Joe Barton U.S. Congressman Dallas

Joe Barton
U.S. Congressman
Dallas

As the calendar creeps toward summer and the mercury starts to rise, things are heating up politically –
both in Texas and in Washington. The decisions made over the next few months will have a profound effect
on our nation’s future.

My priorities mirror those of my constituents. I believe we must control government spending, repeal ObamaCare and better protect our kids online. I not only voted against the most recent ‘clean’ debt ceiling bill; I led the opposition. I was the first member on the House floor warning that this was a ‘dirty deal’ for the American people. There is nothing ‘clean’ about this law. It essentially gives the Obama Administration a blank check until March 2015 and will add hundreds of billions to the public debt, with no plan to repay the debt already owed, much less the debt newly
incurred.

We borrow too much and spend even more than that – this law only makes the problem worse! Our national
debt is more than $17 trillion – an unfathomable number that is now a sad and frustrating reality. Despite this, the federal government continues to borrow money while expecting you to foot the bill.

Our revenues are dwarfed by our expenditures, and many in Washington think the solution is to raise taxes. However, that will only strain your budget further. Instead, the federal government needs to drastically
reduce mandatory spending. Common sense dictates that you don’t spend more than you have. Americans
around the country do it every day, and it should be no different for the federal government.

Our current rate of spending is simply unsustainable and leaving this growing burden for our children and
grandchildren is irresponsible. It’s time for the federal government to be more accountable with your money.
That starts with getting rid of ObamaCare. I have backed up my words with actions by voting dozens of
different times to repeal all or part of this disastrous law.

The mandates in ObamaCare need to be replaced with market based solutions. Needed reforms include expanding health savings accounts, allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, expanding state high-risk pools so that people with pre-existing conditions get the coverage they deserve, and much needed medical liability reform – something that is already helping Texans. One of the main goals of my plan is to lower health care costs for all Americans.

I don’t want to move toward a government-operated single payer system and that is what ObamaCare does
over time. It destroys our healthcare system. The reforms I support take power away from unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington and put it back in the people’s hands.

Protecting children online is the goal of one of my most important and personal legislative priorities. I have reached across the aisle to work with Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) on the “Do Not Track Kids Act.”

This bill would extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children’s personal information. The legislation, which has dozens of co-sponsors from both parties, also establishes new protections for the personal information of children and teens while they are online.

The Do Not Track Kids Act is not just another legislative initiative I took on as a public servant, but I see this bill to be my duty as a parent. My 8-year-old-son logs on to our computer or mobile devices every day. He is always under a watchful eye. We can see which websites he visits and what apps he uses, but what we don’t see is the information they collect about him.

Parents deserve to know what types of information are being collected about their kids online and how it is being used. If you don’t like what you learn – our bill will give you the authority to change it with just the click of a mouse.
I hope that this basic right to privacy will one day stretch to all Americans. It’s an issue of giving the individual the freedom of choice, and I think this issue is as important in the 21st century as it was in the 18th century when our country was founded. If our fore fathers had known what the Internet and modern technology was going to be today, they would have put a right to privacy explicitly in the Constitution.

I know that we can best protect and serve the citizens of our state and nation when the public and private sector work together. I know members of ASSIST work very hard to keep people safe. I share that goal and I applaud their efforts.

It is a busy time in Washington and I promise I will be here fighting for you!