Issues

Social Security

My 84-year-old mother recently passed away. But before leaving us, she was independent for years thanks to her earned Social Security benefits. Our family saw  — like thousands of other Eastern Iowa families — the good the program does for our elderly by empowering them to remain self-sufficient and independent long past their working days.

But here’s the reality: Social Security is going broke thanks to a lack of leadership from career politicians who care only about their next re-election.

For me, ensuring Social Security’s long term stability isn’t just good policy, it’s personal. It’s about my mom, and it’s about the promises we’ve made to millions of Americans just like her.

If we want this program to be around for future generations, we need to get our house in order. And the sooner the better – the longer we wait the more difficult the Social Security problem becomes to solve.

Now, this is the point where career politicians start the political scare tactics. They claims that anyone who wants to have a serious conversation about reforming Social Security is in fact trying to destroy it, using words like “privatize” to frighten voters into supporting their campaign.

But actually, it is career politicians who are jeopardizing Social Security by ignoring reality and putting their political ambition ahead of the American people. Their refusal to tell the truth and make tough decisions has put all of us at risk.

As a lifelong small businessman, I’m used to talking straight. And it’s my belief that Eastern Iowa voters deserve the truth rather than deceptive scare tactics. That’s why I’m not afraid to tell you – the citizens I hope to have the honor of representing in Congress – the truth about the options we have to preserve Social Security.

Both Republicans and Democrats have proposed ideas to save the program. Whether it’s slightly increasing the income cap on the Social Security tax, allowing young Americans to opt in to private retirement savings accounts, means-testing benefits for wealthier Americans, or gradually raising the retirement age for people younger than 55, our politicians must come to the table in good faith and work out a bipartisan compromise that preserves Social Security long-term.

If we come together as a nation, acknowledge reality, and implement reform, we can ensure that Social Security will be around for our children and their children. I’m not pretending it will be easy, but if we want to preserve Social Security we need the courage to do the right thing.

Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of northeast Iowa and throughout my two terms in Congress I have fought hard to protect the interests of Iowa farmers and will not stop doing so.

 I support expanding markets for Iowa’s agricultural products and I am fighting for common sense free trade agreements that open up new markets for Iowa farmers.  I demanded the Administration not jeopardize the industry while they negotiate better deals and I will not stop until our farmers have the security they need.

I have championed efforts to pass a Farm Bill and ensure vital programs, which provide much-needed aid and relief to farmers, are preserved.

But there is more to be done- I have been working closely with the Trump Administration and my colleagues in Congress to address the year-round sale of E-15, to undo the damage from the EPA’s unlawful granting of waivers to “small” refineries, to reverse the effects of tariffs on our agricultural exports, and to nominate a new, ethanol-friendly EPA Director.

Economy

Our economy is back to life thanks to a Congress and President that are committed to letting hard-working Americans keep more of the money they earn and eliminating job-killing regulations throughout every industry.

Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will bring an average savings of $2,564 to first district residents this year, along with more take-home pay for families, raises and bonuses from businesses throughout the country, the child tax credit doubling from $1,000 to $2,000 per child, the standard deduction doubling from $12,000 to $24,000, and the medical expense deduction allowing those with costly medical expenses to deduct from their taxes.

Our employment numbers, consumer confidence, small business confidence, and American competitiveness are at record highs and meanwhile, our unemployment for minorities is at record lows. In July 2018, it was announced our GDP growth has reached 4.1% — the best pace since 2014.

But there is more that can be done. My priorities going forward are to continue cutting the chains of taxes and regulations holding back small businesses and continue to make America competitive on the global scale.

Cleaning Up Congress

I was elected to Congress on a promise to Drain the Swamp and eliminate backward incentives in Washington, D.C. Here is an overview of my efforts to follow through with this promise.

– Introduced legislation to cut the pay of Members of Congress each year the budget is not balanced

– Introduced legislation to ensure taxpayer dollars are not used for first-class flights or luxury car leases for Members of Congress

– Introduced legislation to prohibit Members of Congress from cashing in on their public service by becoming lobbyists after their time in office

– Serve as the Chair of the Congressional Term Limits Caucus and have cosponsored legislation to enact term limits on Members of Congress

– Cosponsored legislation to eliminate taxpayer dollars from paying off harassment settlements for Members of Congress

– Cosponsored legislation to eliminate the taxpayer-funded pension program Members of Congress enjoy after serving their terms

– I am Chair of the Whistleblower Caucus and have passed two bills to ensure whistleblowers are protected from retaliation when exposing waste, fraud, and abuse within the federal government