I support free and fair trade because Michigan makes some of the best products in the world. When markets open and we compete on an even playing field, we export more of our goods. This increases wages and increases our standard of living. The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, known commonly as TPP, however, does not fall under the category of free or fair trade. Instead, it undercuts our workers at home and weakens our national sovereignty in dealings abroad. It should be opposed as is.
Every trade bill should be evaluated based on how it benefits American workers. Every member of Congress takes an oath to protect and guard the nation from forces that threaten it—both militarily and economically. Every proposed trade agreement should ensure that Americans are competing on a level playing field. I know American businesses and labor will outwork any foreign competition and build a better product.
Jobs and Opportunity
Every Michigander knows that freedom leads to prosperity. We need streamlined regulations that help create jobs and economic growth. A less cumbersome regulatory system will mean higher wages for workers across our congressional district and more opportunity for all.
The number one priority of the next Congress must be to repeal Obamacare. We need real and effective healthcare reform that empowers citizens to make their own healthcare decisions, not bureaucrats and politicians. Health insurance must be more personal and affordable. Specifically, we should allow for insurance to be purchased across state lines; and promote personalized health savings accounts, which will put you in charge of your healthcare. I believe we can create access to quality healthcare without killing our jobs or shrinking our paychecks.
Congress must also pass the REINS Act, which grants Congress the power to vote down major cost-inducing regulations and end harmful government bureaucracies that are strangling the economy of Upper Michigan.
We need tax reform that simplifies and lowers the tax rate for everyone. I support a fairer system that eliminates deductions for special interests who hire lobbying firms. This will help keep taxes low for everyone and create a more free and prosperous nation.
The United States remains one of the leading producers of manufactured goods in the world, but we can do better. Due to our policies regarding taxes, energy, and trade, it is more expensive to do business in the United States than in many of our largest trading partners. This must change. We should support American work, not tax it.
Balance the Budget
Our debt is over $19 trillion, and we owe a substantial portion of that to China. Our children and grandchildren will be saddled with a bill that will lead to a worsened standard of living. That is not acceptable and why I support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The president and Congress should not be allowed to spend away our future because they are afraid to make difficult decisions today.
We need conservative Republicans in Congress to stand up not only to overspending Democrats, but fellow Republicans, as well.
The first inalienable right described in the Declaration of Independence is the right to life, and the job of Congress is to protect our rights, not take them away. That includes the lives of those yet unborn. Rather than treating pregnancy or children as a problem, we should work together to create a society that welcomes them into our communities with loving and open arms. We must remember that every person is a unique child of God, full of potential. As a member of Congress, I will protect the unborn and move the pro-life message forward.
The Second Amendment
For over two centuries the Second Amendment has guaranteed that our fellow citizens have the right to protect themselves. The right to bear arms is not just about hunting or target practice—it’s about being a free nation. I will protect the Second Amendment.
We currently have the fewest veterans serving in Congress since World War II, and it’s not surprising that we’ve seen the Veterans Administration deteriorate as a result. One of the most recent examples of bureaucratic incompetence cost the health and lives of nearly 300,000 veterans who waited for care. Veterans have gone above and beyond to protect our way of life. They deserve a VA that does the same to provide quality, accessible healthcare to those who served. As a veteran and former senior military commander, I know in which areas the VA could improve quickly. I will give my all to implement positive, effective reform.
Defending Our Nation
As someone who was personally involved in the fight to defend our country from terrorism, I know what the military needs to defeat our enemies. I have seen the horrors of war and understand that, under the Constitution, the most important vote a member of Congress can make is whether or not to send our troops into battle.
I promise that I will only support the use of troops when it is absolutely necessary. When the threat requires the deployment of our military, I will ensure that our troops are trained and equipped to win decisively and return home to their families.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." He was right!
The government monopoly on education for a large proportion of Americans is a tragedy and should be viewed as the modern civil rights issue of our time. We need to offer education reform that supports more choice in education, from public schooling to home schooling. Everyone in the United States deserves a great education.
I believe our nation’s immigration policies should put the interests of our citizens and working families first. While we can continue to be generous, immigration is a privilege, not a right, and we should never allow it for people who intend to do us harm, or who violate our immigration laws and ‘cut in line’ to come here. Therefore, I am opposed to any form of amnesty for those who came here illegally.
The American people deserve to have secure national borders, and communities that are safe from foreign criminals and terrorists. While walls and fences can serve as deterrents at the border, to truly stop illegal immigration – including the estimated 40-50 percent of all illegals that simply overstay their visas – we must make the federal online E-Verify program that verifies a new employee’s legal status before they are hired, mandatory for use by all employers.
In a world rapidly approaching eight billion people, we also need to be realistic and have immigration policies that protect the interests of US working families. That means having reasonable but still generous limits on legal immigration, and making sure that our visa system works as intended to serve genuine economic needs. But there is no excuse for the abuse of foreign work visas by some large corporations, who fire their American workers after forcing them to train their cheaper foreign worker replacements.
Finally, to preserve the unity of our unique ‘melting pot’ society, and promote the successful assimilation of new immigrants, we should make English our official language of government operations.