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Posted by Randy | May 15, 2014

This Administration needs to be held accountable. I wanted to provide you with a brief roundup of the actions that were taken in the House by my colleagues and me last week to accomplish that goal.

  • Voted to establish a select committee to investigate the attack on the consulate in Benghazi.The American people don’t just deserve answers, they deserve the truth. And uncovering the truth should not be a partisan objective.
  • Voted to request Attorney General Holder appoint a special, nonpartisan counsel to investigate the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. It is critical that the head of the investigation be unbiased, to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions. 
  • Voted to hold Lois Lerner, former IRS official, in contempt of Congress for her refusal to testify about the IRS’ targeting of nonprofit groups based on their political beliefs. Getting to the bottom of the IRS targeting is not about politics it’s about the principles that this country was founded on. Principles like justice, accountability, and equality before the law.
  • Introduced legislation before the House Judiciary Committee to prohibit the NSA's bulk data collection and provide increased congressional oversight of surveillance decisions. America’s security must not cost Americans’ civil liberties.

 I will continue to fight for vigorous accountability, transparency, and oversight. Read more about my recent legislative efforts, here

Posted by Randy | February 11, 2014
Last week, Treasury Secretary Lew sent a letter urging Congress to raise the debt limit before February 27th, the date by which the Secretary believes that current measures taken to avoid defaulting on our obligations will be exhausted.

Later today, the House will vote on a bill to increase the debt limit, ensuring the government pays its bills and fulfills its monetary obligations.  

Question of the week:  Do you support raising the debt ceiling without cutting spending?  

( ) Yes.  Increase the debt ceiling without associated spending cuts.
( ) No. Any increase in the debt ceiling should be coupled with spending cuts.
( ) No. I don’t support raising the debt ceiling under any circumstances.
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other. 

Take the Poll here.
Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | November 19, 2013

Hardworking Americans shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for “free” government cell phones. Yet that is exactly what the $9.3 billion Universal Service Fund, one of the government’s most bloated and abuse-riddled programs which doubled in size under President Obama, is doing through the FCC’s Lifeline program. By saddling your telephone bills with a myriad of taxes and fees, the government is raising cash to buy these phones at your expense.
That is why I cosponsored H.R. 176, the “Stop Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act,” to return the Lifeline program back to its original structure and end federal subsidies for free cell phone services. 

The government does not have a duty to provide free cell phones. But it does have an obligation to the American people to use their hard-earned tax dollars in the most efficient, effective way possible.

I will continue to aggressively scrutinize the way taxpayer dollars are spent, and work to cut back waste in duplicative, underutilized, and unnessecary government programs. Read about my specific efforts,here
Posted by Randy | November 18, 2013
According to a report issued by the Treasury Inspector General for the Department of the Treasury, the IRS paid over $4 billion in child tax credits to illegal immigrants, through a refundable tax credit called the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

Claiming tax credits intended for law-abiding American taxpayers is not only wrong, but also, as the report states, serves as “an additional incentive...to enter, reside, and work in the United States without authorization.”

That’s why I support legislation to require tax filers to provide a valid Social Security number in order to claim tax credits, including the child tax credit, when filing their tax returns.  Simply put, it would prevent illegal immigrants from claiming $4 billion in tax credits, at the expense of American taxpayers.

Learn more about my work to enforce our current laws and protect American families and workers,here.
Posted by Randy | September 27, 2013
Today, our national debt is over $16 trillion, and while we reached the debt ceiling in May, the Treasury Department has been taking steps to avoid defaulting on our obligations.  However, Treasury Secretary Lew informed Congress that those measures will be exhausted by mid-October. As such, Congress is now faced with whether to raise the debt ceiling or risk a possible default on our debt as a country.
Question of the week: What action do you think Congress should take regarding the debt ceiling? (multi-select)
( ) Don’t raise it.  We cannot keep borrowing money to pay our bills.
( ) Suspend it for one year and then raise it to account for the additional borrowing that occurred during that time.
( ) Raise it.  We cannot default on our debt.
( ) Raise it with the condition that future spending is decreased.
( ) Raise it with the condition that sequestration is eliminated.
( ) Raise it with the condition that the health care law is delayed.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).

Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | September 19, 2013

On September 18, the uniformed leadership of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps appeared at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee to discuss the impact of sequestration on their services. When I asked our nation’s most senior military officers whether their services could execute our national defense strategy under another year of sequestration, each one of them responded with a resounding “no”. 

The leaders of our military have made it abundantly clear that our men and women in uniform are being put in the position of attempting to defend our nation’s interests with woefully inadequate resources. To all Americans, and particularly those in public office who have sworn to uphold our Constitution, this situation should be simply unacceptable. I will continue working to ensure that no American soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine is ever sent into harm’s way with less than the very best training, equipment, and support this country can provide.  Watch the video of the questioning here.

In addition to my questioning of our service chiefs, I also spoke about the importance of a strong defense industrial base, both for our economy and national security, at an event sponsored by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. As the Department of Defense struggles to adjust during a protracted period of reckless cuts, developing a thoughtful approach to rebalancing our defense portfolio and preserving the vitality of our defense industrial base is essential.  
Posted by Randy | September 11, 2013
All across America, families and businesses must live within their means. The federal government should too. If the average American family spent money like Washington does, they would spend more than they make, borrow money they don’t have, and continue to rack up their debt. 

Reckless spending to that extent is unsustainable for a single household’s economy, much less for an entire nation. That is why I support a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget and have introduced a bill to hold Members of Congress personally responsible for spending in Washington: the more they spend, the less they make.   fueled by debt.

Read more about the commonsense solutions I support to get spending under control, here
Posted by Randy | August 16, 2013
I wanted to share a recent article with you indicating that the President is looking to bypass Congress by working with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to raise fees on consumers and use that money for a new initiative – ConnectEd – to expand Internet access in schools.   The cost for the initiative is estimated at $4 billion to $6 billion and will be paid for by employing higher cell phone fees on consumers.
I will continue to push back against yet another overreach by the administration, not only to ensure oversight of the executive branch, but also to protect American consumers from these increased costs. 
Posted by Randy | August 07, 2013

Last month, the administration announced that implementation of the employer mandate in the health care law would be delayed until 2015, due to “concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively.”  When I asked you whether the individual mandate should be delayed as well, 76.1% said yes. 

Following administrative delay of a major piece of the law, and a vote in the House to also postpone the individual mandate, debate in Congress has now turned from delaying implementation to defunding the health care law as part of any measure to fund the federal government for the next fiscal year.  

Funding for Fiscal Year 2013 runs out on September 30th.  Before that date, Congress must agree on funding for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins October 1st and runs through September 30th of next year. 

Question of the week:
 Do you believe that trying to defund the health care law is worth risking a government shutdown? 

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).

Take the Poll here.
Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.

Posted by Randy | June 20, 2013
A recent Associated Press article revealed that the IRS is planning to hand out approximately $70 million in employee bonuses. In the wake of scandals over targeting groups for their political beliefs as well as overspending on lavish conferences, the agency’s decision to hand out millions of dollars in bonuses to employees is egregious.  

Overspending and a lack of accountability cannot remain the status quo.  We must put forward policies that are in the best interest of the American people because we owe it to the people of this country to be wise stewards of their money.
I introduced a bill to prohibit the IRS from hiring any personnel for the purpose of implementing  the health care law, cosponsored a bill to crack down on wasteful practices by increasing accountability for federal spending on conferences, and questioned the Attorney General regarding holding those responsible at the IRS who targeted conservative organizations. 

I will continue to work to restrain wasteful government spending and hold the IRS accountable for its actions. 
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