Border security and immigration must go hand and hand. Protecting our border will help keep us all safe and will help prevent the drug cartels from preying upon and terrorizing our communities. I regularly travel to the Texas/Mexico border and have seen firsthand the destruction that the drug cartels cause to our communities and the pain they inflict on families.
I support an all-of-the above energy policy and am committed to reducing the U.S.’ dependency on foreign sources of oil. We cannot rely on unstable regions of the world to supply our energy. This is a matter of national security. The development of new drilling techniques and the discovery of huge domestic reserves of oil and natural gas have opened up the possibility that America can once again be energy independent. There was a time when America led the world in energy production, and we can do it again if the federal government gets out of the way and stops forcing us to be dependent on the Middle East and Venezuela for our energy.
Our national debt stands at more than $18 trillion. That’s equal to $154,471 of debt per taxpayer. The only solution now is to make drastic changes that reduce the size of our bloated federal government. Our national debt is arguably the greatest threat to our nation’s long term stability. Congress has the power of the purse and therefore a moral obligation to reign in government waste and out of control spending. I’ve also introduced legislation to sell off unused federal land (not national parks) to help raise revenue to pay down the national debt.
As a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee, I believe that America is the greatest country in the world and with that position comes responsibility. Since its founding, America has stood as a beacon of liberty to a watching world. We must stand up for those who have no voice. Dictators and their crony regimes must be opposed. Universal rights, such as freedom and justice, must be upheld.
Our health care system should provide access and choice, while ensuring quality care. The decisions about your personal health care should be made between you and your doctor, not the federal government or some unelected bureaucratic board. While I recognize that the health care system needs to be reformed, a government-run system is not the answer. I opposed Obamacare and supported its full repeal. I was the first Member in the House of Representatives to introduce legislation to defund the individual mandate provision of this law and firmly believe that the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to force any American to purchase any product.
The US has become an unfriendly place to do business. Many companies fear the environment of uncertainty, complicated tax structure and onslaught of costly regulations and as a result, choose to sit on the sidelines and not hire or expand. This has led to a lingering unemployment rate above 8% nationwide.
The US has the greatest military in the world, and we must recognize our military's contributions both during service and after our troops come back home. I frequently travel to Iraq and Afghanistan to meet with our troops and to thank them for their honorable service.
The federal government has grown too big thanks to unchecked, excessive spending. I support significant spending cuts while sustaining those services that the federal government is constitutionally authorized to provide. For too long, the federal government has pretended as if it could spend what it did not have and there would be no consequences. Total federal spending, as a percentage of our economy, is at its highest level since World War II.
Our transportation systems drive the American economy by moving people and goods quickly across our large nation. Today, there is an increasing demand for more efficient and speedier modes of transportation to satisfy the needs of today's traveler and shipper. This demand places more pressure and strain on our transportation infrastructure, which is already struggling to keep up.
I’ve dedicated my life to promoting justice. As a former prosecutor and criminal court judge, I saw that victims were left out of the criminal justice process and vowed to change this. Victims deserve a voice. I will continue to fight on their and law enforcement’s behalf through the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC), which I founded with Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) in 2005.