The 114th Congress recently passed the 100-day mark, and people often ask what has been the biggest surprise. Truthfully, I have spent enough time in Washington DC on policy issues that there have been very few surprises. However, one thing that has impressed me is finding a real desire among many of my colleagues to tackle the serious issues facing our nation, and a desire to restore Constitutional balance of powers.
My committee assignments are the Budget Committee, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. These committees are vital in restoring fiscal order, holding government accountable, and assuring that government doesn't stifle innovation in technology while relying on the best available scientific standards. As a member of the Budget Committee, I am especially proud of the fact that we passed a budget that balances in nine years. In addition, the Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Oversight Committee have specific jurisdiction over the EPA, which is an agency that is doing serious damage to our economy. I am a strong supported of environmental policy based on sound science, but not policy based on an ideological agenda.
The first speech I gave on the House floor was in support of an effort to defund the President's unconstitutional executive order concerning immigration. But ultimately, this isn't about immigration, which is a separate issue. This is about Constitutional separation of powers. Without question, the President should have all the powers granted to him under the Constitution, but not one bit more. Standing up to executive overreach is part of fulfilling the oath I took when I was sworn in to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
During a recent Budget Committee hearing, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan faced some difficult questions about the Obama Administration's proposed budget. Our debt has gone up by more than 50% under the Obama Administration and the budget the Administration proposed never balances. Congress passed a budget that begins to get our fiscal house in order and moves toward a balanced budget.
Reducing the deficit and returning the country to Constitutional governance will not be done in 100 days. Federal spending is like a freight train and can't be stopped on a dime. But the issues must be addressed now that will enable us to slow this train down, with a goal of restoring fiscal sanity and a smaller, less intrusive federal government within the next 10 years.
Media interaction, particularly with media that serves the 6th District, is the modern-day version of the Town Hall. In addition to all of the newspaper and web coverage from local media, I've been available to local TV and talk radio. An example, below, is of a recent interview with Jonathan Hardison of Fox 6, WBRC.
Securing our border is critical. A Congressional delegation recently toured the Southwest border, in California, Arizona and Texas, to see first hand the situation at the border and what it needs to be done to secure it. (See pictures: right hand column) It was impossible to hear the stories from our border patrol and people who live along the border and not come away even more convinced of the need to secure the border, with a greater appreciation of the challenges involved. It will require increased deterrence at the border as well as internally strong enforcement policies, including ending the catch and release policies of the Obama Administration.
I am honored to represent you and optimistic about the future we can create together.