FACT CHECK: Another Dishonest Ad from Burkhalter that Intentionally Misleads Voters about Griffin’s Record
Burkhalter also confirms he would have voted for Pelosi’s liberal House Democrat Budget filled with tax increases and would have supported higher taxes on small businesses
LITTLE ROCK – Democrat John Burkhalter continued his negative smear campaign today by falsely saying Tim Griffin voted for a congressional pay raise. Griffin’s pay is exactly the same as it was when he went to Congress and he has never voted for a pay increase. He also dishonestly says Griffin opposed legislative language regarding first class flights, the gym and the barber shop that Griffin actually supported the exact same day.
Griffin released the following statement:
“Today John Burkhalter launched an ad attacking me for voting against the liberal House Democrat budget and confirming what we already knew: he is a liberal who would have voted for the liberal House Democrat budget written by Pelosi which contained over a trillion dollars in tax increases and more spending. He continues to attack my common sense record in order to hide his support for the Obama agenda. Arkansas needs an honest lieutenant governor who wants to reform government so we can grow good-paying jobs and compete.”
Dishonest Attack #1: Congressional Pay Raise
Burkhalter Dishonest Ad: “Griffin voted to let congressman take a pay raise”
Chryon: “Congressman Tim Griffin for raises for Congress”
The Facts: Griffin has repeatedly and consistently opposed Congressional pay raises and has never had a pay raise.
- Members of Congress last received a pay raise in January, 2009 – two years before Griffin took office.
- Pay raises for members of Congress have been frozen since that time by Public Law 111-322 (enacted December 22, 2010).
- A scheduled pay raise that was to take effect in 2011 was prohibited by Public Law 111-165, enacted May 14, 2010.
- A scheduled pay raise for Members of Congress was again frozen through 2012 by Public Law 111-322 (enacted December 22, 2010).
- Since Griffin has been in office he has voted for the federal spending measures that kept the congressional pay freeze in place: Public Law 112-175, which was enacted September 28, 2012; and, and Public Law 113-46, which was enacted October 17, 2013.
Griffin was also a cosponsor of bills in both Congresses to prevent pay increases for Members of Congress:
- H.R. 187, the Congressional Pay Reform Act in the 112th Congress. This bill would have eliminated the automatic pay adjustments for Members of Congress.
- H.R. 54, in the 113th – to provide the no pay adjustment for Members shall be made with respect to any pay period occurring during the 113th Congress. Griffin is an original co-sponsor.
January 2, 2013, American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8): According to John Burkhalter’s ad, he would have supported tax increases on small businesses pushed by President Obama. Burkhalter’s television ad faults Griffin for voting against a deal promoted by President Obama that passed Congress on January 2, 2013. That law included $47 billion in new spending, massive tax increases on small businesses and a $1.6 trillion payroll tax increase over ten years. That large, omnibus law also included a freeze on Congressional pay – a freeze which Griffin had already voted to support.
Information on Griffin’s conservative vote to spare taxpayers can be found below:
The Congressional Research Service Says Congress Hasn’t Received a Pay Increase Since 2009—Before Griffin Was Elected: According to CRS, Members of Congress last received a pay increase in January 2009, before Griffin were elected into office. At that time, their salary was increased 2.8%, to $174,000 from $169,300. Members next were scheduled to receive a 0.9% pay adjustment in 2011. The pay adjustment was prohibited by P.L. 111-165 (enacted May 14, 2010). Additionally, P.L. 111-322 (enacted on December 22, 2010) prevented any adjustment in GS base pay before December 31, 2012. Since the percentage adjustment in Member pay may not exceed the percentage adjustment in the base pay of GS employees, Member pay was also frozen during this period. The Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175, enacted September 28, 2012), extended the freeze on GS pay rates for the duration of this continuing resolution, which also extended the Member freeze – Griffin voted for this bill, HJ RES 117 112th Congress. Subsequently, Member pay for 2013 was further frozen in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-240, enacted on January 2, 2013) – Griffin voted against this bill HR 8 112th Congress – because it raised taxes on small businesses and increased wasteful spending. The maximum potential 2014 pay adjustment of 1.2%, or $2,100, was denied by P.L. 113-46 (enacted October 17, 2013) – Griffin voted for this bill, HR 2775 113th Congress.
Dishonest Attack #2: First Class Flights
and Dishonest Attack #3: House Gym, and Barber Shop
Burkhalter Dishonest Ad: “And fly first class”
Chryon: “Congressman Tim Griffin let Congress fly first class”
“Griffin even used tax dollars for a private gym and barbershop”
Chryon: “Congressman Tim Griffin used tax dollars for private gym and barbershop”
The Facts: Griffin opposed the liberal House Democrat budget as Burkhalter suggests in the ad, BUT Burkhalter dishonestly fails to mention that Griffin voted for almost the exact same language on flights, the gym and the barbershop in the Republican budget on the same day. In the ad, Burkhalter admits he would have voted for the liberal House Democrat budget, filled with over a trillion in tax increases and more wasteful spendng, a budget even some Democrats opposed.
- Griffin has never purchased a first class ticket as a Member of Congress and opposes first class flights by Members of Congress.
- April 10, 2014, Van Hollen Substitute Amendment to H. Con. Res. 96, the House Republican Budget for FY 2015: The first class flight, member gym and barbershop related vote were part of Democrat Rep. Van Hollen’s substitute amendment to the House Republican Budget for FY15, H.Con.Res.96. Griffin opposed Rep. Van Hollen’s Amendment but supported the same basic language in a Republican version.
Note – Griffin supported the Republican House Budget which contained language similar to Democrat Van Hollen’s:
REPUBLICAN BUDGET LANGUAGE:
SEC. 608. POLICY STATEMENT ON RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS.
(a) Findings- The House finds the following:
(1) The budget for the House of Representatives is $188 million less than it was when Republicans became the majority in 2011.
(2) The House of Representatives has achieved significant savings by consolidating operations and renegotiating contracts.
(b) Policy on Responsible Stewardship of Taxpayer Dollars- It is the policy of this resolution that:
(1) The House of Representatives must be a model for the responsible stewardship of taxpayer resources and therefore must identify any savings that can be achieved through greater productivity and efficiency gains in the operation and maintenance of House services and resources like printing, conferences, utilities, telecommunications, furniture, grounds maintenance, postage, and rent. This should include a review of policies and procedures for acquisition of goods and services to eliminate any unnecessary spending. The Committee on House Administration should review the policies pertaining to the services provided to Members and committees of the House, and should identify ways to reduce any subsidies paid for the operation of the House gym, barber shop, salon and the House dining room.
(2) No taxpayer funds may be used to purchase first class airfare or to lease corporate jets for Members of Congress.
(3) Retirement benefits for Members of Congress should not include free, taxpayer-funded health care for life.
DEMOCRAT BUDGET LANGUAGE:
Here is language from the Democrat Van Hollen budget amendment: http://democrats.budget.house.gov/sites/democrats.budget.house.gov/files/04.07.14%20VANHOL_068_xml.pdf
SEC. 519. POLICY OF THE HOUSE ON THE USE OF TAXPAYER FUNDS.
It is the policy of this resolution that the House should lead by example and identify any savings that can be achieved through greater productivity and efficiency gains in the operation and maintenance of House services and resources like printing, conferences, utilities, telecommunications, furniture, grounds maintenance, postage and rent. This should include a review of policies and procedures for acquisition of goods and services to eliminate any unnecessary spending. The Committee on House Administration shall review the policies pertaining to the services provided to Members of Congress and House Committees, and shall identify ways to reduce any subsidies paid for the operation of the House gym, Barber-shop, Salon, and the House dining room. Further, it is the policy of this resolution that no taxpayer funds may be used to purchase first class airfare or to lease corporate jets for Members of Congress.
Dishonest Attack #4: “Career Politician”
Burkhalter Dishonest Ad: “I’m a small businessman not a career politician. I’m not looking for perks.”
The Facts: Mr. Burkhalter continues to use the term “career politician” in his ads. He must be referring to his running mate, Mike Ross, gubernatorial candidate, who served 12 years in Congress and 10 years in the State Legislature for a total of 22 years. In contrast, Griffin has served only four years as an elected official.
- It is widely known that Griffin sleeps in his office, and has pledged not to accept a congressional pension.
About Congressman Tim Griffin
Congressman Tim Griffin was re-elected as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District on November 6, 2012. For the 113th Congress, he is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as an Assistant Whip for the majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 17 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their two children.
For more information about the campaign, please visit www.TimGriffinforArkansas.com. Griffin supporters can also follow the campaign on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TGforArkansas and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TimGriffinforArkansas.