Special Report to Blowing Rock News. By U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx. November 1, 2015. WASHINGTON, DC — This week I voted against the federal budget agreement that would suspend the debt ceiling through March 2017. Every time the federal government approaches its debt limit, like clockwork, liberal politicians – from the White House down – begin threatening “default” unless the government is able to continue with its spending binge. Such gamesmanship is a disservice to everyone.
Our country is in the middle of a fiscal crisis driven by reckless borrowing and runaway government spending. The national debt is nearly $18.5 trillion – that’s approximately $57,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Something has to change, or the legacy we leave to our children and grandchildren will be a crushing debt burden and a weaker, less secure and less prosperous nation.
Unfortunately, the budget agreement passed by the House this week ignores our fiscal realities and the magnitude of the problems we face. Filled with creative accounting, gimmickry and faux savings, it is not a responsible way to get the federal government’s finances in order and improve America’s long-term fiscal health.
As a former small business owner, I certainly understand the many challenges that companies face to be successful in an internationally competitive business environment. However, the Export-Import Bank conflicts with core conservative principles on the free market and unfairly allows the government to pick winners and losers while requiring taxpayers to bear the risks of private companies’ activities.
On Tuesday I voted against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. It is very unfortunate that the federal government entered this line of business in the first place, and I wish that our efforts were put towards ensuring other nations cease these policies of economic distortion instead of reauthorizing a federal agency whose operations are a step back from the free enterprise system that has made our nation the envy of the world.
Retail Investor Protection Act
We talk a lot in the House about the negative impacts of overly burdensome rules and regulations handed down by bureaucrats in Washington. Nowhere are the potential consequences more evident than the fiduciary rule proposed by the Department of Labor. Among its hundreds of pages, the rule expands the department’s complex pension rules to cover IRAs as well as changes the definition of who is classified as a financial adviser.
If adopted, the proposed fiduciary rule will reduce access to reasonably priced investment options for lower and middle class families and small business owners across this country. It will also increase costs for Americans trying their best to save for retirement. Our country faces difficult retirement challenges, and the last thing the federal government should do is create new barriers blocking the retirement security the American people deserve.
On Tuesday the House approved the Retail Investor Protection Act, which would require the Department of Labor to defer to the expertise of the Securities and Exchange Commission rather than apply their own proposed fiduciary rule.
Electing a New Speaker of the House
On Wednesday the House Republican Conference held an election to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Paul Ryan earned the support of the vast majority of Republican members and under conference rules became the party’s candidate for Speaker. Consistent with my previous votes during Speaker elections, I supported the nominee of my party when the formal election occurred on the House floor on Thursday. With the election behind us, I am confident that Speaker Ryan will effectively lead House Republicans and continue our record of advancing the conservative priorities of the American people.
What’s Coming Up
Next week the House will consider a significant multi-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs.