House Passes Critical Gosar Jobs Bill
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steven D. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 which included the Congressman’s bill authorizing a federal land exchange in Southeast Arizona by a recorded vote of 300-119:
“This is a great day for America and a great day for Arizona. Copper is once again king in Arizona, and our military and our manufacturing base will be assured of critical domestic copper supplies. I am extremely pleased that the House once again passed my Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act. Attaching to the must pass Defense Authorization makes a lot of sense as my bill will lead to new critical mineral production and paves the way for mining one of the largest copper deposits ever discovered in North America, producing enough copper to meet nearly 25% of U.S. demand. It was a true pleasure working closely with Senator McCain who is spearheading this effort in the Senate.
“The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act will create nearly 4,000 new jobs and bring in more than $60 billion over its lifetime to the economically-depressed Town of Superior, Arizona and the surrounding region. This victory comes after years of tireless work by both the House and Senate.
“It is important to note that addressing environmental and tribal concerns played a critical role in the final approval of this legislation. For those reasons, the exchange was modified from the original bill so that the transfer of the Oak Flat property will not occur until after an environmental study is performed on the mine and other activities related to the land exchange. This concession was included at the request of Native Tribes. Additionally, the original bill has been modified to allow tribes to access the Oak Flat campground for years to come until the area is deemed unsafe. It also designates 807 acres of the Apache Leap Cliffs as a ‘special management area,’ which places it under Forest Service protection and ensures the cliffs will not be damaged by the mine.
“Historically, land packages have been a common addition to the Defense Authorization as the development of natural resources, such as copper included in many of our defense weapons and systems, directly impacts our national security.
“Building a stronger environment for job creation and economic growth in Arizona was one of the primary reasons I ran for Congress. It is the fundamental cure to combating a sluggish economy and brings real prosperity to the people of Arizona. This legislation was one of the first bills I sponsored as a member of Congress and I consider it to be a monumental accomplishment that it is on its way to passage through the Senate and hopefully being signed into law in a timely manner.”
Congressman Gosar has created a page on his official website dedicated to providing information on his sponsored legislation, The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act. It can be viewed HERE.
The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act would facilitate the development of an underground copper mine that will create new American jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy and minerals, and generate revenue for federal and state treasuries. In addition, the measure would transfer environmentally sensitive lands into federal stewardship. This legislation is not only a jobs bill, it's a conservation bill. The lands the federal government acquires in the exchange are highly-coveted recreational and conservation areas.
This legislation is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Supply Association, the American Clean Energy Resources Trust, the Associated General Contractors of America, the Northwest Mining Association, the National Mining Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers.
The Defense Authorization included more than Congressman Gosar’s land exchange bill. Also present in this legislation were other important provisions that were strongly supported by Congressman Gosar such as:
-Authorizing important resources for paying our troops as well as making sure our men and women in uniform have the tools and equipment necessary to safely and successfully accomplish their missions.
-Authorizing vital support for TRICARE as well as national defense weapons systems and platforms, including ballistic missile defense.
-Denying the Administration's proposal to increase pharmaceutical co-pays over multiple years.
-Provisions to help reverse the trend of military suicide by appropriating $45.3 million towards psychological health programs.
-Prohibiting the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to the United States as well as the prohibition of the construction of new terrorist detention facilities in the United States.
-Providing for the refueling of the USS George Washington, includes limited purchase of EA-18G Growlers, MQ-9 Reapers and AWACS, and bans the retirement of any A-10 aircraft.