As we prepare for the calendar to turn to spring, the snow is finally melting in Washington as things heat up in the Capitol. The decisions made over the next few months will have a profound effect on the future of Ellis County and the rest of the country.

My priorities are getting government spending under control and repealing ObamaCare.

I not only I voted against the recent ‘clean’ debt ceiling bill, I lead the opposition. I was the first member on the House floor warning that this was a ‘dirty deal’ for the American people. There is nothing ‘clean’ about this law. It essentially give the Obama Administration a blank check until March 2015 and will add hundreds of billions  to the public debt, with no plan to repay the debt already owed, much less the debt newly incurred.

We borrow too much and spend even more than that – this law only make the problem even worse! Our national debt is more than $17 trillion — an unfathomable number that is now a sad and frustrating reality.

Despite this, the federal government continues to borrow money while expecting you to foot the bill. Our revenues are dwarfed by our expenditures, and many in Washington think the solution is to raise taxes. However, that will only strain your budget further. Instead, the federal government needs to drastically reduce mandatory spending. Common sense dictates that you don’t spend more than you have. Americans around the country do it every day, and it should be no different for the federal government.

Our current rate of spending is simply unsustainable and leaving this growing burden for our children and grandchildren is irresponsible. It’s time for the federal government to be more accountable with your money.

That starts with getting rid of ObamaCare. I have backed up my words with actions by voting dozens of different times to repeal all or part of this disastrous law.

The mandates in ObamaCare need to be replaced with market based solutions. Needed reforms include expanding health savings accounts, allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, expanding state high-risk pools so that people with pre-existing conditions get the coverage they deserve, and much needed medical liability reform (something that is already helping Texans). One of the main goals of my plan is to lower health care costs for all Americans.

I don’t want to move toward a government-operated single payer system and that is what ObamaCare does over time. It destroys our current healthcare system.

The reforms I support take the power away from bureaucrats in Washington and put it back in the people’s hands.

It is going to be a busy year in Washington and I promise I will be here fighting for you!


U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis/Arlington, represents the Sixth Congressional District of Texas, which includes Ellis County.