Greetings constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. You guessed it, it is weekly update time. These weeks are truly passing by at record speed but we must remain focused on the many tasks required of us to rectify the fiscal irresponsibility emanating from Washington D.C.
Speaking of which, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 345 page report this week detailing redundancies and duplicitous programs and agencies in our federal government. Click here:
Fifteen different agencies oversee food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs assist the homeless, 82 federal programs improve teacher quality, 80 programs help disadvantaged people with transportation, 47 programs help job training and employment, 56 programs help people understand finances, and there are 80 programs for economic development, just as examples. The sum totals of these inefficiencies are between $100-$200 Billion.
This past week I voted for two major pieces of legislation; one was the two week Continuing Resolution H.J. Res 44 which funded the federal government to March 18th with $4B of spending cuts. The second piece of legislation was H.R. 4 which ended the onerous 1099 requirement on our small businesses for purchases at or above $600. This burdensome mandate was part of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). These two pieces of legislation seek to reduce the impact of federal government taxation and regulatory burdens on the American citizen and entrepreneur, therefore promoting job and economic growth.
However, the American people recognize that we must no longer just take these small calculated measures. The House GOP has established that it does not seek a “government shutdown” but rather seeks reasonable and viable solutions for our economic future. With that being said we must now push forward to complete the business of the Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 and not get bogged down in the quagmire of repeated stop gap measures.
The U.S. Senate MUST pass HR 1 as it is. As I stated to Judy Woodruff on a PBS interview,
click here: http://www.youtube.com/allenwestfl#p/u/2/OknRgw2Ij-Y this week, in light of the revelations of the GAO report, the $61B of spending cuts in HR 1 are quite miniscule. To be blunt,only a collection of fools would debate the necessity of HR 1. What the Senate should actually do is INCREASE the spending cuts to include the duplicitous programs identified in the GAO report. We should also cut the State Department program which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars overseas to rebuild mosques under the ill-conceived belief that it will lead to building a positive relationship.
Therefore, I make myself clear. I will not support anything less than HR 1 as it was sent forward to the Senate. Nor will I support another two week Continuing Resolution. Alexander the Great once stated, “Fortune favors the bold.” The American people are looking for principled and bold leadership. I understand “political maneuvering” but the time has come to engage in the battle for the fiscal responsible future of America. I shall take my position on the frontlines.
The most appalling event of this week, one which truly angers me, was the Islamic terrorist attack in Frankfurt, Germany against our men and women in uniform resulting in four being shot, two Airmen losing their lives. I follow the news and see that this did not even sustain a 24 hour news cycle. I listen for a response from our Commander-in-Chief and see again, weakness, just as in the previous week when four Americans were executed by Islamic terrorists at sea.
Look for our office to introduce specific legislation which will force us to recognize the true aspect of the “Global War on Terrorism” which I hope to include in the Department of Defense Authorization Bill.
I watched our President abdicate his responsibility for the safety of our Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol agents to Mexican President Calderon by stating that they will not be allowed to carry weapons in Mexico. President Obama also reiterated that our men and women charged with securing our border will use “bean bags” against the threat of invasion along our Southern boundary.
Yet, I hear commentators such as Chris Matthews praise the President for the job he is doing. I am starting to believe that I reside in a parallel universe. Heck, here is the leader of the Democrat Party who has not even called for the cowards in his party who ran from their duties in Wisconsin to return…….and that is leadership?
At the Broward County Lincoln Day dinner, I spoke on a simple topic, “America.” I thought about the Ray Charles version of this beautiful song and used the lyrics of the first stanza to address what this Country truly means. America is not a geographical place. America is an ideal, a vision, a grand experiment in the belief that inalienable rights come from our Creator. In America, the governed offer their consent to those elected, to govern and lead. Somewhere along the way we have lost sight of these ideals and even worse, lost the understanding of what an American leader represents. Our Country risks becoming a rudderless ship at sea and the tumultuous storm is about to cast us against the rocky shore.
However, with all this, I still know one reassuring truth, there shall be a “Dawn of a New America.”
Here are the highlights from another busy week;
– We had our first meet and greet as a Congressional Representative last Sunday at the home of David and Beverly Strauss in Boca Raton. There were more than fifty people in attendance and it turned into a mini-town hall, which just suited me fine. The great aspect of this event was the attendance of registered Democrats, some of whom did not vote for me in 2010.
– Monday, I enjoyed a lunch with the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Chiarelli. In all my 22 years of service, I never had a Pentagon assignment and had never met a Senior Army leader. It was an honor that General Chiarelli would take the time to spend with me and we chatted about a myriad of topics. Needless to say, he knows that I am dedicated to ensuring my Army, and all of our servicemen and women have the best advocate on Capitol Hill.
Also on Monday we had the first TEA Party Caucus meeting of the 112th Congress. It was a delight to hear from three TEA Party leaders from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida (Jacksonville). These three ladies were highly articulate and focused. They asked for one thing, stand up and fight.
– I sat through several House Armed Services Committee hearings this week; The Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Commander US Central Command (CENTCOM) and US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and DOD Science and Technology programs. When you consider the fact that the world is 70 percent ocean, you will understand the need to restore our Maritime Services, Navy and Marine Corps, and enhance our Special Operations forces. In 1990, we had some 515 Naval vessels. Today, we are at 284. That is telling.
I also had separate office call meetings with the Commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Both of these meetings, which were back to back, were vital because we discussed the situations in Latin America and Mexico and their effects upon the USA.
– I addressed the Pizza Hut Franchisees Board at a dinner Tuesday night. What a great group of small business entrepreneurs who make up the backbone of the economic engine of America.
– I also attended the weekly Congressional Black Caucus meeting this week and put my name as a co-sponsor to submit a proposal for a U.S. stamp honoring Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm.
– I participated in a full hearing of the Small Business Committee where we heard testimony from Administrator Karen Mills, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
– I addressed the Jewish Community Relations Council of Miami at the Florida House pre-dinner reception. I met with the Jewish War Veterans, during their reception, and also hosted our Florida JWV group during an office call. They presented their three focus topics; Veterans, U.S. Military, and Israel.
I flew back to South Florida Thursday evening and immediately got to business on Friday morning. I was honored to be in attendance at the Rybovich Yacht Works in West Palm Beach to participate in the press conference introducing the new mega yacht Rybovich-Riviera Beach repair facility. This new facility will bring over 600 new jobs to Riviera Beach and have an economic impact of nearly $600M. The second, third, and even fourth order effects to the local economy and our marine industry are just phenomenal. I will work hard to ensure this project meets its developmental timelines, and perhaps we can facilitate early completion.
Standing there it just warmed my soul to know that this effort was bi-partisan and evidences how government does not create jobs, it sets the conditions for job growth. Hat tip to my dear friend, Christian brother, and visionary leader, Wayne Huizenga Jr.
In closing, Saturday morning I did my normal Ft. Lauderdale A1A run, just 8 miles. It was windy and the seas were high with crashing waves. I always enjoy seeing those early bird runners, to include my buddy who always reminds me while I run, to “fix the jobs situation.” I want to encourage each of you to realize that healthcare begins with you. Please take care of yourselves and find the time in the day to dedicate to some type of physical activity. When you can, eat well, and get your rest.
I want you all to be healthy, strong Americans and when possible, give of your physical abilities, to support those who are even a tad bit less able.
Steadfast and Loyal,