Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

A Pro-Jobs, Pro-Growth Agenda for 2015

Jan 20, 2015
Op-Ed

Exclusive to The Charlotte Sun

By U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Okeechobee)

On Tuesday, January 6, I was honored to be sworn into the 114th Congress to represent Florida’s 17th district. As I raised my right hand and took the oath of office, I was humbled by the sacred trust you placed in me to serve you for the next two years. I remain resolved to serve my constituents and my country to the best of my ability, and to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

I was proud to have my three sons – Tommy, Sean and Seamus – by my side as I swore that oath. They reminded me why I first ran for Congress six years ago – to make our country safer, freer, and more prosperous for our children.

When I first came to Congress in 2009, Democrats controlled the House, Senate and White House. They rammed through the failed stimulus, the misguided and job-killing Dodd-Frank law, and of course, Obamacare. Our deficits and debt exploded.

Then Republicans took the House, but Harry Reid turned the Senate into a graveyard for many good bills and ideas – including dozens of bipartisan jobs bills. Yet in the last two years, despite fierce opposition from Reid and Obama, we forced significant spending cuts. We brought spending to the lowest levels in a decade. We rolled back parts of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. We fought corruption at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), cut the budget from an out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and forced an overhaul of a broken Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system. We passed a Farm Bill that saved taxpayer money, eliminated and consolidated more than 100 programs, instituted critical reforms, and included $125 million I requested to help battle citrus disease in Florida.

Now, Republicans control the House and Senate. We have a chance to send the President bills that will help grow the economy and create an environment where small businesses can expand and hire new workers. This will include many bills that passed in the House last year with overwhelming bipartisan support, but never made it past Harry Reid’s desk. Now, they’ll receive votes in the Senate, and it will be up to President Obama to sign them or veto them – and the jobs they’ll help create.

For example, in our first week of the new Congress, the House sent the Senate three bipartisan bills to help small businesses and create jobs right away:
•    First, the Hire More Heroes Act, which gives small businesses relief from costly Obamacare regulations if they hire more American veterans.
•    Second, the Save American Workers Act, which will restore workers’ hours and wages that were cut due to Obamacare.
•    Third, legislation to begin construction on the Keystone Pipeline, which will create thousands of jobs and expand North American energy production.

Over the next year, we will keep our promise to focus on the American people’s priorities. We will find common ground to help grow the economy and create jobs. We’ll work to fix our broken tax code and tackle the long-term drivers of our national debt. We’ll keep taxes low and work to reduce spending and the size of government. We’ll fight to secure our borders, oppose amnesty, and demand that the President follow the rule of law. We'll continue the battle to repeal Obamacare and replace it real reforms that will actually reduce costs and give Americans affordable options. And we’ll stand up for the right to life.

As a member of the House Intelligence and Appropriations Committees, I will continue my work on behalf of Florida’s heartland. I will work to keep our nation safe from the threat of global terrorism, ensure Florida’s veterans get the care and services they need, help our citrus growers combat greening disease, block overregulation so that our farmers and ranchers can provide a safe and affordable food supply, and protect your second amendment rights.

Our nation faces grave challenges, but I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance common-sense solutions to grow our economy, encourage job creation, strengthen America’s national security, and tackle our national debt.
As we work to achieve these goals, I value your opinions. Please continue to share your ideas with me by emailing through my website, www.Rooney.house.gov; posting on my facebook page, www.facebook.com/reptomrooney; or calling my office at (941) 575-9101.

Thank you again for placing your trust in me for the next two years. It’s an honor to represent you.