The Eagle: GOP offers 'A Better Way' to run America
By U.S. Rep. Bill Flores
On Election Day, the American people sent a clear message. They no longer will stand for weaker national security, executive branch overreach, excessive regulation and the unbridled expansion of the federal government. After eight years of failed Washington policies, hardworking Americans rejected the status quo in Washington and they want to go a different direction.
Over the past several months, I have been working with my fellow House of Representatives colleagues to develop an agenda to change the status quo and restore confidence in our federal government.
We call this bold, conservative agenda "A Better Way," and it mirrors many of the solutions that President-elect Donald Trump put forth during his campaign.
It tackles our nation's six big challenges: national security, tax reform, the economy, health care, poverty and restoring constitutional authority.
Our constituents constantly tell me that the state of our national security is the top issue on their minds. The national security portion of our agenda spells out how we will protect our homeland, defeat terrorists and confront emerging threats worldwide. It emphasizes that we must take the fight to the terrorists and ensures our military has the resources necessary to meet this critical challenge. It works to counter new threats on the horizon and strengthens tools for local law enforcement. Most importantly, it protects our homeland by securing our borders and ending the waves of illegal immigrants entering our country.
The cost of complying with Washington's complicated and overly broad regulations is one of the biggest burdens on America's small businesses, manufacturers and, ultimately, consumers. The economy portion of our agenda works to lessen these burdens through smarter, sensible regulations that encourage efficiency and facilitate economic growth.
This includes delivering affordable and reliable energy, ending taxpayer bailouts and Washington's "too big to fail" mentality, preserving internet innovation and setting forth a regulatory system that works for small businesses - not against them. It promotes a stronger and more robust economy. Our federal government should work to encourage competition and put the interests of hardworking American families over government bureaucrats.
Obamacare's failures are hurting Americans' health care security. Premiums are continuing to skyrocket, co-ops are collapsing and insurers are abandoning the marketplace, leaving American families with fewer health care choices.
The health care portion of our agenda starts with the full repeal of Obamacare. Once that is complete, we will begin to implement reforms that continue to protect those with pre-existing conditions, expand access to the health care market by allowing people to purchase health care across state lines and increase the maximum contribution limit to health savings accounts. It clears out bureaucracy to accelerate the development of life-saving devices and therapies. It also works to protect Medicare for today's seniors and preserves the program for future generations.
All combined, these proposals work to lower costs, expand access, encourage innovation and put patients back in the drivers' seats for their own health care decisions.
At more than 70,000 pages long, the current tax code is overly complicated and nearly impossible for families to navigate. The tax reform portion of our agenda lays the groundwork for a new tax code that is flatter, fairer and simpler. It proposes a system that is so straightforward that families will be able to file their taxes on a postcard. As opposed to the current seven individual tax brackets, this plan proposes just three. It repeals the estate or death tax, reins in and restructures the out-of-control IRS and encourages investment and innovation for small businesses. These reforms promote economic growth and ultimately grow paychecks and economic opportunity. We also have corporate tax solutions to make American businesses among the most competitive in the world.
Our Constitution clearly states that Congress is in charge of writing our laws and that the president is in charge of enforcing them. Our agenda reclaims Congress's constitutional authority. We achieve this by protecting hardworking Americans against unnecessary government harassment; rein in unelected, out-of-control federal bureaucrats; limit executive discretion; use the appropriations process to keep regulators in check; and strengthen congressional oversight.
Americans should have confidence in our constitutional system of governance and know that their Constitutional liberties are protected.
Despite the expenditure of trillions of dollars on a wide range of ineffective and inefficient programs over the past five decades, millions of Americans continue to live in poverty. Our agenda includes proposals that would reduce poverty by working to lift Americans out of impoverished conditions and afford them an opportunity to pursue the American Dream. We emphasize rewarding work, tailoring benefits to people's needs, and encouraging people to plan and save for the future.
When it comes to results, success should not be measured by the number of people presently enrolled in welfare programs, but by the number of people who are able permanently to leave those programs because they have achieved a better life.
Our "A Better Way" agenda provides an excellent roadmap to restore America. Now that the American people have a White House that will work with House conservatives, we finally can deliver the change voters asked for in this most recent election.
I am eager to continue working on solutions to restore our national security, improve economic opportunity and protect our constitutional liberties. I have great expectations for what we can accomplish in the next Congress.
We can and we will deliver a promising future for hardworking American families in 2017 and beyond.
• Bill Flores, Republican of Bryan, represents Texas District 17 in the U.S. House of Representatives.To read this article as published, click here.