AMERICA: Tell us what makes you feel good about this country, and then tell us what's happening in this country that makes you angry. What would you do about these things if elected? What would you work on even if not elected?
Eighth U.S. House District
IRAQ: In Iraq, we need a new strategy for success to defeat terrorism and assist the Iraqis in defending their physical, political and economic security. A premature and misguided retreat is dangerous to our national security and our troops overseas. As the Iraqis are ready to defend themselves, our troops must come home.
Afghanistan must be given the support it needs to rebuild its infrastructure, maintain its physical and economic security, and foster a functioning representative government that will provide freedoms and opportunity for its people.
On the home front, we must secure our porous borders, transportation infrastructure, rail lines and ports to close entry points for those who would harm our nation. Illegal immigration continues to present a largely untested opportunity to terrorists. Congress must ensure that law enforcement has the tools necessary to investigate and stop terrorist plots and the flow of undocumented illegal immigrants.
TAXES: The tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 have spurred our economy to new heights. More than six million jobs have been created, the Dow has reached historic highs and the federal deficit has been cut in half in the last two years. The tax cuts have resulted in record revenues to the federal government. We must make cuts to the child tax credit, dividend and capital gains, small business investment tax credit, marriage penalty relief, the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax permanent.
We must cut spending by ensuring that federal benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid are only provided to individuals entitled to receive them. Unlike my opponent, I do not support providing amnesty, Social Security benefits, college tuition assistance and Medicaid benefits to illegal immigrants. I support increased funding for mass transit in order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and have led the fight in Congress to restore funding to Amtrak.
AMERICA: As the father of six children, I am filled with optimism when I think of our nation's youth. I have met thousands of students and young people who provide the spark for our country's bright future. I am filled with pride each time I meet a young person interested in attending one of our service academies or choosing to serve our country in the military. I am also optimistic about the tremendous opportunities our growing economy will provide our children.
Nothing makes me angrier than the growing threat our children and families face from sexual predators and abusers. Far too many of our children suffer abuse or sexual exploitation. That is why I focused on passing legislation to protect our families from dangerous criminals in our communities and on the Internet. My plans for the future are to continue to work with youth through organizations like the Boy Scouts and youth athletic leagues and encourage the spirit of volunteerism to strengthen our communities.
IRAQ: The war on terror is not in Iraq; it is in Afghanistan. That is why I have offered a 12-month phased redeployment to start bringing our troops home from Iraq and refocus our efforts on capturing Osama bin Laden and destroying the al-Qaeda terror network.
We are a country at war. It is particularly important that we keep our borders secure. Under this Republican Congress and this administration we have yet to secure our southern border, yet to adequately increase the number of Border Patrol agents and yet to fully implement the recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission. These are security measures that will help keep our families safe. It is irresponsible of this Republican Congress to leave them unanswered.
In Congress, I will ask the tough questions that this Congress refuses to ask: Why are there only 20,000 troops pursuing Osama bin Laden and 140,000 troops in Iraq? Why hasn't this Congress implemented all the 9/11 Commission's recommendations? Where have the billions of dollars misspent in Iraq gone? My opponent refuses to hold the Bush administration accountable. I will.
TAXES: When President Clinton's term expired in 2001, he left behind a budget surplus of $236 billion. In five years, George Bush and the Republican Congress have not only managed to squander that surplus, they've racked up a $260 billion deficit. Under my opponent's watch, $1 trillion has been added to our national debt, meaning that every man, woman and child now owes $28,000.
I have a three-step plan to rein in our national debt. First, I support a balanced-budget amendment. Second, we must implement a pay-as-you-go system, so that every dollar the federal government spends is paid for. And third, we must stop the outrageous pork-barrel spending. It is reprehensible that my opponent funded a $223 million bridge to nowhere, but voted to cut veterans' benefits by $155 million in 2005.
My common-sense plan will get America back on track to the days of budget surpluses and low interest rates.
AMERICA: There is a woman in Bristol Township who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a couple of years ago. After receiving treatment and medication, her disease went into remission. But now she is on Medicare Part D, and like so many Americans has hit the "doughnut hole." She therefore has to pay the next $3,000 for her prescription drugs out of her own pocket. She can't afford $3,000 on her fixed income and has not been able to take her MS medication for the last few months. Tragically, she is starting to see signs that her MS is coming back.
It makes me angry that Congressman Fitzpatrick knew the doughnut hole was coming, knew that people like this woman would be devastated when they hit it, but has done nothing to fix it.
What makes me feel good about this country is that the woman with MS, despite being bound to a wheelchair, now volunteers in my office nearly every week. She knows that we need a change of direction in our country and she believes that one person can make a difference. Every time I see her stuffing envelopes in my office it reminds me how important this election is and how together we are going to change how Washington works.
There is simply no rational basis for not allowing our government to negotiate with drug companies for the best price. The Veterans Administration is able to negotiate on behalf of their members and they can get prices that are nearly one-half the price of drugs under Medicare Part D. If our government were allowed to negotiate for drugs under Medicare Part D, we would be able to use the cost savings and completely close the doughnut hole.
What would I work on even if not elected?
A good military officer puts the interests of his troops ahead of his own. When I was an Army officer in the 82nd Airborne, this meant that the other officers and I ate only after we ensured that the men and women under our command were properly fed. It meant that I was charged with protecting their lives and well-being. And it meant that I would never let them down.
I will always continue that devotion to my brothers and sisters in uniform. The men and women of our armed services devote themselves to our great nation. That devotion compels them to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, to fight to protect it, and - for some - to lay down their lives in its name.
We dishonor the sacrifices of these great Americans when we fail to provide them with the resources they need and the opportunities they deserve. We have a responsibility to those who protect us, and it is a responsibility we must not neglect. That is why over the course of this campaign I propose a renewed commitment of resources and respect to our service members, our veterans, and their families: a new G.I. Bill of Rights, a covenant that our nation will enter into with those brave men and women who volunteer to protect it.
That is also why I was also proud to start the Bucks County Veterans Committee in 2004. This nonprofit organization has raised thousands of dollars for veterans and their families throughout Bucks County.
I will always find a way - no matter what occupation I may have - to honor the service and sacrifice of my fellow veterans.