Taxes and Jobs:
I continued my education series on issues surrounding the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program with a PowerPoint presentation providing background on unemployment, jobs, and UI. Please check out the slides by clicking here to see how the current 99 weeks of benefits compares to previous recessions, that this year's $156 billion in unemployment benefit spending so far is four times the level from 2008, and how this spending is leading to massive unemployment tax hikes, borrowing, and debt.
As Congress continues to devise artificial means to encourage private employers to create jobs, I continue my opposition to so-called Jobs bills that do little more than expand the welfare state and encourage shortsighted spending. This week, the House considered H.R. 4849, which claimed to provide small businesses incentives to create jobs, but most of the cost was devoted to allowing state and local governments to borrow the Federal credit card and issue new bonds. Also included in H.R. 4849 was an additional $2.5 billion for a welfare slush fund, which is in no danger of running dry this year, and certainly will not create any jobs. To read my statement opposing H.R. 4849, please click here.
Foreign Affairs and Military News:
As many of you know, I have long been a strong supporter of Israel. As the Obama Administration moves forward in its diplomatic relationship with Israel, I have joined with a bi-partisan group of House members in urging Secretary of State Clinton to lend our nation's unequivocal support to Israel. In addition to providing Israel with our full support for strengthening their democracy, peace, and prosperity, we also call on Secretary Clinton to ensure that our two countries recommit themselves to the highest level of diplomatic engagement and work on resolving any differences we might have.
To view a copy of this bipartisan letter, please click here.
America's relationship with Iran has grown tenser in recent months as it becomes clearer that the Iranian government is bent on developing nuclear weapons. Though the Obama Administration has decided to address this problem in a slightly different manner than the George W. Bush Administration did, it is nonetheless apparent that America needs to work with our allies around the world to come up with a better solution to the Iranian problem than what we are currently pursuing. One of those solutions should be tough economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.
If you would like to read a copy of this bipartisan letter, please click here.
On March 19, I voted in support of House-passage of H.R. 2788. As a former Captain in the U.S. Air Force, I was proud to join my colleagues as a co-sponsor of this bill. The legislation will designate the memorial that is currently under construction at March Field Air Museum, in Riverside, California, as the Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial. Distinguished Flying Cross recipients have received the prestigious medal for their heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight with the U.S. Armed Forces. There are many well known people that have played a vital role in the history of military aviation and have received the award. This group includes: Captain Charles L. Lindbergh, former President George H. W. Bush, Brigadier General Jimmy Doolittle, General Curtis Lemay, Senator McCain, Jimmy Stewart and Admiral Jim Stockdale, to name just a few. This bill also honors current and former members of the armed forces who have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. To view the text of this legislation, please click here.
In John Steinbeck's 1952 novel East of Eden, the narrator's observation about Mother Nature speaks volumes about human nature, even to this day: ". . . And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way." We know a lot of things about water. Seventy-one percent of our planet is water. Ninety-seven percent of that is salt water. Of the remaining 3 percent, two-thirds is in ice packs, leaving 1 percent of the world's entire water supply for all plants and animals -- including humans. But, frankly, that is enough if we fix the problems. This week, I joined my colleagues to recognize World Water Week 2010, and renew my pledge to continue fighting to make water issues one of the highest priorities in Congress. The theme of this year's World Water Week is clean water. Every 8 seconds a child dies from a water-borne disease. We can do something about that. We just have to take some bold steps. In honor of World Water Week, I circulated a statement amongst my colleagues on the House Water Caucus. To view a copy of my World Water Week 2010 statement, please click here.
Blog of the Week:
Though President Obama's health care bill is now law, the fight over its constitutionality has just begun. Like many Americans, I find it unconscionable that the Federal government is, for the first time in our history, requiring that American citizens purchase insurance. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is Congress given the power to compel this level of compliance from citizens. I am also concerned that this bill infringes on the rights of states to regulate the insurance industry, as they have been doing for decades.
Fortunately, Governor Perdue has asked Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker to stand with 13 other states and consider suing the Federal government. You can read Governor Perdue's letter by clicking here.