Op-Ed: No more excuses, Republicans
Too often, Washington puts the concerns of the politically connected before those of ordinary Americans.
Imagine this scenario. A man who works a second shift walks out to get in his truck to drive to work. Now remember, when you work second shift you're forced to miss some of your kids' after school activities and their summer little league games. But like most Americans he's willing to do the hard things for his family.
As he pulls out of his driveway, the second shift worker sees a guy two houses down, sitting on the front porch, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the paper. The second shift worker knows the "front porch sitter" can work but won't work and is getting his tax dollars.
As he continues to drive he turns on his radio. It's the news hour, and the reporter says that the federal government has a $20 trillion debt, and a "connected corporation" that received tax dollars has gone bankrupt and will cost taxpayers millions.
As the second shift worker hears this, he remembers the guy on the front porch and guess what: He's mad. And he has every right to be.
At the same time a second grade teacher is driving home from work. She, like all good teachers, views her job as a mission field. She works hard to help her students. As she drives she also has her radio on and hears the same reporter say the federal government has a $20 trillion debt and a connected corporation that received tax dollars has gone bankrupt and will cost taxpayers millions.
As the second grade teacher hears this, she pulls into her driveway in the same neighborhood and sees the same guy on the front porch drinking coffee and reading the paper. The second grade teacher knows the "front porch sitter" can work, but won't work and is getting her tax dollars. And guess what: she's mad. And she has every right to be.
On Election Day, millions of "second shift workers" and "second grade teachers" said "enough!" Everyday Americans said it's time Washington started working for them.
Their simple message: you work for us. Keep the promises you made. Stand up for the rule of law. And put the needs of ordinary folks ahead of the connected-class in Washington.
Republicans have an incredible opportunity in front of them, but also a tremendous responsibility. Our task is simple: do what the voters sent us to do.
- Repeal ObamaCare in its entirety and replace it with a market-based solution that drives down costs and allows consumer choice. And don't take three years to do it.
- Secure our border. We are a nation of laws and we must end the free flow of illegal immigration into the United States. Congress must also immediately deport criminal illegal immigrants and cut funding to sanctuary cities and sanctuary campuses.
- Put in place an immediate halt on refugees from terrorist hotspots until we are able to reform our vetting system to ensure no threat is posed to the homeland.
- Provide our military the support and direction it needs from Congress to ensure we are prepared for threats both abroad and domestically.
- Implement welfare reform that helps the truly needy but requires able-bodied adults to work.
- Pass tax reform legislation that simplifies the tax code, incentivizes businesses to operate in the U.S. and eases the burden on working families.
- Lift job-killing regulations put in place under the Obama administration. Congressman Meadows compiled a report of more than 200 harmful regulations that the new Administration can overturn on day one.
- Stand up for religious liberty and protect the sanctity of life. Congress should defund Planned Parenthood and pass the First Amendment Defense Act, which protects religious liberty.
- Reaffirm our commitment to our allies abroad, especially to our great ally Israel.
- Remember, there is a $20 trillion debt that must be addressed.
We are committed to keeping our promises and doing the bold things that the American people sent us here to do.
Rep. Jim Jordan serves Ohio's 4th Congressional District and is the former Chairman and a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Mark Meadows serves North Carolina's 11th District and is the current Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. This op-ed was originally published by The Hill on January 11, 2017.