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.
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.
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.
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 $101.2 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.
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.
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.
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. I believe that decisions about our children’s education should be made by those who truly know them best.
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.
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 it 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.
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 had seen for years.
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.
It is my most solemn duty to support and supply our military and intelligence officials with all the tools that they need to achieve success in keeping the United States secure. As new threats emerge, our armed forces must have the tools they need to respond. A strong Military and Homeland is needed due to the re-emergence of competitors like Russia and China, the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, the imperative to keep the pressure on terrorist organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda, and more.