A Brief Update
Despite the differences Americans have on some of the biggest issues of our day, we should give thanks for the peaceful politics we practice. The same cannot be said for every place across the world. The escalating violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip is frightening. I am a strong supporter of Israel, and believe that Israel should be able to defend itself against the attacks of terrorist organizations.
On Friday afternoon, the House passed by unanimous consent a resolution expressing our support for Israel and its right to defend itself from acts of terrorism. As the nation’s chief diplomat, President Obama must stand firm with Israel, and remind the rest of the world that the United States will not tolerate the innocent taking of human life. Please pray for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.
Latest Data Show Record Number of Americans on Food Stamps
Last Friday, the USDA announced that a record 47.1 million Americans were receiving food stamps. If this does not speak volumes about the poor condition of our economy, I do not know what does. More than 420,000 new persons enrolled for food stamps in the latest month – and that is a 47 percent increase since January 2009. It is not an accomplishment that the government is providing more benefits to more people because it means that fewer people are able to make ends meet on their own. Getting people back to work requires fixing the tax and regulatory challenges that businesses face and that keep them from being able to create more jobs and more paychecks – and transforming and targeting entitlement programs like Food Stamps to move people to independence, not more dependency. We have opportunities to repair America’s broken and counterproductive tax code in the coming weeks and months as well as to deal with the out-of-control entitlement spending that has so many business owners and entrepreneurs scared out of their minds about the future for prosperity.
This week I joined Gerri Willis on the Fox Business Network to discuss the negotiations that are taking place in Washington about the looming fiscal abyss that faces America: massive tax hikes, spending cuts, and the debt limit. Please take a few minutes to watch the video:
House Passes Legislation to Extend Permanent Normal Trading Relations to Russia
On Friday the House of Representatives passed legislation to establish permanent normal trading relations (PNTR) with Russia. The legislation was necessary to ensure protections and opportunities for U.S. businesses and consumers in the global economy following Russia’s recent accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Establishing PNTR with Russia will force that nation to reduce its barriers to trade and to play by the rules, thus creating new export opportunities for Kansas farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers. We expect that Kansas’ beef producers in particular will be able to compete with and beat our competitors by having enhanced access to the Russian market. But, as always, the pursuit for freer trade never ends. President Obama and Congress must continue to work toward more market access for American goods – especially so in Asia.
Guests in the Office
Your D.C. staff and I had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Eddie Estes of the 3i Show (pictured below), Bethany College President Dr. Edward Leonard, Gary Shorman with Eagle Communications, and representatives of the American Bakers Association and the Society for Human Resources Management.
Member of Congress