Weekly Columns

Survey Says...

Dec 12 2014

If you subscribe to my email newsletter, you know that I asked Arkansans what issues need to be a priority in the 114th Congress. The results are in and I want to share them with you. 

The responses from this survey mirror what I’ve heard as I travel across the state. Our border is far too porous, Washington spends way too much, and our nation’s healthcare system is in worse shape as a result of Obamacare. Fixing those problems are the top three things survey participants want Congress to address in the coming year. 

Given President Obama’s attempts to force amnesty through executive order, it’s no surprise that securing our borders and enforcing the immigration laws already on the book tops the list. 

No immigration reform policies we pass will be effective until we secure the border. Adding more rules without enforcing the ones we have will do little good in the long run. Securing the borders requires that we allocate the resources, surveillance technology and manpower necessary to ensure that individuals crossing our borders are doing so legally. By starting here, we will prevent millions of unlawful immigrants from infringing upon every legal citizen’s right to pursue the American dream. 

Coming in second was the need to address Washington’s wasteful spending. Our nation’s sovereignty is at risk unless we fix our spending and entitlements to address the national debt. 

In testimony before Congress, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said the greatest threat to our sovereignty is not Iran; not al-Qaeda; not radical Islam—it’s our national debt. The reason for this is that a great deal of our national debt is made up of foreign holdings and much of that is owed to countries that do not always share our values—such as China and Saudi Arabia. 

I believe we can find a mechanism, like a Balanced Budget Amendment, that will stop the government from spending beyond its means. If Arkansas can balance our state’s budget, there is no reason that we shouldn’t be able to require Washington to do the same. 

Respondents also overwhelmingly want Congress to reform the healthcare system so patients and their doctors are in charge. This is the opposite of what Obamacare does. With a price tag in the trillions, Obamacare creates more problems than it solves. It drives up health care costs, busts our budget, bankrupts Medicare and deflates our economy. Let’s not forget that the law raises everyone’s taxes on top of that. 

We need to replace Obamacare with reform that allows for flexibility, choice, portability, and fairness. Let's put patients in control and force insurance companies to compete for their business. 

I’ll be asking more questions in future surveys because constituent input is an important factor in determining how to vote on bills before the Senate. Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter to participate. You can do so by visiting my website—boozman.senate.gov. You can also voice your opinion on any issue by visiting my website or calling my Washington, D.C. office at 202-224-4843. I welcome and value your thoughts on the crucial issues before our country.