Partisan politics getting in way of real issues

August 4, 2017
Contributed Columns

It is an honor to represent you in Congress, and I appreciate the time many of you have taken to share your thoughts and concerns at local events my staff and I have hosted across the 1st Congressional District.

In August, I will continue to travel from town to town to listen to you and your neighbors. As your member of Congress, I want to hear from you about ways we can work to grow our economy, create good-paying jobs in rural Arizona, and make sure our children can get the skills they need for jobs in the future.

During my recent travels, I have visited with hard-working families and small business owners across rural Arizona. I hear again and again that Washington is out of touch and needs to put the American people first. It is clear our economy is not working for all Arizona families, but so far, this year Congress has failed to act.

Passing a responsible budget

It is critical that we rein in wasteful government spending while strengthening programs that improve the economic vitality of our communities. Congress must pass a budget that invests in the future of our country and outlines our guiding values as a nation.

Unfortunately, recent partisan budget proposals make arbitrary, across-the-board cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and to the Department of Veterans Affairs, among other agencies and programs. I have fought cuts that strip affordable coverage from elderly Arizonans and impact the wellbeing of thousands of Arizona veterans who have served our nation with honor. We can, as a nation, do much better, though.

Streamlining and modernizing our tax code

It is time to put politics aside and streamline our outdated tax code. Our hardworking, middle-class families and small business owners need relief, and our current system does little for them. We should act on areas of bipartisan agreement to deliver real results. We must reduce burdensome regulations and taxes and incentivize our businesses to create good-paying jobs here in America. Additionally, Arizona families rely on the earned income and child tax credits every year, but cuts to these have been threatened. Protecting these two programs will ensure money stays in families’ pockets and stimulates local economies.

Investing in rural infrastructure

Investing in infrastructure gives rural communities the foundation to compete against larger towns and cities to attract businesses and talented teachers for schools. These towns have been all but forgotten as we focus our infrastructure spending on metropolitan areas. Congress has an opportunity to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill that directs essential resources to these forgotten rural and tribal communities. I support legislation that invests in rural broadband, and I stand ready to work across the aisle on a bill to improve or build infrastructure. This would bring new jobs and business opportunities and improve education programs that prepare our children for 21st century careers. It will be a lifeline for rural communities that often struggle to keep pace with a rapidly evolving technology.

There are too many pressing issues before us to allow partisan politics to get in the way. If we are going to get serious about solving the challenges we face as a nation, we must be able to put party aside and sit down for a real discussion. The American people deserve a Congress that is focused on the issues impacting them every day. I am proud to have a long record of working with Republicans and Democrats alike, and I will continue to work on legislation that will strengthen our economy, bring tax relief to families and small business owners, invest in Arizona communities, and create good-paying jobs.