Friday, August 9, 2013

House Acts to Stop Government Abuse

I am extremely disappointed the House has chosen to adjourn, leaving important work on the table with an unfinished Farm Bill. The agricultural industry is vital to Arkansas' First District and I will continue to keep in touch with Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and House leadership to make sure we hit the ground running on this legislation when we return. ~ Rick Crawford

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01): This week I returned from a trip to tour the Mexican border in California, Arizona, and Texas as the House prepares to tackle immigration reform legislation this fall. This was a successful trip that opened my eyes to the realities on the ground and the homeland security implications of any reform legislation we undertake. While my views on amnesty have not changed, I believe we must act to keep American families safe from drug cartels whose resources and abilities are extensive.

This week, my column is about a series of bills the House passed to #StopGovernmentAbuse. With a string of scandals at sensitive agencies like the IRS or Department of Justice, we need to do more to repair the public's confidence in their government. I was proud to support these smart measures that put the power back in the people's hands.

House Acts to Stop Government Abuse
This year Washington has been riddled with scandals, undermining the public’s trust in government while distracting from pressing issues like a ballooning national debt, a stagnated economy, and the millions of jobless Americans. The Administration has taken a defensive posture, choosing to deflect blame without holding Administration officials fully accountable for their actions. Sadly, this further inflames the tense relationship between the people and their government, in a time where we need strong leadership to bridge that divide and involve citizens so they can be fully invested in the way their government is run.

With scandals at very sensitive agencies where the public’s confidence is essential to operate effectively, even non-partisan government agencies are beginning to be viewed with suspicion. for example, the IRS earlier this year apologized for targeting groups based on a political ideology in opposition to the Administration’s agenda – a massive breach of the public trust. However, the Administration’s response was simply to let go an Acting Administrator who was set to leave anyway, and stand by the official presiding over the wrongdoing in her decision to plead the 5th Amendment before Congress. America is better than this. We can come together to be better than this.

To help begin repairing the public’s confidence in government, last week the House’s agenda focused exclusively on a series of 10 bills to Stop Government Abuse. These bills represent a smart and targeted approach to address many of the problems that have been brought up over the past several years. Some of these bills focus on economic concerns, others on personal liberty, but all are aimed to roll back government involvement in areas where we have seen increasing overreach into the daily lives of American citizens.

The government has to remember where it derives its power from. The Founding Fathers did not intend for Washington to rule on high over the rest of the nation. Rather, they expected a transparent and accountable government that operates in service to, not presiding over its citizens. I want to work to repair the relationship between the people and government that has been damaged over the past years. However, we need a willing partner in the White House to do so. The Administration should take action immediately to fully accept responsibility for its actions. I hope they will work with the House to implement these reforms to Stop Government Abuse.

Tags: U.S. Representative, Rick Crawford, AR-01, Arkansas, house bills, stop government waste

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