As you know, House Republicans have experienced a change in
our Leadership, causing us to refocus the future of our party. There is a
clamor across our nation for strong, conservative leadership, and we need a
fresh start to our governing body, not just fresh faces.
We need to restore the legislative process of Regular Order
where all members are included, where legislative ideas are fully debated and
considered well in advance of deadlines, and where the American public can
witness government in deliberation, not deadlock. Regular Order respects
the will of the House and provides Members more opportunities for their
districts and states.
I have faith House Republicans will emerge as a more unified
conservative party. I have no doubt vision, inclusivity and leadership will
prevail. I pray God continues to watch over and bless our great nation as
Congress embarks on a more cohesive process that better represents the American
Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015
This week, I voted against the budget bill because it
negates any real reforms to our ever increasing debt limit. Our outstanding
debt totals a nauseating amount of more than $18 trillion, and this bill
further lifts our national borrowing limit for another two years with no set
limit in sight. This deal gives President Obama a credit card with no spending
limit in his last and most dangerous year.
This budget raids $150 million from the Social Security trust fund to pay for more spending, as well as adds $80 million to our deficit in three years. Under this deal, we would not begin to see any savings
until 2020, and we know future congresses are not bound by current laws.
This bill also makes detrimental cuts to the current crop
insurance program, which will greatly harm Florida agriculture. Florida’s
farming industry continues to be in peril, suffering from historically low
production rates, drastic income declines, and natural disasters. The crop
insurance program is the most valuable tool farmers have in their risk management
plans. This budget is another nail in the coffin for our farming communities,
at a time when we should be doing everything we can to protect the heart and
soul of Florida agriculture.
Furthermore, and once again, this budget deal was reached
behind closed doors without any regular order in process. This is unacceptable.
We have ample time to fully vet and negotiate our budget bills, yet we
continuously stall until a fiscal cliff is reached before taking any action.
There is absolutely no excuse for this crisis-to-crisis governing. I simply
could not in good conscience vote for this bill knowing the damage it will
cause to our economy and farmers. I promise to continue fighting for regular
order and conservative budgeting within Congress.
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act
I also voted against the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank
because the bank does not promote core conservative principles, such as fiscal
responsibility and free enterprise. Instead, the Ex-Im Bank promotes corporate
cronyism and corporate giveaways to foreign governments. I opposed
reauthorizing the bank's charter in the past for this very reason.
The Ex-Im Bank forces taxpayers to bare the risk of loans to
private firms and is plagued by corruption and mismanagement. Furthermore,
Congress requires 20 percent of Ex-Im’s loans go to small businesses, but Ex-Im
consistently failed to meet this statutory requirement. In reality, only 0.009
percent of America’s small businesses received any help at all from Ex-Im.
American businesses are strong enough to compete on their own, without
taxpayer-funded subsidized financing.
When elected into office, I promised the hard-working
Americans in my district and across the country that I would fight to create
jobs, support small business growth, and eliminate fraud and waste in our
government and its programs. My vote against reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank
stands firm in those promises, and I will continue upholding conservative
principles for the betterment of our great nation and its people.
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
It is extremely disappointing and unacceptable that our
Commander-in-Chief vetoed the NDAA bill, which authorizes needed funding for
our troops and provides the resources necessary for military operations.
Since it was first passed more than 50 years ago, the NDAA
has been vetoed only four times. In each case, the president objected to an
actual provision in the bill, and each time the Armed Services Committees were
able to find a compromise that earned the president’s signature.
By vetoing this important authorization, the President has
vetoed a pay raise for our troops and the creation of a thrift savings plan
with matching contributions from the Department of Defense that would be
available to 83 percent of service members not currently eligible for military
The president is blatantly sacrificing national security in
order to advance his larger domestic political agenda. President Obama is
putting his personal wants before the needs of our selfless men and women in
uniform who sacrifice their lives every day to protect our nation. I will be
urging my colleagues to join me in fighting to override this irresponsible
As always, please continue to write, call, and email your opinions to my office. I could not effectively represent you without the advice of my constituents. It is an honor and a privilege to serve you in Congress.
Dennis A. Ross