By Representatives Gregg Harper, Alan Nunnelee and Steven Palazzo
On Sept. 23, 2010, Republican lawmakers and candidates announced a conservative governing plan for the new House majority's legislative agenda. Two years later, we have kept our Pledge to America by advancing ideas Americans believe in: pro-growth policies that promote prosperity through individual freedoms and liberties.
Our approach is simple: make America more competitive, stop the out-of-control spending, repeal Obamacare, maintain a strong defense, enact a real energy strategy, and reform the way that Congress operates.
Republicans believe that the fastest way to get Mississippians back to work is by getting the government out of the way and allowing entrepreneurs to flourish. This means giving small businesses like Busylad Rent-All in Tupelo a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their active business income and preserving current tax rates for all Americans through 2013. Incentivizing small businesses and startups is a key ingredient for job creation.
The Obama administration has logged four consecutive trillion-dollar plus deficits, driving the nation's debt past the $16 trillion mark. This is why House Republicans passed a plan that significantly trims the federal deficit, places the budget on a path to balance, and shrinks the size of government to 20 percent of the economy by 2015. Congress must reform and modernize government spending through real fiscal discipline and restored economic freedom.
The House has voted over 30 times to peel back all or a portion of Obamacare. These efforts include a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) -- a 15-member panel handpicked by the president that robs Congress of its governing authority. This law is bad for patients and providers, it's bad for individuals and employers, it's bad for states and jobs, and there is no question it's bad for senior citizens. True health care reform focuses on access to care, protects the patient-doctor relationship and lowers health care premiums through increased competition and choice.
We understand that in today's world our constitutional duty to provide for the common defense has never been more crucial. That is why we have produced legislation that prioritizes national security assets and supports visionary defense partners like Seemann Composites in Gulfport. Rather than allow across-the-board cuts to threaten our military priorities, House Republicans have passed a bill that targets ineffective programs.
The House majority has passed several bills that would boost domestic oil production and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, with the goal of lowering gas prices. Our all-of-the-above energy strategy promotes American energy production of oil, renewables, natural gas, clean coal technology and nuclear power -- and would ultimately lead to an energy independent America. Empowering innovators, such as Elevance in Natchez, and harnessing our nation's energy capabilities will help stabilize fuel prices and build a steady supply of resources, all the while generating high-paying energy industry jobs.
While House Republicans have governed in an efficient and effective manner, the Democratic-controlled Senate has dug in its heels and the only thing this White House seems interested in securing is the president's re-election. Not only do they continue to reject our ideas, they have effectively halted legislative productivity by refusing to produce any of their own.
Passing these principled solutions has been the first step in ensuring economic opportunity for all Mississippians. As your conservative lawmakers in the House of Representatives, we will continue to advocate for a smaller government that is more accountable to the people.