This was an eventful week as Congress said goodbye to 2012 and welcomed 2013 with a flurry of activity culminating in passage of legislation hurriedly put together to prevent the country from going over the fiscal cliff. As many of you know, I voted against this bill - and I want to share with you the reason I voted NO.
First of all, this was a crisis of the Senate's and President's own making. The House passed bills last summer to avert the crisis. But, unfortunately, the Senate chose not to act until the last minute. And, when it did, it chose to insert tax increases and raise spending - not what we need to get our economy going.
While I am pleased that most hard-working families are spared huge tax increases, I voted NO because this legislation does nothing to rein-in the out-of-control Washington spending that is burdening our children and grandchildren with debt they will never be able to pay.
Since I first began representing the good citizens of Missouri's Fourth District, I have pledged to do what I can to put the brakes on runaway federal spending - because we share the belief that Washington does not have a tax problem; it has a spending problem. Sadly, this legislation was all tax increases and no real spending cuts. It is imperative that Washington reduce taxes on hard-working Americans and bring spending under control. We can and must do better to protect future generations. Rest assured, I will continue to fight to get people back to work and to cut wasteful Washington spending.
On Thursday, a new session of Congress began and I was honored and humbled to have been sworn-in to represent the citizens of Missouri's Fourth District for a second term. It is a new look Fourth District with the addition of several counties - Boone, Cooper, Howard, Randolph, and part of Audrain.
In this new Congress, I begin a new challenge as a member of the House Budget Committee, which is responsible for the drafting and preparation of the annual budget resolution that sets the aggregate levels of spending and revenue expected to occur in a given fiscal year. As a returning member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to fight hard for our national defense and for our men and women in uniform who are protecting us from those intent on harming the good people of this country. I am also serving for a second term on the House Agriculture Committee. Agriculture is Missouri's leading industry and I feel privileged to represent our rural district and our state as federal agriculture policy is implemented.
It is a privilege to be your voice in Washington.