to protect food supply, eliminate wasteful spending
This week, I again stood for the values and beliefs of Fourth District citizens, who overwhelmingly disapprove of President Obama’s health care takeover, by voting to repeal the federal health care law that takes power away from patients and families.
In 2010, the citizens of the district I represent voted 76 percent for Proposition C to say ‘NO’ to ObamaCare. With my vote I join them in their commitment to standing up to this expensive invasion of privacy rights.
The health care law gives unprecedented powers to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to mandate cuts to Medicare and to make other important health decisions that should only be made by a patient after consulting with his or her doctor. The law forces citizens to pay for health care services that they find morally objectionable and that violate their religious beliefs. It also establishes 21 new taxes and comes with a $1.76 trillion price tag.
Our country is in the midst of economic turmoil with rampant unemployment and this law will raise costs for employers, hurting small businesses and making it harder to hire new workers. We must start over and take the time to get health reform right with common sense proposals to bring about affordable solutions to rein in costs and to make health care available to all Americans. A 2,700 page bill that nobody read was clearly the wrong approach. With repeal of ObamaCare we will be able to put forth common sense legislation that results in improved access and affordability. I pray the Senate listens to the American people and follows the lead of the House.
On another matter, my House Agriculture Committee colleagues and I worked late into the night to pass the bi-partisan 2012 Farm Bill by a 35-11 margin. $35 billion in mandatory cuts, the repeal or consolidation of over 100 programs, and an end to direct farm subsidies are the key highlights to the most important food security legislation considered in the past five years.
The five-year bill approved by the Agricluture Committee saves $14 billion by eliminating direct payment subsidies, replacing them with a new policy designed to only assist producers after a loss caused by severe weather or extreme market value. It also begins the process of making critical reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), saving taxpayers more than $16 billion. With the SNAP changes we target waste, fraud and abuse but we do NOT take one single calorie out of the mouths of children or other needy Americans dependent on this aid. This is a common sense approach to save taxpayer dollars while taking steps toward a more efficient government.
The bill also addresses the drought that has crops withering and pastures drying up. We have reauthorized targeted livestock disaster programs that provide assistance in times of extreme flood or drought.
I am optimistic the full House will pass this bill with plenty of time for the House and Senate to iron out the differences in each chambers’ version of the Farm Bill prior to the Sept. 30 deadline.
I want to bring you up to date on the Hallowed Grounds Act, my bill to preserve the dignity of our veterans and national cemeteries by ensuring no convicted sexual offender receives the honor and distinction of being buried in our sacred plots. The bill has passed out of committee and is headed to the full floor of the House for its consideration. I will keep you informed as we move forward.
Have a good week.