Issues 2017-06-06T09:43:11+00:00
Access to quality health care is a challenge for the Third District because of rising costs and the distance between health care facilities. Unfortunately, President Obama’s policies threaten to make these problems worse, not better.

The President promised Obamacare would reduce costs, would allow Americans to keep their health care plans and their doctor, and would not add “one dime to the deficit.” Each of these promises has fallen short. The cost of health care has continued to rise, thousands of Nebraskans have been kicked off of their insurance plans or lost their doctors, and the cost of this law will add more than $1 trillion to the national debt during the next decade. In my opinion, the worst aspect of the law is the individual mandate which effectively makes criminals out of Americans who want to take care of themselves.

I believe we must repeal Obamacare and pursue market-based reforms. Decreasing bureaucracy and mandates while increasing competition in the system will make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

The President’s Administration has also proposed numerous one-size-fits-all regulations which would hamstring rural hospitals including many in Nebraska’s Third District. I have been a leader in opposing these rules, and will continue to fight to make sure Third District residents are able to be treated at local hospitals.

Federal regulations often do more harm than good. Executive agencies abuse vague legislation to issue rules, without the consent of Congress and without consideration to their impact on our lives, jobs, or the economy as a whole.

Agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seem more interested in harassing industry, agriculture, and energy producers out of business to pursue an ideological agenda, than ensuring commonsense standards.

I am particularly concerned about the impact of arbitrary regulations on agriculture. In recent years the federal government has attempted to regulate farm dust, prohibit children from helping on their family farms, deploy OSHA inspectors on small farms, and apply the Clean Water Act to non-navigable waters. The EPA has even tried to enforce their unnecessary rules with surveillance flights. I have opposed and fought each of these efforts.

In addition to fighting individual cases of regulatory overreach, I believe we must reform the regulatory process. I support several legislative efforts, including the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, which would require Congressional consent before regulations with a significant impact on the economy could be enforced on the American people.

I support utilizing all of America’s vast energy resources to ensure a diverse, reliable, and affordable power supply. “Cap and Trade” and other efforts to limit American energy would be economically disastrous, especially for low-income individuals and families who can least afford huge increases in their utility bills.

In spite of the Obama Administration’s policies, America is in the midst of an energy revolution thanks to new technologies and drilling techniques. We should encourage this revolution by leasing public lands for exploration, ending the regulatory assault on energy producers, and by approving the Keystone XL pipeline. These efforts will help promote energy independence, and lesson the need to purchase energy from unstable and unreliable sources in the Middle East.

I am a strong advocate for ethanol and advanced biofuels, and have worked to reduce regulatory burdens on small hydropower projects. These sources and other emerging technologies will help diversify our energy infrastructure.

Massive budget deficits and a growing national debt represent the greatest threat to America’s future prosperity. Even with a Democrat in the White House, House Republicans have changed the debate in Washington from how much to spend, to how much to cut. We have made a small amount of progress, but clearly we need to do much more.

Many of the cuts made in recent years have been to discretionary spending programs and defense. While every branch of government should be asked to do more with less, we have yet to address mandatory spending which is the true driver of our deficit and future debt obligations. Without reforms, popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare will not only be unsustainable, but will also bankrupt our nation. I support the House Republican budget to responsibly reform these programs for future generations and put our budget on a path to balance within 10 years.

I also support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to force fiscal responsibility. Nebraska and most other states are required to balance their budgets every year which shows it possible to be both responsible and provide essential government services.

America’s tax code is ten times the size of the bible – with none of the good news. Our complex and outdated tax code is stifling job creation and discourages investment in our economy.

I do not believe raising taxes is a solution to our budget crisis. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. In fact, the federal government collected more tax dollars last year than any year in history. History has shown economic growth is a more effective way to raise revenue.

As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I am helping to lead the effort to reform the tax code to make it fairer, flatter, and simpler. We can simplify the tax code by eliminating loopholes and applying the savings to reduce rates for individuals and businesses. This type of revenue neutral reform would reduce the cost of compliance and encourage economic growth.