On Tuesday, January 6, I was sworn in to the 114th Congress. I am grateful my wife, Pam, was in Washington during the ceremony and for the continued support of family, friends and constituents throughout the First District. Being the voice of East Tennesseans in Congress is an honor, and I look forward to serving you over the next two years.
As I look ahead, it’s clear we have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track. The American people expect results and are tired of politics as usual. I am too. I’m ready to fight for the policies we need to grow our economy, rein in President Obama and protect the constitutional rights of Americans. Now we can work with a Republican-led Senate to get things done for the country, and we’re not wasting any time getting started.
The first debate we had this week was electing the new Speaker of the House, and I supported House Republicans’ nominee, John Boehner. I’ve heard from many East Tennesseans frustrated about Republican Leadership’s inability, and in some cases unwillingness, to take our country in a more conservative direction, and I hear those concerns loud and clear. When Republicans reconvened after the 2014 elections to select their nominee for Speaker, I expected debate about new leadership, but no member put their name forward for consideration and John Boehner was renominated by the conference unanimously.
It’s time to move forward and begin the real work to reverse the President’s destructive policies. On Wednesday I met with my colleagues on the VA Committee for our organizational meeting, and I am anxious to get back to work on veterans’ issues. I plan to introduce another conservative alternative to the president’s health care law, and will serve again as co-chair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus. I also look forward to working on the House Education and Workforce Committee – where I serve as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions – to do things like protect American jobs and workers and return decision-making power in education back to the states.
This week the House is taking direct aim at the president’s health care law and the destructive impacts it’s having on job creators by passing the Save American Workers Act and the Hire More Heroes Act. These bills both change requirements on the employer mandate so that more employers can get out from under these onerous regulations and get back to hiring workers. We’re also considering bipartisan legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that has been held up by the president for political reasons that will create jobs and help keep oil prices low. The president, not surprisingly, has threatened to veto two out of three of these bills. Still, next week, the House will vote to defund the president’s so-called Executive Amnesty immigration policy.
Let me be clear: I have no interest in continuing the status quo. East Tennesseans expect better—they deserve better. It’s time to get to work.
Feel free to contact my office if we can be of assistance to you or your family. Our contact information can be found on our website, www.roe.house.gov.