Smart Economic Policies Create Jobs, Not Government
America is great because of the people that built it. Since our founding, innovation and ambition have driven the American Dream. The means no matter who you are, if you work hard, you can be successful in this country. I believe that success should be encouraged, not punished. The private sector will expand and hire individuals if it is given incentives to invest and if it is not hampered by costly, unnecessary regulations. Businesses must be given certainty and stability regarding government policies so they can plan and budget accordingly. With the right economic policies, America is capable of rapid, sustained economic growth. I will continue to fight for these policies.
Simpler, Fairer, Lower Taxes
I’ve pledged not to vote for any tax increase while in Congress, and I never have. Our tax system is overly complex and costly to administer. Every year, taxpayers spend hundreds of millions of dollars and many hours just to comply with our complicated tax code. I believe tax reform should include replacing the IRS and the current income tax system with a tax code that is simpler, fairer and easier to understand.
I support lowering the corporate tax rate so that businesses can remain competitive and remain within the U.S. The U.S. currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. When companies leave the U.S., they take jobs and revenue with them. The U.S. should stop this devastating trend of businesses moving overseas and lower the corporate tax rate to help bring jobs back home.
An All-of-the-Above Energy Policy
I support an all-of-the above energy policy that includes tapping into all of our domestic natural resources and using feasible alternative energies. America has the resources to become energy independent and make Middle Eastern turmoil irrelevant.
In order to do this Washington bureaucrats must get out of the way. The permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline sat on the President’s desk for years, keeping thousands of jobs and 750,000 barrels of oil from our stable neighbor and ally, Canada, away from Southeast Texas. The President put politics over our economy when he denied that permit.
I was proud to support ending the 40-year ban on crude oil exports and continue to champion expediting the approval process for LNG exports. Currently, too many permits are sitting on dusty desks in Washington, waiting for approval. Exporting natural gas will inject money into our economy domestically and increase our geopolitical influence globally.
Healthcare: Patient-Centered, not Government-Driven
I opposed the government takeover of healthcare bill because it was unconstitutional, unworkable and too expensive. Our healthcare system should prioritize the doctor/patient relationship, not insert the government between doctor and patient. An individual must retain a choice in determining his/her doctor.
I voted against the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” – and have voted repeatedly for its repeal. I was one of the first Members to introduce a bill to prohibit the use of federal funds for the implementation and enforcement of any federal mandate to purchase health insurance. I was deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare. If the federal government has the power to force Americans to do something with threat of a tax, what is next? A government-approved house or green car? I will continue to fight to repeal this expensive, government takeover of health care and replace it with a patient-centered, cost-effective system that keeps the federal government out of our doctor’s office and out of our private lives.
A Stronger Border and Enforced Immigration Laws
In order to reform our broken immigration system, we must first strengthen our border security. As a nation, we must have the moral will to enforce our immigration laws and to protect our country’s borders as we do for other nations around the world. I support using the National Guard – boots on the ground – and other means necessary to protect the border, uphold our laws and end the violence on the U.S./Mexico border. I also support sending some of the surplus equipment returning to the U.S. from Iraq and Afghanistan to our southern border. Our law enforcement officers are outmanned, outgunned and out-financed by the drug cartels. The least we can do is send our law enforcement officers some of this already paid-for equipment, rather than letting it sit in a surplus stockyard somewhere.
I support immigration – legal immigration. This country was built by immigrants, and our culture is rich with the contributions of many diverse backgrounds. The current immigration system is broken. There are millions living in the U.S. in the shadows. We don’t know who they are. That is very concerning. Those that want to come to the U.S. must have a reformed, streamlined system to proceed legally. I believe that many of those who come to the U.S. do not come here to get a free check from the U.S. or to stand behind their neighbors on an unemployment line. We must reform our broken immigration system to allow those who come here and contribute to our society to be able to do so within clear legal parameters that does not include a form of amnesty.
A Voice for Crime Victims in Washington
Before coming to Congress, I spent thirty years in the Harris County Courthouse – first as a prosecutor and then as a felony court judge. When I came to Congress, victims did not have an official advocate in Washington, so I founded the Victims’ Rights Caucus. The Caucus has been instrumental in passing legislation that protects our communities and restores victims, including the Adam Walsh Child Predator Act, the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, the SAFER Act (included in the Violence Against Women Act), and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
A Dedicated Advocate Against Human Trafficking
The scourge of human trafficking isn’t isolated to some foreign land. It plagues our community and our nation. In the U.S., the average age of an adolescent victim is just thirteen years old. I have worked with survivors, churches, shelters, law enforcement and advocacy groups to propose effective and meaningful solutions to combat human trafficking in our nation. I also authored the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly and was signed into law in June 2015. I am dedicated to addressing all three aspects of human trafficking: going after the buyers to end demand, prosecuting the sellers who force women and children into sexual transactions and helping to restore the victims. It’s time to end this form of modern day slavery.
A Secure and Protected America: At Home and Abroad
The U.S. must always be prepared to protect Americans from our determined enemies. A strong national defense is critical to the future of this country. Washington cut defense spending to pre-World War II levels. That is the wrong decision. Our country must always be ready to defend itself. Our foreign policy should be driven with our national interest and national security in mind. America’s involvement in another country’s affairs must be predicated upon a national security interest.
In Washington, I have championed reforming our foreign aid. America provides aid to about 157 countries, many of which hate the U.S. We don’t need to pay them to hate us; they’ll do it for free. Congress currently votes on foreign aid in one package – with an up or down vote on all countries combined. I’ve introduced legislation to change this process and to require an up or down vote on a country-by-country process. I strongly support economic and military assistance to Israel and other allies who support our interests abroad, but I think voting on the merits of aid to each country individually will drastically change the amount of aid we provide.
I also oppose any Middle East peace plan that weakens the security of Israel and lessens the sanctions on Iran. I voted against the so-called Iran nuclear “deal,” which was dangerous for our nation, Israel and the entire world. We should not give global credibility and an economic boost to the world’s largest State Sponsor of Terrorism.
A Promise Upheld for Our Veterans
We live in the best country in the world, and we have our freedoms because of our all-volunteer Armed Forces. I regularly travel overseas to visit with our troops. I believe every Member of Congress should visit our fighting men and women and see what they are confronted with on a daily basis on the battlefield and what their families face each day back home.
We are blessed to have the finest military in the world. With the drawdown in Iraq and ultimately Afghanistan, we must help our returning service-members transition back home and take steps to ensure that our economy helps create jobs for them. I have introduced legislation to streamline and make permanent a tax credit to help put more of our veterans back to work.
Congress must also provide oversight and ensure that the Administration makes taking care of our veterans’ health – and upholding our promise to do so – a top priority.
I am pro life, and I believe the federal government cannot pass laws or enact regulations that compel health care providers to provide abortions and violate their conscience.
The Constitutional Right to Bear Arms, as guaranteed in the Second Amendment, is as important as any other right in the Constitution. It is an individual right that must be protected from the continual attacks to weaken it. I am proud to have received an “A+” rating from the NRA for my commitment to defending and protecting the rights of law abiding gun owners and sportsmen.