Entries in Jeff Flake (7)


Immigration Reform Gains Momentum, All Eyes on Boehner

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An immigration reform bill in the Senate now has crucial Republican support after senators struck a deal centered on border security last week.

But whether the sweeping legislative package can pass the more conservative House of Representatives is another question.

Democrats insist that the bill include a path to citizenship for the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants, something that will be hard to swallow for the border hawks in the House.

But if conservatives oppose citizenship, the coalition supporting reform will push back, according to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of the legislators that drafted the bill. The senator spoke to Univision's Jorge Ramos in an interview that aired Sunday on the news show Al Punto.

"If the House resists, I think we'll see a day like we did in the civil rights movement," Schumer said. "I think we'll see two million people on the mall in Washington, D.C., and on the stage will not just be liberal Democrats, they will be the business leaders, the agricultural leaders, the cardinals from the Catholic Church, the leaders of the evangelical churches, all saying this is the right thing to do."

"And they will have to pass it," Schumer continued.

The fate of the bill in the House largely depends on Republican leadership, notably Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The Speaker typically will only bring a bill to the floor of the House if it has the majority support of his party, and that's unlikely to happen with this immigration package.

So he would have to break his own informal rule to let the House consider the Senate plan. Comments he made this week indicated he doesn't seem likely to do that.

"I don't see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn't have the majority support of Republicans," Boehner told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

But as Schumer pointed out in his interview with Univision, Boehner has bluffed before, saying he wouldn't allow a bill to reach the floor of the House but then reversing his position.

"He's said that in the past on other bills and then when he felt the pressure, he changed his mind," Schumer said.

Schumer cited an aide package for Tropical Storm Sandy, which Boehner brought to the floor for a vote without support from the majority of Republicans. The aid package passed in the House with backing from most Democrats but less than a quarter of Republicans.

Still, that was enough Republican backing to get the bill passed, and the same thing could be possible with immigration reform.

Of course, the immigration package still needs to get through the Senate. But the odds of passing that House look promising after more Republicans joined the effort this past week.

In addition to Schumer, Univision's Jorge Ramos spoke with five members of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that sponsored the immigration legislation, including one of the Republicans in the group, Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona).

Flake has recently been under scrutiny after his son was found to have posted racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic message on websites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. In addition to using the N-word and a homophobic slur, he referred to Mexicans as "scum of the Earth."

The senator has since apologized for his son, but he answered more questions about his son's attitudes in his interview with Jorge Ramos.

"Unfortunately, when kids talk on the Internet sometimes they say things that they wouldn't otherwise," Flake said. "But I can assure you that those words have never been uttered around our house."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Immigration Bill Delayed, Likely Not Ready Until Next Week

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Wednesday’s expected Senate briefing on the Gang of Eight immigration bill was postponed.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was scheduled to explain the nearly finished proposal, but senators coming out of the closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill told reporters that the gun issue took up the entire agenda.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a powerful critic of immigration reform, said the Gang of Eight was not ready.

Sessions said, “I guess he wasn’t ready. They didn’t seem to be interested in doing that,” he told reporters. “I didn’t get the impression there was any interest to get that done today [among the Gang of Eight]. The impression I got was that they hoped to be able to do it next week.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican of Arizona and one of the Gang of Eight, told reporters the bill could be ready by Friday or slip into next week.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jeff Flake Wins Arizona Senate Race

United States Congress(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Jeff Flake will defeat Democrat Richard Carmona in what became a surprisingly competitive battle for Arizona's Senate seat, ABC News projects.

Republican Sen. Jon Kyl's surprise announcement that he would not seek another term left open a long-held seat in Arizona and gave Democrats one more -- albeit unlikely -- opportunity to pick up a Republican seat in the Senate.

But over the summer, the race between Carmona, who was a former surgeon general in George W. Bush's administration, and Flake, a five-term congressman from Arizona's 6th district, went from being strongly favored for Republicans to being closer than most expected.

Several polls showed Flake holding a moderate lead of 5 or 6 percentage points on the eve of the election, compared with the double-digit lead he held earlier in the year.

Carmona, an independent now running as a Democrat, was dubbed "the most interesting man in the world" in part because of his colorful life story and long resume that included his service as a Special Forces medic in Vietnam, as a SWAT team member and as a surgeon.

The race was a heavily negative one, with both candidates viciously attacking each other throughout the contest.

Flake aired ads casting Carmona as temperamental, difficult to work with and hostile to women. Flake has been cast as a "career politician," steeped in the partisan ways of Washington.

And on Election Day, Carmona's supporters accused Flake's campaign of making misleading robocalls to voters giving them wrong information about where and when they could vote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Rep. Jeff Flake Blasts Obama on Economy

United States Congress(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's Republican address, U.S. Representative and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona, Jeff Flake, discusses President Obama's record on the economy, particularly the national deficit.

"Last week, the Obama Administration confirmed that the budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 will be $1.1 trillion dollars.  This will mark the fourth year in a row that the federal government has spent more than it has taken in to the tune of over a trillion dollars," Rep. Flake says, blasting the Obama Administration for it's handling of the economy.

While Democrats have touted the decreasing unemployment rate as an accomplishment, Flake says not much has changed since Obama took office.

"And what do we have to show for this prolonged and record setting federal spending?  The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.8% the month President Obama took office, the same as it is this month.  Home values have gone down by over 10% and gas prices have more than doubled.  The Obama Administration added over 5 trillion dollars to the national debt for this?" Flake says.  

Acknowledging the economy's fragility at the beginning of Obama's term, Flake says the president's methods don't deal with the economic slowdown.
“President Obama undoubtedly inherited a fragile economy, but he’s done little to improve it.  In fact, rather than take a lesson, his answer to persistently weak jobs numbers is pressure to spend another half a trillion taxpayer dollars on legislation that would fail to even take steps to deal with the economic slowdown," he says in the address.

Rep. Flake further criticizes congressional Democrats for not passing a budget.

“While House Republicans have passed a budget that addresses our challenges head-on, Democrats in the Senate have failed to even attempt to do their homework.  They have not passed a budget in over 1200 days," he says.

Flake adds that at the "current budget trajectory," future generations will not have the same opportunities "that my grandparents created for me."

“It is my hope that the recess from fiscal sanity that the last four years have represented is over.  As bad as our fiscal challenges are, it’s not too late.  The bell has rung and it is time for us to get to work,” he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arizona Senate Race: Things Get Personal Between Candidates

Hemera/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Senate ads have been dark and foreboding, if often boilerplate.  But Arizona’s Senate race has swiftly become one of the most intense and personal in the country, thanks to two new TV ads released last week by Republican Rep. Jeff Flake and Democrat Richard Carmona, who served as Surgeon General during the George W. Bush administration.

Rep. Flake’s campaign struck first.  Cristina Beato, a senior Health and Human Services official during the Bush years, appeared in a TV ad in which she accused Carmona of knocking loudly on her door late at night when she was his boss.

“There was an angry pounding on the door in the middle of the night.  I’m a single mom.  I feared for my kids and for myself,” Beato says in the ad.  “It was Richard Carmona, and I was his boss.  Carmona is not who he seems.  He has issues with anger, with ethics, and with women.  I have testified to this under oath to Congress.  Richard Carmona, should never, ever be in the U.S. Senate.”

Beato, who served as Acting Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary under Bush, told congressional investigators in 2007 that Carmona was an “extremely angry” person and a “living nightmare” to work with, Politico first reported in May.  Beato alleged two episodes in which Carmona had banged on her door, attempting to confront her over an issue on which they disagreed, Politico reported.

Carmona’s campaign denies the incident took place.

Beato made the accusations as Carmona testified that Bush health officials had politicized health issues, including the risks of tobacco.  Politico reported that Carmona had accused her of “carrying water” for the Bush administration and that the two top health officials developed an intense rivalry.  While Carmona wouldn’t name names in his congressional testimony, a half-dozen former HHS officials told The New York Times in 2007 that Beato was the one most likely to have interfered with health findings.

Carmona has responded with a TV ad featuring another of his former bosses.  In it, former SWAT commander Kathleen Brennan, under whom Carmona served in Pima County, Ariz., for years, vouches for Carmona’s treatment of women and attacks Flake.

"When I see a career politician like Jeff Flake attacking Rich Carmona, who has spent his life helping others, it’s despicable.  Congressman Flake should be ashamed,” Brennan says in the ad.

Carmona’s campaign has not only denied the episode -- “Never happened,” spokesman Andy Barr said -- but has suggested that Beato has a history of lying.  The campaign points to her stalled confirmation by a Democratic Senate amidst accusations that she fabricated parts of her resume, and to questions over Beato’s credibility raised by Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who chaired the committee to which both Beato and Carmona testified.

Jennifer Cabe, who served as Carmona’s communications director when he was Surgeon General, vouched for Carmona and accused Beato of lying at a press conference on Friday.

“I know these accusations are 100 percent false,” Cabe said, while Beato stood by her story and two former Bush officials praised her credibility in interviews with The Arizona Republic.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Napolitano Won't Seek Arizona Senate Seat

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday she will not leave the Obama administration to run for Senate in Arizona in 2012. Her name had been tossed into the ring by supporters who thought she could be a strong candidate to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jon Kyl.

Earlier this week Republican Congressman Jeff Flake announced his bid for the seat. Flake already has the endorsement of the Club for Growth and the Tea Party-affiliated organization, Freedom Works.

But speculation is brewing that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from her injuries after last month’s shooting in Tucson, might run for the seat. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., recently said there is a "distinct possibility" Giffords will run, but it's far from certain.

Statement from Napolitano's office:

“Secretary Napolitano told senior Democratic Party leaders earlier this week that she will not seek Arizona’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2012. She cares deeply about Arizona, but the Secretary intends to continue doing the job that the President asked her to do – protecting the American people from terrorism and other threats to our country. She's focused on continuing to strengthen our counter-terrorism initiatives, border security, immigration enforcement, transportation and cyber security, and disaster preparedness."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake Condemns Tucson Shootings

Photo Courtesy - Office of Congressman Jeff Flake(WASHINGTON) -- In the Republicans’ weekly address, Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake denounced last week’s shootings in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and another 13 wounded – including Flake’s Democratic colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“While we may not agree on everything, members of Congress are bound together by a sacred oath to support and defend the constitution,” Flake said, before reiterating House Speaker John Boehner’s point that “an attack on one of us is an attack on all who serve.”

Flake called the shootings a “stark reminder of the senseless brutality of which some are capable.”

“These violent acts have no place in our society,” Flake said, “and we should honor those who stood up in defiance.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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