Last week marked the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founding Fathers and former presidents. He was an intelligent scholar and leader. He left a lasting legacy, and his vision of individual liberty and a limited federal government continues to influence our thinking today.
One idea by Thomas Jefferson is well-known. It comes from the Declaration of Independence, and it is a conservative principle that helps guide our government. It states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
As your Congressman, it is my duty to do everything in my power to protect you from the trampling of your rights. Last week, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation that I was proud to cosponsor that gives federal and state prosecutors greater power to pursue websites that host sex-trafficking ads. It also paves the way for victims and state attorneys general to hold those websites accountable and file lawsuits against those sites. This is an important step forward and builds on work I have done previously to combat human trafficking.
As a member of the Helsinki Commission, I am working to combat this issue at home and abroad. Human trafficking, sex slavery and violence are worldwide tragedies that we must address now. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure our communities are given the appropriate tools and resources to protect the most vulnerable in our society, provide assistance to victims and apprehend and punish offenders
Another essential freedom we are all guaranteed as part of the Bill of Rights set forth in the Constitution is the freedom of speech. Last week, I questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about his company’s censoring of conservative and Christian speech. I sought answers about what standards Facebook uses to censor content and how they are enforced, because it appears to me that these standards may not have been applied uniformly.
Facebook is a private company that has done wonders for connecting families and friends and consumers and businesses across the country. I believe they must uphold the same rights for everyone, regardless of their religion or political affiliation.
As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Never spend your money before you have it.” This is simple guidance, but it is especially relevant today. Our country is currently $21 trillion in debt and growing. Our government’s spending is wildly out of control, and unless we take immediate steps to address it, we face fiscal disaster.
This debate isn’t about our future – it’s about our children’s and grandchildren’s futures. That’s why I’ve fought to cut Washington’s spending and tackle our nation’s debt with bold ideas like my Federal Sunset Act.
Last week, I continued my efforts when I voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to require Congress not spend more in revenue than it receives. I’m extremely disappointed House Democrats followed Nancy Pelosi’s lead and blocked the legislation, choosing bureaucrats and big-government over the American people. I will continue to fight for a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Quite often it seems my colleagues forget why they ran for Congress. Holding Washington accountable isn’t easy, but if we look to the Founding Fathers, I often find they provide us with all the wisdom we need.