I would like to thank you once again for your advice and opinions on where our country is headed and the role that our government should play in our lives. While it seems that our concerns continue to be ignored by the Washington elites, I assure you that I hear you loud and clear -- and so does the rest of the country.
Today, I voted AGAINST raising our nation's debt limit by $1.9 trillion to $14.3 trillion. Since January of 2007, the debt limit has increased $5.3 trillion, or 59.4 percent. We cannot continue to spend money we don't have.
The hollow promises of transparency continue to insult and anger the American people. The secret backroom deals, payoffs and paybacks were the final arrogant acts of a government out-of-control. Patrick Henry so accurately stated: "The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of the rulers may be concealed from them."
The recent Senate election in Massachusetts was the "second shot heard "round the world." The American people fired back against big, intrusive government. Not with bullets, but with ballots.
The people are the sovereign, not the government. The people are taking their country back and letting the government rulers know it. Our government, like the British, would do well never to underestimate the American people. And that's just the way it is.
God and Texas,
Member of Congress
The push for a government-run healthcare system is still very much alive and well. The secret closed-door negotiations are still ongoing and despite the overwhelming public disapproval, the administration remains committed to forcing it through Congress anyway.
But, the wheeling and dealing was dealt an ironic hand this week when the Canadian Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced that he would come to the UNITED STATES for heart surgery. If socialized medicine is the answer, why do people from countries that have it continue to come here for care?
Supporting our Troops
I am always encouraged by our troops when I visit with them one-on-one; and my latest trip to Afghanistan in December was no exception. I met with Texas troops, military leaders and local people throughout the country.
I was particularly interested in going to the violent Afghanistan-Pakistan southern border region. Part of our mission is to secure the border by preventing drugs, arms, money and Taliban criminals from crossing back and forth through the vast border regions.
Our troops are using every means available to protect the Afghanistan sovereignty from the free flow of criminal conduct. It is in America's interest to have our military in Afghanistan.
Now, if we could only apply that same philosophy to our own violent southern border. Read my recent floor speech here: "Afghanistan-Pakistan Border and US-Mexico Border."
The highlight of my trip was once again being able to deliver handmade Christmas and holiday cards to our troops. This year we collected over 11,000 cards! I want to personally thank all the school children and organizations across the 2nd Congressional District for participating again this year. It truly puts a smile on each and every soldier's face.
I appreciate the emails and calls I have received regarding the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison and the prosecution and subsequent trials of accused terrorists. I strongly oppose closing Gitmo and bringing terrorists to the United States.
I recently cosponsored H.R. 4556, opposing the Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial in the United States. This bill also prevents Department of Justice funds from being used to have a trial anywhere other than a secure U.S. military facility.
Acts of terrorism should be treated as such and tried in military tribunals. We should not be in the business of making deals with terrorists. It's not in the best interest of the United States to give away the courthouse -- and the mineral rights too.
Happy 109th Birthday Frank Buckles!
This week, our last remaining Doughboy, Frank Buckles, turned 109 years young! In his honor, I filed H. Res. 1060, wishing him a happy birthday and commending him for his service in the Great World War -- and his relentless commitment to seeing a memorial to all World War I veterans built on our National Mall in Washington, DC.
It is an uphill battle to get support for this project.
As the sponsor of the Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act, I am proud to continue this fight in Congress. It is unfortunate that it is a fight to honor our war heroes, but it is one that I don't plan to give up on.
Government Gone Wild
The Fiscal Year 2011 Budget is more of the same: spends too much, borrows too much and of course, taxes too much. Our country simply cannot afford to continue this. Again, we hear a lot of talk of cuts, but they have yet to be seen. The President's proposed freeze only covers 1/8th of the federal budget and will not start until 2011.
Major overall concerns:
* Permanently expands the federal government by nearly 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over 2007 pre-recession levels;
* Raises taxes on all Americans by more than $2 trillion over the next decade (counting health care reform and cap-and-trade);
* Raises taxes for 3.2 million small businesses and upper-income taxpayers by an average of $300,000 over the next decade;
* Borrows $.42 cents for each dollar spent in 2010;
* Runs a $1.6 trillion deficit in 2010--$143 billion higher than the recession-driven 2009 deficit;
* Doubles the publicly held national debt to over $18 trillion; and
* Increases the government workforce to 2.15 million employees this year.
The President's budget would also increase taxes by a record $2.308 trillion over ten years. Of particular concern to southeast Texas is: $39 billion in increased taxes related to the repeal of tax credits for the production of natural gas, oil, and coal fuels.
It's about the Economy .
Government is not the answer -- it is the problem.
I still believe that Americans know how to best spend their money, not the Washington elites. Yet, here we are again looking at another so-called stimulus bill. Despite the empty promises and billions of dollars wasted on the previous stimulus bills, the economy is still struggling and unemployment has now reached double-digits.
I will not support legislation that throws good taxpayer money after bad. As a result, I am a cosponsor of H.R.470, the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Relief Act of 2009. This alternative to the big-spending stimulus plan is a pro-growth bill that unleashes the potential of American businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs. This legislation provides calls for a reduction in discretionary spending and provides important tax incentives, including reducing individual and corporate tax rates, increasing tuition and education related deductions and permanently reducing dividend and capital gains taxes.
And that's just the way it is .
I am continuing to take your message to the House floor in 2010. I believe that it is important for members of Congress to speak as often as possible on issues that are important to them and their constituents.
Speaking on the house floor
In 2009, I spoke on the House floor more than any other member of Congress for the second consecutive year. The most frequently spoken word was "Texas"; followed by "money," and "border."
Ted Poe in the News
Be sure to tune in next Monday, and every other Monday morning, in the 8am hour on Fox 26 in Houston as I discuss the latest news with Jose Grinan and Sibila Vargas on the "Congressional Corner."
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