Frankly Speaking

One Trillion, Four Hundred Twenty Billion Dollars

Oct 28, 2009

One trillion, four hundred twenty billion dollars. It’s an astounding number. It’s more than the entire economy of India and enough to give every man, woman, and child in the United States $4700.
It is also our country’s federal budget deficit for 2009. That means that in the fiscal year 2009, which runs from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009, the federal government spent $1.42 trillion more than it took in. To put this in perspective, last year’s deficit was $459 billion – still an astounding number, but less than half the deficit for this year.

Filed under: Economy

Government Run Health Care Not What the Doctor Ordered for Small Businesses

Oct 27, 2009

As Congress moves closer towards solidifying a health care reform package, one thing is clear: the Democrats’ takeover of health care is bad for small businesses.

Filed under: Health Care

Reading Bills Is Important

Oct 16, 2009

During this Congress, Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team seem to have forgotten the importance of following the proper legislative process so that the final product is a thoughtful and successful bill.  By refusing to follow regular order, the Speaker has crammed one bill after another across the House floor, forcing votes on legislation before most members have even had an opportunity to read it.  For example, members of Congress were given less than a day to read the cap-and trade legislation, a bill that weighs in at more than 1500 pages and would impose an almost-billion dollar tax

Filed under: General

Implementing a Successful Strategy in Afghanistan

Oct 9, 2009

Last March, President Obama, stating that the fight in Afghanistan was the front-line in the war on terror, appointed General Stanley McChrystal to evaluate the situation in that country and draft a successful plan of attack.  Seven months later, General McChrystal has done just that.  While the exact report has not yet been released, some details have been leaked to the public.  And the information is distressing. 

Filed under: Homeland Security and Defense

Expanding Offshore Drilling Boosts American Economy, Creates Jobs

Sep 30, 2009

Last year, following a dramatic price spike in gas prices and very vocal call by the American people to increase American-made energy, Congress and then-President George W. Bush ended a decades-long ban on offshore drilling.  Even though the Department of the Interior has jurisdiction over our coasts, Congress had used its power to spend to eliminate offshore drilling by restricting the funds necessary to develop offshore drilling.  After President George W.

Filed under: Energy

Tales from My Town Hall Tour

Sep 18, 2009

Recently, the national media discovered something called a ‘congressional town hall meeting.’  While the idea seemed to come as a surprise to many, all of you know that I have always been a great believer in the positive impact of town hall meetings – doing 50 each year throughout Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District.  My town hall schedule this year was no different than last – and I held 18 town halls during the month of August.

Filed under: General

Flawed Process Leads to Flawed Policies

Jul 31, 2009

In yet another example of the negative impact of overreaching federal power without the benefit of careful consideration, the majority leadership forced the passage of H.R. 2479, the Food Safety Enhancement Act.  Members of Congress were given less than 24 hours to review the bill before it was voted on.  The House Agriculture Committee, which had clear jurisdiction over the bill, was bypassed during the drafting stages so that not a single hearing or markup was held.  Once again, this Congress has used a flawed process to create a flawed piece of legislation.

Filed under: General

USDA Study on Cap & Trade Bill Is an Incomplete Analysis

Jul 24, 2009

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a preliminary analysis of the effects H.R. 2454, the cap and trade legislation, will have on the livelihoods of our farmers and ranchers.

Filed under: Agriculture

For the Health of Our Health Care System

Jul 24, 2009

No one can deny that our health care system has problems that need to be addressed.  There are those in this country who are without insurance, who are underinsured, and who go without necessary – and sometimes lifesaving – treatments each day.  In a country like the United States, this is frustrating to see and we can no longer continue to accept it.

Filed under: Health Care

Fiscal Responsibility is the Best Policy

Jul 10, 2009

Recently, the Obama Administration and Speaker Pelosi have joined many of their colleagues to call for yet another “economic stimulus” package, like the one passed in February of this year, as a means to encourage economic growth. 

Filed under: Economy