President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address to Congress and the nation, laying out his vision for his second term. The State of the Union is an opportunity to outline plans to solve the most serious challenges facing our country, but President Obama used the occasion to put forward recycled ideas that fail to move our nation forward. His plans include more spending, more taxes, more debt as a nation and more government control over our lives.
We have the opportunity to grow our economy and keep our teachers, doctors and soldiers employed while securing the future of our country. Washington can help Americans expand their opportunities, without burying our children and grandchildren under a mountain of debt. What we need from our President are solid proposals and a framework for controlling spending, reducing debt, expanding opportunities for all Americans and strengthening our national defense.
However, on March 1, our nation’s military will cope with the crippling damage of sequestration. These across-the-board spending cuts are the result of the inability of the 2011 Super committee to reach agreement on how to cut the debt. I voted against the Budget Control Act, which created this scheme. Automatic defense cuts that resulted from this failure are no longer months away; they are mere days away. Our military has already absorbed 50 percent of the reductions, and further cuts would “hollow” out our armed forces. America must be able to protect itself in an unstable world.
Across-the-board spending cuts, which slash programs without regard to effectiveness or necessity, are not the way to rein in our debt. The House has voted twice to replace sequestration with common-sense cuts and reforms. The House Armed Services Committee put forward another responsible alternative to sequestration. It calls for a 10 percent reduction in the federal work force over the next decade, with the cuts coming from attrition. Our men and women in uniform have dedicated their lives to protecting this country. We must not force them to bear the burden of our inability to rein in our national debt. As a member of the House Armed Services and Budget Committees, I will continue to embrace spending reduction plans that cut away at our debt without raising taxes on hardworking Americans, while prioritizing our national defense.
On another matter, our constituent service to citizens of the Fourth Congressional District is expanding. We have opened an office in the Pulaski County Courthouse at 301 Historic U.S. 66 in Waynesville. Field Representative Levi Mitchell staffs the office on Mondays and Fridays from 9-4 p.m. He can be reached at 417-532-5582. The Waynesville location joins existing offices in Columbia, Harrisonville, Lebanon and Sedalia. It is an honor to represent you in our nation’s capital.
Have a good week.