Strengthening Job Creation & The Economy
As a small business owner, I understand what American job creators need: less interference and lower taxes. That is why my number one priority in Congress is to promote an atmosphere for job creation, economic growth, and higher wages for families across West Michigan.
An outdated tax code and unnecessary regulatory burdens persuade companies to send American jobs across the border. We cannot tax or regulate ourselves into prosperity. I will fight for pro-growth tax and regulatory policies that will encourage job growth and wage increases for all Americans.
Regulatory burdens from Washington fall heaviest on small businesses. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees spend more than $2,000 per employee than big businesses to comply with federal mandates. I have no problem with commonsense regulation but will use every available tool to combat bureaucratic overreach and eliminate unnecessary regulations that slow economic growth and threaten West Michigan jobs.
I support dramatically simplifying our tax code by lowering rates, streamlining tax brackets, and eliminating special-interest provisions by enacting a flat tax.
Enacting A Balanced Budget Amendment
- We must enact a Balanced Budget Amendment. A Balanced Budget Amendment would prevent the federal government from spending outside its means. Families across West Michigan have to sit down and balance their budget. The State of Michigan has to pass a balanced budget every year; it’s commonsense that Washington should have to do the same.
- We don’t have a tax problem, we have a spending problem. I will vote against measures that increase spending and raise taxes. A Balanced Budget Amendment is the best way to cure Washington’s addiction to spending your hard-earned tax dollars.
Protecting the Sanctity of Life
- The sanctity of life is close to my heart and dear to my family. Protecting life beginning with conception is a value that cannot be compromised and something that I will continue to fight for. I stressed this for 10 years as the Right to Life representative for my church in Zeeland and continue to fight for the unborn as a member of Congress.
- West Michigan is also blessed to have one of the highest adoption rates in the nation. Adoption doesn’t just change lives of the children, it changes the lives of everyone involved including the parents, the grandparents, the aunts and uncles, and the sisters and brothers. I am proud to promote a culture of life and advocate on behalf of families who seek to adopt a child into their home.
Supporting West Michigan Agriculture
- Agriculture is one of the strongest economic drivers in West Michigan. In fact, the impact of food and agriculture on Michigan’s economy is estimated at $91.4 billion, and accounts for nearly 1 in 4 jobs. The Second District is one of the most agriculturally diverse in Michigan and is a leader in livestock, poultry, pork, fruit, nursery, greenhouse, and floriculture production. I have consistently fought for the hard working farmers in the Second District, and will continue to support West Michigan farmers and growers.
Defending The Second Amendment
- As a longtime gun-owner, I support the right of all law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional right to own firearms and use firearms for lawful purposes. I am an active member of various hunting clubs, endorsed by the NRA, and have been trained to use firearms safely. I will always defend the constitutional right of law-abiding Americans “to keep and bear Arms.”
- When someone uses a firearm to commit a crime, the best response is to prosecute the individual responsible for breaking the law instead of the fundamental right itself. Criminals that abuse firearms should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.
Standing Up For Our Veterans
- As the son of a disabled World War II veteran, ensuring that our veterans are treated with the dignity and respect they have earned is very personal to me. It’s clear the federal government has failed our veterans. I will hold the VA accountable and fight for drastic reforms so the men and women who have served our nation are put first.
Preserving & Protecting The Great Lakes
- West Michigan residents have long understood the importance of the Great Lakes, but if you get outside of the region, some folks don’t quite grasp how these picturesque settings, beautiful beaches, and pristine sunsets, play a vital role in our economy.
- Thousands of Michigan jobs depend on the “Blue Economy.” I have led the charge to make sure money set aside for harbor maintenance is actually used for its intended purpose – harbor maintenance. Ports and harbors in Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, White Lake, Pentwater, Ludington, and throughout the Great Lakes are vital to Michigan’s economy. I will always fight to keep them properly dredged and fully navigable.
- I will pursue all avenues to ensure that the Great Lakes are protected for all of West Michigan to enjoy. In order to combat the spread of invasive species, we must act on a comprehensive strategy. This strategy should include: improvements to the Chicago Area Waterway System, locks that are strategically located and have one-way control points, and over the long, run permanent hydrologic separation of the Mississippi River Basin from the Great Lakes should be pursued. This won’t be an easy task; however with cooperation from other Great Lakes States, we can protect our treasured natural resources for future generations.
Improving Education By Putting Students First
- As the father of five children, I know that their education is best left in the hands of their teachers and school leaders. For too long, bureaucrats at the Department of Education have directed how our education dollars are spent and what our children learn through top-down mandates like Common Core. I believe that states should be allowed to direct education dollars to meet their most pressing needs.
- Children from underperforming schools should be able to carry federal funding with them to the school that best meets their needs. Our children deserve more public and private education opportunities. This will boost accountability in schools around our country.
Defending The Constitution
- Defending our Constitution is the foremost responsibility of any Member of Congress. As the size of government grows, the American people are rightly concerned about its interference in our lives. Congress must act as a check and balance to protect the freedoms and liberties that we hold dear.
Empowering People, Combating Poverty
- From a young age, my parents taught me to be kind, generous, and to value service. West Michigan shares these values and is blessed with numerous churches and charitable organizations who serve the most vulnerable in our communities. The federal government can do better a job of helping people escape the poverty trap and they must. It is time to stop measuring the success of anti-poverty programs by how much money is spent but instead by how many people are helped.
- I believe that we should equip people with a skill-set that will help them find and maintain a good paying job. Additionally, work should be incentivized so that no one loses money after getting a raise. Let’s test the system and promote the ideas that actually work. More opportunities can be created for millions of Americans by attacking poverty at its roots, rewarding work, and tailoring benefits to people’s needs.
Enacting Real Healthcare Reform
- When Obamacare was signed into law, Americans were promised that their costs would go down, that care would improve, and that more choices would be available. Today, we know these claims to be fiction and that ObamaCare has failed. In reality, costs have skyrocketed, the quality of care has been driven down, and hardworking Michiganders have had to change doctors because ObamaCare did not cover the doctor their family has seen for years.
- I will fight to replace Obamacare with better solutions that puts patients, families, and doctors in charge of care instead of Washington, D.C. I believe that every American can have access to quality, affordable care by making health insurance portable from job to job so that we no longer have to rely on our employer for insurance.
- Health savings accounts should be more accessible and easier to use, small businesses and individuals should be allowed to band together to reduce costs, and junk lawsuits must be stopped. Finally, no one should ever have to worry about their coverage being taken away because of their age, income, or medical condition.
Increasing Responsible Domestic Energy Production
- Our nation is in the midst of an energy boom. Affordable, reliable energy has never been more accessible. This keeps costs down, creates jobs, and protects us from relying on foreign nations to meet our energy needs. At the same time, we must strike a balance between economic growth and protecting our environment. That is why I support a responsible all of the above approach to increasing American energy supplies that ensure West Michigan’s energy demands are met.