As I travel around the First District, it seems as though the looming defense cuts, known as sequestration, and the upcoming tax hikes are dominating discussion wherever I go, and rightfully so. It is getting closer and closer to January, when these two policies will take effect, and yet still there's been no action. As I've said multiple times on the House floor over the past few months, these are issues that absolutely must be tackled now, and simply kicking the can down the road is both an irresponsible and harmful policy. One of the main frustrations I'm hearing from folks in the First District is about the other effects of this Washington deadlock, such as uncertainty. Individuals, families, and small businesses are finding it impossible to plan for the future because they don't know what sort of policies will come from Washington. It's a shame that partisan politics and gridlock are hindering the growth and certainty that our economy desperately needs, and I've voted multiple times since August to keep Congress from adjourning. These important issues simply cannot be kicked down the road.
In the midst of all of this uncertainty, there are other issues that continue to impact folks in the same ways across our nation. Health care costs are not going down, and that should be the main goal of any health care reform. I've long supported health care policies that focus on patient-centered reforms, ideas that ensure that an individual's health care decisions are made by patient and doctor, not insurance companies or government bureaucrats. In order to truly lower the costs of receiving medical care and ensure greater accessibility for patients, I have voted to repeal the President's health care overhaul and replace it with these types of reforms.
The continued high price of gas cannot be ignored either. I believe a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy policy is critical to expand energy independence for our nation. This is a matter of both national security and economics; we simply cannot continue to rely on foreign sources of energy to keep our nation running. That's why I've advocated for environmentally-responsible energy development in the United States, in addition to promoting alternative energy sources, conservation, and the modernization of our energy infrastructure.