Jobs and the Economy
As a former small business owner, I understand the devastating impact of the Administration’s job-killing regulations and tax burdens on workforce and investment decisions. In three years, the Obama Administration has issued over 100 major rules that collectively will cost taxpayers more than $46 billion annually in compliance and lost productivity.
I was proud to support legislation that will reform and improve the federal rulemaking process in a tough economy. I voted in favor of the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act (H.R. 4078), which requires the National Labor Relations Board and other independent federal agencies to comply with the same regulatory requirements as other agencies. This is just one of many jobs bills that have passed in the House with my support.
Two years ago the President and Democratic-controlled Congress agreed that raising taxes in a recession was the wrong thing to do. However, the economy has actually gotten worse and GDP growth was just 1.5% in the second quarter of 2012. We can do better, and raising taxes on families and job creators is the last thing we should be doing right now. I supported H.R. 8, the Job Prevention and Recession Prevention Act, which protects middle class families and small businesses by preventing the largest tax increase in U.S. history by maintaining current rates on all income tax levels for another year.
I have seen the effects of a stagnant job market on my constituents and hard-working Americans across the country and am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance long-term, pro-growth policies that get our country back on track.
Defense and Sequestration
I am thankful to all of our current and former men and women in the United States Armed Forces. I believe that taking care of those who have risked their lives for our country, especially in times of war, should be a priority for Congress. I will continue to ensure that our servicemen and women will receive the equipment, training, health care and pay they deserve.
As a Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I am concerned about the impending threat of sequestration and automatic cuts to defense that are scheduled to be implemented in January of 2013. The $1.2 trillion in cuts, over half of which will come from the Department of Defense, will be disastrous and will have devastating effects on our national defense and security.
To prevent this from happening, I voted in favor of the House Budget Resolution for 2013, as well as the Sequestration Replacement Act which would save billions of dollars over the next decade. I have also signed on as a cosponsor to Armed Services Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s bill A Down Payment to Protect National Security (H.R. 3662), which would prevent a further round of cuts from the defense industry by requiring a reduction in the federal workforce through attrition.
While these bills may not be or include a final solution, they would accomplish the necessary budget reduction in more fiscally responsible ways that will not detract from the Constitutionally-mandated role of Congress to provide for our nation’s defense. At this time, the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House have failed to consider these bills or propose any other sequestration-related bills. This is not effective government, and it is certainly not responsible. I will continue to monitor the situation and work towards solutions that do not result in sequestration.
Immigration and Border Security
In 1996, I created E-Verify – the only employment verification tool available to employers to check the legal status of newly hired employees. E-Verify is 99.6% accurate, user-friendly, and free to employers. To sign up, visit www.dhs.gov/everify. The House and Senate recently passed a three year authorization of the E-Verify and use of the voluntary program continues to grow, with over 380,000 employers participating.
The way to truly end illegal immigration is to cut off the job magnet. Of course, I also support a strong physical fence. A strong border presence coupled with mandatory employment verification will allow us to truly gain control of our borders. The cost of illegal immigration is detrimental to all involved: Americans and legal residents are stuck with the bill while illegal immigrants are exploited for cheap labor. The federal government has the tools to end the problem, and must now muster the political will to implement the solutions.
I will continue to support policies that will end the overwhelming tide of illegal immigration and fight any attempts to grant amnesty to the estimated 12 million people here illegally. Amnesty is inherently unfair to the millions of people that have come to the United States legally and the millions that are currently in line to come here legally.
As you may know, President Obama announced earlier this year that the Department of Homeland Security will no longer deport young illegal immigrants who were brought here as a minor, lived here for five years, have no criminal history and are in the process of obtaining or have obtained a high school diploma. I am absolutely opposed to this policy change and doubt its Constitutionality. Through this Administrative action, President Obama is bypassing Congress. It is unacceptable and I will continue to explore options to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security is upholding the law and deporting people who are living here illegally.