For too long the Obama Administration has penalized job creators, inserted the federal government in families’ personal decision-making, and mismanaged your hard earned tax dollars. The good news is I am confident that with your help, we will set our nation on a path of prosperity and economic growth. I will stand up and fight against Washington, D.C.

 

Agriculture

Family farms are the backbone of the First District. Owning a successful 2000 acre beef cattle, hay, timber, and grain farming operation,  I know first-hand the hard decisions that farmers must make on a daily basis.

A federal representative with this type of experience will guarantee that the priorities of Kentucky’s agriculture community will be heard in Washington.  Against all odds, I led the General Assembly and our federal delegation to initiate the first hemp program in Kentucky. Having proven that I can create new opportunities for farmers, I look forward to bringing those same types of innovative ideas to the House Agriculture Committee. If elected, I will be the only former Commissioner of Agriculture in Congress.

 

Debt, Spending, and the necessity for a Balanced Budget Amendment

The national debt is now over $19 trillion.  By comparison, the total debt when Obama took office was $7.5 trillion. This type of spending is unacceptable.  We must get the spending in Washington under control so that we do not saddle our children and grandchildren with unmanageable mountains of debt.  This is why I support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

When I was Agriculture Commissioner, my department was one of the first to return money back to the taxpayer.  I will bring this same fiscal restraint to Washington.  We need to turn our economy around by spending less and taxing less in Washington.  That way, we can give private sector businesses the stability and certainty they need to create good-paying jobs for hardworking Kentuckians.

 

2nd Amendment

I am unwavering in my support of our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.  During my time in the Kentucky General Assembly, I voted unfailingly to support gun rights and protect the 2nd Amendment.  I am also a hunter and lifelong gun owner and advocate.

 

Life and Marriage

I am 100% pro-life and I oppose gay marriage.  While I was a Kentucky State Representative, I cosponsored the 2005 amendment that made same sex marriage illegal in Kentucky.  As a Congressman, I will always strongly support life and only support traditional marriage between one man and one woman.  I will make sure that liberal, anti-family groups like Planned Parenthood never get one penny of our tax dollars.

 

Term Limits

Our founding fathers never envisioned a Congress where elected officials stayed in office for decades.  In fact, most of the founding fathers were farmers.  I support term limits and pledge to take a self-imposed term limit of 6 terms.  I have also signed the U.S. Term Limits Amendment Pledge to co-sponsor and vote for the U.S. Term Limits Amendment.

 

Education

Success starts with a great education and we must prepare youth to succeed.  Our education system as we know it is at a crossroad.  We are doing our children an extreme disservice by allowing our system to fall further and further behind the needs of the global marketplace.

Teachers and local educators should be able to teach without interference from the federal government.   Teachers deserve freedom to be able to best impact and shape the lives of students.

Student loan debt is an ever-growing problem.  During the Obama administration student loan debt has increased to $1.2 trillion.  I adamantly oppose President Obama’s efforts to tax college savings plans.  Families should be able to save for their children’s college education without fear of losing their money to Obama’s tax and spend policies. Additionally, we need more diverse technical programs that allow youth to obtain certificates and degrees that meet the demands of the private sector.   Far too many college graduates have mountains of debt for degrees that do not allow them to get a job in today’s marketplace.

 

Immigration

The inflow of illegal aliens is a serious problem. I am opposed to amnesty, sanctuary cities, and believe the best solution to our immigration problem is to build a wall to protect our borders.

 

Energy

For far too long, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has been waging a war on coal.  That’s a war being waged on Kentucky’s families and our economy.  First, they attempted to set regulations on new power plants, which essentially required zero carbon emissions on power plants.  The only technology that can meet zero carbon emissions is not proven, so this regulation essentially prohibits coal fired electricity, on which so many Kentucky businesses rely. Hillary Clinton has also pledged a war on coal, going so far as to promise to put coal miners out of business.

After the new power plant rule, Obama’s EPA turned their war on coal onto existing power plants.  The existing power plant rule under the Clean Air Act requires unachievable regulations and as a result, it will shut down coal-fired electricity plants around the nation, jeopardizing affordable energy and reliability.  While President Obama will not be in office in the 115th Congress, we need a representative in Washington that can challenge these regulations to ensure Kentucky’s coal industry is able to thrive again.  I have the ability to work with the other representatives and stakeholders to challenge these regulations.

On day one, I will draft legislation that provides relief to states who are tasked with implementing these regulations under the Clean Air Act.  Our states are our biggest assets to fight back against Washington’s out-of-control bureaucracy. I will organize a group of state governors and attorneys general to challenge these regulations both legislatively and legally.  Not only do we need to challenge regulations related to the Clean Air Act, but also the red tape and regulations that are making it nearly impossible to simply mine coal.  I stopped it in Frankfort by taking on the Obama Administration who told us we couldn’t raise a crop, and I’ll do it again in Congress.

Not only must we ensure our coal industry is able to thrive, but we must also ensure that we are utilizing other domestically, home-grown energy, such as the exploration of natural gas and domestic oil reserves. We must reverse President Obama’s misguided decision to prohibit the Keystone XL pipeline.  This pipeline will create tens of thousands of jobs with private investment dollars and provide our nation with a dependable energy source from a friendly neighbor so that we are not held hostage by oil from hostile parts of the world.  On the first day I take office, I will immediately ask for an investigation into the amount of government resources the Obama Administration wasted by studying the Keystone XL pipeline for over 2604 days and 12 hours.

Additionally, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is vitally important to our state and western Kentucky.  The federal government is obligated to clean up the site, and Congress must hold the Department of Energy accountable to meeting their obligations.  We need representation in Washington that will challenge the status quo at the Department of Energy (DOE).

I have run an agency, and I know which levers to pull to ensure DOE gives the Paducah site the right level of resources and attention.  Specifically, I will urge DOE to issue longer-term contracts so that workers at the site will have job certainty.  The worst thing the DOE can do is fail to put the required amount of resources into cleaning up this site, causing it to issue short term contracts that create constant uncertainty in the community.  I know this, and will work to fix it.  I will also work with the House Appropriations Committee to secure stable funding for the site.  We must ensure that this important project does not fall to the wayside.  I will work every day to ensure that this funding is secured so that the federal government does not hide from its responsibilities.

While we must work to secure longer-term contracts and additional funding for the site, we also need to explore new opportunities.  I will work with stakeholders to find those opportunities and make certain that the DOE does not get in the way of future economic development in Paducah. Many have been encouraged by the Global Laser Enrichment opportunity, for example, and we must hold DOE to help realize this opportunity,

Simply put, as your Congressman, I will make sure the DOE uses the assets at the site to benefit the Commonwealth.

 

Healthcare

President Obama has placed the government between you and your doctor.  That is unacceptable.  The Obamacare machine is just getting started, and the impact of this misguided law will have long-term repercussions.  We need leadership in Washington that will repeal Obamacare.  Not only is Obamacare having an impact on individuals, but it is also stifling businesses from creating jobs.

We must also pass tort reform to protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of healthcare.  In my discussions with doctors, they spend too much time and money on defensive medicine, meaning that doctors require x-rays and other defensive medicine to protect them in the event of a lawsuit rather than treating the patient’s issue.  Once in office, I will work with doctors to improve this situation so that citizens aren’t paying more for their medical visits.

 

Labor

In the early years, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant resulted in numerous health issues for workers who were impacted by some of the materials at the site.  The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act was a major step in helping these workers, but there is still work to be done.  We must ensure that the Department of Labor is implementing the law correctly and that former workers are getting the help they need.  I am committed to helping those workers.  Not only is it the right thing to do, but they also sacrificed so much when fighting the Cold War and we cannot turn our backs on them.

 

National Security

In office, I will work to reverse the damage President Obama has done to our national defense capabilities.   I will do so by advocating for the investments in national defense—and specifically in the Army—required to ensure we remain the world’s greatest military power.

I will also be an aggressive advocate on behalf of service members and families stationed at Fort Campbell, one of our country’s premiere military installations.  I will work with the House Armed Services and Appropriations Committees to ensure Fort Campbell has the infrastructure it needs to support our troops and their mission.  I will also work with the Department of Defense to highlight the unique capabilities of Fort Campbell—including its airfield and its ability to quickly deploy troops as a Power Projection Platform, among others—in an effort to bring more service members and assignments to the post, which is vitally important to the economy of Hopkinsville and the surrounding community.

 

Veterans

As Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner, I was proud to establish two new programs that have helped Kentucky’s heroes transition back into the private sector following their military service.  The Homegrown by Heroes and the Kentucky Proud Jobs for Vets initiatives have helped Kentucky veterans find good jobs in agriculture and have helped veterans who farm market their unique products to consumers.   In Congress, I will continue my work on behalf of veterans by advocating for more job opportunities for these heroes and by holding the Department of Veterans Affairs feet to the fire.   I will make it a top priority to helping Kentucky veterans navigate the federal bureaucracy to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve and were promised.

 

Transportation and Infrastructure

We must ensure that our transportation infrastructure across the commonwealth is maintained and improved.  Specifically, we have an opportunity to finish Kentucky’s portion of Interstate 69 in the next decade.  Federal funding will be key to this effort and I will be a staunch advocate for finishing this project and for ensuring Kentucky receives its share of Federal Highway Trust Fund dollars.  We must also aggressively push the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete several major locks and dams projects—including Olmsted and Kentucky Lock—which are vital to our inland waterways system.  Four navigable rivers are a major asset to our state, and improvements to our waterways infrastructure are vital to ensuring that Kentucky exports more of its products by helping them move safely and efficiently to market.   The barge industry has already made numerous reforms to improve the inland waterways system and we need a watchdog in Washington to help hold the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers accountable.