Frankly Speaking

Reasserting Our Privacy in the 21st Century

Apr 28, 2016

In order to sniff out potential terrorist attacks, the National Security Agency (NSA) monitors the metadata of millions of phone calls and other communications. Whether you are for or against this practice, there are strong cases to be made on both sides of this debate – a constant balancing act between privacy and security.

However, most Americans would agree that if an agency like the IRS were to take advantage of similar methods, it would be a clear abuse of our Constitutional right to privacy.

A Tradition of Service and Leadership

Feb 23, 2016

This column appeared in Farm Policy Facts in celebration of National FFA Week.

Every year, FFA shapes the next generation of young leaders. It’s the perfect blend of classroom, hands-on and leadership activities that prepares students for success in whatever they choose to pursue.

Filed under: Agriculture

Funding America’s Priorities and Holding the White House Accountable

Dec 22, 2015

As 2015 comes to an end, Congress is tasked with funding the federal government through the end of next September, or the remainder of the fiscal year. Last week the House and Senate passed a spending agreement that combined the 12 appropriations bills to fund various aspects of our government, ranging everywhere from defense to agriculture. In addition to this funding, the spending package also includes a number of policies to boost economic growth and encourage job creation in the private sector.

Filed under: Economy, Energy, General, Taxes

Refugee Issue Calls for Serious and Deliberate Action

Nov 19, 2015

The terrorist attacks in Paris have shaken France and its allies. We grieve for the lives lost and pray for the recovery and healing of those injured or otherwise impacted. This tragedy is a grave reminder that we cannot waiver in the face of Islamic extremism.

Filed under: Homeland Security and Defense

President Obama’s Iran Deal Falls Woefully Short

Aug 5, 2015

“This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.” — President Barack Obama

This is how the president characterized and defended his recent agreement with Iran to delay the country’s nuclear development program. The deal today looks much different than the president’s originally stated mission to outright prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately this latest agreement is nothing more than a speed bump in Iran’s long march toward an atomic bomb.

Filed under: Foreign Affairs

Community Banks Still Struggling Under Dodd-Frank

Jul 23, 2015

This week marks five years since President Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law. At 2,300 pages and 400 new rules – many of them not even implemented yet – the legislation is one of the most widespread restructurings of our nation’s finance and banking sector in history.

After the 2008 financial crisis, Americans were left with a lot of questions: What does this mean for my retirement? What caused markets to take a turn for the worse? Can we expect any financial stability in the future?

Reputation of GMO Foods Falls Short of the Science

Jul 15, 2015

Everyone’s got to eat. So in agriculture, we are always planning for tomorrow. Not only does our livelihood depend on it, millions of Americans rely on access to affordable and safe produce to feed their families. However, most people don’t think too much about how their meal made it to their plate.

Filed under: Agriculture, Agriculture Committee, Science and Tech Committee

Twenty Years Later: A Stronger Oklahoma

Apr 22, 2015

I’ll never forget that morning twenty years ago. I sat with the Oklahoma congressional delegation in Dallas for a hearing on the Base Realignment and Closure Commision when I heard the news. An Oklahoma City reporter tapped me on the shoulder and said, “we have a report that there’s been an explosion at the federal building in Oklahoma City. We understand it’s gone. Which federal building is your congressional office in?”

President’s Budget is Irresponsible

Feb 6, 2015

This week President Obama released his annual budget proposal for the federal government. And for the first time in years, he actually sent it to Congress on time. In fact, this is only the second time in his presidency he has met his legal obligation to submit this important spending plan on time.

Filed under: General, Taxes

Funding Our Priorities

Dec 16, 2014

Last week, Congress voted on and passed a bipartisan spending bill that will fund the federal government through the rest of the bookkeeping year. This legislation, also known as an omnibus, combines twelve different appropriations bills into a single bill.

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