By Representative Michele Bachmann
The current lame duck session should never have been necessary. Had Democrats taken their leadership of Congress seriously, they would have never pushed the crucial issue of tax increases to December.
Our nation is only weeks away from the largest tax increase in American history, but Democrat leaders in the House have yet to bring the extension of the current tax rates for all to a vote. Across the country, small business owners have been holding off on hiring new workers because they don't know how large of a tax increase they'll face in January. This massive tax hike should have been stopped months ago. Unfortunately, instead of addressing an issue that could have created jobs, the leaders of the House majority adjourned in September so their members could focus on saving their own jobs.
Even during this lame duck session, Democrats have failed to see the urgency of getting tax increases off the table. They've dithered with dozens of bills naming post offices and honoring athletes, while around kitchen tables, in company offices, and on family farms, taxpayers still don't know what the tax rates will be in just a matter of weeks.
There is one thing that is certain about Washington in January. The newly-elected Republican majority in the House has heard the American people and is ready to lead after swearing-in on January 5. The message that came from voters on November 2 is that Americans have been taxed enough already, the federal government needs to stop spending more than it takes in, and Washington lawmakers must display strong allegiance to our founding documents.
As part of my work to help answer these calls from the American people, the Tea Party Caucus will be holding regular constitutional seminars with scholars, judges and other constitutional experts. These seminars are aimed at deepening our member's roots in the document that we all swear to uphold as we serve the American people. Just as sports teams practice regularly, so too will participating members regularly study the Constitution as they pass laws in adherence to this document.
The new majority must get to work immediately to put our fiscal house in order. Ringing in at a whopping $13.8 trillion dollars, our national debt is simply out of control. Recent lawmakers have been spending like there is no tomorrow and as if there are no consequences. We must start immediately to reduce the deficit so the next generation is not left with a mountain of debt because of our spending mistakes. We also need to work on how Washington spends. We must end earmarks and get Washington back to an orderly and Constitutional appropriations process. And, we also should act to ensure the era of bailouts and government takeovers is only a page in the history books not to be repeated.
The American people are ready for us to look at dramatic changes to our way of doing business. They expect us to act like adults and start cutting the deficit. One item to put on the table is Obamacare. I introduced the first repeal bill in the House the morning after the monstrosity passed. My 41-word bill would repeal Obamacare and it's more than 2,000 pages of legalese, loopholes, and massive liabilities in full. While Congress works towards repealing Obamacare I also believe defunding should be in the next order of business. In its place commonsense solutions for health care should be introduced like buying insurance across state lines, tort reform, and allowing people to buy coverage with their own tax-free dollars.
I'm ready to join my colleagues in getting to work in the 112th Congress. We will have a lot on our plate, but knowing our country's future is on the line we are anxious to restore the limited government intended by our Founding Fathers.