Jason Chaffetz

Jason Chaffetz


Chaffetz Praises TSA Changes at Salt Lake City Airport


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – After a meeting with Federal Security Director Ron Malin in Utah this morning, Congressman Jason Chaffetz released the following statement:

“In response to concerns I raised on March 19 about TSA wait times at Salt Lake International Airport, TSA did a thorough review of the situation. The results of this review lent support to TSA's own analysis indicating that additional personnel are needed to provide service to an increasing number of travelers. With airport traffic up 11% this year, the TSA plans to bring on additional staff– potentially as many as 20 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)- to meet the travel demand. I applaud this decision. 

“TSA indicated in response to my March 19 request that staffing levels at the airport are down 7% compared to the first three months of 2014, but that wait times still average 20 minutes or less. This morning State Rep. Curt Oda and I met with Director Malin at the airport to discuss some of these challenges. Mr. Malin is committed to making the TSA screening operation, including TSA Pre-Check, work consistently and effectively. His commitment to keep the Pre-Check lines open during advertised hours will ensure passenger safety and preclude a repeat of unexpected line closures and delays.

"I am also pleased to learn that the TSA seeks to add dogs to the screening process in Salt Lake. Experts in the Defense Department determined that no existing technology more effectively detects explosives than a dog's nose. I stand ready to work with TSA leadership in Washington, DC to expedite efforts to incorporate more dogs in the screening process here in Salt Lake and elsewhere.”


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Chaffetz Statement on Judiciary Committee Passage of Asylum Bill


Following a 21-12 vote by the Judiciary Committee to pass the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, Congressman Chaffetz released the following statement:

Today the Judiciary Committee took an important step in plugging a hole in our legal immigration system that has long been abused.  By providing additional resources – including judges and attorneys to more quickly adjudicate asylum cases, we can more quickly assess the credibility of claims and reduce the wait times for those with legitimate asylum requests.  As a result, unaccompanied children can more quickly reunite with their families.  Furthermore, by strengthening the standards for "credible fear" claims, we will have the ability to more quickly identify those abusing the asylum program and provide a disincentive for others to follow their lead.  Read More

Congressman Chaffetz Invites you to a Town Hall meeting


“I want to represent Utah to Washington, not Washington to Utah. I need your input.”

Congressman Jason Chaffetz Invites YOU to a town hall meeting

Wednesday, March 11 - 12:30 pm Draper City Hall, Council Chambers 1020 E. Pioneer Road Draper, Utah

Wednesday, March 11 - 7:00 pm Brighton High School, Auditorium 2220 East Bengal Boulevard Cottonwood Heights, Utah

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Chairman Chaffetz Statement on DHS Funding Bill


Today Congressman Chaffetz released the following statement regarding his vote against the nine-month DHS funding bill:

"Today I voted against the bill to fund DHS through September 2015 – the end of the current fiscal year.  I am opposed to the President’s executive actions granting amnesty from deportation for millions of illegal immigrants. I believe this action will entice millions more to cross our borders in defiance of our laws.  Although the bill was passed without restrictions on the President's illegal amnesty, the debate is far from over.  A federal judge in Texas has stopped the President's actions through an injunction, and bills such as the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, which I introduced last week, will work to substantively address the issues at the heart of the matter."  

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Upton and Chaffetz Statement on Chairman Wheeler’s Refusal to Testify


WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) made the following statement about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision not to testify before Congress ahead of the commission’s Thursday vote on sweeping new regulation of the Internet:

“We are deeply disappointed in Chairman Wheeler’s decision. As Chairman Wheeler pushes forward with plans to regulate the Internet, he still refuses to directly answer growing concerns about how the rules were developed, how they are structured, and how they will stand up to judicial scrutiny. After hearing from over four million Americans on such an important topic to our economic and cultural future, it’s striking that when Congress seeks transparency, Chairman Wheeler opts against it. The last time a rule of this magnitude was voted on by the FCC, then-Senator Obama was motivated to call for transparency at the commission. We continue that call today.”

“Reports as late as Tuesday suggest that changes in the proposed rules are still possible, with just hours left on the clock before the commission votes. So long as the chairman continues to insist on secrecy, we will continue calling for more transparency and accountability at the commission. Chairman Wheeler and the FCC are not above Congress. This fight continues as the future of the Internet is at stake.”

In light of Chairman Wheeler’s refusal to testify the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will postpone its scheduled hearing today at 2:00 p.m.

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on “The Uncertain Future of the Internet” at 10:30 a.m. today. More here.

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Lawmakers Reintroduce Federal Land Disposal Legislation


WASHINGTON – In an effort to liquidate federal lands identified by the Clinton Administration for disposal, Senators Mike Lee (UT) and John McCain (AZ), and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT – 03) reintroduced the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act.

Lee: "It is long past time to liquidate these federal lands and hand them over to those who will carefully and responsibly manage the property."

McCain:“The federal budget, much like the household budgets of millions of American families, is stretched alarmingly thin in today’s fiscal climate. Our legislation aims to reduce the federal estate in a way that’s mindful of how we currently manage our public lands and only seeks to dispose land that the federal government simply does not want. With more than 450,000 acres of federally managed land identified by the Interior Department as being eligible for disposal in Arizona, our citizens could reap tremendous benefits by putting this land to use in the private sector.”

Chaffetz: “While there are national treasures worthy of federal protection, there are lands that should be returned to private ownership. If the lands serves no public purpose, and are ‘identified for disposal’, let’s put them to use in a way that will benefit the states and local communities.”

A 1997 Clinton Administration report performed by the Interior Department identified approximately 3.3 million acres of land deemed suitable for sale to non-federal entities. The Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act would responsibly dispose of the nearly 3.3 million acres of land the federal government identified by government agencies for disposal. This disposal would equate to just over 1% of BLM land and less than one half of 1% of all federal lands. In Utah there were 132,931 acres of eligible land identified by the Clinton Administration.

S. 361 was introduced this week in the Senate. H.R. 435 was previous introduced in the House.


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Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Reform Federal Prison System


WASHINGTON – Today, Republicans Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC) joined with Democrats Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to introduce H.R. 759, Recidivism Risk Reduction Act. This bipartisan legislation uses risk assessment tools to reduce recidivism, lower the crime rate, and reduces the amount of money spent on the federal prison system.

Chaffetz: “It’s no longer enough to be tough on crime. We have to be smart on crime as well. States have successfully implemented these strategies. As a result, they’ve seen recidivism drop as well as cost.”

Gowdy: “This bill will help make our federal prison system smarter and more effective. It incentivizes individuals to take steps to reduce their risk of ending up back in federal prison, helping to reduce costs and increase public safety. I thank my colleagues for their hard work on this bipartisan legislation and am honored to work with them to improve our federal prison system.”

Richmond: “Our criminal justice system is in serious need of reform in many areas,” said Rep. Richmond. "One of those areas is our prison and post-release supervision system. We need a better approach to incarceration that uses effective strategies to reduce recidivism. Ensuring that people get the right programs and activities while in prison is crucial to ensuring they are prepared to succeed after their release. I am pleased to join my colleagues in this bipartisan effort to move us closer to that goal.”

Jeffries: "This is a great first step toward comprehensive prison reform. The current system, which fails to discern between high and low-risk individuals, does not reward those who are committed to correcting their life’s path once their time is served. It should. This new, smarter grading system, in conjunction with the in-depth evaluation of how money is spent, will go a long way toward repairing this broken system.”

H.R. 759 would implement a post-sentencing dynamic risk assessment system to identify an inmate’s risk of recidivism. Then, using evidence-based practices developed by states, effective recidivism reduction programs are identified and utilized. The bill would then provide incentives for inmates to participate in those programs. 

Ultimately, inmates could earn credits toward an alternative custody arrangement – such as a halfway house or home confinement – at the end of their term.  Such arrangements reduce the cost of housing an inmate in the federal prison system.

The program will be phased in over a five year period. The savings will be reinvested into further expansions of proven recidivism reduction programs during this time.  After that, it is anticipated that the savings can be used either for other Justice Department priorities such as FBI agents, US Attorney offices etc., or the savings can be used to help reduce the deficit.

Similar programs have found success on a state level in several states including Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, and North Carolina.

In addition, Reps. Chaffetz and Jefferies introduced HR 760, the Bureau of Corrections Renaming Act. This bipartisan legislation would simply rename the “Bureau of Prisons” – under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice – the “Bureau of Corrections.” Over ninety percent of all federal prisoners will eventually be released. This small change will help the Bureau remember that its mission is not just to house people, but also to rehabilitate prisoners such that they are productive members of society when released. Forty-eight states throughout the country use the word ‘corrections’ in describing their prisons

Post-Sentencing Risk Assessment System

  • The Attorney General is directed to consult with appropriate federal agencies and stakeholders to design, develop, implement, and regularly upgrade an actuarial Post Sentencing Risk Assessment System which shall include one or more comprehensive risk and needs assessment tools, which shall be peer-reviewed and validated, and periodically re-validated, on the federal prison population for the specific purposes of this Act.
  • Prisoners will be divided into high, moderate, or low risks of recidivism.
  • Prisoners will be periodically re-evaluated and have the opportunity to progress to low risk of recidivism.  Prisoners who misbehave can move the other way – i.e. from low to moderate risk of recidivism.
  • Bureau of Prisons shall incentivize prisoners to reduce their individual risk of recidivism by participating in and completing recidivism reduction programs.
  • Prisoners who have committed more serious crimes such as child abuse, terrorism, and violent felonies, are not eligible for the program.
  • If a prisoner is successfully participating in and/or completing programs, holding a prison job, participating in educational courses, participating in faith-based services and courses, or delivering programs or faith-based services and courses to other prisoners, the prisoner can earn :
  1. Low risk – 30 days time credits per month
  2. Moderate risk – 15 days time credits per month
  3. High risk – 8 days time credits per month
  • Low risk prisoners will be eligible for consideration for alternative custody such as halfway houses, home confinement, ankle bracelets, etc.

a. This is not automatic – it must be reviewed and approved by the prison warden, the chief probation officer in the relevant federal district, and a judge in the relevant federal district.

b. This is not a reduction in sentence – prisoners are not being released and nothing in this Act affects Truth in Sentencing requirements that prisoners complete at least 85% of their sentence.


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Chaffetz, Gabbard Work to Restore America's Wire Act


WASHINGTON – In an effort to reverse the Department of Justice’s abrupt 2011 decision expanding online gaming, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI) today introduced Restoration of America’s Wire Act.

This bipartisan legislation will restore the long-standing interpretation of the Wire Act and is a response to concerns expressed by many state Attorneys General about the impact of the DOJ decision on their states. Utah and Hawaii are the only two states in the U.S. to reject all forms of gambling.

“In yet another example of executive branch overreach, the DOJ crossed the line by making what amounts to a massive policy change without debate or input from the people or their representatives.  We must restore the original interpretation of the Wire Act. If there is justification and support for a change, the Constitution designates Congress as the body to debate that change and set that policy,” said Chaffetz.

“Congress has the responsibility to debate these regulations openly and should not allow bureaucrats to unilaterally change the law behind closed doors. Until that debate takes place, Congress must restore the long-standing interpretation of the Wire Act.  The FBI and state Attorneys General from different parts of the country have raised multiple concerns about this new change. This bill restores protections against criminal activity which existed in the pre-2011 interpretation of the law,” said Gabbard.

On February 4th of 2014, Attorneys General from 16 states and territories wrote to Congress asking, “that Congress restore the decades-long interpretation of the Wire Act to allow Congress and the states to more fully consider the public policy ramifications of the DOJ’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act and to give federal and state law enforcement agencies time to fully assess and report on the implications Internet gambling has on our respective charges to protect the citizens of our states.”  (View full letter here)

Additionally, in 2009 the FBI expressed similar concerns about fraud and money laundering by criminal elements. In 2014 the Governors of Texas and South Carolina also wrote to Congress expressing concerns about the Department of Justice’s decision. Identical legislation was introduced in the 113th Congress.


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Chaffetz Targets Professional Sports Non-profit Tax Exempt Status


Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jason Chaffetz introduced H.R. 547, the Properly Reducing Overexemptions (PRO) for Sports Act, which would eliminate the 501(c)(6) tax-exemption for professional sports organizations with annual revenues over $10 million. The bill was introduced in the 113th Congress as HR 3965.

Under H.R. 547, organizations like the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) would lose their tax exemption. Currently, NFL and NHL franchises are taxable, but their leagues are not. 

“Professional sports organizations aren’t fooling anybody. Organizations like the NFL and NHL are for-profit businesses making millions of dollars each year. These are not charities nor are they traditional trade organizations. They are for-profit businesses and should be taxed as such,” said Chaffetz. “Closing this loophole should be combined with closing several other loopholes in order to lower tax rates in a revenue-neutral manner."

H.R. 547 is consistent with actions taken by the Tax Court with businesses that were previously classified as 501 (c)(6) organizations. For example, in 1953, the Tax Court revoked the 501 (c)(6) exemption for the American Automobile Association because "its principal activities were determined to consist of securing benefits and performing particular services for members." The Tax Court has also ruled "a trade association of manufacturers whose principal activity is the promotion of its members' products under the association's registered trademark does not qualify for exemption."

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, removing non-profit status for major professional sports leagues would increase federal revenues by $109 million over ten years.


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Rep. Chaffetz aims to fix broken budget process with Review Every Dollar Act


WASHINGTON, DC - This week, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) introduced the Review Every Dollar Act (RED Act) to strengthen spending controls, enhance oversight of government spending and bring honest accounting to Washington’s broken budget process. HR 405 has been introduced twice before, as HR 1873 in the 113th Congress and HR 3579 in the 112th Congress.


“More than ever, Washington D.C. must change the way it does business,” said Chaffetz.  “The appropriations process is flawed.  The RED Act makes fundamental changes to that process, requiring Congress to be more accountable for financial decisions.  Ultimately, this legislation is intended to slow spending by improving the process to help Congress do the right thing.  If we want different results, we have to do something different.  We have to change the process.”


The bill has five provisions that reform the way Congress creates budgets. First, the bill requires periodic sunset reviews and reauthorization of federal programs. Committees of jurisdiction shall consider whether spending programs should be modified, terminated, or reauthorized. Criteria include cost effectiveness and efficiency of the program, whether the program is duplicative with other programs and should be consolidated with similar programs, whether the original objectives of the program have been achieved, and whether alternative methods exist to carry out the objectives.


Second, the bill creates deficit reduction accounts. This reform would ensure that if an amendment is adopted that reduces the amount of budget authority provided in a bill, then that budget authority is not merely shifted to some other part of the bill but is instead made permanently unavailable and thus used to reduce the deficit.


Third, general fund transfers to the highway trust fund will be scored as spending. In recent years, the federal government has transferred more than $34 billion from the general fund to the highway trust fund. This provision does not prevent general fund transfers to the highway trust fund nor does it reduce highway spending, which includes the mass transit account, but this provision does require that such transfers be scored as spending.


Fourth, Pell Grant funding will be entirely discretionary. Currently, Pell Grants are funded through a mixture of annual appropriations and direct spending. This provision shifts current Pell Grant mandatory spending to discretionary spending without reducing Pell Grant spending or the current maximum award of $5,550. This provision simplifies the program and gives Congress better control over costs.


Fifth, this bill requires that administrative actions that increase costs of mandatory programs cannot go into effect unless Congress enacts legislation to fund them. Under current law, agencies that run programs funded through direct spending can take administrative actions such as changing eligibility that increase the cost of that program to the federal government without approval from Congress. Congressional approval should be required for all spending, including mandatory spending.


The Review Every Dollar Act reforms the federal government’s broken budget process by increasing oversight and transparency.


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2015-04-17 15:23:22

Contact Information

2464 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7751
Fax 202-225-5629

Selected by House leadership to chair the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, Jason Chaffetz enters his third term in Congress with energy, enthusiasm, and a determination to continue reforming Washington, D.C.

Believing in the core conservative principles of a strong national defense, fiscal discipline, limited government, and accountability, Mr. Chaffetz distinguished himself as a budget hawk by co-founding the Sunset Caucus, identifying budget cutting measures, running a lean office that returned more than $600,000 of his office budget in his first term, and sleeping on a cot in the closet of his office.  He was asked by House Speaker John Boehner to chair the House Technology Operations Team, was featured regularly on CNN’s freshman year, and consistently appears in local and national media outlets to communicate the conservative message.

On November 4, 2008, Mr. Chaffetz was elected by a 37-point margin to represent Utah’s Third Congressional District.  To secure the Republican nomination, Mr. Chaffetz unseated a 12-year incumbent by a 20-point margin, and did so with no paid campaign staff, no polling, no free meals for potential voters, no campaign office, and a refusal to go into debt to finance the campaign.  Despite being outspent by over $600,000, Mr. Chaffetz’ approach to conservative principles resonated with voters and resulted in an unprecedented victory.

Mr. Chaffetz comes to Congress with a 16-year history in the local business community, executive branch experience in Utah State government, a reputation for running strong political campaigns, and a distinguished college football career.

Mr. Chaffetz, who grew up in California, Arizona, and Colorado, was invited to Utah in the mid-1980s by the legendary Brigham Young University football coach LaVell Edwards to be a placekicker.  His years at BYU literally transformed his life.

After a successful football career that included two years as the starting placekicker and two school records, Mr. Chaffetz earned a degree in communications and married Julie Johnson of Mesa, Arizona.  In February, Mr. and Mrs. Chaffetz celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

In 1995, Mr. Chaffetz’s mother passed away after a long fight with cancer.  Consequently, he was deeply touched by the overwhelming generosity of the Utah-based Huntsman family in fighting the disease that killed his mother.  Their commitment was more than words as they personally donated hundreds of millions of dollars to research and treat cancer.

Upon reading an article about Jon Huntsman, Jr. potentially running for Governor of Utah, Mr. Chaffetz sought to meet the man who had given so much to fight cancer.  Through a mutual friend, a meeting was set up and Mr. Chaffetz eventually joined the Huntsman for Governor staff.  Shortly thereafter, Mr. Chaffetz was named Campaign Manager.  In a crowded field of contenders, Huntsman triumphed by running a well-organized, positive campaign and became Utah’s 16th Governor.  The Governor invited Mr. Chaffetz to continue working with him as his Chief of Staff.

Mr. Chaffetz used his time in the Governor’s Office to learn about the federal delegation and the issues that matter to the State of Utah.  As Utah’s representative in Congress, he is committed to represent Utah to Washington, not Washington to Utah.  Mr. Chaffetz made a commitment to voters in 2008 that he would seek to return this country to the core conservative principles of fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and a strong national defense.  As he concludes his second term, he has a distinguished record of promoting legislation to restore those values.

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