Posted by Randy | December 01, 2009
15 million Americans are out of work.
7 million illegal immigrants are holding jobs that could have gone to American workers.
This disparity is unconscionable and it can’t be ignored. At a time when unemployment is at 10.2% and 190,000 jobs were lost in October alone, our Administration has a responsibility to use all the tools available to them to address this gap.
Existing immigration laws make it a crime for employers to hire unauthorized workers. Actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Simply can create millions of jobs for American citizens. And not only would it create more jobs, but a study by the Center for Immigration Studies found that when immigration laws were enforced in the workplace, wages increased for American workers by 7.7 percent on average.
I joined a number of my colleagues in sending a letter to the White House asking them to enforce our current immigration laws so we can create jobs for citizens and legal immigrants. Americans have a fundamental right to achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They shouldn’t be forced to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs.
Also, do you want to receive email updates from me on immigration issues like this? Sign up here and be sure to check the immigration box.
Posted by Randy | December 01, 2009
Our national debt just hit another record high last week - $12 trillion. Divided among the U.S. population, it amounts to $38,974.34 for every man, woman and child. This graph from gop.gov shows what our national debt will look like in 2012 if we continue down this path.
If you haven’t already, watch my latest video on this issue.
Posted by Randy | November 25, 2009
New York Times: Wave of debt payments facing US government
LA Times: 1 million stimulus jobs? House panel investigates
Associated Press: China slams US report warning of spying by Beijing
Wall Street Journal: Government deficits and private growth (Op/Ed by George Melloan)
Washington Times: Green energy stimulus growing few jobs
Wall Street Journal: Health Haggling Heats Up
Posted by Randy | November 25, 2009
While Thanksgiving as we know it today is often full of traditions like turkey, parades, football, it has a larger meaning. Take a moment to reflect on the history behind America’s oldest holiday:
You can read more Thanksgiving history here.
This Thanksgiving, I will give thanks for my family, for the troops who are fighting for this nation, for those who work so hard to make our country great, and for the blessings that God has bestowed on this great nation.
Whatever your family's traditions may be, I hope your homes are filled with gratitude, happiness, and cheerfulness as we offer up our thanks and celebrate with loved ones.
What will you give thanks for this year?
Posted by Randy | November 20, 2009
Consider the following facts:
- In response to the global economic downturn, China has made a focused investment in roads and infrastructure to stimulate their economy, while the United States has relied on short term bailout and stimulus packages that borrow money for corporate bailouts and social programs.
- While China continues to build up and modernize their military force, our Administration is focused on reducing our carrier fleet and has refused to submit a shipbuilding plan as required by law.
- And while our national debt continues to explode, China has strategically bought up more of our national debt than any other country, thus strengthening their bargaining position.
This week, the U.S.-China Commission released their 2009 report on the People’s Republic of China. As founder and chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, I look at these annual reports closely. This year’s report highlights that fact that China remains the most aggressive country conducting espionage against the United States. They lack regard for transparency, product safety, and intellectual property rights, and their currency manipulation has greatly contributed to global trading imbalances.
I’ve long argued that China’s actions warrant concern. I continue to argue so, but I believe equally that the actions of the U.S. warrant great concern. Our national leaders must not wait in developing a cohesive strategy to ensure that China works towards becoming a responsible and cooperative global participant. But they also must not wait to make clear and concerted efforts to address the runaway spending, ballooning debt, and weakened national defense posture that have marked a recent path toward deteriorating economic, fiscal and strategic security on the global stage.
Posted by Randy | November 18, 2009
It’s not too late to get healthcare reform right, so every American has more choice, better quality, and more access to healthcare. I’ve joined former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and several other members of Congress in signing this letter to President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, outlining eight commonsense principles to find the right solutions in healthcare.
Here’s the letter. Do you support these principles?
November 18, 2009
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
The U.S. Capitol, Room H-232
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
United States Senate
The U.S. Capitol, Room S-221
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Reid:
There is no doubt that improving healthcare for all Americans is one of our country’s top priorities. From the quality of care to how much we pay, from insurance coverage to access, from treatments to technology, healthcare profoundly affects every American, every community, and every business.
We can all agree that we need to work together so that every American has more choices of greater quality at lower cost.
Unfortunately, the last several months have shown yet again that many in Washington are more interested in playing politics than achieving a positive result for the American people. It is not too late. There is still an opportunity to get health reform right. Here are commonsense ways to find the right solutions, the right way.
Slow down. Ramming through a trillion-dollar bill without giving three hundred million Americans the chance to study the legislation raises legitimate questions of why some leaders are trying to avoid a careful review by the American people. In a democracy, a secretive, one-sided process is never the right way to govern.
Open up. A 2,000-page bill written in secret by a handful of politicians and staff is the wrong way. Republicans have offered time and time again to bring constructive ideas to the table, only to be shut out by a cold shoulder and a closed door. We need an honest and open process free of artificial, political deadlines and open to input from everyone. Cooperation, not confrontation, is a better approach.
Don’t break the bank. The director of the Congressional Budget Office said this in July:
“In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for healthcare costs.”
Nothing has changed since then to bend the cost curve down. Why should the American people believe that spending another $1 trillion will somehow reduce healthcare costs? Why should the American people believe that a $1 trillion price tag from Washington won’t put our country further into debt? Why should governors and state officials believe that the largest unfunded mandate in American history will not break their banks when they are on the hook to pay for these reforms? With unemployment at 10 percent and with more than $9 trillion in federal debt on the horizon, why commit to spending another trillion dollars before stopping the waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in current government programs (Medicare and Medicaid) first?
Reform does not mean replace. The vast majority of Americans are satisfied with their current coverage and doctors, a fact that has been borne out in every public opinion study for years. Improvements must certainly be made to make health insurance more portable, more accessible, and more affordable, but our first priority should be to protect and strengthen what the American people already have and support.
The right reforms. Neither party has a monopoly on sound solutions. Good ideas and sound decision-making, regardless of their origin, are desperately needed. For example, the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded that reforming medical liability laws would save the federal government $54 billion. Despite these important savings and overwhelming support from the American people, medical liability reform has never been part of the discussion because of political reasons. Where money can be saved, it must be. This is particularly true today, given the fragile state of the economy and this year’s record budget deficit.
Real competition and real choice. You talk often about the important principles of “competition and choice.” We enthusiastically agree. But instead of creating one huge government-run insurance plan, let’s break down the existing barriers to greater competition. A better approach is a nationwide marketplace where all 1,300 insurance companies are forced to compete, giving Americans real choices. This will bring down costs and improve quality—just as it does wherever competition is allowed to flourish.
Save Medicare from bankruptcy. The non-partisan Medicare Trustees concluded that Medicare will be broke in eight years. Medicare already has an unfunded liability of at least $37 trillion in benefits that have been promised future generations. The emerging legislation does nothing to save Medicare. Rather than cutting Medicare to pay for new federal subsidies or a government-run insurance plan, we should save and strengthen it. The right way would be to root out the fraud, waste, and abuse first that is costing the current program tens of billions every year.
Unleash American innovation. Science, research, and innovation are a vital part of improving healthcare. We should reform the Food and Drug Administration to expedite the movement of drugs, devices, and new technologies to the market. We should invest in new science to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. Inexplicably, the Senate Finance Committee goes in the other direction, raising more than $60 billion in new taxes on medical technology and drug research – the people responsible for the medical breakthroughs in America. These kinds of innovators should be rewarded, not punished.
Health reform or “health insurance reform” should not be a political wedge, pushed to satisfy political allies at the expense of the American people. Healthcare is too important and the stakes are too high. The American people deserve and have demanded better. With an honest process, the right priorities, and the right solutions, we can and will succeed.
Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House; Founder, Center for Health Transformation
Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida
Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas
Michael O. Leavitt, Former Governor of Utah; Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina
Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia
Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi
Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland
Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri
Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan
Rep. John Campbell of California
Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri
Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia
Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas
Rep. Dean Heller of Nevada
Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas
Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan
Rep. Darrell Issa of California
Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois
Rep. John Linder of Georgia
Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington
Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania
Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina
Rep. Devin Nunes of California
Rep. Tom Price of Georgia
Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas
Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona
Rep. William “Mac” Thornberry of Texas
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia
Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia
Fmr. Rep. Sue Kelly of New York
Fmr. Rep. David McIntosh of Indiana
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Former Director, Congressional Budget Office
Benjamin E. Sasse, Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
David Brailer, Former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
James C. Capretta, Former Associate Director for Human Resource Programs, Office of Management and Budget
Andrew von Eschenbach, Former Director, National Cancer Institute; Former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Tevi Troy, Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Posted by Randy | November 17, 2009
Recovery.gov is the U.S. government’s official website to provide "easy access" to how and where the billions of taxpayer dollars from the stimulus act are going.
Well, it lists where they are going but where exactly is the 36th congressional district of Virginia? Or the 17th congressional district? Or the 98th congressional district? Or the 00 congressional district? All total, Recovery.gov the lists $4,500,613 in taxpayer funds going into almost a dozen congressional districts that do not even exist in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Check out the site here.
The lesson here: Big government is not accountable government. It's just one of the many reasons I was one of the 17 Members of Congress to vote against every stimulus under both the Bush and Obama Administration.
Posted by Randy | November 16, 2009
I came across this chart from the Ways and Means Committee last week. Despite the Administration’s claim that the trillion dollar stimulus package is working, the U.S. economy has lost nearly 3 million jobs since February when the stimulus legislation was passed. U.S. public debt, on the other hand, has soared:
I spoke about this very issue on the House floor in February when I voted against the economic stimulus package. You can watch those remarks here.
Posted by Randy | November 13, 2009
The Obama administration, under pressure to show it is serious about tackling the budget deficit, is seizing on an unusual target to showcase fiscal responsibility: the $700 billion financial rescue.
It’s one of the most basic, kitchen-table questions of the entire reform debate: Would the sweeping $900 billion overhaul actually lower spiraling insurance premiums for everyone? No one really knows.
The aging veterans gingerly walk from the plane in the nation's capital. Some get pushed in wheelchairs. A brass band strikes up World War II era tunes. Strangers rise to their feet and clap their hands. "Why are they doing this?" says Frank Bales, 86, a co-pilot on a B-24 during World War II. "I feel as humbled as a mouse."
Last month, India purchased 200 tons of gold at $1,045 an ounce, before the price topped $1,108 on Monday. China, too, may increasingly diversify from paper -- i.e., bonds -- into gold, the price of which, some experienced investors believe, could soar to $2,500 an ounce in three to five years. One reason for all this is U.S. behavior.
China is significantly boosting its capabilities in cyberspace as a way to gather intelligence and, in the event of war, hit the U.S. government in a weak spot, U.S. officials and experts say. Outgunned and outspent in terms of traditional military hardware, China apparently hopes that by concentrating on holes in the U.S. security architecture -- its communications and spy satellites and its vast computer networks -- it will collect intelligence that could help it counter the imbalance.
Warming: After stifling a report questioning the science behind climate change, the EPA is censoring two of its lawyers for saying the proposed solutions are also problematical. The debate isn't over. It's being suppressed.
Posted by Randy | November 13, 2009
The Administration announced today that several Guantanamo Bay detainees, including self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be prosecuted just blocks away from Ground Zero in NYC before a civilian federal court. The decision was made despite the fact that these terrorists were already being tried by military commissions that are specifically designed to prosecute terrorist acts.
There is a serious issue at stake here and that is the value we place on the security of our nation in the near and far term. The Administration’s decision on how we handle the detainees will set precedence for our nation – in the rights that we will afford terrorists in the future and in the security of our nation for future generations. Even the ‘low-risk’ detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center have the potential for further violence, as we saw in 2008 when an ex-Guantanamo detainee killed and wounded many in a suicide bombing attack.
Simply put, bringing detainees to the United States is a risk we should not take. These terrorists are not common criminals. To treat them as such is not only irresponsible on the Administration’s part, but it creates additional national security risks that we could otherwise avoid.
Earlier this year, I introduced legislation to prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to Virginia. Also, I visited Guantanamo Bay just a few months ago – you can read my thoughts about that trip here.
What do you think? Should Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Guantanamo detainees be tried in civilian court within the United States?