Posted by Randy | March 06, 2013
Last month, I asked whether you supported sequestration or an alternative plan to reduce spending. After nearly 80% responded that they preferred alternative spending cuts, I asked which alternatives to sequestration you support. Finally, I asked which legislative proposals voted on in the House or Senate you supported to avert sequestration.
This week we take a look at a far narrower bill designed to reign in government spending by increasing accountability for federal spending on conferences. Recently introduced, the Agency Conferences and Conventions Operating Under Necessary Transparency (ACCOUNT) Act, or H.R.283, seeks to control spending by requiring that conferences costing more than $25,000 must be approved by the head of the particular federal agency, and must have details posted on the agency website within 30 days of the conference, including the purpose, total cost and cost per employee attending. Each agency would be required to submit a report on their conferences to the relevant Congressional committee for the fiscal year. Under the ACCOUNT Act, conference spending would be public and federal agencies would use taxpayer money more wisely with the American people watching. This bill aims to crack down on wasteful practices and bring conference spending – such as the $823,000 spent by the U.S. General Services Administration in Las Vegas last year – into the light of day.
Question of the week: Do you support the ACCOUNT Act as a means of reining in federal spending?
( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (share your thoughts below).
Take the Poll here.
Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 30, 2012
This morning, the Heritage Foundation highlighted an informative study from the Centre for Policy Studies that articulates the benefits of smaller governments as opposed to larger bloated governments. The study defines small government as advanced nations with less than 40% of their GDP in government spending and taxation, as opposed to big governments with more than 40% of their GDP in government spending. This two-minute video sums up their studies in a great way:
I have always believed a smaller government is a better and more efficient model. The study confirms that small governments have faster economic growth due to lower taxes, encourage enterprise risk taking, and improve productivity. Over the last few years I have fought hard to ensure that we have a smaller government. I have consistently voted against all stimulus and bailouts and supported the Balanced Budget Amendment. Read more about my work on small government here.
Posted by Randy | March 13, 2012
I want to share this video with you from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today. Veteran truck driver Doug Grove, safety director at San Bernardino, CA based Western HiWays, explains how burdensome federal government regulations don’t align with the realities of the road.
Watch the video here or click the image below.
Government was not designed to be the center of the marketplace, nor was it meant to be a barrier to economic growth. With each new overreach of the federal government into the realm of small business, the more it continues to stifle innovation and entrepreneurship in America.
Read about my recent work to address regulations here.
Posted by Randy | February 22, 2012
I believe one of the first steps we must take to turn our nation’s fiscal course is to quit spending money we do not have and fix the broken budget process. The American people need to know that they have a fact-based, honest budget, and that leaders in Washington are making every effort to expedite spending cuts. I recently supported two bills that would bring us closer to that end.
This bill passed the House by a vote of 245-180.
This bill passed the House by a vote of 254-173.
Posted by Randy | January 26, 2012
After a revealing report by CBS "60 Minutes” aired at the end of last year, possible insider trading by Members of Congress has come under strong scrutiny. Under current law, Members of Congress and their staff do not owe a duty of confidentiality to the federal government, and therefore are not liable for insider trading. However, recent reports suggest sharing of nonpublic congressional information occurs regularly. The report noted circumstances where Members of Congress may have used their political status and access to nonpublic information to profit from buying and selling stock.
I believe this is wrong. Members of Congress should adhere to the same standards as everyone else. It is unfair for elected officials to use their status to gain unfair advantage in the financial markets. It is unethical and it must be addressed.
I have cosponsored the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, H.R. 1148. The STOCK Act is a bipartisan solution that would prohibit Members of Congress and federal employees from profiting from nonpublic information they obtain via their official positions. It also requires Members and employees of Congress to report the purchase, sale, or exchange of any stock, bond, or commodity future transaction in excess of $1,000 within 90 days.
You can read more the legislation here.
I want to know what you think. Do you support legislation like the STOCK Act to address possible insider trading in Congress?
Posted by Randy | December 27, 2011
Earlier this month, I supported a bill to terminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and the Election Assistance Commission and use those funds to pay down the deficit.
Current law allows taxpayers to designate $3 on their federal tax return to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which provides matching funds to candidates. However, since 2000, major party candidates have chosen to forgo public financing during the primary and general campaign cycles, making the fund unnecessary.
At a time of record national debt, we must be looking to cut those programs that are outdated and wasteful. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established to update and modernize the voting process. The House Administration Committee, in its report on an earlier bill to eliminate EAC, indicated that it has fulfilled its mission of administrating funds and conducting research as mandated by current law. The Committee also stated that the EAC has overhead costs exceeding its budget and that it has a history of "poor financial and managerial decisions," including claims of employment discrimination based on military service and political affiliation. It is estimated that terminating the EAC would save $14 million a year.
This bill passed the House by a vote of 235-190 and will now be sent to the Senate. Read more about the legislation here.
Posted by Randy | December 23, 2011
Over the past several years, we’ve seen a push to remove or dilute symbols and traditions of Christmas that many Americans look towards in celebrating the season. There have been efforts to call Christmas trees “holiday trees.” There has been a prohibition on religious Christmas decorations in a South Carolina cancer center and in schools. And it seems every year we hear of challenges to public nativity scenes in cities across the country.
However, the First Amendment does not require bans on religious references to Christmas, and supports the use of these symbols by those who celebrate Christmas.
I've cosponsored H.Res.489, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those that celebrate Christmas. Specifically it,
(1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;
(2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and
(3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
This Christmas, may your family find joy in displaying the symbols and traditions that you have come to know and look towards.
Posted by Randy | November 01, 2011
Check out this 50-second video from the House Financial Services Committee revealing the simple truth about Washington regulations and jobs:
Posted by Randy | September 30, 2011
On Saturday, a new bank regulation known as the Durbin Amendment takes effect across the country. The regulation caps the fees that banks can collect from merchants when customers use their debit cards. However, because of this cap in fees, banks are making up the money they are losing by increasing costs somewhere else. Many are doing so in the form of fees for customers when they use their debit cards. For example, some bank customers will be charged $3, $4, or $5 a month to use their debit cards.
The Durbin Amendment was passed as a part of the Dodd-Frank Financial and Consumer Protection Act that was signed into law in 2010, which I voted against. One of my concerns with this bill, along with other burdensome federal regulations coming out of Washington, is the increased costs it would create for individual citizens and businesses. Excessive regulations directly affect pocketbooks, jobs, and business growth.
This is why I have made it a priority to reverse the regulatory trend in Washington. You can read about that work here, including the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which I have cosponsored, that would restore a system of checks and balances to federal regulations.
Weigh in: will the new regulations brought on by the Durbin Amendment affect your family? How are other federal regulations affecting you?
Posted by Randy | August 10, 2011
Sixteen years ago the BBA passed the House with bipartisan support, only to lose by one vote in the Senate. Since then, the debt has nearly tripled in size, growing by $9.7 trillion, or around $1.6 billion per day.
The Balanced Budget Amendment is a game changer and we cannot afford to put it off any longer. Watch this video on a Balanced Budget Amendment and read about my work towards a Balanced Budget Amendment here.
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