Issues

I‘m working hard on the issues most important to my constituents and believe in offering positive, principled, and results-oriented solutions to the many challenges we face. Washington has been on the wrong track for far too long, and it is critical that we enact real, meaningful reforms that will put people back to work, while finally putting our nation on track for a sustainable economic recovery so that we can provide a healthy fiscal future for our children and grandchildren.

Job Creation and Promoting Prosperity

America’s success has always been greatly tied to the strength of our economy. Unfortunately, we remain in the midst of an anemic economic recovery that follows a difficult recession that affected all Americans. It’s past time that Congress put partisan politics aside and enact real policies to get Americans back to work.  An economic recovery without jobs is not a real recovery.

My business experience taught me the importance of sound economic policy.  I support proven pro-growth economic policies, including:

  • A simple, fair and more competitive tax code that makes it easier for families and businesses to work, save, invest and innovate.
  • Cutting red tape for small businesses so they can hire new employees and re-invest in their business.
  • Moving forward on free trade agreements to open up new markets.
  • Stopping out-of-control spending and the skyrocketing debt.
  • Healthcare reforms that lower costs for everyone without breaking the bank.
  • A comprehensive approach to energy, including the expansion of nuclear and renewable energies.  We need to build the Keystone Pipeline, which will create over 20,000 jobs and supply our country with more North American-made energy.  Becoming less reliant on foreign sources of energy will make America safer and stronger economically.

Restoring Fiscal Discipline

Washington is spending and borrowing at alarming rates, and the result is record-high budget deficits and a national debt of $16 trillion. This burden equates to more than $50,000 for each and every Minnesotan. We now have a debt that is larger than our entire nation’s GDP.  This debt is not only a burden placed on our children and grandchildren, but it also continues to dampen the prospects of the economic recovery we should have seen long ago. Minnesota families don’t have the option of simply spending more money than they have, and neither should the Federal Government. One of my top priorities in Congress is bringing fiscal sanity to Washington. My first vote in Congress was against the release of $350 billion in bailout spending, and I’ve since voted against trillions in wasteful Washington spending.

Reforming Health Care

There is no doubt that health care needs reform in the United States.  However, raising taxes and taking away options in benefits is not the answer.  We need to rein in skyrocketing costs, improve quality and expand access – without breaking the bank. I support bipartisan, common sense solutions to do exactly that, including:

  • Paying for quality, not quantity.
  • Focusing on prevention and wellness.
  • Fostering greater competition by allowing insurance to be purchased across states lines and allowing small businesses to pool together.
  • Making sure that people with pre-existing conditions are covered by insurance.
  • Providing transparency when it comes to health care costs.
  • Enacting real medical liability reform to end junk lawsuits.

We need to repeal the new $30 billion excise tax on medical devices that threatens thousands of high-paying Minnesota jobs.  Many companies have already cut their workforce due to the looming tax.  This is not the way to spur innovation and reform our health care system.  I am the chief author of legislation to repeal this onerous tax so the United States can retain its position as a global leader and continue to innovate and grow jobs.

A Secure Nation and Supporting our Veterans

Ensuring the safety of all Americans is the most solemn duty of the federal government.   Our nation’s commitment to our men and women in uniform, and their families, must never waver.  Working on behalf of our veterans and service members is one of my top priorities.  I also believe our military must have the best equipment and support possible — before, during and after their deployment.

I coauthored the Military Voting Protection Act to strengthen the voting rights of troops overseas, secured key funding for the Minnesota National Guard returning home, addressed payment inequities for our soldiers and their families, and continue to aid numerous veterans in getting the assistance they deserve.

Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders

Investing in new technology, and math and science education directly feeds into our nation’s ability to continue to lead the world in productivity and economic growth.  America’s history is filled with stories of scientific discoveries and technological innovations that have improved the quality of life and economic prosperity of our nation, and the world.  We must continue to ensure that the generation of tomorrow’s leaders will be able to compete with the best and brightest globally and lead our country in the 21st Century.  Our children will no longer compete with children across the street, but with children across the globe.  We need to ensure that our education system is accountable to students, parents, teachers, and the taxpayer.  We must continue to push the envelope in science, technology, engineering and math to ensure that American continues to lead the world in technological innovation.