Balancing the Budget
Washington spends too much, taxes too much and wastes too much. Our mounting debt is a threat to our nation’s future and must be addressed. I have co-sponsored the Balanced Budget Amendment every year I have been in Congress and have consistently fought to eliminate unnecessary and wasteful government spending. A robust private sector — not more government spending – creates real economic opportunity for the families and small businesses in Idaho and our nation.
The current level of our national debt is both unsustainable and unacceptable which is why I recently co-sponsored several bills that call for balancing the federal budget and controlling spending by moving to a biennial federal budget process. The legislation would mandate that the president submit a balanced budget to Congress; require that two-thirds of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives would be needed to approve certain tax increases and new deficit spending; and stop court rulings that would impose tax increases that would bypass Congress.
As the highest-ranking Republican of the Senate Finance Committee, I am committed to reversing the federal deficit and returning our country to its fiscal prosperity. I will continue leading the fight to stop out-of-control government spending while prioritizing the needs of Idahoans and future generations.
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As the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, I have been a leader in Congress in working to abolish the current federal tax code and replace it with something more simple and fair to working families. I voted for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that simplified the tax code by increasing the standard deduction, expanding family tax credits, and reducing tax rates for businesses and individuals. I continue to fight for and be a strong proponent of measures to lower the tax burden on all Americans. For those efforts, I have an A rating from the National Taxpayers Union.
Due to the TCJA, six million of the most vulnerable taxpayers saw their tax burden drop to zero. The TCJA gives Americans access to higher wages and greater job opportunities along with a more vibrant economy, resulting in greater dynamic revenue generation to reduce the deficit and improve our nation’s fiscal standing. The fiscal policies in the TCJA resulted in strong economic growth during the Trump presidency, a situation that even carried us through difficult times during the pandemic. This pro-growth tax reform was the product of years of bipartisan committee hearings, meetings, working groups, and other input from taxpayers across the country.
I am fighting to keep these tax reforms. It is important to recognize that the Biden/Schumer/Pelosi agenda is to repeal much, if not all, of the TCJA. We Republicans in the Senate are now battling this leftist agenda on a daily basis. I am committed to continue the fight to preserve TCJA while continuing my efforts to reduce taxes further, continue work to simplify the tax code, create jobs and help Idahoans save for retirement.
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Defending our Second Amendment Rights
As a gun owner and lifelong hunter, I am fighting to protect and preserve our constitutional right to bear arms. I do not support gun control; we should not burden law-abiding citizens with additional gun restrictions that will not increase public safety. I am proud of the A+ rating the National Rifle Association has given me for my strong record of defending our Second Amendment rights. I am also proud to have earned an A rating from Gun Owners of America.
Recently, I introduced legislation to restore Americans’ fundamental right to bear arms on the 11.7 million acres, 460 lakes and almost 500 recreational areas managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers throughout the country. This bill seeks to make firearm laws consistent across all public lands and protect the legal rights of gun owners.
The Second Amendment reads: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This provision prohibits the federal government from denying citizens this right. I will not support any legislation that hinders the ability of law-abiding citizens to acquire a firearm. I have consistently voted to protect our Constitutional rights and will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken the Second Amendment.
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I oppose President Obama’s ill-conceived health care plan and am fighting for its repeal and replacement. I have co-sponsored and advocated for legislation to fully repeal Obamacare. As a two-time cancer survivor, I know firsthand that patients, families and doctors need to be free of excessive government interference so they maintain power over their personal healthcare choices. Obamacare wrongly takes power away from patients and hands it to the government. Government-run health care is not the answer, and I am working to replace Obamacare with commonsense reforms to lower health care costs and improve access to quality care for all Americans.
I am opposed to federal mandates and have sponsored a number of bills and amendments to reduce such mandates on Idahoans and the American people. I supported two amendments to the continuing funding resolution that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to enforce COVID-19 mandates. The Administration’s sweeping, one-size-fits-all vaccination mandates. Such mandates place an undue burden on employers and will further exacerbate current worker shortages, ultimately slowing our nation’s recovery from the virus. Other federal mandates I have opposed include the executive orders and other actions that required federal workers and contractors as well as others (firefighters, outfitters and guides) to be vaccinated; and efforts to force vaccines and mask requirements in Head Start facilities. I joined with Senator Rand Paul to nullify the federal travel mask mandate.
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Protecting our National Security
Our government’s first responsibility – and a fundamental principle outlined in our Constitution – is to provide for the common defense of our nation. Congress must ensure that the United States has the military capabilities necessary to respond to current and possible future threats from actively or potentially hostile sources. To safeguard the security of Idahoans and our nation, I support:
- Using all available financial tools to disrupt and seize terrorist funding
- Engaging in intensive public diplomacy to show the world the true nature of America and the importance of democracy and human rights
- Using our intelligence agencies effectively and continuing to improve the quality of our intelligence
- Using and developing technology to defend our skies, borders, and citizens
- Working with foreign states to combat hotspots of hatred and promote tolerance
- Working with our allies whenever possible to meet shared security challenges
- Striving to keep confrontations between the terrorists and Americans far from American soil
Idaho is home to the 366th Fighter Wing and some of the Air Force’s most impressive assets and capabilities. I am proud of the men and women stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base as well as those who serve in the Idaho Army National Guard and Idaho Air National Guard. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their unwavering commitment to the defense of our nation.
All our military branches face increasing budget pressures and strain due to our national debt and rapid growth of mandatory spending programs. As the Air Force deals with how to handle budget cuts and manage necessary force structure changes, I will continue to be a strong advocate for Mountain Home Air Force Base and the Idaho National Guard. I will continue to advocate for the A-10 and future flying missions at Gowen Field.
While it’s imperative that our government lives within its means, I am committed to ensuring that the benefits for the service members and veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country are safeguarded. We have a responsibility to fulfill the promises we have made to the honorable men and women who have served our nation and protected our freedoms.
Finally, I am fighting to restore the Keystone Pipeline project because it will help North America increase its energy security by reducing reliance on foreign resources from volatile countries and regions around the globe. The Biden Administration must stop waging war on American oil and gas production and instead restore domestic production.
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Fighting Government Overreach
Excessive government regulation is an unnecessary drain on our economy that impedes our nation’s growth and costs jobs. I have been a consistent champion of Idaho’s farmers and ranchers in standing up against regulations that hurt agriculture imposed by the Biden Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.
I continue to oppose and fight against severe government overreach like the Biden/Schumer/Pelosi “Build Back Better” bill, which is a striking example of the socialist agenda the Administration is aggressively pursuing. Without budget gimmicks, CBO confirmed the true cost of the bill is $4.9 trillion and adds $3 trillion in new debt. More spending, combined with job-killing tax hikes, will only accelerate the record-high inflation American families are experiencing every day. As an example of where Democrats’ priorities lie, the second largest cost in the bill is a wealth transfer from low-tax states to high-tax states—a blue state bailout.
An efficient and accountable regulatory structure is critical to ensuring taxpayer dollars are being used properly. I am fighting to ensure regulators make our communities and small businesses – those most impacted – a central part of the decision-making process. I will continue to advocate for eliminating unreasonable federal regulation that hinders the ability of businesses to expand and succeed.
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Protecting the Unborn
Life is a precious gift from God, and I am strongly committed to protecting the rights of the unborn. I support the position of Idaho Chooses Life and the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) on abortion issues, which is when the mother’s life is in danger. I have received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee and an A+ from the Susan B. Anthony National Pro-Life Scorecard. Notably, I have also received a 0% rating from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. I am proud to have earned Idaho Chooses Life’s endorsement. I will continue to consistently support legislation that protects the rights of the unborn.
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Supporting Our Veterans
Our veterans risked everything to protect our freedom. That’s why I fight every day to ensure that our veterans receive the benefits they earned and deserve. They should never face obstacles to receiving the care or benefits they deserve. That’s why hundreds of Idaho veterans have been able to cut through the red tape with assistance from my staff.
- I am working to improve the Veterans Administration and ensure our veterans receive the quality health care they deserve.
- I assisted hundreds of veterans – recovering over $1.7 million in the last two years for them, their families, and their medical providers, and helping them receive overdue medal recognition.
- I authored and supported legislation to improve access to community-based health care for Idaho veterans in rural communities.
- I introduced and co-sponsored legislation to improve veterans benefits and health programs at the VA.