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  • 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: Healthcare

    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

  • A need to study link between service injuries, behavior
    Posted in Op-Eds on July 22, 2013 | Preview rr

    Recently, as the House Armed Services Committee was writing the initial draft of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act - the annual defense bill - I came across a highly informative piece of investigative journalism in The Gazette entitled "Other Than Honorable" which effectively captured what is unfortunately an all too familiar occurrence in the military, The report describes how the number of soldiers discharged from the Army for misconduct has risen to its highest rate in r... Read more

  • Claims backlog for veterans inexcusable
    Posted in Op-Eds on July 3, 2013 | Preview rr

    The Department of Veterans Affairs needs a watchdog. This is the single most important thing I have learned since joining the House Veterans Affairs Committee in January. The committee must stay vigilant because, if not, the VA will not perform up to the level the Congress expects and veterans deserve. As the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, I have been shocked at the level of bureaucratic incompetence the VA has shown in their ability to reduce the disability claims bac... Read more

  • The Growing Problem of Sexual Assault in the Military
    Posted in Op-Eds on June 13, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: National Security

    The United States military is the most capable and most professional fighting force the world has ever seen. At its core are our men and women in uniform, whose selfless service and sacrifice for the cause of freedom is the main reason Americans have held the military in such high regard. Time and again, they rise to the occasion to defeat and deter America’s enemies. Yet while this fine institution is adept at meeting external threats, I am troubled by its inability to defeat and deter a grave ... Read more

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