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Waco Tribune-Herald:Bill Flores, guest columnist: 4 simple reforms will help get Washington in order

By Congressman Bill Flores

As summer comes to a close and the school year gets underway, Congress is preparing for a heavy workload during the remainder of the year. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent you in our nation’s capital because Washington is broken and needs to be fixed. The most recent scandals, including but not limited to the NSA, the IRS, unlawful changes to Obamacare, and the cover-ups following the attack on our Consulate in Benghazi, give Americans ample evidence that Washington is in dire need of repair.

The federal government spends too much, borrows too much and intrudes in our lives too much. It targets people for what they believe and punishes them for their political ideologies. It chokes out jobs with more red tape, blocks new energy resources and makes our health care crisis worse.

Washington is out of control. It is time we have a smarter, more accountable and more efficient government.

Every day I serve in Congress, I work to fix Washington. I am working to spur economic growth and create more jobs. I am working to fix Washington to hold government accountable to hardworking taxpayers. I am working to dismantle and replace Obamacare with patient-centered health care tied to free-market solutions. I am also working to make America energy secure, to cut wasteful spending, to expand educational opportunities and to rein in red tape. I am working to fix Washington for you and for our future generations of Texans.

I am also working to ease the frustration of many Americans who believe their elected representatives do not feel the personal impact of the legislation they pass. I believe we should overhaul our system of governing, restore confidence in Congress and reconnect Congress with the American people.

Last Congress, I introduced the Reconnecting Congress with America Initiative which includes four simple yet meaningful reforms to instill a culture of servant leadership and to restore accountability to our broken system in Washington. I am preparing to reintroduce this initiative for this Congress, and it will address term limits, congressional pay, congressional benefits and require elected officials to live under the laws enacted by Congress.

It is time to reconnect Congress with America and demonstrate to all Americans that we, as members of Congress, are willing to be held accountable and more closely align ourselves with those we represent.

Fixing Washington is a tough task, but it must be done and I remain committed to doing so. We must work toward having a Washington that ensures accountability, stops wasteful spending, ends excessive regulations and creates a strong economy with a brighter future.

I want to hear from you about how we can work together to fix Washington, to stop government abuse and make sure government is making your life easier — not standing in the way.

That is why I am holding town hall meetings this week. These events will provide opportunities for you to have a conversation about plans to put an end to the overreaching, out-of-control government in Washington. It will allow us to talk about a plan for economic growth and jobs that will restore America’s promise, prosperity and security.

I want to hear how decisions from Washington are affecting you. Are you still struggling to find a job in our stagnant economy? Are you worried about your hours getting cut at work because of the new health care law? Are you concerned about an abusive government taking away the rights of hard-working taxpayers?

Fixing Washington is not about creating more partisan gridlock, heated rhetoric or Republicans versus Democrats. It is about fixing an out-of-control government bureaucracy for moms and dads struggling to support their families, for recent college graduates looking for jobs, for seniors relying on their benefits, for veterans who served America and for the brave men and women who protect us right now.

For more information about my town hall meetings please visit my website (www.Flores.house.gov) where you can also sign up to receive regular updates from my office. I look forward to seeing you, talking with you and continuing to work to with you to fix Washington for you.

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, represents the 17th Congressional District, which includes Waco. He will conduct a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Community Services Center Conference Room on the McLennan Community College campus, 4601 N. 19th St.

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