Thank you for the opportunity to update you on the work of the 114th Congress. I trust this finds you and your family well, as we work together to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington.
A clickable offering of books and articles that I've read recently and highly recommend, as we strive together to "Keep the Republic."
As President Obama continues to push his big government agenda, we need to examine the compounding failures of his ideas. For Forbes Magazine, Avik Roy wrote an article titled "Unemployment Is Dropping, Thanks To A Republican Policy That Obama Opposed" describing how off the mark the President's predictions on the impact of his policies has been.
President Obama believes increasing the size of government grows the economy. I disagree with this philosophy and supported efforts to lessen government while trusting more in American workers when the President asked to extend temporary unemployment benefits. Roy reminds us how the President's Department of Labor warned that failing to renew this program would cost 240,000 jobs. Instead, as a study by economists from the University Oslo, Stockholm University and University of Pennsylvania found, the reduced role of government created 1.8 million new jobs.
As the President continues to warn Congress against implementing ideas like the Student Success Act, building the Keystone XL pipeline, reducing the regulatory powers of the federal government and more, we should keep in mind the failed track record of his policies. Even his signature health care bill, ObamaCare, has become known for the President's false statements that if you liked your health insurance, you could keep it.
Prime Minister Netanyahu's Address
Last week, a true leader addressed what he called the "most important legislative body in the world" and the world witnessed true leadership being exercised. I have not seen the level of praise, applause, and respect at an address to Congress since the last time that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a joint session four years ago.
Netanyahu was right about the threats posed by Iran and radical Islam. The plan from President Obama and his administration does not block Iran's road to nuclear weapons, instead it paves the road. We must reverse our foreign policy with regards to Iran and its continued nuclear ambitions because the greatest threat to our security is the marriage of Islamic terrorists and nuclear weapons. The President's disastrous policies in the Middle East have led to the rise of terrorist organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which pose a serious threat to American's abroad and at home.
This was the third joint address to Congress by Prime Minister Netanyahu. The only other foreign leader to have addressed joint sessions of Congress that often is Winston Churchill, who is also famous for his warnings against trusting evil nations.
Department of Homeland Security Funding
In December, I supported legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security until the end of February. This was part of a spending bill that locked in some seriously significant victories such as:
Reduces discretionary spending by $165 billion since 2010, saving taxpayers $2.13 trillion over the next ten years.
ObamaCare funding cut by $1 billion.
IRS received cuts taking that agency back to 2008 levels and prohibiting them from targeting organizations based on their political beliefs or exercising their First Amendment rights.
EPA was cut for the fifth consecutive year, back to 1989 levels.
Curtailed the EPA's ability to control of farm property through the Clean Water Act, by prohibiting excessive farm pond and irrigation ditch regulations.
In an effort to protect over one million Americans, including 2,200 Hoosiers, with savings in multi-employer pension plans, this bill also empowered unions to make the touch choices necessary to maintain plan solvency.
The temporary funding for the Department of Homeland Security was meant to allow Congress to have this fight on better ground, when the newly elected Republican Senate was seated. I believed it to be the cavalry coming over the hill and that together we would bring legislation defunding President Obama's unconstitutional executive amnesty efforts to his desk.
Unfortunately, on Wednesday, despite my opposition, my colleagues in both Houses decided to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the budget year without a provision prohibiting funding the President's illegal immigration order.
This decisions went against my work to defund the President's orders. The House had successfully approved a bill that fully funds the Department of Homeland Security while reversing the President's executive order on immigration and sent that bill to the Senate in the 113th Congress, and again in January.
Unfortunately, rather than listen to the will of the American people, the Senate filibustered the January bill.
To put pressure on the Senate, I lead a letter with Susan Brooks, Larry Bucshon, Luke Messer, Marlin Stutzman, Jackie Walorski, and Todd Young telling Senator Joe Donnelly to stop obstructing consideration of legislation to fund the DHS. When we sent our letter, he had voted three times not to consider the House bill.
Letter to Senator Donnelly
Fortunately, the hard earned funding victories in other parts of the federal government from December remain in place. Moving forward, I will continue to fight against the President's illegal immigration orders in any way that I can.
Thank you for your continued interest in Congress and for supporting my efforts to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington. Take care.