I pledge never to let a lobbyist draft the law; never to depend on my staff to write out the questions I am supposed to ask at a hearing; and will never vote on legislation I haven’t read. My policy is before a Senator can vote on new law, he or she must read the entire bill, acknowledge understanding all of the provisions, and swear that no lobbyist has made a campaign contribution to get their vote. If the Senator can’t say yes to all three, they are disqualified from voting.
This is the first step to ending the spectacle of Congress dumping thousands of pages of incomprehensible law on the public and then expecting businesses and government workers to figure out what they and the lobbyists meant.
From my active duty Army experience, I will bring unique government acquisition and property disposition knowledge to the Senate. As Senator, I intend to take the lead in descoping the government. While deployed, I was tasked with giving legal advice to commanders on base closures, retrograde of equipment, and donation of US property in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. No other Senator has been involved in government reductions at that level.
In Washington, I intend to make changes. I’ll be the Senator who’ll stop the give-away of our tax dollars to the clients of well-connected lobbyists. I will tell the big government Senate incumbents that I won’t vote for conglomerated spending bills that neither they nor the rest of Congress have read. I pledge all spending proposals will be evaluated through an evidence-based and transparent authorization process. No more secret spending projects buried in thousands of pages of appropriations law. An approved expenditure will involve only a government duty that the people are willing to pay for. Yearly budgets will be passed on time and in surplus. Borrowing money will be tolerated only when needed to pay for declared wars and responses to disasters such as floods or the Zika virus.
Lobbyists are hired to keep US Treasury money flowing to special interest groups, contractors, and foreign governments. The lobbyists’ control over the timing, amount, and placement of campaign donations gives them unfettered influence over all US Senators. The threat of a well-funded primary opponent and negative ads deters all debate on federal spending reform. These lobbyists – unaccountable to voters – have taken the power of the purse away from Congress. I take it as my senate duty to defeat this power-grab of lobbyists. Only then will America have a Congress free to enact the people’s will on spending, taxes, and public debt.
I have the experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to be the change the voters want. The tax code, Social Security, and immigration will be fixed. The Supreme Court will not have vacancies. The practice of giving access in exchange for campaign donations ends with me. I don’t need any favors from Washington donors. I am free to vote my conscience. This will be real change.