Too much on plates
I could hardly believe the article "In letters, votes on state bills clarified" in the Memorial Day edition, about our lawmakers trying to correct their voting records in this year's legislative session.
You report that some (in their letters) said they voted by mistake, pushed the wrong button, registered non-votes, voted on the wrong bills, were confused about a bill and voted against their intentions, were out of the chamber when votes were taken, etc. This sounds like a vote on a high school president of the senior class.
We deserve better than this from our state legislators!
It's my opinion that they had more on their plates than they could understand, much less make decisive and reasonable votes on. That's why we ended up with a total mess of new laws.
What's best for child
One day I went to pick up my son from school early from kindergarten. The kids were in a circle on the rug surrounding their teacher, who was reading a book aloud. I looked for my son, but could not find him in the group. The teacher saw me and then pointed toward her desk. There sat my child. While the other children were listening to a story, he was installing new computer software for the teacher.
Scenes similar to this were repeated throughout his school years. He didn't learn the same way as most other children. He didn't understand why he had to do homework when he aced every test. He got bored quickly and grew irritated with kids who were not as serious about learning as he was.
This changed in high school when representatives from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts came to do a presentation about the school. After much hard work on his part, my son was accepted to ASMSA.
At first, it was tough, and he didn't think he could do it, but once he settled in, he excelled. In this more serious environment, his performance, which had only been mediocre before, vastly improved. When he graduated, he was accepted into the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology honors program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He now lives in Dallas and is a high-level cloud project manager with a major telecommunications company.
School choice is one of those phrases that immediately evokes ideological arguments. All school choice means, in reality, is parents having the freedom to make choices that are in the best interests of their children. That is what our family did, and that is what every family should be able to do.
America is a republic
After reading the Democrat-Gazette's article about President Biden's Memorial Day remarks, I did a Web search for the transcripts for all his remarks about Memorial Day. Based on these transcripts, it appears that Biden has forgotten that the United States is a republic. He overused the word "democracy" instead, possibly pointing to his party's desire to eliminate critical elements of the American republic, such as the Electoral College.
Take decisive action
We have a historic opportunity in American history to permanently reduce child poverty by half.
The covid-19 pandemic was the last straw that broke the backs of thousands of Arkansans who lived paycheck to paycheck with financial insecurity and vulnerability to economic downturns. Last summer, the city of Little Rock, in collaboration with various agencies, launched a program that provided hundreds of thousands of meals to vulnerable communities across central Arkansas. However, this initiative is an ominous sign for future recessions, which will likely cause Arkansans to hope for unreliable regional aid.
The recent proposal by the Biden administration, discussed in the article by Frank E. Lockwood, resolves this issue by making permanent the Earned Income Tax Credit, and extending the increase in the Child Tax Credit to 2025, which could benefit 661,000 Arkansan children of low-income families and 183,000 Arkansan workers who were previously taxed into poverty.
I call on Sen. John Boozman, Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. French Hill to address the needs of Arkansans, present and future, by supporting the Biden administration proposal. We cannot wait for another crisis to take decisive action in securing the health and well-being of our citizens.
I don't normally respond to claims made by writers on the opinion page about me. But in the case of Rex Nelson's column on Sunday, I will make an exception. Mr. Nelson claims I was "missing in action" during the hastily called GOP meeting purposed in recalling GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney. Far from it.
Actually, I was honoring a commitment I made to meet with Gen. Rich Clarke, Commander of America's Special Operations Command. As a Defense Appropriator, it is important to hear from our COCOM Commanders during the budget cycle to ensure Congress appropriately resources our heroes in uniform. I would argue that my meeting with Rich Clarke was a heck of a lot more important than the melodrama playing out in the GOP Conference.
I believe Liz Cheney would, too. For the record, Liz Cheney is a friend of mine. I've known her for nearly 20 years--since she accompanied her father to see my troops in the Sinai in 2002. She speaks her mind. I admire her for that. And to Mr. Nelson, let me conclude by saying General Clarke and his special operators secure your right to mislead your readers as to my priorities in Congress.
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack represents Arkansas' 3rd District.
When mischief reigns
When we see Republican state legislatures around the country restricting voting rights with laws patently targeted at Democratic voters; when we hear of Republican members of the House booing Liz Cheney for speaking the truth about Trump's Big Lie; when we watch videos of the frightening Jan. 6 attack on our nation's Capitol, we must recall what Shakespeare wrote in "The Tempest" 500 years ago: "Hell is empty and all the devils are here."
DAVID ELI COCKCROFT