Weekly Columns

Time to Govern

Nov 20 2014

Congress laid the foundation for the next two years of work in Washington with the election of leadership for the 114th Congress. While pundits made the rounds to talk about what this all means,  my colleagues and I were having very serious conversations about the direction the American people want us to take our nation. 

The outlook with new leadership in place is very positive. Those of us who are returning for the 114th Congress are eager to get to work, and more importantly, accomplish the wishes of the American people. 

Americans overwhelmingly voted for a different direction for the country and elected new leaders to Washington. I’m anxious to be part of the Republican majority in the Senate and move the agenda and push the policies that bring about an environment that promotes job creation. 

We recognize that the election results don’t equal a huge vote of confidence in the GOP. The public is concerned about the direction of the country and they want change. We are being given the opportunity to lead and govern, and we need to step up and make the most of that. 

That’s why we want to make the priorities of the American people the priorities of Congress. And the American people have said time and time again, jobs and the economy is the name of the game. 

More than 45 jobs bills have been stalled at current Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid’s desk. During his tenure, Senator Reid stonewalled attempts to bring these House-passed job creation bills up for a vote in the Senate. Voting on these bills is a good place to start a job growth agenda that would make our tax code fairer and simpler for all Americans, cut spending to address the debt that is hurting the future for our children and grandchildren and stop regulations that are inefficient, ineffective and unnecessary. 

One lingering distraction is President Obama’s continued threat to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens through executive action. The President claims he listened to the message the American people sent, but not a day goes by without the White House making news about threatening to act unilaterally on amnesty. 

Going around Congress on immigration reform is the completely wrong approach and a troubling tone to set for the next Congress. The House rejected the President’s plan and many of the Senators who were supportive of the bill will not be in office at the start of the year.

If the President issues an executive order granting amnesty, it would be a complete misreading of the electorate. There was no mandate for either party issued on Election Day. Rather, the American people said they want Washington to listen to them. The President should join the new Congress in committing to that approach, instead of focusing on his own agenda. 

As we look forward to the next Congress, I want to know what issues you want us to focus on. Please contact my office. Tell me what issues concern you most and share with me how you want Washington to work for you. I am committed to working for you and am excited about solving these challenges in the coming year.