The founding fathers understood that the role of the federal government was to execute the specific tasks as enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. These men understood that you promote the general welfare by limiting the role and function of the federal government in our daily lives, not by promoting a welfare state. Conservatives know that for government to give to one citizen it must first take from another. Our founders were clear, but unfortunately, politicians in both Texas and Washington have lost that clarity over the years. It’s time we get it back. The people of Texas can manage their own affairs and do not require the adult supervision of Washington and Austin. It’s time for the Texas to reaffirm its constitutional role and stop Washington from treating us like mere subcontractors to the federal government. But the work doesn’t stop there. Texas is faced with a number of major challenges that we must face to ensure our state remains the envy of the nation. These are the issues most important to me:
HONORING THE SANCTITY OF LIFE
Life is precious and sacred, and the unborn must be protected. We are endowed by our Creator, and we must be prepared to defend life from conception until natural death. That’s why I was so proud to stand with my colleagues in the House and Senate and help pass the Sonogram Bill (HB 15) to ensure a woman considering abortion is fully informed and is given every opportunity to see a sonogram image and hear the heartbeat of her unborn child. One of the key reasons for Texas to stand up against Obamacare is to insure that we are never forced to use state tax dollars to fund abortions. My wife, Mel, and I proudly support numerous pro-life organizations for years, and as your senator, I will be unyielding in my efforts to advance policies that would protect innocent human lives—unborn or otherwise.
- Endorsed by Texas Alliance for Life
- Endorsed by Texas Right to Life
PROMOTING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
I oppose any new taxes—period. But it’s more than that. You see, I didn’t go to Austin to grow government; I went protect citizens from government. Fiscal responsibility isn’t simply balancing a budget. The true conservative standard is not only paying your bills, but also knowing what bills to incur. To do that, we’ve got to make sure that we’re funding the essential elements of state government and consequently deciding what non-essential functions can be reduced or even eliminated. During my first legislative session as a Texas Senator, I consistently fought to save our Rainy Day Fund—not just part of it, but all of it. I was a consistent voice in defense of your taxpayer dollars this session, and I’m proud to say that we balanced the Texas budget, made $1 billion in important reductions and left $6 billion of the Rainy Day Fund untouched—all without raising taxes on Texas citizens and businesses.
- Endorsed, “A+” rated and designated “Taxpayer Champion” by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, the leading taxpayer watchdog group in Texas
STOPPING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Illegal immigration is a serious issue in the United States, and I believe no state has borne the burden quite like Texas. As a survivor of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, I wear the scars of not only an act of war, but of not knowing who is in this country illegally. It’s important to remember that if regular inhabitants from other nations can so brazenly walk across our border, what stops terrorists from doing the very same thing? If Washington won’t do its constitutionally-mandated job to provide for the common defense through a secure border, then Texas must step up and work to curb the inflow of illegal aliens. Along with the smuggling of illegal drugs, the influx of dangerous criminals and countless instances of human trafficking, our border faces a much more common threat. Every day, men and women walk across our border illegally and immediately demand taxpayer-funded, federally-mandated handouts like healthcare, education and other social services. During my first legislative session, I authored SB 1631 in an effort to require college students to provide proof of residency prior to receiving in-state tuition. Despite the fact that current policy exempted non-resident students from millions of dollars in owed-tuition alone, SB 1631 died in committee. It’s time to start showing compassion for the taxpayer who must foot the bill for a government that can’t perform the basic function of securing our border.
SAFEGUARDING SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
As a veteran, Benefactor Life NRA member, TSRA member, Concealed Handgun License-holder and a proud native Texan, I will fiercely defend our right to keep and bear arms. We must be vigilant to stop any liberal attempt to regulate gun ownership. During the 82nd Legislative Session, we made significant steps toward expanding and protecting the rights of lawful gun-owners in Texas. I’m proud to have partnered with my Republican colleagues to co-author or an array of pro-gun legislation, including the Commuter Protection Bill (SB 321) and the Shooting Range Protection Act (SB 766). I was also proud to have co-authored the Campus Carry Bill (SB 354), despite the fact that it fell just two votes short of passage in the Senate. We had significant successes in 2011, but there is still much work to be done to protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding, gun-owning Texans.
- ‘A’ Rated twice by the NRA Political Victory Fund and the Texas State Rifle Association – Click here to learn more
PROTECTING PROPERTY RIGHTS
The states are the first line of defense when it comes to the protection of private property rights. This is an absolute and fundamental right as laid out in the Declaration of Independence. I believe that all Texans should have the right to own property and enjoy it as they wish, all without fear of an overreaching state or federal government taking that property unjustly. This is a sacred right that I simply will not allow to be discarded or undermined. That’s why I was proud to support SB 18, which made key revisions to Texas eminent domain law, including new “good faith” offer requirements, prohibitions on the taking of private property unless for public use and the assurance of opportunity for property owners to buy back land at the original purchase price if it’s not used for its public purpose within 10 years. We’ve made good efforts to strengthen private property rights, but the struggle is not over.
GROWING OUR ECONOMY
Texas has consistently been ranked as one of the best places to do business in the nation, and maintains a steadily robust economy thanks to our low taxes, friendly business climate and effective tort reform. One such example of tort reform that I supported was HB 274, the “Loser Pays” bill that defends small businesses from frivolous lawsuits. But even with our successes, we must remember that government employees and elected officials are not the engines of job creation; rather, that job creation lies in the hands of private citizens and their businesses. The role of the state legislature should be to promote an environment where free enterprise and unencumbered markets can thrive—after that, it’s time to get out of the way. When government acts as a market force, it’s often in determining how difficult it is for business owners to create jobs and make a profit. The heavier the burden we place on businesses, the harder it is for those businesses to create jobs and stimulate our economy.
- Endorsed and designated “Fighter for Free Enterprise” by Texas Association for Business
- Endorsed by Texans for Lawsuit Reform
As your State Senator, I will continue to help mobilize the Texas Senate in support of Attorney General Greg Abbott’s efforts overturn the Obamacare legislation and negate its effects on Texas. President Obama’s liberal healthcare modification agenda violates our freedoms, will bankrupt our state and our nation, and is outside the bounds of the Constitution. I will do everything in my power to ensure the overarching, negative consequences of Obamacare have as little impact on Texas as possible. For more information on this issue, please see my statement on the June 28th, 2012 SCOTUS ruling.