@AllenWest ” We just witnessed the despicable failure of American stewardship by Harry Reid and the Senate”


by Allen West via Facebook

In Washington DC there are three things that must be balanced: politics, policy, and procedure. We just witnessed the despicable failure of American stewardship by Harry Reid and the Senate liberal progressives in killing the House legislation that leveled the playing field for hardworking middle income American families. Instead, led by the egomaniacal, arrogant Barack Obama, Democrats have proven themselves hypocritical elitists who seek to abuse the American people in the political game of “blame checkers” to attain power. I think if Assad, Putin, or Rouhani were House Speaker there would have been more communication. The House GOP is focused on good policy, as Obamacare is an abysmal partisan piece of garbage. The House GOP should now follow regular order procedure and pass prioritized federal government spending bills. America, let us promise to never again elect as President any charismatic, community organizing liars who play lots of golf.

aw shutdown

@AllenWest As I awoke to this 12th remembrance of 9/11, I was saddened to learn the news of the passing of my Congressional mentor

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by Allen West – Facebook Timeline Photo’s

As I awoke to this 12th remembrance of 9-11, I was saddened to learn the news of the passing of my Congressional mentor, Representative E. Clay Shaw. Congressman Shaw welcomed me to South Florida upon my retiring from the US Army in 2004. I will never forget meeting him the first time and getting his blessing and endorsement to run in the congressional district which he had represented for over 26 years. Congressman Shaw was there with me the night of our victory in 2010 and sat beside me on the House floor the day of my swearing-in. E. Clay Shaw was truly an American Statesman, great husband, and tender father and grandfather. He will be sorely missed by so many and I shall continue to pursue the restoration of the America he so dearly loved. Fair winds and following seas Sir, Steadfast and Loyal.

Clay Shaw


Allen West “Senate legislation doesn’t promote economic growth, debt/deficit reduction – I can’t support it”


by Allen West on Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

As I did my 7-mile run along the DC mall this morning I pondered where we are fiscally as a nation. We continue to have unserious band-aid type solutions to a very serious problem. I reviewed the Senate-passed legislation, and as it stands I will not support it if brought to the House floor.

Raising taxes in order to increase federal government spending is illogical, and disrespectful to all hard-working American families. Sure, I support the “doc fix” and AMT solution, but again the DC way is to make a pot of gumbo and believe that it will taste good to enough people. The American people deserve better.

No one’s taxes need increase and this Senate legislation does not promote economic growth, debt/deficit reduction, or spending discipline, which should be our main goals. The House has sent countless pieces of legislation, good policy, to the Senate which sits idly on Harry Reid’s desk. For the Democrat-led Senate to disregard its most basic Constitutional responsibility and then jam a last-hour cobbled-together 100 pages of nonsense to the House of Representatives is offensive. The future of our children and the promise to our next generation suffers due to extreme incompetence. The liberal progressive rhetoric sounds sweet to the ear but we continue to witness failure. The day is coming when principled pragmatic Constitutional Conservatives will be sought after to restore the American Republic, and we will answer the call.

Congressman Allen West’s Weekly Wrap, Legislative Update and Highlights of the Week

Dear Patriots,

I hope you are getting off to a fantastic week.  Instead of my Wrap-Up of the previous week, I wanted to share the Weekly Republican Address with you, that I was so honored to be able to give over the weekend.  This is the first time I have had a chance to give the Weekly Address and I am privileged and humbled to do so.  Please, when you get a moment, watch it and as always, know I am here in Washington, D.C. defending you and our great nation.

Steadfast and Loyal,

click on image to play


Legislative Update:

•     Continuing Resolution— This past Thursday, the House passed legislation to ensure discretionary federal operations will remain funded for six months. H. J. Res. 117, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, which was approved by a vote of 329-91, would provide a six-month extension of appropriated funding for discretionary government operations, through March 27, 2013. Under current law, appropriated funding for discretionary spending is set to expire after September 30, 2012, the end of the fiscal year. According to CBO, H.J.Res. 117 would provide $1.047 trillion in regular appropriated funding for government operations on an annualized basis.  The funding in the CR is consistent with discretionary spending caps contained in the Budget Control Act (BCA, S. 365). Regular appropriated funding in the bill is $7.9 billion or 0.6 percent higher than FY 2012. Including funding for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism ($99.9 billion) and disaster relief ($6.4 billion), total spending in the bill is $26.6 billion below total FY 2012 spending levels, according to CBO.

•    National Security and Job Protection Act—Also on Thursday, the House voted to repeal the looming sequester upon enactment of legislation to replace the automatic cuts with responsible reductions, by a vote of 223-196. H.R. 6365 would repeal the across-the-board defense and non-defense discretionary spending cuts scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013, upon the enactment of H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, or any legislation that offsets the automatic sequester with equal or greater spending reductions over the next five years. The bill in and of itself would not repeal the sequester. However, it would ensure that if any legislation to replace the sequester with alternative spending reductions were enacted, the sequester would be shut off. In the event that the sequestration is replaced, the bill would lower the discretionary spending cap for FY 2013 from $1.047 trillion to $1.028 trillion

•    No More Solyndras Act—On Friday, the House approved H.R. 6213 by a vote of 245-161.  The No More Solyndras Act is a product of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s extensive investigation into the Department of Energy’s (DOE) $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, the California solar panel manufacturer that ultimately went bankrupt last September.  The committee’s investigation revealed DOE’s loan guarantee program to be poorly managed and lacking sufficient safeguards for American taxpayers.  Solyndra filed for bankruptcy on September 6, 2011, and two days later was raided by the FBI on September 8, 2011.

•    FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act—On Wednesday, the House approved H.R. 5949, a bill to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, by a vote of 301-118.  H.R. 5949 would extend the authority of the federal government to conduct surveillance pursuant to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 until December 31, 2017.  The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 provided the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Attorney General (AG) the authority to acquire foreign intelligence information from non-U.S. citizens outside the U.S. This authority is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012, under current law.

•    Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act—Last week the House approved H.R. 5544 by a vote of 225-189. The bill would require the Secretary of Agriculture to exchange federal land for land owned by the State of Minnesota. Specifically, the bill would require the Secretary to exchange approximately 86,000 acres (according to CBO estimates) of National Forest System land located in the Superior National Forest for approximately 86,000 acres of land owned by the state within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Under the legislation, land obtained by the federal government would be added to and administered as part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Land acquired by the state would be deemed state trust lands and would be held in trust for development to benefit the Minnesota public school system.

This Coming Week:

•    Stopping President Obama’s War on Coal— The House plans to debate the Stop the War on Coal Act, H.R. 3409, to rein in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) costly job-killing regulations, protect jobs, keep energy affordable, as well as prevent the premature closure of coal plants to ensure the lights stay on.  The bill would seek to limit surface mining regulations and would require regulatory analysis and a cumulative cost analysis of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules.  The bill would also allow states to regulate coal ash and would move the authority for setting Clean Water Act water quality standards from the EPA to the states.

•    Blocking the Obama Administration’s Welfare Work Waivers—The House is expected to consider H.J.Res. 118, “Providing for congressional disapproval of the Administration’s July 12, 2012 waiver of welfare work requirements.” According to a September analysis by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Obama Administration’s decision to waive the welfare work requirements qualifies as a rule and is therefore subject to review – and potential disapproval – under the Congressional Review Act. This bill would express Congress’s disapproval of the Obama Administration’s regulatory effort that will waive the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform law, hold the Obama Administration accountable, and preserve critical reforms that have helped lift millions of American families out of poverty.

Rep Allen West on The Laura Ingraham Show – Audio

Uploaded by on Mar 29, 2012

On Mitt Romney’s “humorous” story about his father moving a factory from Michigan to Wisconsin:

@1:27 West: You have to be so very introspective of everything that you say or at least when you say it understand the ramifications there of and be prepared for the attacks that are going to come. But I also remember, I believe it was Raleigh North Carolina, when the president was with his jobs council and he started laughing about shovel ready probably wasn’t exactly shovel ready. So, you know, he is without sin let him cast the first stone.

On Rep. Bobby Rush’s Hoodie Incident:

@4:09 West: Right now the security folks there on the House floor are laughing about it but initially they did not know who it was and they were concerned that someone had just walked off of the or broke away from a tour group. But look, this is the type of immature gimmickry that we see coming from the other side that does not have any place especially on the House floor or really in the United States.

Related articles

Rep Allen West – Introduces H.R.1142 – Global Combat Zone Recognition Act

H.R.1142 – Global Combat Zone Recognition Act

Sponsor: Rep Allen West (FL)  CoSponsors: Reps Renee Elmers, Tim Griffin, Peter King, Larry Kissell, Kathy McMorris Rodgers, Sue Myrick, Richard Nugent, Dennis Ross, Steve Stivers, Lynn Westmoreland, Frank Wolf and Todd Young:

To amend title 10, United States Code, to ensure the equitable treatment of members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the Department of Defense who are killed or wounded in an attack, occurring outside of a combat zone, that targeted the members or employees on account of their status as members of the Armed Forces or civilian employees of the Department of Defense.

Official Summary

3/16/2011–Introduced.Global Combat Zone Recognition Act – Treats a member of the Armed Forces (member) or civilian employee of the Department of Defense (DOD) (employee) who is killed or wounded in an attack outside a combat zone as a member killed or wounded in a combat zone or an employee killed or wounded while serving with the Armed Forces in a contingency operation, respectively, for purposes of all applicable federal laws, regulations, and policies. Excludes from such consideration any member or employee whose death or injury is the result of misconduct, as determined by the Secretary of Defense. Provides retroactive coverage under this Act with respect to victims of attacks at:

(1) Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009;
(2) a recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas, on June 1, 2009; and
(3) the Frankfurt Airport, Germany, on March 2, 2011. Directs the Secretary to notify appropriate members and employees or their next-of-kin of the availability of benefits as the result of this Act.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS: Global Combat Zone Recognition Act : Open Congress.org


Did you know that the military victims of Islamic jihad terrorism at Ft. Hood and the Little Rock Recruitment Center are not eligible for the Purple Heart? 

The reason is that our Defense Department is defining these acts as “criminal” acts rather than as acts of “war.” In fact, the Ft. Hood massacre was classified as “workplace violence!”

This is in keeping with the Obama administration position that terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, are not “enemy combatants” but “alleged criminals.”

Not only do we strongly disagree with this designation, we find it outrageous and completely unacceptable that those in our armed forces killed by jihadists on our soil are not eligible for the Purple Heart.

Do you agree? Would you like to help us correct this injustice?

Then log on here and add your name to the Open Letter we will be sending to the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.

In the letter, we urge them to pass H.R. 1142, introduced by Rep. Allen West. Here’s an excerpt from this letter: 

H.R. 1142, the Global Combat Zone Recognition Act, was introduced by Congressman Allen West and would assure that a member of the Armed Forces killed or wounded in a terrorist attack is afforded the same protections and treatments as one killed or wounded in a traditional active “combat zone.”

Help us pour tens of thousands of names behind this letter into the Armed Services Committees of both the House and Senate. Let them know the American people are outraged at this injustice and that we expect action!!

This is a chance for us to do more than “honor and support our troops” with our words. It only takes moments to add your name—and you can even forward this letter to others you know.

Let’s take action to correct this injustice today!!

Rep Allen West Weekly Wrap and Legislative Lowdown 12/19/11

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is time again for our weekly wrap-up. I want to start by giving you a glimpse of what happened this weekend. We in the House of Representatives had just returned to our respective Congressional Districts Friday evening, only to learn there was still much more work to do before we can adjourn.
Unfortunately, the United States Senate passed a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), and unemployment insurance for just two months. This is abysmal and again evidences the abject lack of leadership emanating from President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who praised this failure. President Obama and Senator Reid are playing political games while the American people are suffering under their failed economic policies. Please see the Press Release I issued here after the vote on Saturday in the United States Senate here.

Over in the House of Representatives, we have returned to our Nation’s Capital today and are reaffirming the legislation we sent to the U.S. Senate, which provided the American people certainty.

This is my first year in politics and the biggest lesson I learned? There are too many lies, deception, and manipulation going on in Washington, DC. We need to have Statesmen, not Politicians in America. However, politicians find comfort in deceiving the American people for selfish political promotion by hiding the truth. When you combine that with a complicit media, you have a recipe for disaster especially over the past three years.

I shall continue to stand for and promote the truth. There is a simple maxim in the military, “you don’t get flak unless you are over the target.” I guess I’ve been right over the target during this past year more than once. I find it curious and discomfiting that a strong voice about maintaining the fundamental values of our Constitutional Republic, America, makes one a target, but these are the times in which we live.

The upcoming election year will be a true test for our Country.

I just want to say, “Job Well Done” as our last troops exited Iraq this weekend. I must admit, I was not pleased about our final convoy departing in the middle of the night. Regardless of the means by which the retrograde operation was conducted, our men and women in uniform have so much for which they should be proud. As I have stated before, the onus is now upon the Iraqi people to not squander that for which our men and women sacrificed.

This is the final weekly update for 2011. It has been an honor to provide you all my personal insights and perspectives into my service as your Congressional Representative. I pray that you have found this weekly missive useful and informative.

I pray you all enjoy a wonderful and Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I hope your favorite football teams find success in the coming college bowl season and NFL playoffs. I look forward to resuming our updates in the New Year.

And know that I shall forever remain…

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

Expiring Extensions — On Tuesday, the House approved H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act, by a bipartisan vote of 234-193, I VOTED YES. Ten Democrats voted to support this legislation. The bill would provide a fully-offset extension of the current payroll tax rates, a delay in the implementation of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGI – the so-called “Doc Fix”), and an extension of the Unemployment Insurance program. The legislation would provide assistance to Americans suffering in the stagnant economy over the last three years, while ensuring that these policies will not increase the federal deficit or require more borrowing from the Social Security trust fund by freezing pay for Members of Congress and federal workers, reforming the Unemployment Insurance program, reducing subsidies, and getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse in some Washington, D.C. programs. Lastly, the bill would provide new incentives for job creation by extending 100 percent business expensing, removing burdensome EPA regulations and taking action on the bipartisan Keystone XL energy pipeline project.

– Defense Authorization — On Wednesday, the House approved the Conference Report on H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, by a bipartisan vote of 283-136, I VOTED YES. There were 93 Democrats who supporter this conference report. The comprehensive bill would authorize the appropriations for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. This budget authority is intended to enhance national security through the procurement of materiel, the modernization of the Armed Forces, and continued funding for overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill also contains a number of provisions concerning military personnel policy, education and training, military pay and allowances, acquisition policy and management, DoD organization and management, civilian personnel, and matters relating to foreign nations. Importantly, the legislation would strengthen policies and procedures used to detain, interrogate, and prosecute al Qaeda, the Taliban, affiliated groups, and those who substantially support them but would not extend any new authorities to detain U.S. citizens and explicitly exempts U.S. citizens from provisions related to military custody of terrorists. The bill would authorize $554 billion for the Department of Defense’s base budget, $115.5 billion for overseas contingency operations, and $11.1 billion for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. To comply with the first tier of the Budget Control Act’s requirement to cut defense spending, authorized funding was reduced by $19 billion from the Fiscal Year 2011 NDAA, $21.8 billion from the House-approved version of the Fiscal Year 2012 NDAA, and $24.1 billion from President Obama’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2012.

Fiscal Year 2012 Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations — On Friday, the House approved the Conference Report on H.R. 2055, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Appropriations Act of 2012, by a bipartisan vote of 296-121, I VOTED YES. There were 149 Democrats who supported this legislation. The legislation would provide a total of $914.9 billion in non-emergency discretionary budget authority for the nine appropriations bills, including $518.1 billion for Defense, $32 billion for Energy & Water, $21.5 billion for Financial Services, $39.6 billion for Homeland Security, $29.2 billion for Interior & Environment, $156.3 billion for Labor/HHS/Education, $4.3 billion for Legislative Branch, $71.7 billion for Military/Veterans, and $42.1 for State/Foreign Operations. The bill, when combined with the three appropriations bills already enacted (H.R. 2112), would provide a total of $1.043 trillion in non-emergency, discretionary appropriations. Total non-emergency funding for Fiscal Year 2012 is within the discretionary spending caps established in the Budget Control Act (S. 365). Total Fiscal Year 2012 funding represents a $6 billion decrease from Fiscal Year 2011 non-emergency funding for these agencies. In addition to regular appropriations for the Department of Defense, the Conference Report would provide $115.1 billion in funds for overseas contingency operations (OCO) and other ongoing operations related to the global war on terrorism. The bill would also maintain a number of pro-life provisions such as the Hyde amendment, conscience protections, a reduction of $2 million to Title X, and would cut UNFPA funding by $5 million. The final Conference Report is the same as the consolidated funding bill filed earlier this week (H.R. 3671) with two exceptions: 1) The Conference Report would remove language that would have changed travel and remittances restrictions related to Cuba (section 634) and language clarifying the Department of Treasury’s “cash in advance” rule regarding certain U.S. exports to Cuba (section 632); and 2) The Conference Report would allow the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to transfer $10 million in funding between the agency’s Information Technology account and its Salaries and Expenses account.

– Disaster Relief Appropriations — Also on Friday, the House approved H.R. 3672, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2012, by a vote of 351-67, I VOTED YES. This bill received bipartisan support with 182 Democrats supporting the bill. The bill would provide emergency disaster relief funding for Fiscal Year 2012 which would be offset with a 1.83 percent across-the-board reduction in regular discretionary appropriations, provided for in accompanying legislation (H. Con. Res. 94). According to CBO, the bill would provide $8.6 billion in emergency disaster relief for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and the Social Security Administration for their efforts to combat waste, fraud and abuse. The bill would provide $6.4 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). This includes funding for fire assistance, emergency declarations, major disasters, surge operations, and disaster readiness support. The bill would also include $1.7 billion in funding for disaster recovery assistance through the Army Corps of Engineers. Finally, the bill would provide no more than $483 million to the Social Security Administration for continuing disability reviews to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. Funding under the bill is in keeping with emergency disaster funding limits established by the Budget Control Act (BCA)(S. 365). Under the BCA, adjustments to discretionary spending limits are allowed for “emergency” appropriations, disaster funding, appropriations to reduce waste and abuse in Social Security disability and health care funding, and appropriations for the global war on terrorism. The bill limits the definition of the term “emergency” spending as unanticipated funding provided for “the prevention or mitigation of, or response to, loss of life or property, or a threat to national security.” In addition, the BCA allows Members the opportunity during the legislative process to offset the spending with other cuts.

Highlights of the Week:

– Monday, 12 December, Met with Fuad Hussein (Chief of Staff to President Masoud Barzani), Falah Bakir (Head of Kurdistan Regional Government Depaprtment of Foreign Relations), Ashti Hawrami (Minister of Natural Resources, Kurdistan Regional Governmentt), and Qubad Talabani (Kurdistan Regional Government representative to United States) to discuss Iraq after the United States troops withdrawal and concerns with current Iraqi government under Prime Minister al-Maliki. Please see the Press Release I issued after my meeting here.

– Tuesday, 13 December, Attended Congressional Black Caucus meeting with top African-American CEOs to discuss private sector initiatives.

– Wednesday, 14 December, Happy Birthday to my wife of 22 years, Angela! Attended a breakfast with guest speaker David Keene, President of the National Rifle Association.

– Thursday, 15 December, met with former 2-20th FA, 4th Infantry Division Officer, Captain Adam Ropelewski, who is completing his Congressional fellowship with United States Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), participated in a Small Business Committee subcommittee hearing on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations on the President’s Healthcare Medical Loss Ratio Rule –we are seeing the unintended consequences of this regulation — met with Wounded Warrior SSG Bill Costello and his wife Jennifer, our Congressional office gave them a personal U.S. Capitol tour, participated in a House Armed Services Committee press conference on alternative solutions to defense sequestration.

– Friday, 16 December, taped a video for Military Day in Tallahassee on 10 January 2012.

– Saturday, 17 December, flew back to the Congressional District, addressed the Palm Beach Roundtable.

– Sunday, 18 December, Rode my motorcycle in a funeral procession and attended the farewell ceremony for Veteran and friend, Frank “Pipes” Cook.


House Version of Payroll Tax Bill A Better Deal for America versus Senate – Check out the comparison

Under the House-passed payroll tax cut bill, an American worker earning $50,000 next year is 100 percent certain to receive a $1,000 payroll tax cut.  By comparison, the legislation passed by the Senate on Saturday would grant only a $167 payroll tax cut to the same worker.  Despite Senate Democrats’ insistence that they will work to extend the payroll tax cut beyond February of next year, there is no guarantee that they will make good on their word.  As recent history shows, Senate Democrats don’t exactly have a stellar record of acting on job-creating measures. 

ALL INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM: Ways and Means Republican Press Office www.Republicans.WaysandMeans.House.Gov  202.226.4774

Congressman Allen West – Weekly Wrap Up 11/12/11

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it has been an intense week on Capitol Hill, even in the midst of our Hannukah and Christmas season.

However, the speech delivered by President Barack Obama in Osawatomie, Kansas should cause many Americans grave concern. Charles Krauthammer’s Friday Wall Street Journal does a fantastic job of dissecting the speech, read it here.

The fact that we have an American President who believes “supply-side economics” has failed, is rather disturbing. It is the free market and individual freedoms which have made America the greatest and most prosperous nation the world has ever known in only 235 years.  I wonder if President Obama ever read these words from Thomas Jefferson:

“A wise and frugal Government… which shall leave [men] otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

The answer is not to blame those who seek to create jobs and opportunities in America, the answer involves accepting responsibility for failed big government schemes and policies, Mr. President.

President Ronald Reagan stated,“Man is not free unless government is limited.” As a comparative analysis, President Reagan’s policies were resulting in 7-8% GDP growth. This year we have seen 0.4%, 1.0%, and 2.0% GDP growth in the three quarters of 2011 under President Obama’s economic policies.

In his book, Private Rights and Public Illusions, Tibor Machan expresses, “The desire to ‘help’ others by directing their lives may be strong, but to yield to this desire is to undermine the very human dignity of the person who is being coerced. In a society that accords with the principles based upon political theory of natural human rights to life, liberty, and property (John Locke)… paternalism is not authorized.”

It is rather simple. Government policies that treat people as dependents of the State, undermine the independence and dignity of those they intend to help. President Obama’s vision of “economic fairness” is a misguided philosophy that is anathema to the founding principles of our beloved Constitutional Republic, America.  President Abraham Lincoln succinctly said, “You cannot make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor.”  The desire to promote the growth of a bureaucratic nanny-state, which becomes more intrusive and powerful, is not consistent with the values of good governance. As the scope and influence of a government expands, so does its ability to bestow “favors” on particular groups. Therefore, government can erect barriers to trade, pass specific tax breaks, and adopt regulations with a greater power to reward certain groups.

The greater the power of government to grant favors to established individuals, businesses, labor organizations, and other special interests, the more time, effort, and resources these interests devote to obtaining and maintaining special treatment.  This is why limited government, not President Obama’s vision of government, is the solution for moving our Country forward. When government’s responsibilities are limited, the potential for these established interests to receive special treatment is also limited.

Hence, the issue in America is not capitalism- it is crony capitalism- where the Federal Government is using hard- earned taxpayer dollars to pick the winners and losers in the free market. As well, we are consistently witnessing an Obama Administration which believes it is the new venture capitalist, using American taxpayer dollars to promote its ideological agenda… albeit a proven failure.

In conclusion, those who lauded President Obama’s speech in Kansas last week likely also subscribe to the liberal progressive vision that runs counter to American values and principles. I believe all Americans have the ladder of equal opportunity to climb to levels of achievement and success. Yes, there must be a safety net for when our fellow Americans slip off that ladder, however, that safety net must never become a comfortable hammock.

Mr. President, life isn’t fair, which is why the Green Bay Packers are 12-0 and the Indianapolis Colts are 0-12, but do not expect NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to take wins from Green Bay and give them to the Colts. However, next year Indianapolis will get the first round draft pick and that is the difference in the American principle of equal opportunity and yours, Mr. President, of equal achievement and “fairness.”

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

REINS — This past Wednesday, the House approved H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011, by a vote of 241-184, I VOTED YES. Four Democrats supported the bill. The bill would restore congressional accountability for the regulatory process by requiring Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and for the President to sign off on all new major rules—those with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more—before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or state and local governments. Last year, 100 major rules were finalized by the Executive Branch. The bill would require the approval resolution to move through Congress within 70 legislative days to ensure there is certainty in the process and regulations do not linger without approval. The REINS Act fosters better cooperation upfront between federal agencies and Congress, resulting in regulations that will more accurately reflect the impact on American businesses and families.

– Farm Dust — This past Thursday, the House approved H.R. 1633, The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011, by a vote of 268-150, I VOTED YES. Thirty-three Democrats supported the bill. The bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing any new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for coarse particulate matter for at least one year from the date of enactment of the legislation. The bill would also limit federal regulation of nuisance dust by EPA to areas in which it is not regulated under State, tribal, or local law, where the nuisance dust causes substantial adverse effects, and the benefits of federal regulation outweigh the costs. Nuisance dust is defined to mean particulate matter that is generated primarily from natural sources, unpaved roads, agricultural activities, earth moving, or other activities typically conducted in rural areas, and meets other specific criteria.

Upcoming Week:
– Defense Authorization — The House is expected to consider the Conference Report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The comprehensive bill would authorize the budget authority of the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy, as well as a number of policy provisions relating to national security. The House approved its version of the bill, H.R. 1540, on May 26, 2011 by a vote of 322-96, I VOTED YES. The Senate approved its version, S. 1867, on December 1, 2011 by a vote of 93-7. In addition, the Leadership has asked me to serve on the Conference Committee. Please see the announcement here.

– Fiscal Year 2012 Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations
— The House is expected to consider legislation to provide full Fiscal Year 2012 funding for the nine remaining appropriations bills. The nine bills include funding for Defense, Energy & Water, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior & Environment, Labor/HHS/Education, Legislative Branch, Military/Veterans, and State/Foreign Operations. Under the Budget Control Act (BCA), the bill containing the nine bills must uphold the non-emergency base discretionary level of $1.043 trillion. The legislation would cut non-emergency discretionary spending by $98 billion compared to the President’s Fiscal Year 2012 request, and some $47 billion below the Fiscal Year 2010 level.

– Expiring Extensions — The House may consider legislation to extend certain provisions set to expire at the end of 2011. The bill would provide a fully-offset extension of the current payroll tax rates, a delay in the implementation of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (the so-called “Doc Fix”), and federally funded Unemployment Insurance benefits. The legislation would provide assistance to Americans suffering in the Obama economy, while ensuring that these policies will not increase the federal deficit or require more borrowing from the Social Security trust fund by freezing pay for members of Congress and federal workers, reforming Unemployment Insurance, reducing subsidies, and getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse in some Washington programs. Lastly, the legislation would include a provision taking action on the bipartisan Keystone XL energy project.

DC/District Highlights:

Monday, 5 December, Spoke with and took a picture with students from Tequesta Trace Middle School from Weston, FL, attended the White House Congressional Christmas Party.
– Tuesday, 6 December, visited by approximately 40 members of “Occupy Palm Beach.” The encounter was interesting when I met with five selected members of the group and discussed how I believed they needed to become more aware of issues and policy. Met with and was interviewed by Executive Director of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell.
– Wednesday, 7 December, 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Started the day with a call in the 8 o’clock hour to South Florida Pearl Harbor survivor Abe Stein and we had a fantastic 30-minute chat. The attack on Pearl Harbor began at 8:00 am in Hawaii seventy years ago. Please see my Press Release recognizing the Sailors, Soldiers, and Marines who served in World War II here. Participated in the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization Conferee meeting… a true honor to be one of three House freshmen invited to be a part of the Armed Services joint committee.
– Thursday, 8 December, Delivered my second House special order floor speech on “The Congressional Year in Review.” You can watch the Special Order here.  Had our Washington office staff Christmas/Hannukah party- see picture here.
Friday, 9 December, flew back to the District, worked in the office.
– Saturday, 10 December, Attended the Wreaths Across America event at the South Florida Veterans Administration National Cemetery- see pictures here.  Watched Army-Navy game, a hard fought game- congrats to Navy! Attended the Ft. Lauderdale Winterfest Boat Parade along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
– Sunday, 11 December, Rode my motorcycle in the 24th Annual Christmas Toys in the Sun Run, along with some 30,000 riders, all for ensuring we provide a Merry Christmas to children here in South Florida.

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Rep Allen West Appointed to National Defense Authorization Act Conference A Rarity for a Freshman

(WASHINGTON)— Congressman Allen West (R-FL) has been named today a member of the National Defense Authorization Act Conference.  The NDAA Conference is a select group of bipartisan members from both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate that will begin hammering out the final provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.  NDAA legislation provides the policy for the Department of Defense and America’s Armed Services and ensures troops have the resources they need to defend America.

“It is an honor to be a member of the conference setting policies for the Department of Defense to be successful in keeping our country safe,” West said. “As a 22-year United States Army Veteran, I look forward to sharing my insight on what I believe is most important in this bill- a bill that will ultimately determine the future of our Armed Services.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon said he specifically chose Congressman West because Lieutenant Colonel West’s insights have been “extremely valuable” to the committee this past year.

“Congressman West has certainly earned his place on this conference,” McKeon said. “I am honored to have Allen at my side as we close out the 50th NDAA. Over the next few days, the House and Senate will have to work through several important issues. I know Congressman West will be an asset as we put together the best possible legislation for our men and women in uniform.”

Congressman West sponsored a successful bipartisan piece of legislation that passed the House earlier this year.  H.R. 1246 proposed cutting 10 percent off the Defense printing budget, generating nearly $180 million in savings through Fiscal Year 2016 – information on legislation here.

The NDAA also includes additional pieces of legislation Congressman West proposed, including:

• House Resolution to reduce funding for Defense studies, analysis and evaluations by 10%. Would generate a savings of $24 million in Fiscal Year 2012, returning up to $120 million to the treasury through Fiscal Year 2016.

• House Resolution to restrict payout of annual nationwide adjustment and locality pay for below satisfactory workers. Would generate approximately $21 million in savings while increasing productivity in the workforce. As employees become more satisfactory in future years, the savings would be approximately $80 million through Fiscal Year 2016.

“It is important the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act include the cuts to wasteful defense spending I proposed,” West said. “It is also just as important that the NDAA protect essential Defense programs. I am confident my 22 years in the United States Army will provide insight to the conference.”