Agriculture remains the number one industry in the state of Alabama, having an estimated economic impact of $12.8 billion and 102,328 jobs in the First District alone. In our area, forestry is especially important.
From flood insurance to Red Snapper to the RESTORE Act, I have made it a priority to advocate on behalf of Coastal Alabamians. I fought for a spot on the House Natural Resources Committee in order to be in the best position to support Alabama's coastal economy.
There is no greater responsibility of Congress than to provide for the national defense. With our nation's military men and women facing such a wide range of global challenges, it is important we make sure our Armed Forces have the resources to be successful in keeping the American people safe.
Our area is in the middle of an economic Renaissance from the addition of Airbus to the continued growth of Austal USA. In Washington, my focus is on reducing the regulatory burden, reforming the tax code, and growing opportunity. We need to grow our economy the right way, with less government influence.
Education is a passion of mine, and I want to see Alabama students lead the nation in academic success. In Congress, I am pushing for policies that return decision-making authority back to the state and local entities. We should empower teachers, administrators, and parents on the front lines to make decisions that fit the needs of each individual child while focusing on lasting reforms that reduce duplicative and ineffective programs.
We must invest in an "all-of-the-above energy" energy strategy which helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We should continue to responsibly grow and expand offshore energy production in the Gulf. A strong energy strategy leads to smaller energy bills for families and more jobs for Americans.
We must stand up to bloated federal spending and unbalanced budgets. I support a Balanced Budget Amendment to get federal spending under control. The culture of spending in Washington must be stopped starting with reforms to wasteful federal programs.
I remain firmly opposed to Obamacare, and I support replacing the failed law with a patient-centered health care system that isn't run by the federal government. The focus should be on actually lowering costs for American families and getting the federal government out of the way.
Our current immigration system is broken and in need of reform. I have two key principles on immigration. Number 1: Any discussion on immigration reform must start with border security. Until our borders are actually secure, I am not interested in talking about other reforms. Number 2: I remain firmly opposed to amnesty and would not support any immigration proposal that gives amnesty to those here illegally.
The current tax code contains over 1 million words and is far too complicated. American families and small businesses are forced to spend precious time complying with frivolous tax policies. I support reforming the tax code to make it simpler and fairer for all Americans.
I believe transportation is a fundamental responsibility of Congress outlined in the Constitution. Having a reliable, safe transportation system is critical to economic development and commerce. We have a major transportation need in the heart of the First District: I strongly support construction of a new I-10 bridge over the Mobile River.
According to the Veterans Administration, the state of Alabama is home to almost 415,000 veterans, including over 62,000 in Alabama’s First Congressional District. As the Representative for Southwest Alabama, ensuring timely access to quality care for our veterans is a top priority of mine in Washington. The federal government should be working for our nation’s veterans, not against them.