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Sen. Jeff Flake town hall meeting in Arizona. April 13. 2017.
Sen. Jeff Flake town hall meeting in Arizona. April 13. 2017.
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: CHANNEL90seconds newscom
Senator Jeff Flake speaks about congressional baseball game shooting
Senator Jeff Flake speaks about congressional baseball game shooting
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: ABC15 Arizona
Smirking Jeff Flake Spars with ANGRY crowd in his first Town Hall This Year
Smirking Jeff Flake Spars with ANGRY crowd in his first Town Hall This Year
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: LIVE SATELLITE NEWS
Jeff Flake spars with 16yo girl over his defuning Planned Parenthood
Jeff Flake spars with 16yo girl over his defuning Planned Parenthood
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: Andy Nickel
Man In A Chicken Suit Among Voters At Rowdy Jeff Flake Town Hall | The 11th Hour | MSNBC
Man In A Chicken Suit Among Voters At Rowdy Jeff Flake Town Hall | The 11th Hour | MSNBC
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: MSNBC
Republican Jeff Flake gets wrecked at Town Hall
Republican Jeff Flake gets wrecked at Town Hall
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: TYT Nation
Senator Jeff Flake speaks out about McCain
Senator Jeff Flake speaks out about McCain's diagnosis
Published: 2017/07/20
Channel: ABC15 Arizona
Sen. Jeff Flake Describes Shooting At Congressional Baseball Practice
Sen. Jeff Flake Describes Shooting At Congressional Baseball Practice
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: CBS Chicago
Full Interview: Sen. Jeff Flake
Full Interview: Sen. Jeff Flake
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: CNN
FNN LIVESTREAM: Jeff Flake Town Hall
FNN LIVESTREAM: Jeff Flake Town Hall
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: FOX 10 Phoenix
Teen faces off with senator Jeff Flake at town hall on Planned Parenthood- LoneWolf Sager(◑_◑)
Teen faces off with senator Jeff Flake at town hall on Planned Parenthood- LoneWolf Sager(◑_◑)
Published: 2017/04/15
Channel: LoneWolf & The Three Muskadoggies(◑_◑)
Sen. Jeff Flake: Complete Border Wall
Sen. Jeff Flake: Complete Border Wall 'Doesn't Make Sense' | MTP Daily | MSNBC
Published: 2017/02/10
Channel: MSNBC
Sen. Jeff Flake, other lawmakers take heat in intense town hall meetings
Sen. Jeff Flake, other lawmakers take heat in intense town hall meetings
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: CBS Evening News
Sen. Flake at Tillerson Confirmation Hearing
Sen. Flake at Tillerson Confirmation Hearing
Published: 2017/01/11
Channel: Sen. Jeff Flake
Sen. Jeff Flake hosts Mesa town hall meeting
Sen. Jeff Flake hosts Mesa town hall meeting
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: KGUN9
Republican Senator: Donald Trump Has Reached A New Level With Judge Statements | Morning Joe | MSNBC
Republican Senator: Donald Trump Has Reached A New Level With Judge Statements | Morning Joe | MSNBC
Published: 2016/06/06
Channel: MSNBC
Sen. Jeff Flake On Donald Trump:
Sen. Jeff Flake On Donald Trump: 'We've Seen All Good Signs So Far' | MTP Daily | MSNBC
Published: 2016/11/11
Channel: MSNBC
Two More Eyewitnesses! Rep Wenstrup and Sen Jeff Flake! Wow!
Two More Eyewitnesses! Rep Wenstrup and Sen Jeff Flake! Wow!
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: Rshill7
Jeff Flake full interview
Jeff Flake full interview
Published: 2016/09/04
Channel: CNN
Republican Senator Jeff Flake interrupted as he addresses Town hall meeting
Republican Senator Jeff Flake interrupted as he addresses Town hall meeting
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: Erick M
Senator Jeff Flake describes chaos following shooting at congressional baseball practice
Senator Jeff Flake describes chaos following shooting at congressional baseball practice
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: Global News
Senator Jeff Flake says presidential actions must be based on threats, not campaign promises
Senator Jeff Flake says presidential actions must be based on threats, not campaign promises
Published: 2017/02/12
Channel: Face The Nation
Democrat
Democrat's Are Blaming Senator Jeff Flake!
Published: 2017/02/09
Channel: Gabor Zolna
Protesters rally outside of Jeff Flake
Protesters rally outside of Jeff Flake's home for answers
Published: 2017/02/19
Channel: ABC15 Arizona
ONE ON ONE with Senator Jeff Flake
ONE ON ONE with Senator Jeff Flake
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: KGUN9
AZ Senator Jeff Flake Holding Anti-Trump Town Hall Meetings
AZ Senator Jeff Flake Holding Anti-Trump Town Hall Meetings
Published: 2017/02/08
Channel: The Common Sense Show
TOWN HALL MANIA! Crowd Embarrasses Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake
TOWN HALL MANIA! Crowd Embarrasses Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake's Justification of Gorsuch Confirmation
Published: 2017/04/20
Channel: The Majority Report with Sam Seder
Gorsuch stumped over horse-sized duck question
Gorsuch stumped over horse-sized duck question
Published: 2017/03/22
Channel: CNN
Jeff Flake Town Hall
Jeff Flake Town Hall
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: Jimmy Jenkins
Sen. Jeff Flake: Shooter Down, No Fatalities Yet
Sen. Jeff Flake: Shooter Down, No Fatalities Yet
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: NTK Network
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “Jurassic Pork” floor speech. (C-SPAN)
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “Jurassic Pork” floor speech. (C-SPAN)
Published: 2015/06/11
Channel: C-SPAN
Sen Jeff Flake Questioning Trump
Sen Jeff Flake Questioning Trump's FBI Pick Christopher Wray. #WrayHearing #FBI #Breaking
Published: 2017/07/12
Channel: Almutaz Bur News Network
Arizona
Arizona's battle-tested conservative is Jeff Flake
Published: 2012/06/12
Channel: JeffFlake
"Jeff Flake took a beating during a townhall last night"
"Jeff Flake took a beating during a townhall last night"
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: DemSenClips
White House squeezes Jeff Flake
White House squeezes Jeff Flake
Published: 2017/07/17
Channel: Hot News 365
White House squeezes Jeff Flake
White House squeezes Jeff Flake
Published: 2017/07/17
Channel: BreakingNews24
Jeff Flake
Jeff Flake's Town Hall Trouble
Published: 2017/04/14
Channel: DemSenClips
White House recruiting challengers against Flake
White House recruiting challengers against Flake
Published: 2017/07/19
Channel: CNN
Jeff Flake and Family Island Survival Trip
Jeff Flake and Family Island Survival Trip
Published: 2013/06/02
Channel: Jeff Flake
Senator Jeff Flake talks Trump
Senator Jeff Flake talks Trump
Published: 2016/08/19
Channel: Arizona PBS
Senator Jeff Flake Is A Total Flake!
Senator Jeff Flake Is A Total Flake!
Published: 2016/10/21
Channel: Gabor Zolna
Sen. Jeff Flake speaks on baseball practice shooting
Sen. Jeff Flake speaks on baseball practice shooting
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: PBS NewsHour
Sen. Flake
Sen. Flake's Opening Remarks at Gorsuch hearing
Published: 2017/03/20
Channel: Sen. Jeff Flake
Jeff Flake Mesa Town Hall 4/13/17
Jeff Flake Mesa Town Hall 4/13/17
Published: 2017/04/17
Channel: American Bridge 21st Century
Sen. Jeff Flake On Donald Trump, SCOTUS Confirmation (Full Interview) | Meet The Press | NBC News
Sen. Jeff Flake On Donald Trump, SCOTUS Confirmation (Full Interview) | Meet The Press | NBC News
Published: 2016/05/09
Channel: NBC News
Sen. Jeff Flake Questions Perry at Confirmation Hearing
Sen. Jeff Flake Questions Perry at Confirmation Hearing
Published: 2017/01/19
Channel: Sen. Jeff Flake
The Latest News Report on the Baseball Field Shooting! Jeff Flake Eyewitness Included!
The Latest News Report on the Baseball Field Shooting! Jeff Flake Eyewitness Included!
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: Rshill7
Sen. Jeff Flake reacts to shooting at baseball practice
Sen. Jeff Flake reacts to shooting at baseball practice
Published: 2017/06/15
Channel: azfamily powered by 3TV & CBS5AZ
John McCain and Jeff Flake Speak After Obama
John McCain and Jeff Flake Speak After Obama's Visit to Phoenix VA Hospital
Published: 2015/03/13
Channel: FOX 10 Phoenix
A New Era in U.S.-Cuba Relations (Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ))
A New Era in U.S.-Cuba Relations (Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ))
Published: 2015/03/14
Channel: catoinstitutevideo
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Jeff Flake
Jeff Flake official Senate photo.jpg
United States Senator
from Arizona
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Serving with John McCain
Preceded by Jon Kyl
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 6th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by J. D. Hayworth
Succeeded by David Schweikert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Matt Salmon
Succeeded by Rick Renzi
Personal details
Born Jeffry Lane Flake
(1962-12-31) December 31, 1962 (age 54)
Snowflake, Arizona, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cheryl
Children 5
Education Brigham Young University, Utah (BA, MA)

Jeffry Lane Flake[1] (born December 31, 1962) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who since 2013 has served as the Junior United States Senator from Arizona alongside 2008 presidential nominee John McCain.

In terms of his positions, Flake opposes background checks on commercial gun sales,[2] opposes Internet privacy,[3][4] supports immigration reform,[5] and is a fiscal conservative.[6]

Born in Snowflake, Arizona, Flake is a graduate of Brigham Young University and was a Mormon missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to South Africa before working in public affairs, serving as Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia and Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute. Flake was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Arizona in 2000 for the state's Arizona's 1st congressional district. He was redistricted to the Arizona's 6th congressional district during his first term and was re-elected six times, serving from 2001 to 2013 and assigned to the Committee on Appropriations.

Flake declined to seek re-election to the House in 2012, instead running for the U.S. Senate. He defeated three challengers in the Republican primary and, after a close race, beat Democrat Richard Carmona, the former Surgeon General of the United States, in the general election by 49.2% to 46.2%. Flake was sworn-in in January 2013 and serves on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Special Committee on Aging.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Flake was born in Snowflake, Arizona, the son of Nerita (née Hock) and Dean Maeser Flake.[7] His birth town was named in part for his great-great-grandfather, Mormon pioneer William J. Flake.[8] Flake obtained a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Political Science from Brigham Young University.[9] He took a two-year leave of absence to serve as a volunteer Mormon missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Africa in the early 1980s and speaks Afrikaans. He worked in the public affairs sector after college and served as Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia and Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute before entering the House of Representatives. He opposed economic sanctions on South Africa in the 1980s, arguing that sanctions would harm the black population who were already suffering under Apartheid policies.[10]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

Flake at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry's Annual Legislative Luncheon in April 2014

Flake was first elected to what was then Arizona's 1st congressional district in 2000, after Republican incumbent Matt Salmon stepped down to honor a self-imposed term limit. The district, which included most of the East Valley, was then renumbered to the 6th district as Arizona gained two Congressional seats because of the results of the 2000 census.

In his campaign in 2000, Flake had pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress which would see him serve no later than January 2007. Shortly after being elected for a third time, Flake announced in early 2005 that he had changed his mind on pledging term limits and was planning to run for re-election in 2006. "It was a mistake to limit my own terms," Flake said.[11]

Flake easily defeated his primary challenger.[12] In that same election, three out of five mayors in his home district opposed his re-election because, according to Flake, he did not "bring pork barrel spending" to the mayors' cities.[8] In 2006, several Democrats had announced their intention to run for the seat; however, only one met the June filing deadline, and that particular filing was rejected due to an insufficient number of nominating signatures. "I did expect to have a primary opponent. I deserve one," Flake said, referring to the term-limit pledge which he had broken. "By all rights, I ought to have an opponent. I just got lucky, I guess."[13]

In the 2006 mid-term elections, Flake had no Democratic Party opponent and easily defeated the Libertarian Party candidate, Jason Blair, with 74% of the vote.[14]

Tenure[edit]

Spending

Flake is a fiscal conservative.[6] He is a critic of government waste and advocates reducing federal spending.[15] He was described by columnist Robert Novak as an "insistent reformer".[16] He is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge[17] and one of eight House members to receive a 100% approval rating from the American Conservative Union.[18] In 2008, Flake voted against the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).[19]

Flake's 113th Congressional session photo

A "scourge of pork-barrel spending",[20] Flake was ruled the least profligate spender in Congress by Citizens Against Government Waste in July 2007 and designated a "taxpayer superhero."[15] In September 2010, Flake introduced a series of press releases under the title "So Just How Broke Are We?", in which explains the size of the national debt ($13 trillion) in terms of recent events, followed by a pun. As an example, noting that the cheapest 2010 World Series ticket on StubHub.com at AT&T Park was $425, it would take 30.6 billion tickets sold to pay down the debt, whereupon he remarked, "Looks like the voters are about to bring in some (debt) relievers."[21]

Earmarks

Flake is "known for his ardent opposition to earmarks."[22] He has been called an "anti-earmark crusader,"[23] and frequently challenges earmarks proposed by other members of Congress. Since May 2006, he has become prominent with the "Flake Hour," a tradition at the end of spending bill debates in which he asks earmark sponsors to come to the house floor and justify why taxpayers should pay for their "pet projects."[24] He is credited with prompting House rule changes to require earmark sponsors to identify themselves.[25]

Until September 2010, Flake issued a press release listing an "egregious earmark of the week" every Friday.[15] Usually the earmark will be followed by Flake making a humorous comment; as an example, Rep. Flake once said of Congressman Jose Serrano's $150,000 earmark to fix plumbing in Italian restaurants, "I would argue this is one cannoli the taxpayer doesn't want to take a bite of."[8] The "earmark of the week" releases were ended and replaced with the "So Just How Broke Are We?" series of releases.

In March 2010, the House Appropriations Committee implemented rules to ban earmarks to for-profit corporations, a change Flake supported. "This is the best day we've had in a while," he said to the New York Times, which reported that approximately 1,000 such earmarks were authorized in the previous year, worth $1.7 billion.[26]

Immigration

In 2007, Flake introduced legislation that would have provided a path to legalization for illegal immigrants, granted temporary legal status to illegal immigrants who paid a fine and passed background checks, and created a guest worker program.[27]

In 2007, Flake was removed from the House Judiciary Committee by Speaker of the House John Boehner for "bad behavior", which Boehner said was criticism of party leaders, though Flake himself attributed it to his support of comprehensive immigration reform.[28][29]

In 2009, Flake introduced the Stopping Trained in America PhDs From Leaving the Economy (STAPLE) Act (H.R. 1791).[30][31] The bill would have authorized students who earned a Ph.D. in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics from U.S. universities to be admitted for permanent residence and to be exempted from the numerical limits on H-1B nonimmigrants. The bill was reintroduced in 2011 and was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement in February of that year.[32]

Some of Flake's work toward immigration reform in the mid-2000s was documented in the series How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories.

In 2010, Flake voted against the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, which failed in the Senate. In late October 2012, Flake stated that he may support it in the future.[33]

In January 2013, Flake became a member of a bi-partisan group of eight Senators (The "Gang of Eight"), which drafted an immigration reform (CIR) bill.[5]

Foreign policy

Flake voted in favor of the authorization of force bill against the country of Iraq (Iraq War) in the House of Representatives in October 2002.[34] In a debate on the House floor on the authorization of force (October 8, 2002), Flake said, "We ought to let history be our guide here. But the most recent history in this case that we ought to look at is the vote that took place in this Chamber 12 years ago. During that time, we faced a very similar decision. Should we thwart Saddam Hussein in his attempt to go beyond his boundaries or should we appease him? Fortunately, the majority of this body and the other body agreed we ought to thwart him; and I think we can all agree that, had we not done so, that the biological and chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein possesses would be added to nuclear weapons which he would certainly possess today had he not been thwarted at that time. We are in this position today, I would submit, because we have no other choice. This is our only reasonable option. War will no doubt come at great cost. When we visit the war memorials, we see that cost, but the cost of appeasement is far greater. I commend the House leadership for bringing this resolution forward and for shepherding it through process. I especially commend our President who so forcefully pushed for this resolution and who has so deliberately pushed for this resolution. I urge support for the resolution." [35]

After the 2006 election in which Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives largely due to the unpopularity of the war in Iraq, Flake changed his position on the Iraq War to one of cautious opposition,[36] including voting against appropriations. At a 2008 congressional hearing featuring General David Petraeus, Flake said, "I still have a hard time seeing the big picture and what constitutes success [in Iraq]. That's not just one side of the aisle with those kind of concerns. Many on this side of the aisle have that as well."[37]

Flake supports ending the Cuba Trade Embargo[38] and otherwise normalizing relations with Cuba.[39]

Social issues

In October 2008, Esquire named Congressman Flake one of the Ten Best Members of Congress saying in part, "A true conservative, Flake is as rare as the dodo. Republicans should learn from him, and liberals and libertarians will find in him a strong privacy-rights ally."[40] On Tuesday, March 7th, 2017, Flake introduced a bill to eliminate FCC Internet Privacy rules that were passed under President Obama. His proposed bill would allow internet service providers to share and sell consumers' browsing history without consent. In regards to Obama's FCC Internet Privacy rules, Flake stated that "It is unnecessary, confusing and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the Internet."[3] Flake received $22,700 in donations from paid lobbyists representing Internet service providers and tech firms to sponsor the anti-privacy legislation.[4] In April of 2017, the legislation passed both GOP-controlled houses, allowing ISPs to sell consumer browsing history and other information without the user's consent.[4] One constituent at a town hall meeting told Flake that "You sold my privacy up the river."[4]

Flake is pro-life, with exceptions for rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother.[41]

In 2007, Flake voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would have banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[42] In December 2010, Flake was one of fifteen Republican House members to vote in favor of repealing the United States military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay service members.[43][44] Flake had voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage with a Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006.[45][46] As a senator, Flake was one of 10 Senate Republicans to vote, once more, in favor of ENDA.

USA Patriot Act

During the 2005 debate on renewal of the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, Jeff Flake successfully submitted several amendments to the bill in the House of Representatives. One required the FBI director to personally sign off on any request for library and bookstore records before applying to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, but it was altered in the United States Senate version of the bill.[47] Two of his amendments were signed into law and they subjected any National Security Letter and its gag order to a judicial challenge by the recipient, and narrowed the scope of "Sneak and Peek" warrants to have definite time limits on their duration and extensions before they need to notify the target of the investigation.[48] Before that, "Sneak and Peek" warrants could be extended by the standard of not "unduly delaying trial" without any defined time limitation.[49] This amended bill was titled the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and it was signed into law on March 9, 2006.[50] This bill also required three Inspector General investigations that led to the discovery of exigent letters[51] and National Security Letter abuses.[52]

On February 8, 2011, Flake voted to renew key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The vote failed.[53] On February 10, 2011, Flake again voted to renew key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. This vote succeeded.[54]

Committee assignments[edit]

He served on the Liberty Committee (sometimes called the Liberty Caucus), a group of libertarian-leaning Republican congressmen.[55] He is also a member of the Republican Study Committee.

U.S. Senate[edit]

2012 election[edit]

Jeff Flake at a campaign event in Tempe, Arizona.

In February 2011, Flake announced that he was running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl in 2012.[56] Flake easily won the Republican nomination against real estate businessman Wil Cardon.[57]

He faced former surgeon general Richard Carmona, who sought office for the first time in the general election. In May 2012, Flake led Carmona by 13 points in the polls. In an October 2012 poll by Public Policy Polling, Flake was trailing Carmona by two points.[58] After the race tightened, the Wall Street Journal criticized a controversial Flake ad that accused Carmona of having "issues with anger, with ethics, and with women." [59]

Flake was endorsed by the Casa Grande Dispatch,[60] the United States Chamber of Commerce,[61] and the Club for Growth.[62]

Flake defeated Democratic Richard Carmona 49%–46% on November 6, 2012.[63] He won mainly on the strength of carrying Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and 60 percent of the state's population, by 77,200 votes, more than the overall margin of 67,900 votes. He also benefited from Mitt Romney carrying the state by 10 points in the presidential election.

Tenure[edit]

Flake replaced retiring Republican U.S. Senator Jon Kyl on January 3, 2013.

In March 2013, he joined with Senators Lindsey Graham, Mark Begich and Mark Pryor in introducing a bill that would close a loophole by flagging individuals who attempt to buy guns who have used an insanity defense, were ruled dangerous by a court, or had been committed by a court to mental health treatment.[64]

Senator Flake speaking at a rally in August 2014.

On April 17, 2013, Flake joined 45 other senators in voting against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would have required background checks on all commercial gun sales. Following the vote, Flake was criticized for changing his position on background checks. Just days before the vote, he had sent the mother of one of the Colorado theater shooting victims a hand-written letter stating that "strengthening background checks is something we agree on."[2] In response to a question asking whether he was worried about potential political consequences vowed by gun-control groups, Flake replied, "That's the beauty of a 6-year term. I truly want to do something on this, but what has been a little upsetting is to hear people try to maintain that we were just caving to pressure, discounting any issues that we had with the legislation, with the language. That's just not right."[65][66] Following his no vote, Flake's approval rating fell from 45%–43% to 32%–51% according to one poll, making him the most unpopular senator in America as of April 2013.[67]

Although he voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in 2007, which would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation, Flake said he had concerns with the 2013 version, which includes both sexual orientation and gender identity.[42] However, when the vote occurred on November 7, Flake cast his vote in favor of the 2013 version of ENDA.[68]

In February 2014, Flake, along with Senator Pat Roberts, introduced the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act. The bill would prohibit the IRS from passing a new rule that would limit non-profit groups' participation in the political process.[69]

On July 16, 2013, Flake introduced the Stewardship Contracting Reauthorization and Improvement Act (S. 1300). The bill would give the federal government more authority to enter into agreements known as "forest stewardship contracts." The goal, according to Flake, is to reduce the risk of forest wildfires.[70] In December 2013, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources recommended, by a voice vote, that the Senate pass the legislation.[71] Also in 2013, the National Journal gave Flake a composite score of 65% conservative and 35% liberal.[72]

In 2015, Flake and Senator John McCain published a report detailing what they called "paid patriotism" by the U.S. Department of Defense for using soldiers, military equipment and resources at professional sports events in the United States. The report gave evidence that taxpayer-funded patriotic displays extended not only to the NFL but also to Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.[73][74]

In March 2016, Flake said that Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia, should not be confirmed unless Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 presidential election. He argued that should Clinton win, Garland should be confirmed in the Senate's lame-duck session because he is less liberal than any nominee Clinton might put forward.[75][76] After meeting with Garland in April, Flake reiterated this position, saying that confirmation hearings on Garland's nomination should not be taken up until after the election, so that the American people can choose the next president, unless Clinton wins, in which case, "we ought to approve him quickly."[77][78]

Environment[edit]

Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act[edit]

On December 2, 2014, the Senate passed the Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act. The bill would put an end to a fight over water rights in the Bill Williams River Watershed in Arizona. Flake introduced the Senate version of the bill along with Senator John McCain. The bill also helps the Hualapai Native American tribe, which uses water from the watershed. If the bill is signed by President Obama, it would put a limit on the amount of water that a local mining company can use, and it would give legal recognition to the tribe's rights to the water source.[79]

Flake introduced a Senate companion bill, S.2503 – Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2014, on June 19, 2014. On July 9, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on the bill.[80] On December 8, the House bill was presented to President Obama for his signature.[81] The bill had unanimous approval by both houses of Congress.[82]

At a House hearing on the bill in September 2014, in which both the Hualapai Tribe and Freeport Minerals company testified, both the tribe and the company agreed that the bill would provide each, and other interests, with benefits. The settlement would guarantee water rights for the tribe; provide water for Freeport's mine in Bagdad, Arizona; and give the state of Arizona rights to a property area that would be used for a conservation program for several species.[83] The Arizona Chamber of Commerce supported the legislation, saying, "The settlement of water rights claims is a priority in our state in order to provide clarity and long-term certainty to all water users across Arizona."[84]

EPA waterways regulation[edit]

In 2014, the EPA announced that it would make some changes to federal regulation of water. Two different cases that went before the Supreme Court resulted in the court ordering the EPA to specify which waterways in the U.S. are considered protected by the Clean Water Act. Flake and Senator McCain sent a letter to the head of the EPA, citing a number of reasons why the regulation would hurt Arizona. One of the senators' concerns was about waterways that only flow in certain parts of the year. Flake and McCain believe that if the EPA includes those types of waterways in the new regulations, the regulations would have a negative effect on Arizona's agriculture industry. One of the reasons the EPA is using in deciding which waterways will fall under the new regulation is by concluding whether pollution in waterways will negatively affect other waters downstream. Flake and McCain asserted in their letter that little proof existed to back up such a conclusion, but the EPA responded by saying that the proposed regulation was carefully examined and was made with bipartisan input. Additionally, Flake and McCain wrote that the new changes could make it harder for Arizona firefighters to fight wildfires.[85]

Flake advocated against the rule for two primary reasons. First, Flake wrote that the EPA proposed rule did not make a distinction between waterways that flow all year or just part of the year. Flake cited that 94 percent of Arizona's waterways do not flow continuously year-round, and because of that, the lack of distinction in the rule would affect most of Arizona's waterways. Second, Flake argued that the scientific evidence used by the EPA to back up the rule was "anything but settled."[86] Flake and McCain warned the EPA administrator about their concerns earlier in the year, via a letter sent on May 6, 2014.[87]

An editorial published by the Arizona Republic said that the EPA rule would have the effect of requiring the CAP Canal to treat drinking water twice, which would increase costs to Arizona residents. The editorial claims that the canal, and all water sources that go to people's homes, already has to meet Safe Drinking Water Act regulations.[88]

Immigration[edit]

Flake was a member of a group of eight senators, who were from both the Democratic and Republican parties, that sponsored an immigration overhaul bill. In 2013, the Senate passed the bill with 68 votes.[89] Flake described why he believed that it had been possible to create a bipartisan group of senators to address immigration problems. He said: "Pretty quickly we determined that everybody around that table wanted to do this. We weren't looking to score political points."[90]

When in November 2014, President Obama announced on TV that he would use his executive powers to allow some undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States, Flake said that the best response would be not to shut down the government, but to pass a bill that addresses immigration problems.[91] As for Obama's executive plan, Flake said that he opposed it.[89] Flake opposed using a government funding bill to stop President Obama's executive action, but Flake also said that he believed that both parties' strategies would make it more difficult to pass immigration reform legislation.[92]

Flake has publicly said that he believes that the reason so many children in recent years have come across the U.S. border illegally without parents is because parents believe their children will be able to stay in the United States if they do so.[93] Flake has said that the Republican Party needs to take a rational approach to solving immigration problems, and if it does not, the party will have a difficult time winning national elections. Flake said that Jeb Bush's support of an immigration system reform makes Bush more electable in a general election.[93] Flake supported Jeb Bush's remarks about immigration being an act of love, and said, "Growing up here in Arizona, I've seen what motivates those who come here illegally. Sure, some come with the intent to do harm or simply to take advantage of our generosity. But many come to find work to feed their families. To lump everyone who crosses the border illegally into the same class is unfair and unproductive."[94]

In January 2015, Flake re-introduced the Immigration Innovation Act ("I-Squared"),[95] a bill first introduced in 2013,[96] co-sponsoring with Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Chris Coons (D-DE).

Flake spoke out against President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail Muslim immigration until better screening methods are devised. He stated that "It’s unacceptable when even legal permanent residents are being detained or turned away at airports and ports of entry.”[97]

Foreign policy[edit]

Flake supported President Barack Obama's 2014 decision to begin the process of normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, despite opposition to the policy change from other Republican senators. Flake joined Democrats Chris Van Hollen and Patrick Leahy on a trip to Cuba to return Alan Gross to the United States. Gross, an American aid worker, had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years, but was released as part of the agreement between Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro. Flake believes that the United States embargo against Cuba is flawed, stating, "The policy that we've had in place for the past 50 years has done more in my view … to keep the Castro regimes in power than anything we could've done." Flake has traveled to Cuba nine times and supports loosening restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba.[98]

Bipartisan survival trip[edit]

Flake used his experience surviving in the wild for six days with a Democratic Senator to develop an idea to end partisan gridlock in Washington. Flake and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) were featured on a Discovery Channel reality TV show, Rival Survival, where the two stayed on a small Micronesian island for six days. Flake later joked during a speech at the National Press Club that sending both Senate leaders (Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid [D-NV] and Republican Mitch McConnell [R-KY]) to a remote island together might reduce partisanship and allow more legislation to move forward.[99]

Supreme Court[edit]

In April 2017, he voted to invoke cloture (end debate) on the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, putting an end to the Democratic filibuster. Flake also voted for the "nuclear option," ending the ability to filibuster Supreme Court nominees, and deviating from Senate tradition. He stated, "While changing Senate rules was not my preferred outcome, this will simply make de jure what was de facto prior to 2003, when filibusters were virtually never used on the executive calendar."[100][101] Experts have noted that this could presage an end to the use of the filibuster altogether, allowing for simple majority votes on legislation.[101]

Committee assignments[edit]

Appearance in film[edit]

Flake was featured in the documentary film series How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories by filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini. Films he appears in through the series include:

2017 congressional shooting[edit]

Flake was at baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia during the 2017 congressional baseball shooting on June 14, 2017 that left Congressman Steve Scalise critically wounded, and wounded several others including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.[102]

Flake was on the field for during practice for the annual congressional charity baseball game. He said the attendees were like "sitting ducks" and that it was likely that Scalise's security detail from the Capitol Police saved their lives.[102]

"All of a sudden, we heard a very loud shot. Everybody thought 'sounds like a gun'. The gunman was over by the third base dugout, with a clear view of the field and everybody on it. A lot of us dove into the dugout and tried to get as many as we could, but at that point, there was firing behind us from the security detail, the Capitol Police, and I started yelling back, 'are you friendly?' - making sure that it was our guy, because we didn't know if there were other shooters that had us surrounded, and we're coming into the dugout." - Sen. Jeff Flake[102]

Former President Obama called Flake that morning to extend his best wishes and prayers for the victims. Flake had flown with Obama from Washington, D.C. to Arizona in 2011 after the shooting of then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.[103]

Personal life[edit]

Flake and his wife Cheryl live in Mesa and have five children. They are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spent time in Zimbabwe and South Africa as a Mormon missionary.[8][104] The Flakes have been married since ca. 1985.[15]

His uncle, Jake Flake, was an Arizona state senator.[105]

While serving as a Representative, Flake spent a week alone on the island of Jabonwod, one of the Marshall Islands, as a survivalist venture. He survived by eating crabs, coconuts, and fish.[106] Having enjoyed the experience, he decided to repeat it when he was a senator, this time bringing his two youngest sons with him to another island in the area, Biggarenn, for four days during a congressional recess.[107]

Electoral history[edit]

Arizona's 1st Congressional district Republican primary, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Flake 16,745 31.80%
Republican Sal DiCiccio 12,490 23.72%
Republican Susan Bitter Smith 11,763 22.34%
Republican Tom Liddy 10,898 20.70%
Republican Bert Tollefson 764 1.45%
Arizona's 1st congressional district: 2000 results[108]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd party Party Votes Pct
2000 David Mendoza 97,455 42.38% Jeff Flake 123,289 53.61% Jon Burroughs Libertarian 9,227 4.01%
Arizona's 6th congressional district: results 2002–2010[108]
Arizona's 6th Congressional district Republican primary, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Flake* 33,784 59.30%
Republican Stan Barnes 23,186 40.70%
Arizona's 6th Congressional district Republican primary, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Flake* 62,285 64.60%
Republican Jeff Smith 34,137 35.40%
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes 3rd party Party Votes Pct 3rd party Party Votes Pct
2002 Deborah Thomas 49,355 31.57% Jeff Flake* 103,094 65.94% Andy Wagner Libertarian 3,888 2.49%
2004 (no candidate) Jeff Flake 202,882 79.38% Craig Stritar Libertarian 52,695 20.62%
2006 (no candidate) Jeff Flake* 152,201 74.80% Jason M. Blair Libertarian 51,285 25.20%
2008 Rebecca Schneider 115,457 34.55% Jeff Flake* 208,582 62.42% Rick Biondi Libertarian 10,137 3.03%
2010 Rebecca Schneider 72,615 29.12% Jeff Flake* 165,649 66.42% Darell Tapp Libertarian 7,712 3.09% Richard Grayson Green 3,407 1.37%
United States Senate election in Arizona, 2012: results
United State Senate Republican primary election in Arizona, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Flake 357,360 69.25%
Republican Wil Cardon 110,150 21.35%
Republican Clair Van Steenwyk 29,159 5.65%
Republican Bryan Hackbarth 19,174 3.72%
Republican John Lyon (write-in) 126 0.02%
Republican Luis Acle (write-in) 56 0.01%
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd party Party Votes Pct
2012 Richard Carmona 1,036,542 46.20% Jeff Flake 1,104,457 49.23% Marc Victor Libertarian 102,109 4.55%


2018 election political climate[edit]

In 2018 Flake's seat will be at stake. Flake angered some Republicans by his willingness to criticize Donald Trump, the party's nominee in the 2016 election for President. President Trump himself was "furious" that Flake called on him to withdraw from the presidential race after the emergence of the "Access Hollywood" tape.[109] As a result, former Arizona state senator Kelli Ward has announced her intention to challenge him in the 2018 Republican primary.[110]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Matt Salmon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st congressional district

2001–2003
Succeeded by
Rick Renzi
Preceded by
J. D. Hayworth
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 6th congressional district

2003–2013
Succeeded by
David Schweikert
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jon Kyl
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Arizona
(Class 1)

2012
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Jon Kyl
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Arizona
2013–present
Served alongside: John McCain
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tammy Baldwin
United States Senators by seniority
67th
Succeeded by
Joe Donnelly

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