Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans.
It is time once again for our weekly update.
We have reached an incredible milestone, 100 days as a U.S. Congressional Representative and there have been some monumental moments.
We have brought a piece of legislation to the floor which passed unanimously, 393-0. H.R. 1246- which will cut the Department of Defense printing and reproduction budget by 10 percent- was my first successful piece of legislation, and I am extremely proud of it.
This past Friday, we dropped our second piece of legislation, “The Small Business Encouragement Act,” which seeks to provide a $6K tax credit to small businesses with less than $20M annual revenue and less than 100 employees who hire an unemployed American. Please notice I emphasize American! And upon completion of our two week district time, we will bring forward several amendments as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Defense Appropriations bill.
My assessment of these first 100 days is simple; there is a deficit of leadership in our Country. I read the President’s “Mulligan” budget proposal speech from this past Wednesday and just shook my head. The problem for America is not revenue, it is spending, or, shall I say “investments,” which is the liberal progressive political buzzword for big government spending. Raising taxes on upper income tax brackets will not increase revenues as per the GDP. That has been historically proven in America. What we see is just a President, and a party, offering no real viable solutions for long term sustainable economic and job growth for our Republic. Just the same ole’ tired liberal, “raise taxes” mantra. And since most of our small business owners operate as S-Corporations, using personal income tax levels means an increase on our small business sector, the economic engine of our Country.
I have also learned in my first 100 days that if you have no viable solutions, you just demagogue the debate.
Since the President has proposed a different budget from his original FY 2012 budget dropped in February, will he then refund the American people for the waste spending in printing and reproduction of that monstrosity of a document? I think we should bring forth a piece of legislation mandating a 20% decrease in White House printing and reproduction cost and I will surely work to get that bill to pass unanimously as well.
This week focused on two budgets, final continuing resolution for FY 2011 and FY 2012, “The Ryan Budget” plan. Here are the highlights:
On Wednesday 13 April, the House approved H.R. 1217 by a vote of 236-183.The bill would repeal section 4002 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a provision establishing the Prevention and Public Health Fund, an ObamaCare provision authorizing the Health and Human Services Secretary to administer and spend funds without any further Congressional approval. Therefore this “slush” fund abrogates Congress’ power of the purse. According to CBO cost estimates, the bill would decrease direct spending by $16 billion over the 2012-2021 periods.
On Thursday 14 April, the House approved H.R. 1473, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, by a vote of 260-167. The bill would provide appropriated funding for government operations funded by all 12 annual appropriations bills through the remainder of FY 2011. Under the legislation, funding for non-defense programs would be reduced by $44.8 billion or 7.7 percent from FY 2010 levels. Funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) would be increased by $4.9 billion or 1 percent above FY 2010 levels. The net effect of the bill—including the increase for DoD and the reductions for other spending—would be to reduce spending by $39.8 billion from FY 2010 levels. Compared to the President’s FY 2011 request, the bill would reduce net spending by $78.5 billion. Lastly, the bill would provide a total of $1.049 trillion in budget authority for FY 2011, a reduction of 3.7 percent below FY 2010 budget authority.
I did not vote for this legislation because we did not give the American people REAL spending cuts. Here is the statement I placed in the Congressional Record with regard to my vote. In the final analysis, the numbers just did not add up and along with (58) other Republicans we voted “Nay”.
Subsequent to the FY 2011 CR, the House approved two enrollment correction resolutions. The first, H.Con.Res. 35, was approved by a vote of 240-185. H.Con.Res. 35 would prohibit any funds in this or any previous legislation from being used to carry out the provisions of the Democrats’ health care takeover. The second, H.Con.Res. 36, was approved by a vote of 241-185. H.Con.Res. 36 would prohibit any funds in this legislation from being made available to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, annual total of approximately $356M. When an enrollment correction is adopted by the House, it is considered as an amendment to the bill by the Senate when it considers the legislation. If the enrollment corrections are not adopted by the Senate, they would not be attached to the final bill.
On Friday 15 April, the House approved the FY 2012 Budget Resolution by a vote of 235-193. The Resolution cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President’s budget, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion. It eliminates roughly $800 billion in tax increases imposed by the President’s health care law and completely repeals the takeover. In addition, the resolution prevents the $1.5 trillion tax increase called for in the President’s budget. The resolution also saves entitlement programs for future generations, while not changing benefits for those 55 and older. I voted for the FY 2012 Budget Resolution and attached is the statement with regard to my vote.
Highlights of the Week:
Sunday 10 April: Spoke before the Polish Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Church in Pompano Beach in remembrance of the Smolensk crash where the Polish leadership was lost. The invite came from the Polish-American Congress and I truly enjoyed sitting through my first Mass in Polish.
Later that evening in a bipartisan fashion with Congressman Ted Deutch, I introduced and viewed the movie, “Iranium” before a capacity crowd of 800 people at the Boca Raton Synagogue.
Monday 11 April: Addressed the South Palm Beach County Bar Association monthly membership luncheon and provided a Congressional update.
Tuesday 12 April: Flew back to DC, met former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for a briefing to the Republican Policy Committee. Met with the CEO of PGA of America and the Florida Regional President of PNC Bank. Spoke to the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows and participated in a House GOP Freshmen focus group led by renowned pollster Frank Luntz,
WATCH Video Here.
Wednesday 13 April: The day began with a breakfast hosted by the Florida Hospital Association. Met with MG Titshaw, Adjutant General of the Florida National Guard. I attended a small business hearing on tax code complexity and how it affects small business growth and job opportunity creation. Met with members from the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) referencing their legislative priorities. The day ended with a special private dinner which was attended by former Vice President and Mrs. Cheney…I
feel very fortunate to be living such an American dream!
Thursday 14 April: The day started with a continental breakfast meeting of the Florida Congressional delegation with Florida Governor Rick Scott. I then met with the South Florida representatives of the Vietnam Veterans of America. We had several HASC committee and subcommittee meetings in preparation for our NDAA mark up in May. Met with the South Florida representatives of the Susan G Komen organization and since I ran in the race in West Palm Beach, they want me for future 5K races. The day concluded with an interview with Judge Napolitano on Freedom Watch and on Mark Levin’s radio show.
I then had the honor that night of attending the Hope for the Warrior gala event at Union Station to support our Wounded Warriors. It was great to see some retired General Officers with whom I had served and meet two more Medal of Honor recipients.
Friday 15 April: The day began with my devotional time and prayer with COL(R) Bobby Little, Executive Director, Christian Embassy. He comes by every two weeks to mentor and provide prayer counsel with me. I then spoke at the Center for Security Policy monthly luncheon on “The Fiscal Aspects of National Security.” That day, I also met with Mr. Anthony Zagami, local small business owner from Riviera Beach, CEO, Security Identification Systems Corp. That afternoon, I addressed the Ft Lauderdale Tax Day rally after party.
Saturday 16 April: Spoke at the monthly prayer breakfast of The New Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach. Spoke at the South Florida Tea Party 3d Annual Tax Day rally in Boca Raton. Attended, along with Angela, the Town of Palm Beach Centennial Ambassadors Gala held at The Breakers.
Sunday 17 April: Appeared on ABC News “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour. WATCH
Later, I spoke for a reception sponsored by Citizens United. And lastly, I participated in the Town of Palm Beach Centennial parade and celebration.
I will be in the District for these next two weeks and look forward to the many opportunities to visit with my constituents.
From the West Family, we want to wish everyone a Happy Passover and Happy Easter. May we all remember our Men and Women in uniform as they sacrifice their lives to keep us the Land of the Free because this is the Home of the Brave!
Steadfast and Loyal,