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  • A Thanksgiving Message
    Posted in Op-Eds on November 27, 2013 | Preview rr

    Thanksgiving is a day when we focus less on what we lack, and more on what we have. Each and every one of us, as Americans – whether rich or poor – has at least one thing about which to be truly grateful. We live in a remarkable country where people of all political stripes and all religious convictions are able to disagree amicably without fear of persecution or reprisal. As an Army and a Marine Corps veteran with five overseas deployments, I know that is not the case in so many other parts of ... Read more

  • Thank a Veteran This Veterans Day
    Posted in Op-Eds on November 8, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    I did not serve in the Vietnam War—the last U.S ground troops were departing South Vietnam in August 1972 just as I was completing Army basic training. I finished my two-year enlistment in 1974 and came back home to enroll as a student at the University of Colorado. I remember sitting in class one day when the subject of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War came up. One student argued that the only ones who allowed themselves to be drafted and sent to Vietnam were too dumb to know how to avo... Read more

  • Reducing Claims Backlog for Veterans
    Posted in Op-Eds on November 1, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    During my time serving on the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee, I have been witness to a strong bipartisanship and dedication to get positive results for our veterans. All of us on the Committee share the desire to serve our veterans and do everything we can to help the VA operate more efficiently and effectively. I am pleased to report this desire goes beyond the Veteran’s Affairs Committee and is present in the entire House of Representatives. Earlier this year, I along with over 150 Members ... Read more

  • Time to Reform the Patriot Act
    Posted in Op-Eds on October 25, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: National Security

    This week I decided to sign on as an original cosponsor of the USA Freedom Act. This legislation, sponsored by the original author of the Patriot Act and expected to be introduced on Tuesday, October 29, reforms current law to better protect the constitutional liberties of our nation’s citizens. Section 215 of the Patriot Act authorized the collection of a limited amount of information (“business records”) in order to assist in terrorism investigations. However, in 2006, the Foreign Intelligence... Read more

  • Time to Reform the Patriot Act
    Posted in Op-Eds on October 25, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: National Security

    This week I decided to sign on as an original cosponsor of the USA Freedom Act. This legislation, sponsored by the original author of the Patriot Act and expected to be introduced on Tuesday, October 29, reforms current law to better protect the constitutional liberties of our nation’s citizens. Section 215 of the Patriot Act authorized the collection of a limited amount of information (“business records”) in order to assist in terrorism investigations. However, in 2006, the Foreign Intelligence... Read more

  • Reforming the Food Stamp Program
    Posted in Op-Eds on October 21, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Agriculture

    In 1996, the Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform legislation, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), allowing states the flexibility to craft their own plans to move families living in subsistence poverty towards self-sufficiency. In 1997, as a State Senator from Aurora, I led the bi-partisan effort in Colorado by writing the welfare reforms that would require those receiving cash assistance, under TANF, to participate in work, training, or education in exch... Read more

  • Creating Flexibility in Colorado's SNAP Program
    Posted in Op-Eds on September 20, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Agriculture

    In 1996, the Congress passed welfare reform legislation, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), allowing states the flexibility to craft their own plans to move families living in subsistence poverty towards self-sufficiency. In 1997, as a State Senator from Aurora, I led the reform effort to require those receiving TANF assistance in Colorado to participate in work, training, or education in exchange for receiving public assistance. The program is called Colorado Works and is still in ... Read more

  • Opening the Door for Fraud in Obamacare
    Posted in Op-Eds on September 13, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care

    Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 235-191, H.R. 2775, the No Subsidies Without Verification Act. I supported this legislation because I feel it preemptively addresses an issue that will, if left unchecked, end up costing the taxpayers billions of dollars. Under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, those whose annual income is less than $46,000 for an individual and $94,500 for a family of four will receive a taxpayer subsidized “premium payment” that wil... Read more

  • Bipartisan agreement on student loans
    Posted in Op-Eds on August 7, 2013 | Preview rr

    On July 1, Congress’ partisan gridlock and inability to come together for the sake of the American people was on full display when it allowed the rates for subsidized Stafford loans to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent without any legislative remedy. This comes at a time when tuition rates are rising uncontrollably. In fact, over the last ten years tuition rates have far outpaced inflation. During that time the economy has experienced an average inflation rate of 2.5 percent while the avera... Read more

  • The time for immigration reform is now
    Posted in Op-Eds on July 22, 2013 | Preview rr

    While we are a nation of immigrants, our policies regarding immigration are dysfunctional. This is not just because we can't control our own borders and enforce our immigration laws, but also because even our system of legal immigration fails to reflect the needs of our country. A comprehensive immigration reform proposal must incorporate three essential elements: it must secure our borders and provide for the effective enforcement of our immigration laws; it must contribute to the economic grow... Read more

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