Reforming Washington

April 1, 2011
Press Release

A lot has happened around our country and the world since I took office for the first time in January of this year. Like many Americans, I too have concerns about the current military engagement in Libya.  While I could certainly write an entire update on the Libyan situation alone, I wanted to use this opportunity to share with you what I have been doing in Washington to address your concerns with runaway government spending, the need for reform, and the necessity of protecting both American and family values.

In regards to spending, out-of-touch Washington lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have managed to create quite a financial mess.  Currently our country’s national debt stands at over $14 trillion dollars.  To put this in perspective, it took the United States from 1789 to 2000 to amass the amount of debt our country has added over the last four years.  By 2060 the CATO Institute projects that our country will have to devote 100% of US tax revenue on interest payments to the debt alone.  Last year, the government even failed to pass a budget which is why Congress has been forced to pass several “continuing resolutions” to keep the government running.  None of us could operate our homes or our businesses with this level of fiscal recklessness, so why should our government be any different?  That’s why I voted against the last short-term continuing resolution, and will continue to vote against any short-term “band-aids” when our nation is facing a fiscal crisis.

In an attempt to get our nation’s financial house in order, I cut my own office budget by a minimum of 10% and co-sponsored legislation supporting a balanced budget amendment.  I’ve also co-sponsored HR 408 the Spending Reduction Act that freezes federal spending at pre-stimulus levels for the next ten years, and wrote my first bill that would establish a binding process for examining every federal program to look for waste, fraud, and duplication.

The need to reform government has never been more important than it is right now.  Washington corruption is responsible for many of our nation’s problems, which is why I’ve supported a ban on earmarks, co-sponsored legislation to put an end to automatic pay raises for members of Congress, and support institutional term limits.  Another problem to develop in recent years has been President’s tendency to bypass Congressional oversight by appointing a large number of “czars”.  These government officials have the authority to impact policy, but have no oversight from the American people. This led me to co-sponsor HR 59 that would place limits on the number of Presidential appointees and provide proper oversight from the American people.

I believe we have to protect American and family values.  With that concern in mind, I’ve voted to repeal and defund the out-of-touch healthcare bill because I believe it is unconstitutional and will ultimately limit the quality of health care in the United States.  I have also co-sponsored legislation entitled “The Birthright Citizenship Act” that would eliminate the incentive for people to illegally cross our border by eliminating automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.  Keeping family values in mind and recognizing the sacred responsibility of protecting the unborn, I’ve voted to block federal funding to America’s largest abortion provider, co-sponsored legislation that states that life begins at conception, and signed on to legislation that would protect the institution of marriage in South Carolina.