Eject > Political > Current Activity in the U.S. Congress – 9 Legislative Items Senator Martha McSally Co-Sponsored or Sponsored in the 116th Congress

Current Activity in the U.S. Congress – 9 Legislative Items Senator Martha McSally Co-Sponsored or Sponsored in the 116th Congress

In January 2019, an article from AZCentral had this to say about Republican junior Senator from Arizona, Martha McSally’s fundraising: her “fundraising practices have drawn scrutiny in the past, [she] appears to have accepted more than $270,000 in excessive campaign contributions during the recent midterm campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Federal candidates can collect $2,700 from a single donor during a primary election, followed by an additional $2,700 from the same person during the general election.

But the federal agency flagged dozens of contributions to McSally from more than 60 donors that appear to exceed those limits, including one who cut a $10,000 check during the general election alone.”

It went on to note she’d lost the election but was seated in the late Senator John McCain’s position to complete his term a short time later. It also continued, noting “This isn’t the first time McSally has drawn attention for her fundraising and record-keeping. An audit by the FEC that was released last year found that the former congresswoman’s 2014 campaign accepted $319,000 in excessive contributions.

The agency found that her campaign had sloppy record-keeping, with account balances that were overstated repeatedly or understated. The audit also found that she failed to disclose required donor information and did not report late-in-the campaign donations within the required amount of time.”

A few months later, in July, an Associated Press article noted that she had “agreed to pay a fine of more than $23,000 to settle campaign finance violations from the 2014 election…[after] FEC auditors found that McSally’s 2014 House campaign took $319,000 in excessive contributions from 117 people… Auditors also found that McSally’s campaign didn’t properly disclose nearly $33,000 from political action committees.”

In addition to this flawed bookkeeping, the Senator has fallen under scrutiny for failing to disclose an “underwater loan she once claimed” in many public statements. The ThinkProgress website noted this in an August 2019 article, saying, “Appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) frequently boasted during her 2012 congressional campaign that she understood what it was like to be underwater on a mortgage as she had purchased 18 undeveloped acres of land that were worth less than the amount she owed her bank. But seven years later, she has still never listed any such mortgage on her legally-required personal financial disclosure statements… After requesting and receiving a three-month extension in May, McSally filed her first disclosure statement with the Senate Office of Public Records on Friday.

Like her previous filings, McSally noted in this disclosure that she owns “18 Acres of Land” worth between $100,001 and $250,000. The ‘unimproved land’ is in Elgin, Arizona, a community southeast of Tucson and less than 40 miles north of the Mexican border.”

A review of her financial disclosures does not mention the mortgage she has repeatedly claimed. This, says the article, goes against “McSally’s long-ago promise that ‘truthfulness’ and ‘integrity’ would be ‘core values’ of her public life, she has repeatedly struggled to tell the truth and to complete accurate public disclosures.”

On top of all of this, an FEC audit done a year earlier also unanimously determined that her 2014 campaign had “failed to properly disclose its finances and had failed to collect required employment information for more than 1,200 of her campaign contributions,” as reported by the Tucson Sentinel. In fact, that news organization analyzed her campaign in 2015 and found “she had overstated her campaign haul that year by more than $3 million, and didn’t provide required occupational information on more than 860 of about 1,200 campaign donors in the first half of that year… In the first half of the next year, McSally’s campaign didn’t collect that info on about 75 percent of her donations. Federal regulators have repeatedly knocked the Republican’s campaign for errors and incomplete reports.”

A list of the problems discovered by the two Republican/single Democrat/single Independent regulatory panel looks like this:

  • “Overstated campaign fundraising by $94,528, and campaign spending by $85,472.
  • Failed to disclose employer and occupation information on 1,266 contributions totaling $687,572.
  • Received 153 contributions, totaling $319,212, that were above the limit for campaign donations from individuals.
  • Failed to file, or filed late, required 48-hour notices for 33 contributions totaling $99,853.
  • Failed to correctly itemize $32,750 in 15 contributions from other political committees.”

While many might read this and wonder why sloppy or slipshod bookkeeping is a problem, it has to do with federal law. Though IRS rules allow anonymity to be assured with non-profit donor lists, candidates “are required to disclose the full name, mailing address, occupation and employer of each person who donates more than $200 in an election cycle. Candidates are required to demonstrate that they have made ‘best efforts’ to obtain employment info from donors, including making a follow-up ‘stand alone’ request, without soliciting a further contribution, within 30 days if it is not provided.”

Senator McSally’s campaigns have received dozens of RFAIs or requests for additional information. In comparison to other Senators, she is at the very top of the list for incomplete records and even “ranked as least likely to properly provide required information.”

All of these issues paint a bad portrait for the Senator, but especially in light of the growing concerns about campaign funding, in general. This is because recent changes in campaign finance rules, along with a nearly decade-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling, make it more and more challenging to spot instances of influence via campaign backing.

Many feel this current period of trouble began with the 2010 Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United. In it, the Court held that “the free speech clause of the first amendment prohibits the government from restricting corporations from making political expenditures.” The ruling looked at “laws that prevented corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds for independent “electioneering communications” (political advertising),” and essentially gave tremendous power to PACs and SuperPACs by allowing them to accept immense sums.

Experts note that at that time the ruling “generated intense controversy outside the court. Some hailed it as a resounding victory for freedom of speech, while others criticized it as an overreaching attempt to rewrite campaign finance law.” Then-President Barack Obama criticizes the decision, and even mentioned it as a problem in his annual State of the Union, saying it opened “the floodgates for special interests…to spend without limit in our elections.”

In 2017, updates in IRS rules, no longer require politically active, 501(c) tax-exempt nonprofits to disclose the names or addresses of donors on the tax returns they submit.

This combination of factors has led to what many describe as dark money to become an actual, noticeable concern in elections. As the TruthOut website explained, massive earnings “by groups that don’t fully disclose donors has exceeded $2 billion since the 2006 election cycle.

Direct dark money spending by groups funded entirely by anonymous donors hit nearly $150 million reported to the FEC for the 2018 election cycle alone. That doesn’t include additional money funneled to other groups spending in elections or spent on political ads couched as issue advocacy and digital advertising that remains largely untouched by FEC disclosure requirements.”

Individual campaign finance watchdogs have made a point of monitoring this issue, and have reported that “spending of this kind (in which groups did not reveal their donors) climbed rapidly from five million dollars in the year 2006 to more than three hundred million dollars in 2012.”

As might be obvious, such increases do not come from average voters or even traditionally wealthy backers Instead, they originate from the super-wealthy or “mega-rich.” As one expert noted, they seem to have become “effectively in control of American politics, writing six- and seven-figure checks to super PAC’s to support ad campaigns that confuse viewers and distort the views and records of candidates.”

While many organizations fall within these guidelines, the most common are PACs (Political Action Committees) and SuperPACS. PACs are allowed to give to parties or candidates, while SuperPACs can only spend (unlimited amounts) on marketing and ads in support of candidates or present negative perspectives of opponents. And both groups can allow donors anonymity because both are non-profit.

And while few PACs or SuperPACs are demonstrably tools of influence, they can create leverage that allows them to accomplish “subtle things…less likely to be in the news — some amendment tucked into a larger bill…[and] greater access for friendly lobbyists.”

And it is this sort of pressure, sway or influence we are looking for in this article focused on Senator McSally. While we already know she is under a bit more scrutiny than the average senator, in terms of campaign finance, we’ll look at:

  • The Senator’s publicly stated priorities and issues
  • Senator McSally’s committee and caucus activities
  • The Senator’s key sources of campaign funding
  • Senator McSally’s most recent legislative items sponsored or co-sponsored

Along with bipartisanship ratings, conservative rankings, and more, to reach conclusions about potential influence from campaign backers.

For example, Senator McSally is too new to appear in the Lugar Center Bipartisanship Index, but she is not noted for a high level of bipartisanship and was even cited on C-SPAN for “feigning” it.Her “Trump Score” from FiveThirtyEight for the 116th Congress is significantly higher than anticipated at almost 97% rather than the nearly 60% expected, meaning that she supports President Trump’s policies, almost all of the time. The Conservative Review, gives her a poor grade, with a 60% rating or letter grade of “D”.

Her approval ratings in the Senate are very low, at 86th rank and a net approval of only 48 in her party, she is not faring well.

She leans towards the administration over her party’s more conservative stances and may not be similar in her beliefs or attitudes to the man she replaced, the late Senator John McCain. Let’s learn a bit about her background before exploring her policies and her supporters.

About Senator Martha McSally

Born in 1966 in Rhode Island, she was raised by her mother after her father died unexpectedly during her childhood. She was given a spot in the U.S. Air Force Academy and graduated in 1988. She took a master’s from Harvard in government and went on to pilot training, taking top in her class at Air War College.

She had an illustrious military career, where she was an instructor and then became one of the first women to provide Lead-In Fighter Training. She deployed to Kuwait and flew combat patrols over Iraq. She was promoted to Major, worked as an advisor to Senator Jon Kyl, and saw several deployments. She retired after 22 years in 2012 and entered politics.

She won a seat in the House in 2014, becoming the first female Republican elected to the House for Arizona. She won again in 2016 and then announced a run for the senate in 2018. She lost the election, but when Senator John McCain passed away in 2018, and his chosen successor had already resigned, it was the governor that selected McSally to fill the seat. She is slated to compete in a special election in 2020 and has yet to announce if she’ll run.

Her official website is lean on specifics, and neither her biography or the site’s general content itemize her priorities, or any issues she feels are relevant to her constituents. She is part of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which explains its membership as sharing “a commitment to conservative, pragmatic government that works to better American communities across the country. Main Street’s members are solution-oriented legislators dedicated to defending Main Street Americans and advancing common-sense policies that can command bipartisan support.”

With roughly 80 members, it leans centrist rather than moderate, and boats of being populated by majority-makers and upholding “the Republican tradition of responsible, results-oriented government.”

The journalism group, ProPublica monitors politicians for how they vote, the most common subjects of bills they sponsor and even what issues are the most common in their press releases. They have identified that Senator McSally focuses on the following items in her legislation:

  • Public Lands and Natural Resources
  • Law
  • Water Resources Development
  • Economics and Public Finance
  • Education

They have also kept tabs on statements and personal explanations from her office, and have noted that her policy priorities seem to emphasize:

  • Armed Forces and National Security
  • Immigration
  • Emergency Management
  • Crime and Law Enforcement

That represents very little overlap between her legislative actions and public statements, and this makes it essential that we consider all she has done since taking office.

Senator McSally’s Committee Work

For the 116th Congress, Senator McSally is assigned to the following committees and subcommittees:

  • Committee on Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on Airland
    • Subcommittee on Personnel
    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
  • Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
    • Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance
    • Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment
  • Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Energy
    • Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power (Chairman)
  • Committee on Indian Affairs
  • Special Committee on Aging

This is a lot of activity for a first-time senator and one that has yet to announce her intention to make a return. So, we’ll have to consider her leading supporters to understand if they represent any risks for influence.

The Top Industries Funding Senator McSally Campaign Efforts

In 2018, Senator McSally’s campaign raised $21,618,742.74 and spent $20,694,949.12, leaving the campaign with nearly one million dollars in cash on hand. Her support came from an array of industries, and we’ll look at those contributors in three distinct groupings:

  • The industries in which the Senator was a “favorite,” or top recipient in the last campaign cycle (2018)
  • The industries that contributed the most substantial amount of financial support
  • Individual organizations that donated the most

According to the Open Secrets Website, Senator McSally was an industry favorite in many segments between 2017-2018:

  • Auto dealers, foreign imports (#1)
  • Auto dealers, new & used (#1)
  • Automotive (#1)
  • Building Materials (#1)
  • Funeral services (#1)
  • Gun Rights (#1)
  • Home Builders (#1)
  • Miscellaneous Manufacturing/Distribution (#1)
  • Republican/Conservative (#1)
  • Mining (#2)
  • Miscellaneous Defense (#2)
  • Defense Electronics (#3)
  • Leadership PACs (#3)
  • Republican leadership PAC (#3)
  • For-profit Education (#4)
  • Candidate Committees (#35)

She also received strong support from other industries, and the 20 sectors that gave the most, overall, in 2018 were (in ranking order):

  1. Retired
  2. Republican/Conservative
  3. Securities & Investment
  4. Real Estate
  5. Leadership PACs
  6. Lawyers/Law Firms
  7. Miscellaneous Finance
  8. Health Professionals
  9. Oil & Gas
  10. Insurance
  11. Miscellaneous Manufacturing & Distributing
  12. Automotive
  13. Gun Rights
  14. Business Services
  15. Miscellaneous Business
  16. Education
  17. Mining
  18. Crop Production & Basic Processing
  19. Pro-Israel
  20. Building Materials & Equipment

Lastly, there were the companies and other groups that gave, individually. However, none of them donated directly to the campaign; instead, they worked with PACs or had direct employee contributions for the 2018 election, and were:

  • Raytheon Co – “A major U.S. defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. It was previously involved in corporate and special-mission aircraft until early 2007. Raytheon is the world’s largest producer of guided missiles. On June 9, 2019, Raytheon announced a merger of equals with the aerospace companies of United Technologies.”
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee – “The Republican Hill committee for the United States Senate, working to elect Republicans to that body. The NRSC was founded in 1916 as the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. It was reorganized in 1948 and renamed the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The NRSC helps elect Republican incumbents and challengers primarily through fundraising. Other services include campaign activities using media and communications, as well as research and strategy planning.”
  • Freeport-McMoRan – “A mining company based in the Freeport-McMoRan Center, in Phoenix, Arizona.”
  • Elliott Management – “An American investment management firm. It is also the largest activist fund in the world.”
  • Blackstone Group – “An American multinational private equity, alternative asset management, and financial services firm based in New York City. As the largest alternative investment firm in the world, Blackstone specializes in private equity, credit and hedge fund investment strategies. Blackstone’s private equity business has been one of the largest investors in leveraged buyouts in the last decade, while its real estate business has actively acquired commercial real estate. Since its inception, Blackstone has invested in such notable companies as Hilton Worldwide, Merlin Entertainments Group, Performance Food Group, EQ Office, Republic Services, AlliedBarton, United Biscuits, Freescale Semiconductor, Vivint, and Travelport.”
  • Winning for Women – “Winning For Women is a 501(c)(4) organization that believes that more opportunity for women makes a stronger country. To get there, Winning For Women is dedicated to identifying and creating paths forward for women leaders who share core values of economic freedom and strong national security. Winning For Women is building an infrastructure that will allow right-of-center women leaders to succeed in their pursuit of leadership opportunities, and working to advance free-market principles and a strong national defense. Winning For Women’s connected federal PAC will support free-market conservative women running for federal office.”
  • Fulton Homes Corp – “A homebuilder headquartered in Tempe, Arizona…Fulton Homes is both a new home builder and developer of communities. The company will typically take a large piece of land in locations that are close to shopping, schools, and other amenities. The master-planned communities usually have between 400 and 2200 homesites, with three to five different series of homes. The resulting developments can offer open space and amenities including aquatic centers, clubhouses, walking and jogging trails, ramadas, tot lots, basketball courts, volleyball courts, bocce ball, horseshoes, and pickle ball. The company has built over 100 communities in the Phoenix area, most located in the East Valley. Fulton Homes builds between 500 to 900 homes per year.”
  • Alliance Coal – “The coal industry’s first publicly traded master limited partnership (NASDAQ ticker symbol ‘ARLP’), Alliance is the largest coal producer in the Illinois Basin and the 2nd largest coal producer in the eastern United States.”
  • Chevron Corp – “An American multinational energy corporation. One of the successor companies of Standard Oil, it is headquartered in San Ramon, California, and active in more than 180 countries. Chevron is engaged in every aspect of the oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy industries, including hydrocarbon exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation. Chevron is one of the world’s largest oil companies; as of 2019, it ranked eleventh in the Fortune 500 list of the top US closely held and public corporations and 28th on the Fortune Global 500 list of the top 500 corporations worldwide.”
  • Citizens for Prosperity in America Today – “A libertarian/conservative political advocacy group in the United States funded by David H. Koch and Charles Koch. As the Koch brothers’ primary political advocacy group, it is one of the most influential American conservative organizations.”

She has a great deal of support from organizations dedicated to seeing her win her seat in the next election, and so that makes it very relevant to look at the legislative work she has done and will focus on in the coming months.

9 Legislative Items Senator McSally Has Sponsored During the 116th Congress – To Date

For the 116th Congress, to date, Senator McSally has 182 pieces of legislation; she sponsored 37 items, to date, and co-sponsored the remaining 145. The Senator’s official Congressional page indicates that her emphasis in this Congress has been primarily on those areas identified by ProPublica, including public lands and natural resources, law, water resources development, armed forces and national security, economics, and public finance.

A trio of Land Bills to Benefit Arizona

Introduced on January 8, this package of bipartisan and bicameral bills all introduced by Senator McSally seeking to “restore local control of Arizona lands to counties and cities throughout the state.”

The three bills are:

S.48 —Cottonwood Land Exchange Act of 2019 – This would, according to the Senator’s press release, “transfer 80 acres of Forest Service land in the
Coconino National Forest to Yavapai County in exchange for 369 acres of County land. In doing so, the Forest Service will consolidate land under its stewardship by connecting various parcels and the County will maintain the land as a park that will serve the community.”

S.54 —La Paz County Land Conveyance Act of 2019 – “the bill would transfer 5,935 acres of Bureau of Land Management land to La Paz County for the purposes of producing solar energy.”

S.55 —Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act – “the bill would complete a 28-year-old land exchange between the City of Tucson and the Bureau of Land Management. Specifically, the legislation removes a reversion clause in the original agreement and provides the city with full control of the park.”

Speaking of the need for the bills, Senator McSally said, “Local control of our lands in instances like these, will allow our state and our communities to responsibly utilize our resources and further economic development and recreational opportunities.”

All three were read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

S.111 —Pay Our Protectors Act of 2019

Introduced on January 10, this legislation intended to “immediately initiate pay
for essential federal law enforcement officers at the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice during the shutdown.” It also coincided with a letter the Senator sent to the financial clerk of the Senate, indicating her pay be withheld until the shutdown ended.

When presenting the item to the Senate, she said, “Today, I requested that my pay be withheld until the partial government shutdown is over, and I cosponsored legislation to block Members of Congress from receiving a paycheck when a budget and funding bills aren’t completed by the start of the fiscal year. I also just introduced legislation to pay federal law enforcement officers as they continue to serve during the partial shutdown. I don’t believe members of Congress should get paid while those who keep us safe, like our border patrol agents and CBP officers at our ports of entry, continue to work tirelessly without pay not knowing how they’ll afford their rent and support their families.
Let’s break the gridlock and find a path forward to secure our border and fund the government.”

It had no cosponsors and was read twice and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Second Arizona Lands Exchange Package

Introduced January 14 (with hearings held by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining on May 14), these three bills also seek to “restore local control of Arizona lands to counties and cities throughout the state,” as noted by the Senator in a press release about them.

The three bills are:

S.242 —Lowell Observatory Conveyance Act – “This bill would remove an outdated Forest Service restriction on a one-square-mile parcel of land owned by Lowell Observatory. The Observatory needs a clear title to the land in order to construct a second access road on Mars Hill as the current mountain road is too narrow for the increasing visitor traffic.”

S.243 —Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2019 – “This bill would authorize Bullhead City to donate the 1,100-acre mountainous property currently owned by the City to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in exchange for 345.2 acres of land in Bullhead City held by the Bureau of Reclamation. The city is requesting the proposed land exchange in order to increase access to boating and water recreation sports, incorporate public parks and trails, and improve habitat conservation.”

S.244 —Embry-Riddle Tri-City Land Exchange Completion Act of 2019 – “This bill would remove the outdated reversionary clause from a parcel of vacant land that is located adjacent to their campus at the NEC of Willow Creek Road and Heritage Park Road in Prescott, Arizona. The removal of this unnecessary restriction would allow for new economic development opportunities.”

When discussing this package of bills, Senator McSally said, “I am pleased to introduce this second lands exchange package today and keep the momentum going on restoring local control of Arizona lands. In these circumstances, restoring local control will allow community stakeholders to best utilize available resources in order to create economic growth and expand educational and recreational opportunities in the state. I am proud that these efforts have been made in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion, and I plan to continue this work.”

S.731 —Anti-Border Corruption Improvement Act

Introduced March 7, this bill will “quicken the hiring process for Customs and Border Protection applicants by removing the expensive polygraph test, which is a requirement in the CBP hiring process,” according to a news release about it.

The bill focuses specifically on “applicants with military or law enforcement backgrounds. This will help simplify a complex 11-step hiring process that averages between 274 days for agents and 318 days for officers. Not only does this improve processing times for CBP, but it also saves taxpayer dollars. Polygraph tests costs an average of more than $2,000. With only one in every three applicants getting hired, that costs an average of more than $6,000 per CBP hire.”

Explaining the importance of this bicameral bill, the Senator said, “The men and women of Customs and Border Protection are some of the finest law enforcement professionals –  but unfortunately there are simply not enough agents and officers to get the job done. We need to streamline the hiring process while maintaining the same rigorous standards to get the additional help to our frontlines.”

The bill was ordered to be reported with an amendment favorably by the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

S.776 —Downwinders Compensation Act of 2019

Introduced on March 13, this legislation seeks “justice for northern Arizonans and southern Nevadans exposed to nuclear fallout and radiation during Cold War-era government testing.”

As noted in a press release from the Senator’s office, under “current law, people suffering from cancer and other serious medical conditions as a result of nuclear radiation exposure who were residing in Mohave County, AZ and Clark County, NV at the time of the exposure are ineligible to receive the partial reparations they are due because of arbitrary boundary lines.”

This bill would also be paired with an “amendment to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act that would remove those arbitrary boundary lines and allow Mohave County, AZ and Clark County, NV citizens affected to get the reparations entitled to them.”

As the Senator noted before Congress, “Arizonans’ health should never have been compromised as a result of this government testing. Victims suffering as a result of this radiation exposure are entitled to compensation, and this amendment will allow them to access that compensation.”

With two cosponsors, the bill was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

S.883 —Federal Reversion Relief Act

Introduced on March 26, this legislation seeks to “lift federal restrictions off privately owned land and clear the way for economic development in Flagstaff,” according to a press release from Senator McSally’s office about it.

As the release outlined, “Flagstaff land owned by the Win Oil Company, Inc. cannot be sold due to a federal reversionary interest dating back to The Railway Act of 1866. The company has identified a buyer who would build residential and commercial developments on the land, but needs the federal reversionary interest to be removed in order to go forward with the sale.”

In speaking of the need for this bill’s passage, the Senator said, “The federal government should not stand in the way of economic development and opportunity in Arizona. Our state continues to see rapid increases in population and we must give our communities all opportunities to harness this growth and expand economic activity. I am pleased to introduce this legislation with Senator Sinema and look forward to working with her to get it across the finish line.”

The mayor of the city of Flagstaff, Coral Evans also said that the “important legislation will remove federal encumbrances on land in the City, which will allow a new landowner to develop and improve it thus increasing the value of the land and it will also provide new housing and retail opportunities for the residents of Flagstaff that we need and desire.  Economic development is critically important to Flagstaff and this legislation will achieve this important goal. I commend our Senators for introducing this legislation and I look forward to working with them to push it into law.”

It was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S.1057 —Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act

Introduced on April 8, the bipartisan and bicameral legislation, will “ensure the wide-reaching Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) forged between the seven Colorado River Basin states and Indian tribes can be implemented without delay while fully respecting important environmental protections in the process,” according to one of its 14 cosponsors.

Senator McSally spoke of it as she introduced it to Congress, noting the “Drought Contingency Plan is a landmark grassroots effort that is a state-driven solution to ensure that we continue to provide drinking water to 40 million Americans, irrigation for 5.5 million acres of farmland, and more than 4,000 megawatts of carbon-free hydropower to communities across the West. Congratulations to all the states for their hard work. I am honored to lead this bipartisan DCP legislation and will work to get it urgently signed into law.”

Draining more than 246,000 square miles across seven states and Mexico, the Colorado River Basin supplies drinking water, farming irrigation, and hydropower to 40 million people. The bill was held at the desk on April 9.

S.1374 —Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act

Presented to the Senate on May 8, this bipartisan, bicameral bill “would eliminate the waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for Americans having metastatic breast cancer,” according to an article about it at Ripon Advance.

Speaking about it, the Senator said, “Breast cancer patients don’t have time to wait months or even years to access treatment. My bill would waive these arbitrary wait times and give patients the chance to fight their diagnosis faster and more effectively.”

If passed into law, this legislation would “defer both the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance and the 24-month waiting period for eligible Medicare benefits.”

It was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

In Conclusion

Emphasizing legislation beneficial to the people of Arizona and showing absolutely no signs of influence by corporate or large-scale backers, Senator McSally is upholding the principles of her predecessor. Although it is abundantly clear that she and her team could do far better about their campaign finance issues, it is also clear that she is not leaning towards policies or initiatives that could benefit anyone other than the businesses and people of her state.