) — the Kansas version of Common Core.
The following graphics show the statewide scores for both math and ELA (English language arts) for the tested grades based on the new cut scores and the four performance levels. (Note: KCCRA stands for Kansas College and Career Ready Assessment and is derived from Common Core Standards. This is not to be confused with Rose standards — KSDE considers CCR Standards a subset of Rose standards.)
A general description of the four levels are provided in this blog post.
If you look at these and are not sure what they mean, you’re in good company. Upon seeing the same graphs at the board meeting, SBOE chairman Jim McNiece, asked staff: “How did we do?” That inquiry pretty much sums things up: after all the effort, we can’t look at this data and understand what it means, leaving more questions than answers.
Aside from the obvious query from Chairman McNiece, here are several more questions to consider while digesting these resu
Do the results show that the Kansas version of Common Core Standards have made any difference in student performance?
As a companion question, are the outcomes a function of cut scores, the levels, the standards or a combination?
Why did students in elementary score so much higher?
Given the much different results for elementary, should they have their own levels?
What is the deal with Level 4? If, as explained, these are the students who will score in the upper 1% on ACT, it begs two questions:
Why have a separate level if so few are ever expected to make it?
Why are so many elementary students in Level 4?
Since this is just statewide aggregate data, what will district and subgroup date reveal?
How are parents, the schools, and the students themselves going to react to these scores?
Hopefully, as the new state assessment and reporting process unfolds, these and other questions that will arise will be adequately addressed. Until then, this announcement should be considered a bureaucratic first-step in a much longer and extensive journey.
“In addition to negotiating a bad deal that caves to Iranian bullies and serial nuclear cheaters, the administration presented Congress with an incomplete copy of the agreement that fails to provide the full text of the secret side deals between Iran and the IAEA and is missing the signatures of all of the members of the P5+1 and Iran. These signatures are not just a mere formality. They serve as a crucial representation of each country’s commitment to upholding the terms of the agreement.” From the office of U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district.
Pompeo Questions Whether Iran Deal is Signed by Iran or P5+1
Sends letter to Secretary Kerry requesting final signed copy of JCPOA be provided to Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) today sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the incomplete copy of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was provided to Congress. The document provided is completely unsigned. None of the members of the P5+1 nor any Iranian leaders have executed the copy of the agreement provided to Congress. In the letter, Pompeo calls on Kerry to provide Congress with a final version of the agreement that includes each party’s signature, that confirms each country’s commitment to the agreement and “makes clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.”
Pompeo said: “In addition to negotiating a bad deal that caves to Iranian bullies and serial nuclear cheaters, the administration presented Congress with an incomplete copy of the agreement that fails to provide the full text of the secret side deals between Iran and the IAEA and is missing the signatures of all of the members of the P5+1 and Iran. These signatures are not just a mere formality. They serve as a crucial representation of each country’s commitment to upholding the terms of the agreement. While I would like to believe this was simply an oversight, it is likely yet another case of the Obama administration acting like a lazy student turning in unfinished homework without even putting a name on it.
“These concerns are only heightened by the complete contradiction between Secretary Kerry’s continued defense of the agreement with statements by Iranians that express their blatant intent to disregard the terms of the deal. Unsigned, it is hard to tell if this document is anything more than just words on paper and just about as enforceable. We must demand that Congress be given a complete and signed copy of the agreement so that we can verify that Iran has bound itself to its requirements under this deal.”
The full text of the letter is below:
September 18, 2015
The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Kerry:
I have reviewed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Islamic Republic of Iran – or at least the parts of the agreement that were provided to Congress by the administration. As you know, pursuant to H. Res. 411, the House of Representatives considers the documents transmitted on July 19, 2015 incomplete in light of the fact that the secret side deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran were not provided to Congress. I look forward to seeing the entire agreement — including the two secret side deals that are part of the JCPOA — so that Congress may continue to evaluate the JCPOA and, depending on the outcome of the vote under the relevant provisions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, potentially end the current and continuing prohibition of the lifting of sanctions on Iran.
During that review, I found that the copies provided to Congress of the JCPOA are not signed by any of the P5+1 members nor by Iran. Having never seen an international agreement of this magnitude not signed by the parties or an agent of the parties, I assume this is simply an oversight or an administrative error. That is, Congress must not have the final version of the agreement that would necessarily be signed. I request that you provide us with copies of a final, executed copy of the JCPOA. In the event that the JCPOA has not yet been signed by the parties, please inform us (a) when signatures will be placed on the agreement, (b) what parties will be signing, and (c) which person you anticipate will sign on behalf of each of those parties, including on behalf of the United States.
I am confident that you intended for the JCPOA to be signed by each of the P5+1 participants. I can find no international agreement of this “historic” nature that was not signed by the parties. Each of the past five major nuclear agreements to which the U.S. is a party – SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II and the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — were signed by representatives of each nation that was party to the agreement. This is not a mere formality. Those signatures represent the commitment of the signatory and the country on whose behalf he or she is signing.
A signature also serves to make clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement. In short, just as with any legal instrument, signing matters.
This is particularly important with respect to JCPOA. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made clear that he does not believe that JCPOA is legally binding on his nation, saying, “If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government. It will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it. Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”
Given the many benefits that will accrue to the ayatollahs, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and other unsavory elements of the Iranian regime, I believe that Iran should, at the very least, bind itself to the few requirements placed on it under the JCPOA by signing the agreement. I also believe that the United States and its P5+1 partners on the JCPOA should execute the agreement on behalf of their countries. I look forward to your response.
You’d never know it from media and proponents of higher taxes and spending, but according to the Division of the Budget’s July Comparison Report (Schedule 2.2), General Fund spending set a new record last year at $6.251 billion. That’s an increase of $268 million over the previous year, with funding for K-12 Education accounting for $163 million of the increase. The approved budgets for FY 2016 and FY 2017 will also set new records.
Spending has grown much more than most people realize (or in some cases, more than they are willing to admit) over the last twenty years. Actual spending increased by $2.941 billion since 1995, which is much greater than inflation.
The adjacent table shows what General Fund spending would have been if it was increased for inflation each year since 1995 using a fiscal year average Consumer Price Index for Midwest Urban Cities. Some people believe spending is too low but it would have been $1.174 billion less last year if it had been increased for inflation since 1995.
Kansas is now consistently spending over $1 billion more annually than the long-term inflation track. Kansas would have spent $14.4 billion less over the last twenty years and the total will hit $16.803 billion by the end of FY 2017 if the inflation assumption noted in the table holds.
So what is the basis for claims that spending has been slashed, decimated and other forms of mutilation? In government-speak, not getting as much of an increase is portrayed as a “cut.”
Renowned economist Thomas Sowell perfectly explains how state budgets become so bloated. “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
Quick Takes from Voice for Liberty: Individual liberty, limited government, economic freedom, and free markets in Wichita and Kansas.