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Posted by Randy | March 24, 2016
When Iran detained ten U.S. sailors in January, Americans here at home watched the video footage with anger and concern. To many of us, the incident revealed yet again how foolish and short-sighted the Administration’s dealings with this anti-American regime really are. I also take it as another sign of the impact that devastating cuts to our military are having on the training and readiness of U.S. forces being sent in harm’s way.

I recently received a briefing on the initial findings of the Navy’s official investigation into the situation, and am deeply concerned by what I heard. That’s why, when I was chairing a recent Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee hearing, I urged all Members of Congress to receive the same briefing on this incident as soon as possible, so that we can work immediately to ensure that it never happens again.

If you missed it, watch WVEC's coverage of my comments here or below. 

I will continue to fight every day to ensure that the servicemembers who are sent into harm’s way are equipped with the training and resources they need to successfully accomplish their missions and return safely home.

Posted by Randy | December 31, 2015
You may remember a few years ago when the General Services Administration (GSA) flew bureaucrats to Las Vegas for a multi-day conference. The Washington Post reported that the conference served $7,000 worth of sushi and spent $44 per person on breakfast – and that the American taxpayer footed the bill to the tune of approximately $823,000, according to the Post. Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated incident. In 2013, an Inspector General audit reported that the IRS spent $4.1 million on a conference in California. And earlier this year, the Washington Post reported a contractor working for USAID billed the federal government $1.1 million for staff parties and retreats.

This needs to stop. That’s why I’m supporting the Government Spending Accountability (GSA) Act, to cut waste, fraud, and abuse by increasing transparency into federal government spending on travel and setting caps for what can be spent on conferences. You can take a look at the bill for yourself, here.

We must restore faith in government by restoring the proper function of government – and it begins by stopping the waste.

Posted by Randy | October 09, 2015

Below is a brief breakdown of a bill that I want your thoughts on. I recently cosponsored H.R. 3442, The Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which requires the Secretary of the Treasury to testify before Congress prior to any date on which the Administration anticipates that the nation will reach the debt limit. The Secretary will be required to provide Congress with a couple important things, including:

  • A debt report to Congress on the state of the national debt, outlining the historic levels of debt and future debt projections.
  • A specific plan laying out how the Administration proposes to reduce the debt in the short-term (this year), medium-term (the next 3-5 years) as well as a long-term (10+ years) plan for dramatically reducing the debt that is crippling our childrens’ futures.
  • Regular progress reports following the Secretary’s appearance before Congress, charting the progress being made on the short-term, medium-term, and long-term plan by the Administration to reduce U.S. debt levels. These progress reports will also be required to be published publically on the Department of Treasury’s website, so the American people can read, analyze, and track the progress for themselves.

Bottom-line: Our national debt is out of control. Requiring the Administration to 1) come up with a concrete plan for reducing the debt 2) regularly report to Congress, and 3) be held accountable to the American people by publically publishing the progress reports should be a no-brainer.

What are your thoughts? Share your feedback with me on my Facebook page here

Posted by Randy | August 11, 2015

Balance your budget. Don't spend more than you make. Following the law is not optional. Problem solving takes focus and team work.

These are lessons most of us were taught as children by our parents. They’re second nature to us, and part of the fabric of our lives. I don’t think it should be any different for Washington. It is indisputable that as a nation we face numerous complex issues with myriads of nuances and consequences to consider. Nevertheless, I believe there are many issues in our government – including the dysfunction we see in Washington and our government’s spending addiction – that could be solved by simply applying a little common sense.

Here are some of the no-brainer bills that I’ve been working on, and that I believe we should all be able to agree on:

  • Keeping the internet access tax-free through the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, (H.R. 235), which permanently ensures citizens cannot be taxed for Internet access.
  • Putting patients ahead of politics and prioritizing medical research with proven success through the bipartisan bill I introduced called The Patients First Act, (H.R. 2921).
  • Streamlining the way we build roads and bridges through my 414 Plan, which cuts useless red tape, accelerates important projects, and puts Americans back to work. Take a look at the bill text, here.
  • Cutting away at duplicative government programs through H.Res. 45, which requires that, when Congress proposes the creation of a new program or initiative, lawmakers have to justify to the American people why the program is necessary and how it adds value, ensuring that it's not duplicative to programs already in place.
  • Making Washington’s overspending personal by tying Members of Congress’ salaries to government spending through the CAP Act, (H.R. 775) – so the more they spend, the less they make.
Posted by Randy | July 29, 2015

There’s no question about it: Washington needs to change the way it does business – especially when it comes to our nation’s job creators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. The cost of complying with Washington’s complicated regulations is one of the biggest burdens on American small businesses and manufacturers. That doesn’t make sense to me. We should be doing everything we can to empower our nation’s job creators to grow, innovate, and push our country forward – not hamstringing them with bulky and burdensome bureaucracy.

That’s why I’m pleased that the REINS Act (H.R. 427) passed the House this week. This bill is a critical action step because it reintroduces common sense into the regulatory process by requiring Congress to take an up-or-down vote on every new major rule issued by a Federal agency before it could be enforced on businesses and the American people.  This ensures that the Executive Branch is being held accountable for the barrage of burdensome regulations being imposed on job creators. I will keep you posted as it moves to the Senate.

Posted by Randy | July 28, 2015
Pointing out everything that is wrong in Washington would be a full time job.  But one of the greatest flaws I see in the policy debates in Washington today – which I believe impacts every decision made and every solution put forth – is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of government in our lives. So here are three key truths that I believe Washington desperately needs to wrap its head around, if we want to get our country back on track:

1)  Government was created to protect people’s rights, not protect people from themselves.  When you have a government that believes its role in your life is to protect you from yourself, that is when we have -- not just a problem -- but a complete erosion of our founding principles. Our Founding Fathers could not have been more clear when they wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

2)  There’s no such thing as a “free” government program. Any program provided by the government is paid for out of the American people’s pocket. I believe government should be the last resort we turn to – not the first one – while we instead focus on empowering citizens with options and opportunities.

3)  Government doesn’t fix the problem. Usually, government is the problem. The American people are the ones who are best at coming up with creative solutions, building things, creating jobs, and prosperity, and pushing our country forward. Instead, government should serve as a launching pad, catalyst, and facilitator of success, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Why does this matter? Because I believe understanding the proper role of government is crucial to charting our country’s course to a future that is brighter, freer, and more prosperous than ever before. Bringing that understanding to Congress is one of the biggest reasons that I serve and that I’m committed to pushing for solutions that limit government, cut back on bulky bureaucracy, and get to the heart of government overspending.

What do you think – do you agree limited government is effective government? Join the conversation on my Facebook page, here, and weigh in with your thoughts.
Posted by Randy | June 19, 2015

The President has threatened to veto the annual defense policy bill, which provides critical resources for our men and women in uniform, unless Congress increases funding for domestic agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This threat comes even as 450 additional troops have been sent to Iraq to oppose ISIS. 

I think it is simply unconscionable to play politics with our national security in order to promote the Administration’s political agenda. See my recent questioning of Defense Secretary Ash Carter on this subject here or by clicking on the photo below.

Posted by Randy | June 10, 2015
I believe access to the Internet should never be taxed. And yet, many states and localities are looking to do just this. Pull out your most recent phone bill -- look closely, and you'll notice a list of access taxes tacked onto your bill each month. If you look at the bill from your Internet service provider, those same taxes are not there.

In case you missed it, a bipartisan bill that I have been championing to permanently ensure that citizens cannot be taxed for Internet access passed the House of Representatives last night with my support. Take a look at H.R.235. Let's keep access to the Internet tax-free.

 I will keep you posted on this bill’s progress as it moves to the Senate.
Posted by Randy | June 08, 2015

I firmly believe limited government is effective government. And a government that spends billions in duplicative programs every year is neither.

That’s why I think that, when Congress proposes the creation of a new program or initiative, lawmakers should be required to justify to the American people why the program is necessary and how it adds value, ensuring that it's not duplicative to programs already in place. I cosponsored a bill to do just that. Take a look at H.RES.45.

Posted by Randy | October 08, 2014

The numbers speak for themselves. Out of 435 Members of Congress, only 17 have voted against all stimulus under both Presidents Bush and Obama. I am proud to be one of the 17.

We cannot spend our nation out of debt, or tax our way to prosperity. It’s principles not partisanship.

Washington needs to be held directly accountable for overspending. That’s why I introduced a bill to tie Members salaries to government spending – the more they spend, the less they make. Learn more about my efforts to cut wasteful spending and solve Washington’s dysfunction, here.

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