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. This means that no matter who you are, if you work hard, you can be successful in this country. 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 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. I have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to level the playing field for both renewable and fossil fuel-based sources of energy by expanding the tax structure of master limited partnerships to include renewable energy projects.
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. Recently, American energy producers shipped the first deliveries of LNG out of the Sabine Pass to northern and southern Europe. These exports not only inject money into our economy domestically, they also increase our geopolitical influence globally.
Healthcare: Patient-Centered, not Government-Driven
Obamacare is failing. Premiums are increasing while individual choices are decreasing. I opposed the government takeover of healthcare bill because it was unconstitutional, unworkable and too expensive. 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 car? 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 will continue to fight to repeal this expensive, government takeover of health care and replace it with a patient-centered, cost-effective system that provides access to quality care, ensures coverage options for those with preexisting conditions, and 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 bipartisan 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), the Justice for All reauthorization, 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, service providers, 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. Since its passage, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act has proven to be effective. Under its provisions, 65 defendants have been charged with federal violations for human trafficking, including 10 buyers, and more than 100 children have been rescued by the U.S. Marshals thanks to a provision allowing the agency to assist other law enforcement agencies with search and rescue missions. I am committed to fighting for an end to this scourge. That involves 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. Our children are not for sale.
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. That’s why I was proud to support legislation to increase our defense budget, rebuilding our military, ensuring our troops’ readiness and preparedness for any threats, and giving our service-members the biggest pay raise in years, a raise that they have certainly earned.
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. I have also championed reforming our foreign aid. America provides aid to approximately 160 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 voting on the merits of aid to each country individually will ensure that we are not supporting duplicitous nations who work against our interests.
I also 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.
I have also authored legislation to redesignate North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, a much needed designation to alienate North Korea as a pariah state and sanction those supporting its leadership. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed this legislation.
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 we are taking care of our veterans’ health – both physical and mental – and upholding our promise to do so.
I am pro life and believe that 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.