The 2016 Agenda
by Blake Farenthold on January 27, 2016 at 1:28 PM
The start of a new year is always a good time to step back and take a look at things. I spent a lot of time listening and talking to peopleall around the 27th District to make sure your top priorities are my top priorities. I’ve come up with a draft list of my top 10 issues that need to be addressed at the federal level. My staff and I will be spending an afternoon in February mapping out a strategy and I wanted to get your input on the draft list. Are we missing something? Do you have any thoughts on these issues? How about suggestions? Please let me know with a letter or email at my website, farenthold.house.gov.
We have seen an alarming rise in terrorist attacks and plans to attack us on American soil. This administration’s haste to quickly allow anyone to enter our country, whether through the refugee program, overstaying their visas, or simply walking across the border with no penalties, has made America a target for anyone who wants to commit a violent crime. I will work to halt the refugee program until we can be sure it is being done properly, and to secure our border for those who enter illegally. It is time for the rest of the world to take America serious again and if the President won’t do it, Congress will.
As a father of two, I can tell you that nothing is more precious than the life of a child. Nothing is more precious than an innocent baby first being brought into this world. With Roe v. Wade, America has lost the value of a human life. Rest assured I will fight for the lives and rights of these precious human beings and I will keep fighting until the killing of babies is as atrocious to the legal system as it is to those of us who understand that the lives of the unborn should be protected.
Protecting the Second Amendment
You cannot protect Americans by disarming them. The current administration uses national tragedies to target law-abiding gun owners with executive actions. We have seen over the last seven years this President’s unwillingness to respect the Constitution and this is yet another area where the President will try, and fail, to override the Constitution. I will fight every effort of the President's to disarm the American people.
Reining in Federal Overreach
We have a President who thinks the federal government is the answer to everything. From the Waters of the U.S. rule to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these federal policies are extremely harmful. While masked as federal programs and rules that protect Americans, they actually hurt every day people. The federal government needs to get out of the way and let America thrive and prosper. I will continue to work to curtail the over reach of the federal government.
Real Health Care Reform
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has hit working families the hardest, the very people it was supposed to help. Between losing their doctors, paying two and three times the premiums they were before, and now facing outlandish deductibles, Obamacare has been a big fail for the country. I will continue to change Obamacare wherever possible while supporting a conservative health care plan that increases competition, lowers costs, and truly focuses on what is best for the people.
Creating Jobs and Reducing Poverty
While this President is focused on increasing our national debt and creating programs that cripple small business owners and make others more indebted to the federal government, conservatives, like me, are working to bring real economic reform. We need to decrease the national debt, which has doubled under this President, create jobs, and implement real entitlement and tax reform.
It is a national disgrace that we cannot deliver the services we promised to our veterans. We must make the VA work or find a new approach to delivering healthcare to those who served. Programs like VeteransChoice are a good start but the bureaucrats at the VA are making it hard on both veterans and doctors. In Washington, I’ll continue to support pro-veterans legislation. In Texas, my team of Red Tape Cutters is available to help people deal with the hassles of working with the federal government. I’ll continue programs like our doctor-VA round tables to bring more private practitioners into the VeteransChoice system and work with state and local governments to support our nation’s heroes.
One of America’s biggest economic advantages is our transportation system. It costs less to ship goods in the U.S. than almost anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, our roads and bridges are aging. Add to that a surge in population in states like Texas, and we are looking at bad traffic problems that cost us all in time, money, and aggravation. We must continue to work to fund our infrastructure (highways, water, air, and rail) in an economically responsible fashion without raising taxes.
In addition to my work in Washington, I have a team of Red Tape Cutters in Texas to help people with problems you are having with the government. Be it a problem with the VA, Social Security, passports, or any area of the federal government, my team is available to help. I also have field representatives that are my eyes and ears when I’m in Washington.
Conservatives struggle to get our message out. Whether it’s media bias, poor communication skills, a lack of coordination, or some other problem, it seems like liberals do better than conservatives at letting people know what they are doing for them. As someone who has worked in the media since I was a teenager, I intend to do all that I can to help spread the word on what the House is doing to save our country and help its citizens.