Treating our Heroes like Heroes

I am committed to honoring our veterans, and providing them the care they have been promised. Those who have served our nation in our armed forces deserve uncompromising support for themselves and their families as they return into civilian life. It is our responsibility to make sure that these heroes have the access to comprehensive medical, emotional, and financial care to help them lead healthy lives. More than 300,000 veterans may have died waiting for health care from the U.S. government, according to a recent VA inspector general’s report. It’s inexcusable and dishonors the service of every man and woman who has defended our freedom and security. The mismanagement in the VA is unacceptable. We should expand options for our service members’ health care so they have more choices and more immediate service. To ensure that our veteran’s receive the health care that they have earned, I will introduce legislation that will establish a new Veteran Freedom to seek health care any where they can find it. Simply put, if a veteran wants to stay in the VA, they can stay in the VA. If a veteran prefers receiving their health care through private providers in their communities, they have complete freedom to do so. No permission needed. It’s a right that has been earned through service to country.

The measure also ties future funding for specific VA hospitals to the rate of patient attrition at each facility. Very simply, if a VA hospital or facility sees a decline in patient load because veterans leave the system and choose private care, then the hospital budget should be reduced proportionately. AMVETS, a leading veterans service organization with more than 250,000 members nationwide, has publicly said that this is a “viable solution to an unacceptable situation.”

Claims backlog: I will bring more accountability to the VA and provide greater options for our veterans. I will help to provide the VA with the resources necessary to fully clear the benefit claims backlog at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and ensure that it has the means moving forward to prevent falling once again into a backlog. I am also acutely aware that we’re facing a significant increase in appeals of claims, which creates increased workload at both the regional offices and at the Board of Veterans Appeals. Accordingly, for fiscal year 2016, Congress provided funding for VBA and the Board of Veterans Appeals above what was requested by President Obama and VA Secretary McDonald.

Medal of Honor stipend: We will treat our Heroes like Heroes, I will work to introduce legislation that would increase the monthly stipend paid to a Medal of Honor recipients. This increase will better enable these heroes to reach out to Americans across the nation, representing the valor and honor of military service to hundreds of thousands of people by sharing their personal stories, dedication to serve and love of our country.

Transitioning service members and student veterans: I will focus my efforts in Congress on supporting service members as they transition out of the military as well as our student veterans. We will make improvements to the monthly housing stipend payable under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, I will work on smoothing the credentialing and licensing of service members as they transition from military to civilian life.

Rebuilding America’s Military

The Constitution is unambiguous and clear. The defense of our nation and the security of our citizens is the exclusive and mandatory responsibility of the Federal Government. A nation that is unable to assure the sanctity of its sovereign borders and incapable of influencing global events will soon struggle for its very existence. Every American intuitively knows this, knows also that their individual liberties depend upon a stable and secure nation. Freedom is not free.
However, America now faces a momentous decision. Almost a decade of irresponsible defense cuts has slashed the number of combat personnel, seriously degraded their combat readiness, and shrunk the size of our Army, Navy and Air Force below any reasonable standard. If America continues to lead from behind, continues to invest in crony capitalism that has crippled our weapons modernization programs, continues to follow the failed Obama/Clinton military strategy that has created global instability, it’s quite simple, we will lose the ability to guarantee our safety at home and abroad.

America will either respond to the challenges of our time, will recognize the sacrifices of those who have served this great nation, will restore our global leadership or America will not. America either steps up as a unified, resolved, proud and unflinching defender of individual freedom and American values, returning to President Ronald Reagan’s formula of “peace through strength,” or America forever loses that chance. Further hesitation, fecklessness and indifference will only continue to embolden opportunistic adversaries, accelerate global lawlessness, and deprive the United States of its God-given potential.

We must once again offer a shining example to the world and provide calm, steady leadership during these difficult times. If we fail to do so, if we persist in ignoring our responsibilities, the void that is left behind, the void that has led to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, Chinese claims to false-island territory in Asia, and a staggering increase in radical Islamic terrorism, will continue to be filled by aggressive and malicious adversaries. The United States is at an historic crossroads, we must honor our commitments, to those who paved the way for this great Nation, to our fellow Americans, and most importantly, to our future generations.
Rebuilding our national defense to ensure that the United States has the capability to protect its national security interests is a constitutional requirement and a moral imperative.

2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

Secure Our Borders

It’s time to get serious about our border security, which requires both securing the actual border and eliminating the abuse of visa over-stay by those who enter the country through an airport.
At the border, we must use all resources necessary, including secure walls, patrolled double-fencing, ground-and-aerial sensors, surveillance drones, and training and deployment of the law enforcement and other personnel to stop drugs, terrorists, human trafficking and illegal border-crossings.
America also needs to enforce the laws we have now; no more sanctuary cities, real E-Verify enforcement, eliminate abuses of our temporary visa system; and no more catch-and-release. The current system is deeply unfair to the many legal immigrants who come here, learn English, play by the rules, pay their taxes and wait in line for citizenship and to those who are currently waiting to enter the country legally. And I will spearhead an investigation into the Obama administration’s reckless release, during 2013 and 2014, of 66,000 convicted criminals who are still in this country illegally.

Balancing the Budget, Reducing the Debt

In order to get control of our spending we must end the automatic budget increases associated with baseline budgeting. We should transition to zero based budgeting or “family” budgeting. President Obama has increased the federal debt by $5 trillion in just 3 years of his Presidency, and due to historically reckless spending, created record deficits of $1.42 trillion, $1.29 trillion and $1.3 trillion in the last three Fiscal Years. We now see more than 41 cents of every dollar being borrowed and 47% of the federal debt owned by foreign nations like China. As a result of this massive spending, unemployment has remained between 8 percent and 9 percent for the past three years, yet President Obama continues to push government spending as an economic cure-all.

We must get our government out of the way of American Businesses. I will support measures that reduce the tax burden and encourage economic development so businesses are free to expand, grow and hire new employees. The increased capital formation and business investment in America will spur the job creation we need. An efficient and transparent tax code will decrease the cost of compliance to businesses and the American people.

Debt has already surpassed 100 percent of GDP. The United States is heading towards a fiscal and economic train wreck at breakneck speed, similarly to the situation in Greece and President Obama and liberals in Congress are jamming on the accelerator. I will support immediately returning spending to 2008 levels and enacting a Balanced Budget Amendment to put a stop to reckless Federal spending once and for all. Then the next step would be passing a balanced budget amendment that tie spending levels to GDP.


Jobs are Priority #1. Creating jobs is not the business of government. Creating an environment where private sector entrepreneurs employ Americans is the business of government. For the United States to return to full employment, finding work for the currently unemployed and accommodating new entrants into the labor force this decade, the US economy will need to create 21 million jobs by 2020. This will require not only a robust economic recovery but also a concerted effort to address other factors that impede employment, including growing gaps in skill and education.

I will support measures that develop the US workforce-skill to better match what employers are looking for, expand US workers’ share of global economic growth by attracting foreign investment and spurring exports, revive the nation’s spark by supporting emerging industries, ensuring more of them scale up in the United States, and reviving new business start-ups and speed up regulatory decision-making that blocks business expansion and new investment. In other words, “we all have to get to work.”

Healthcare Reform

Healthcare in America is far superior to anywhere else in the world, but it still has serious problems that need to be addressed. Cost, access, and treatment of preexisting conditions are all serious concerns. That being said America continually leads the way in medical transformation and innovation. Whether it is genetic treatment, mapping the human genome, providing quality care to all, or leading the world in cures, there is a reason people flock to America for treatment.  The Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare”, took a few good ideas and loaded them down with thousands of pages of bad ones. A myriad of new taxes and regulations, thousands of new IRS agents and an unconstitutional mandate requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance are just a few examples.

We must expand and strengthen Medicare Advantage and TRICARE for our Veterans. I will support any measure that will repeal, replace or De-fund Obamacare. I will support allowing insurance to be purchased across states lines, a commonsense measure that will create more competition and lower costs. We badly need tort reform at the federal level to reduce the cost of lawsuits and other abuses. Consumer choice, coupled with robust competition, plus individual ownership and responsibility will lead to more affordable coverage for all Americans.

Family Values

I believe that we, as a nation, must never forget that our rights come from God Almighty, and that the Judeo-Christian values that have sustained humanity for millennia; marriage between a man and a woman, respect for life, and a common sense of right and wrong, should be reflected in our government.

There are certain rights guaranteed to all Americans.  But those rights are enumerated and restricted to the plain text of the Constitution. I will advocate for the defeat of any federal statute or decision that attempts to reach beyond the scope of the federal government, as well as continue to advocate for a pro-family and pro-life agenda. That means Life – from conception to natural death.