For months, House Conservatives have been working on putting forth an agenda to restore confidence in America. We set up task forces to seek input from members to tackle our six big challenges: National and Homeland Security, Tax Reform, the Economy, Health Care, Poverty, and Restoring Constitutional Authority. Last month, we unveiled our agenda entitled “A Better Way”, which provides a blueprint of the legislative goals we would like to see accomplished in Congress.
America is facing the growing global threat of radical Islamic terrorism that cannot be ignored. The rise of the Islamic State and the recent attacks on Americans motivated by radical Islam make it clear that this is an enemy that knows no borders, boundaries, or limits.
The national security portion of the “A Better Way” agenda emphasizes that we must take the fight to the terrorists and ensures our military has the resources necessary to meet this critical challenge. It protects our homeland by securing our borders and ending the wave of illegal immigrants entering our country. It is also important that we work to counter new threats on the horizon, and it is critical to strengthen tools for local law enforcement. Lastly, we must restore American influence, advance free enterprise, and expand the community of free nations. For the safety and security of our nation, it is imperative that we work to strengthen America’s national security and confront the foreign and domestic threats of the 21st century. In a nutshell, we need a strong military to prevent war and maintain our security and freedoms.
At more than 70,000 pages long, the current tax code is overly complicated and nearly impossible for hardworking families to navigate. Our complex tax code is littered with hundreds of preferences and subsidies that pick winners and losers. Jobs are being pushed overseas because our corporate income tax system imposes the highest rate in the developed world.
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 Americans 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 tax, reins in and restructures the out-of-control Internal Revenue Service, and encourages investment and innovation for small businesses. The reforms in our blueprint will promote economic growth and ultimately grow the paychecks and economic opportunities of hardworking Americans.
Obamacare promised to lower health care costs, but Americans have seen their insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs rise dramatically. We were promised that we could keep our plans, yet millions of Americans saw their plans cancelled altogether. Obamacare was supposed to improve access to care; however, prohibitively high costs mean that for many, paying the individual mandate fine is still more affordable than buying health insurance. For these reasons, House Conservatives remain committed to implementing truly affordable, patient-centered health care reform based upon competition and free market principles.
The health care portion of the agenda provides a blueprint for reform which increases access to affordable, high-quality health care for more Americans. It starts with the full repeal of Obamacare. Once that is complete we 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. Additionally, this blueprint clears out the 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 driver’s seat of their own health care decisions.
The cost of complying with Washington’s complicated and overreaching regulations is one of the biggest burdens on American small businesses and manufacturers. In 2015 alone, regulations cost us $1.9 trillion in lost productivity and growth. It is time we stop Washington’s ability to hurt the way Americans live and do business every day.
The principles set forth in the economy portion of the “A Better Way” agenda include delivering affordable and reliable energy, ending taxpayer bailouts and Washington’s “too big to fail” mentality, preserving internet innovation, cracking down on frivolous lawsuits, and setting forth a regulatory system that works for small businesses – not against them. This agenda promotes a stronger and more robust economy. It is time that the federal government works to encourage competition and to put the interests of hardworking American families over big government bureaucrats.
The most recent U.S. Census Bureau report reported that over 46 million people live in poverty. Despite the federal government spending trillions on a wide range of ineffective or inefficient programs over the past five decades, millions of Americans continue to experience economic hardship and distress.
The agenda includes proposals that would fight poverty by working to lift more Americans out of impoverished conditions and afford them an opportunity and dignity to pursue the American Dream. This agenda emphasizes rewarding of 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 to permanently leave those programs because they have achieved a better life. This agenda will help reduce the cycle of poverty and improve upward mobility.
Since January 2009, Americans have seen unaccountable, unelected, and out-of-control federal bureaucrats abuse their power to put politics and ideology above the law, and threaten the freedoms and liberties of Americans. It is time that we rein in the out-of-control executive branch and reclaim the principles developed by our Founding Fathers.
Restoring constitutional authority is an important component of our agenda. We have laid out proposals which will put a stop to executive overreach by subjecting agencies and bureaucrats to more Congressional scrutiny. We will increase transparency and ensure that Congress has the final word on who, what, when, where, and why the government is spending taxpayer money. Hardworking American families are frustrated and angry with the government overreach coming from unelected, unaccountable, out-of-control Washington bureaucrats. It is time that we reassert the power of the people, reclaim the power of the purse, and reestablish the separation of powers – where the legislature is the sole writer of laws and the executive branch executes the law. We owe it to our nation’s citizens and our Founding Fathers to restore Congress’ constitutional authority.
Since the roll out of the “A Better Way” agenda in June, the House has passed several bills that support this vision for a confident America. We passed the bipartisan Iran Accountability Act, which imposes sanctions on Iran for its egregious violations of its international obligations. The Separation of Powers Restoration Act prevents administrative agencies from establishing unconstitutional regulations, which will rein in the out-of-control federal bureaucrats and reestablish the balance of power. The Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act strengthens counterterrorism capabilities, enhances homeland security, and prevents radicalization within the United States. The Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act prevents the IRS from misusing or abusing personal information of donors to tax-exempt organizations. We also passed a bill I co-authored, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which harmonizes the EPA’s conflicting ozone regulations and provides much needed relief from the Administration’s onslaught of job-killing, overreaching federal regulations.
The House will continue to promote and execute the “A Better Way” agenda and provide deliverables that will help hardworking American families. I believe that we have a great framework to lead our nation down a path to restore Liberty, Opportunity, and Security. To learn more about the “A Better Way” agenda, please visit better.gop.
Town Hall Meetings
In the coming weeks, I will be hosting several town hall meetings around the district to further discuss the “A Better Way” agenda as well as other issues affecting citizens in our community and across America. These meetings will provide me with the opportunity to answer your questions and, most importantly, to get important feedback about what we can be doing in Washington to improve the everyday lives of hardworking American families. Details about these town hall meetings can be found on my website Flores.House.gov.
Service Academy Review Board
Each year, dozens of young men and women from the 17th Congressional District apply to be considered for an appointment to our nation’s service academies. Nominating deserving individuals to our service academies is one of the most fulfilling responsibilities I get to do while serving you in Congress. To help with the nomination process we have set up a Service Academy Review Board to interview the nominees and make recommendations for nomination. This non-partisan Board ensures a fair and impartial review process of all nomination applications. It is comprised of constituents of the 17th Congressional District who have attended a service academy, served in our military or have a background in higher education.
We are currently seeking qualified volunteers to serve on the Service Academy Review Board to assist in this important process. If you are interested or know of someone who would be interested in serving on the Board, please visit Flores.House.gov/reviewboard or contact our Waco office at 254-732-0748.
I truly feel that through the “A Better Way” agenda, we can rebuild the “Shining City on a Hill” that President Reagan envisioned for our country. I encourage each of you to continue praying for our country during these challenging times, and for our military men and women and first responders who protect us each day.
With great respect,
Member of Congress