Five Days, Five Promises
When I first ran for Congress four years ago, my focus was on five issues – jobs, spending, energy, health care, and seniors. My priorities are the same now as they were then. These are the priorities I am working on every day as I fight for the people of West Virginia.
We’ve kept these promises, but our work is not done. It’s been an honor to represent West Virginia’s First District and I hope to continue fighting for you in Washington.
As Election Day grows near, I want to update you on the progress we’ve made, and reaffirm these commitments to the people of West Virginia. It’s simple…five days, five promises.
- Promise #1: Create jobs by keeping taxes low and reducing burdensome regulations
- Promise #2: Cut wasteful spending
- Promise #3: Fight the Obama Administration’s Attacks on Coal and Gas
- Promise #4: Repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense health care reform
- Promise #5: Protect Social Security and Medicare and keep the promises we’ve made to our seniors
The economic recovery is still far too slow and weak, and many West Virginians are struggling to get by. Families are feeling the squeeze with stagnant income and higher costs for energy, food, health care, and education. President Obama’s policies have made it worse.
Excessive regulations and red tape, Obama’s health care law, and a broken tax system are holding back our economy. Using my experience as a small business owner and engineer, I’ve worked to remove those barriers, including:
- Passing a bill to prevent the EPA from labeling coal ash a hazardous material, which would cost 316,000 jobs.
- Supporting dozens of bills to reduce excessive red tape and regulations, expand American energy production, and fix our broken tax system.
- Introducing bipartisan legislation to help bring back American manufacturing by expanding the R&D tax credit and providing incentives for people to invest in abandoned industrial sites.
Nearly fifty jobs bills have passed the House and are now stuck in the Senate thanks to Harry Reid. The status quo is unacceptable. We need to continue fighting to help West Virginia families struggling in the Obama economy.
With a national debt of more than $17 trillion that is growing every minute, the status quo is unsustainable and unacceptable. Passing this crushing debt onto our children and grandchildren is not right. While there is still a lot of work to be done to get spending under control, the Republican majority in the House has made a difference:
- For the first time since the Korean War, total spending decreased three years in a row – by a total of $165 billion.
- We have voted to cut billions in waste from the IRS, reduce spending at the EPA, limit abuse in food stamp programs, and defund Obamacare slush funds.
- Congress is tightening its own belt, cutting its own budget by 14% and freezing our pay.
While our efforts to cut spending have run into roadblocks from big spenders like President Obama and Harry Reid in the Senate, we are starting to stem the tide.
The Obama Administration’s war on coal has ravaged West Virginia and other coal producing areas. In the past two years alone 4,000 jobs have been lost in the coal industry in West Virginia and there are now fewer than 100 active coal mines in the state. Much of this is a result of the anti-coal policies of Obama’s EPA.
From shutting down coal fired power plants to revoking mine permits after they’ve already been issued, the Obama Administration has been attacking coal on all fronts. And while coal is their central focus now, they are coming after natural gas next.
West Virginia helps power America’s economy, and tens of thousands of West Virginians count on coal and gas for their livelihood. That’s why I’ve pushed back against the EPA and Obama at every step I can, including:
- Supporting bills to rein in the EPA and stop excessive regulations that will shutter coal power plants and mines, put people of our work, and increase our energy bills.
- Introducing more than a dozen bills to help our energy industry, including bills to stop the EPA from retroactively vetoing permits like they did at Spruce Mine, prevent a carbon tax, and stop the government from considering the flawed “social cost” of carbon.
- Challenging EPA officials on their anti-West Virginia policies from my chair on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
I will continue standing with the men and women of West Virginia who depend on coal and gas for their livelihood, and continue to fight the EPA’s devastating policies at every turn.
When President Obama sold his health care plan to the American people in 2009 and 2010, he promised people they would be able to keep their health plan if they liked it. He promised they could keep their doctor. He promised premiums would go down by $2500 for the average family. He promised the uninsured would get covered. All of these promises have been broken. Obamacare is a flawed plan that is costing families more and preventing the economy from growing faster.
Since 2011 I have voted over 50 times to repeal, defund, and reform the disastrous health care law, including:
- Voting to delay the mandate on individuals to give families the same relief businesses received from Obama.
- Voting to allow people to keep their health plan and their doctor – two promises that were broken by Obama.
- Voting to define a full time work week as 40 hours, and put money back into the paychecks of workers who had their hours cut due to Obamacare.
- Voting to defund billions of dollars in Obamacare slush funds.
I support replacing Obamacare with common sense reforms that keep some of the good parts of it – like covering pre-existing conditions – but puts decisions back into the hands of patients and doctors, not the government.
Every election season, the same scare tactics get trotted out to frighten seniors. They warn of cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits, and threaten that these programs will be privatized. These are nothing but attacks meant to mislead and confuse people.
Social Security and Medicare are vital programs that seniors count on. These programs need to be protected for current retirees and strengthened for future generations.
In Congress, I have fought to keep the promises we’ve made to our seniors, including:
- Breaking with my party on four occasions to oppose budget proposals that could hurt seniors.
- Opposing a payroll tax holiday that took money away from the Social Security Trust Fund.
- Offering positive solutions to increase efficiency and save money in Medicare rather than cutting benefits.
- Opposing Obamacare Medicare cuts and cuts to home health care that will hurt access to care for seniors.
- Fighting to protect the health care and pensions our coal miners worked for.
Rather than cutting benefits or drastically changing Social Security and Medicare, we should be focusing on ways to strengthen the program by increasing efficiency and rooting out the billions in fraud in the system.