Randy Feenstra

i
Feenstra Announces 2021 Military Academy Selection Board
feenstra.gov.house, Press ReleaseSeptember 2, 2021

HULL, Iowa — Today, Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) announced the eight members who will serve on the 2021 Military Academy Selection Board for the 4th District. Four members will serve on the board for two years, while the other four will serve for one year to create an annual four-person rotation.

“I am pleased to announce the eight members who will serve on our inaugural Military Academy Selection Board,” said Rep. Feenstra. “I appreciate their willingness to volunteer their time, charged with the unique and important task of selecting candidates to recommend for one of four U.S. service academies. This process is an outstanding opportunity for Iowans seeking to serve our country and wanting to receive a quality education. I strongly encourage interested Iowans to apply for a nomination through my office.”

Current Position: US Representative for IA 4th District since 2021
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Senator from 2009 – 2021; Treasurer of Sioux County from 2006 – 2008

Featured Quote: 
Iowans #FiredFinkenauer b/c she helped Pelosi pass her radical agenda at every turn – higher taxes & taxpayer funded abortions. We stopped her once and we will do it again. Nobody works harder than @ChuckGrassley. All 99 counties every year, working for Iowa farmers & families.

Featured Video: 
Meet the Lawmaker: Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa

Steve King

Current Position: US Representative since 2003
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2021 US Senator

King has been an effective member of the Agriculture Committee. He has long been dedicated to adding value as close to the corn stalk and bean stem as possible, as many times as possible. King’s very first bill in Congress was an expansion of a tax credit to small ethanol and biodiesel producers. His language was included in the Energy Users Act of 2005, which President George W. Bush signed into law. During the last two re-authorizations of the Farm Bill, King successfully passed his PICA (“Protect Interstate Commerce Act”) through the House of Representatives both times, and he was an instrumental voice successfully encouraging President Trump to permit the year round sale of e-15 ethanol.

As 97% of Iowa’s businesses are small business, King has also accumulated years of service on the House Small Business Committee, experience he has used to restrict government regulations that impede the growth of business and jobs. As the founder of a construction company, he has firsthand knowledge of challenges faced by small business owners.

Source: Government page

Randy FeenstraRandy Feenstra

Current Position: US Representative for IA 4th District since 2021
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Senator from 2009 – 2021; Treasurer of Sioux County from 2006 – 2008

Featured Quote: 
Iowans #FiredFinkenauer b/c she helped Pelosi pass her radical agenda at every turn – higher taxes & taxpayer funded abortions. We stopped her once and we will do it again. Nobody works harder than @ChuckGrassley. All 99 counties every year, working for Iowa farmers & families.

Featured Video: 
Meet the Lawmaker: Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa

i
Feenstra Announces 2021 Military Academy Selection Board
feenstra.gov.house, Press ReleaseSeptember 2, 2021

HULL, Iowa — Today, Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) announced the eight members who will serve on the 2021 Military Academy Selection Board for the 4th District. Four members will serve on the board for two years, while the other four will serve for one year to create an annual four-person rotation.

“I am pleased to announce the eight members who will serve on our inaugural Military Academy Selection Board,” said Rep. Feenstra. “I appreciate their willingness to volunteer their time, charged with the unique and important task of selecting candidates to recommend for one of four U.S. service academies. This process is an outstanding opportunity for Iowans seeking to serve our country and wanting to receive a quality education. I strongly encourage interested Iowans to apply for a nomination through my office.”

News

i
Feenstra Announces 2021 Military Academy Selection Board
feenstra.gov.house, Press ReleaseSeptember 2, 2021

HULL, Iowa — Today, Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) announced the eight members who will serve on the 2021 Military Academy Selection Board for the 4th District. Four members will serve on the board for two years, while the other four will serve for one year to create an annual four-person rotation.

“I am pleased to announce the eight members who will serve on our inaugural Military Academy Selection Board,” said Rep. Feenstra. “I appreciate their willingness to volunteer their time, charged with the unique and important task of selecting candidates to recommend for one of four U.S. service academies. This process is an outstanding opportunity for Iowans seeking to serve our country and wanting to receive a quality education. I strongly encourage interested Iowans to apply for a nomination through my office.”

Summary

Current Position: US Representative for IA 4th District since 2021
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Senator from 2009 – 2021; Treasurer of Sioux County from 2006 – 2008

Featured Quote: 
Iowans #FiredFinkenauer b/c she helped Pelosi pass her radical agenda at every turn – higher taxes & taxpayer funded abortions. We stopped her once and we will do it again. Nobody works harder than @ChuckGrassley. All 99 counties every year, working for Iowa farmers & families.

Featured Video: 
Meet the Lawmaker: Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa

About

Randy Feenstra 1

Source: Government page

Randy Feenstra was born and raised in Hull, Iowa, where he has served as City Administrator, Sioux County Treasurer, and Iowa state Senator. Feenstra received a bachelor’s degree from Dordt University and went on to receive his MPA from Iowa State University. After a successful tenure as head of sales for the Foreign Candy Company, he began teaching business and economics classes at Dordt University. He is married to his wife of 28 years, and they have four children.

Voting Record

Votes on Bills

Caucuses 

Offices

1440 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC  20515

Phone: (202) 225-4426
Fax: (202) 225-3193
320 6th Street
Room 112

Sioux City, IA  51101

Phone: (712) 224-4692
723 Central Avenue

Fort Dodge, IA  50501

Phone: (515) 302-7060

Contact

Email:

Web

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Twitter

Politics

Source: none

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Open Secrets – We Follow the Money

Voting Record

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Wikipedia Entry

Randall Lee Feenstra (born January 14, 1969) is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. Representative for Iowa’s 4th congressional district. The district covers much of the northwestern quadrant of the state, including Sioux City, but stretches as far east as Ames and Mason City.

A member of the Republican Party, he served as an Iowa State Senator for the 2nd district from 2009 to 2021. Feenstra previously was the Sioux County Treasurer from 2006 to 2008.

He defeated incumbent Steve King in the primary election for the Republican nomination for Iowa’s 4th congressional district in 2020. He defeated Democratic nominee J. D. Scholten in the general election by more than 25 points; he was sworn into Congress on January 3, 2021.

Early life and education

Randy Feenstra was born to parents Lee and Eleanor Feenstra on January 14, 1969.[1][2] He is of Dutch ancestry.[3] Feenstra graduated from Western Christian High School, where he played basketball.[4][5] He received a bachelor’s degree from Dordt University, then called Dordt College, and his MPA from Iowa State University.[6][7]

Career

Feenstra began his career as sales manager for the Foreign Candy Company,[1][8] known for being the first US company to import Warheads, later serving as city administrator of Hull, Iowa for seven years.[9] In 2006, he was elected Sioux County Treasurer, replacing Robert Hagey.[9][10] Randy Jacobsma replaced Feenstra in a 2008 special election,[11][12] as Feenstra won his first term in the Iowa Senate that year.

Feenstra was elected to the Iowa State Senate in 2008 with 24,595 votes, running unopposed.[13] He was reelected in 2012, again without opposition.[14] He ran for a third uncontested term in 2016.[15] In the Iowa Senate, Feenstra served on the Capital Projects, Fiscal, Tax Expenditure, Transportation, Ways and Means, and State Government Committee.[16]

While serving in the Iowa Senate, Feenstra worked for ISB Insurance in Hull, operated by Iowa State Bank. In 2017, he joined the faculty of Dordt University, after having taught there in an adjunct capacity since 2011.[17][18]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2020

In 2019, Feenstra announced he would challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Steve King in the 2020 Republican primary in Iowa’s 4th congressional district. His state senate district includes much of the northwestern portion of the congressional district.[19] King, a nine-term incumbent, has a record of making inflammatory remarks, including support of the term “white nationalist.”[20] He had been stripped of his committee seats for questioning why “white nationalist” was offensive. Feenstra noted this in announcing his campaign, saying that King’s “caustic nature” had left the 4th “without a seat at the table.”[21]

Republican Party leadership supported Feenstra in the primary.[22][23][24][25] During the course of the primary, Feenstra raised more money in contributions than King, and was supported by the United States Chamber of Commerce and National Right to Life Committee.[26] Feenstra’s candidacy was also supported by conservative political commentator and radio host Ben Shapiro, who donated and urged his Twitter followers to donate to Feenstra’s campaign.[27]

Feenstra defeated King in the June 2 Republican primary.[28][29] Feenstra received 45.7% of the vote, whereas King received 36%.[30][31] Much of Feenstra’s margin came from dominating his state senate district, which he carried with almost 75% of the vote.[19] He went on to defeat J. D. Scholten in the general election by a large margin.

2020 Republican primary election for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District[32]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Randy Feenstra 37,329 45.5
RepublicanSteve King (incumbent)29,36635.9
RepublicanJeremy Taylor6,4187.8
RepublicanBret Richards6,1407.5
RepublicanSteve Reeder2,5283.1
Write-in1760.2
Total votes81,957 100.0
2020 election for U.S. Representative of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Randy Feenstra 237,369 62.0
DemocraticJ. D. Scholten144,76137.8
Write-in8920.2

Tenure

Iraq

In June 2021, Feenstra was one of forty-nine House Republicans who voted in favor of the repeal of the AUMF against Iraq.[33][34]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Feenstra married his wife Lynette in 1996. The couple has four children.[37][38]

References

  1. ^ a b Mahoney, Mark (January 12, 2019). “Hull state senator to run for Congress”. N’West Iowa Review. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  2. ^ Visser, Jeanne. “Feenstra will run for State Senate”. Sioux County Index–Reporter. Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  3. ^ Kampeas, Ron (May 20, 2020). “Jewish Republicans tackle a thorny question: What to do about Republicans like Steve King?”. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved June 6, 2020. Alternative URL
  4. ^ Geleynse, Jesse (April 24, 2011). “Iowa legislature needs to continue eligibility debate”. Le Mars Daily Sentinel. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  5. ^ Kilen, Mike (March 15, 2016). “The Iowa town where basketball is king”. Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  6. ^ “Feenstra touts conservative record in Legislature”. The Messenger. May 16, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  7. ^ Kealey, Katherine (June 3, 2020). “Randy Feenstra beats Steve King in the Republican 4th District primaries”. Iowa State Daily. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  8. ^ Kealey, Katherine (May 24, 2020). “Congressional Republican candidates speak on constitutional rights, abortion and COVID-19”. Iowa State Daily. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  9. ^ a b “Hull city administrator now county treasurer”, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, September 3, 2006, page 12.
  10. ^ “Feenstra announces bid for Senate seat”. Le Mars Daily Sentinel. March 4, 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  11. ^ “MINUTES OF SIOUX COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORSMEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 12, 2008” (PDF). Sioux County Board of Supervisers. November 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  12. ^ “Primary: Voters will select who faces Culver”. Sioux County Index Reporter. June 2, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  13. ^ “Democrats keep Senate, House”. Des Moines Register. Newspapers.com. November 5, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  14. ^ “2012 General Precinct Vote Totals by County”. Iowa Secretary of State. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  15. ^ Hoogland, Steve (November 8, 2016). “Wheeler wins Iowa House seat”. N’West Iowa Review. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  16. ^ Senator Randy Feenstra“. The Iowa Legislature. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  17. ^ Lawrence, Tom (August 1, 2017). “Feenstra to become Dordt professor”. Sioux Center News. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  18. ^ “Feenstra leaving insurance business for college position”. Sioux County Index Reporter. August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  19. ^ a b J. Miles Coleman (July 30, 2020). “House Primaries: A Little More Action This Year Than Usual”. UVA Center For Politics. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Gabriel, Trip (January 15, 2019). “A Timeline of Steve King’s Racist Remarks and Divisive Actions”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  21. ^ Cillizza, Chris (January 11, 2019). “How in the world is Steve King still in Congress?”. CNN. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  22. ^ Easley, Jonathan (May 17, 2020). “GOP rallies behind effort to defeat Steve King”. The Hill. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  23. ^ “Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King gets a GOP challenger, Iowa Sen. Randy Feenstra”. Des Moines Register. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  24. ^ Cillizza, Chris (January 11, 2019). “How in the world is Steve King still in Congress?”. CNN. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  25. ^ Hayworth, Brett (April 16, 2020). “Scholten, Feenstra continue to dwarf King in Iowa 4th District congressional fundraising”. Sioux City Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  26. ^ Gabriel, Trip (May 27, 2020). “Despite Racist Remarks, Steve King Might Win Tuesday’s Iowa Primary”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  27. ^ Fisher, Alyssa. “Ben Shapiro Condemns Steve King For Asking Why ‘White Supremacist’ Is Offensive”. The Forward. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  28. ^ Zhou, Li (June 2, 2020). “Embattled Rep. Steve King has lost his primary”. Vox. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  29. ^ Gruber-Miller, Stephen (June 2, 2020). “Steve King loses Republican primary race to Randy Feenstra, ending King’s decades long political career”. Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  30. ^ Mutnik, Ally; Arkin, James; Montellaro, Zach (June 2, 2020). “Steve King ousted on historic primary night”. Politico.
  31. ^ Forgey, Quint (June 3, 2020). “Trump congratulates Randy Feenstra for unseating Rep. King”. Politico. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  32. ^ Cite error: The named reference IAsosr was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  33. ^ “House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization”.
  34. ^ https://clerk.house.gov/evs/2021/roll172.xml
  35. ^ “MEMBERS”. RMSP. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  36. ^ “Membership”. Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  37. ^ “Feenstra launches re-election bid”. Chronicle Times. January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  38. ^ “Iowa Senator Feenstra files for re-election”. Chronicle Times. March 7, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2019.

External links

Iowa Senate
Preceded by
Dave Mulder
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 2nd district

2009–2021
Succeeded by
Jeff Taylor
Elect
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Steve King
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa’s 4th congressional district

2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Pat Fallon
United States representatives by seniority
385th
Succeeded by
Michelle Fischbach


Issues

Source: Government page

Committees

Legislation

Sponsored and Cosponsored

Issues

X
Steve KingSteve King

Current Position: US Representative since 2003
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2021 US Senator

King has been an effective member of the Agriculture Committee. He has long been dedicated to adding value as close to the corn stalk and bean stem as possible, as many times as possible. King’s very first bill in Congress was an expansion of a tax credit to small ethanol and biodiesel producers. His language was included in the Energy Users Act of 2005, which President George W. Bush signed into law. During the last two re-authorizations of the Farm Bill, King successfully passed his PICA (“Protect Interstate Commerce Act”) through the House of Representatives both times, and he was an instrumental voice successfully encouraging President Trump to permit the year round sale of e-15 ethanol.

As 97% of Iowa’s businesses are small business, King has also accumulated years of service on the House Small Business Committee, experience he has used to restrict government regulations that impede the growth of business and jobs. As the founder of a construction company, he has firsthand knowledge of challenges faced by small business owners.

Source: Government page

Summary

Current Position: US Representative since 2003
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2021 US Senator

King has been an effective member of the Agriculture Committee. He has long been dedicated to adding value as close to the corn stalk and bean stem as possible, as many times as possible. King’s very first bill in Congress was an expansion of a tax credit to small ethanol and biodiesel producers. His language was included in the Energy Users Act of 2005, which President George W. Bush signed into law. During the last two re-authorizations of the Farm Bill, King successfully passed his PICA (“Protect Interstate Commerce Act”) through the House of Representatives both times, and he was an instrumental voice successfully encouraging President Trump to permit the year round sale of e-15 ethanol.

As 97% of Iowa’s businesses are small business, King has also accumulated years of service on the House Small Business Committee, experience he has used to restrict government regulations that impede the growth of business and jobs. As the founder of a construction company, he has firsthand knowledge of challenges faced by small business owners.

Source: Government page

About

Steve King 1

Source: Government page

Steve King grew up in a law enforcement family in Storm Lake, Iowa. He attended Denison Community High School, where he met Marilyn Kelly, whom he married in 1972. They have lived in Kiron since 1976 and are members of St. Martin’s Church in Odebolt. Steve and Marilyn have three grown sons and eight grandchildren.

King studied math and science at Northwest Missouri State University. He started King Construction in 1975 and built the business up from one bulldozer. He brings valuable knowledge to Congress as an agribusinessman and a small business owner for 28 years. King’s oldest son now owns the construction business.

He served in the Iowa State Senate for six years. He was a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Judiciary Committee, Business and Labor Committee, the Commerce Committees, and chair of the State Government Committee. He worked in the State Senate to successfully eliminate the inheritance tax, enforce workplace drug testing, enforce parenting rights, including parental notification of abortions, pass tax cuts for working Iowans, and pass the law that made English the official language in Iowa.

King was elected to Congress in 2002 to represent Iowa’s Fifth Congressional District. During the 2012 election cycle, Iowa was redistricted to four districts. King now represents the Fourth Congressional District in the 114th Congress which includes: Ames, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Sioux City and Spencer. He brings personal experience, Constitutional principles, traditional marriage and family values and the perspective of representing one of the top producing agriculture districts in the nation to the people of Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District.

King has been an effective member of the Agriculture Committee. He has long been dedicated to adding value as close to the corn stalk and bean stem as possible, as many times as possible. King’s very first bill in Congress was an expansion of a tax credit to small ethanol and biodiesel producers. His language was included in the Energy Users Act of 2005, which President George W. Bush signed into law. During the last two re-authorizations of the Farm Bill, King successfully passed his PICA (“Protect Interstate Commerce Act”) through the House of Representatives both times, and he was an instrumental voice successfully encouraging President Trump to permit the year round sale of e-15 ethanol.

As 97% of Iowa’s businesses are small business, King has also accumulated years of service on the House Small Business Committee, experience he has used to restrict government regulations that impede the growth of business and jobs. As the founder of a construction company, he has firsthand knowledge of challenges faced by small business owners.

King has also been a long-standing member of the House Judiciary Committee, including serving as Chairman of the Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee in the 115th Congress. He believes the Constitution means what it says and that it should be read with the intent of our Founding Fathers in mind. King is never caught without a copy of the Constitution in his coat pocket. He is a strong advocate of the Rule of Law and enforcing our borders. King is a full-spectrum, Constitutional Conservative.

King, for more than a decade, has chaired the Conservative Opportunity Society, a powerful and legendary House caucus that has become the conscience of Constitutional conservatives in the U.S. Congress.

Experience

Work Experience

  • Businessman
  • Iowa State Senate
    1996 to 2002

Education

Personal

Birth Year: 1949
Place of Birth: Storm Lake, IA
Gender: Male
Race(s): Caucasian
Religion: Christian: Catholic
Spouse: Marilyn King
Children: David King, Michael King, Jeff King

Membership & Affiliation

Source

Conservative Opportunity Society (Chairman)

Border Security Caucus

Values Action Team

Congressional Pro-Life Caucus

Congressional Coalition on Adoption

Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth

Republican Study Committee

Army Caucus

Small Brewers Caucus

Congressional Small Business Caucus

Congressional Fertilizer Caucus

Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus

Congressional Propane Caucus

Congressional Career & Technical Education Caucus

Congressional Western Caucus

Congressional Coal Caucus

House Rural Health Care Coalition

Congressional Vision Caucus

Cement Caucus

Congressional Community College Caucus

Congressional Farmers’ Cooperative Caucus

Congressional Rural Caucus

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus

Congressional Natural Gas Caucus

Congressional Candy Caucus

House Biofuels Caucus

Congressional Dairy Caucus

Congressional School Choice Caucus

Congressional Peace Corps Caucus

Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues

Congressional Armenian Caucus

Second Amendment Caucus

Hungarian-American Congressional Caucus

Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus

House Community Pharmacy Caucus

Congressional Arthritis Caucus

Congressional Caucus on Primary Care

House Taiwan Caucus

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington D.C. Office
2210 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.4426
Fax: 202.225.3193

Ames Office
1421 S Bell Avenue
Suite 102
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515.232.2885
Fax: 515.232.2844

Fort Dodge Office
723 Central Avenue
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Phone: 515.573.2738
Fax: 515.576.7141

Mason City Office
202-1st Street SE
Suite 126
Mason City, IA 50401
Phone: 641.201.1624
Fax: 641.201.1523

Sioux City Office
320 6th Street
Room 112
Sioux City, IA 51101

Web

Government Page, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook

Twitter

Politics

Recent Elections

2018 US Representative

Steve King (R)157,67650.3%
J.D. Scholten (D)147,24647%
Charles Aldrich (L)6,1612%
Edward Peterson ()1,9620.6%
Write-in ()2060.1%
TOTAL313,251

Source: Ballotpedia

Finances

KING, STEVEN A (STEVE) has run in 7 races for public office, winning 6 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $8,908,923.

Source: Follow the Money

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Congress.gov

Issues

Governance

FairTax

In recent years, Americans have watched as banks collapsed, small businesses failed, homes were foreclosed upon, and friends and family lost their jobs. As we continue to move toward recovery, we must ensure that we take to heart an important lesson from this crisis: big government is not the answer.

Each year, American taxpayers spend 6.1 billion hours and $163 billion preparing their taxes. Small businesses spend 1.9 billion hours and $19 billion complying with our income tax code every year. The IRS itself costs nearly $12 billion dollars to operate for one year. Our corporate taxes are amongst the highest in the world, and this system hinders American businesses’ competitive edge. What’s worse, our current tax system perversely taxes the productivity, savings and investment of Americans. I know of a better solution.

I support the FairTax, a national consumption tax placed on all new goods and services sold in the U.S. that would completely replace the current patchwork of federal income, excise, and payroll taxes that are currently used to collect revenue for the federal treasury. The FairTax would drive economic growth, quash tax-evasion, empower taxpayers to determine how much they will pay in taxes each year, foster saving and investment, and enable American companies to compete fiercely in the global marketplace. If you’d like to learn more about the FairTax, please read H.R. 25 the FairTax Act and visit www.FairTax.org.

Democracy

Upholding the Constitution

I am committed to strictly interpreting the Constitution in light of its original meaning and the common understanding of the intentions of our Founding Fathers who wrote and ratified this founding document. Our Constitution is timeless and is just as legitimate today as when it was first written. The principles the Constitution embodies and the system of government it establishes has allowed our exceptional nation to flourish. When I was sworn into Congress, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and I carry a copy of the Constitution with me in my pocket as constant reminder to uphold its principles.

I believe that our great Founding Fathers implicitly understood the threat posed to individual liberties by a large and intrusive federal government. One of the ways the Founding Fathers sought to limit the power of the federal government was by reserving powers to the individual states, and to the people themselves. I am a firm believer in states’ rights, which is why I am a proud member of the Tenth Amendment Caucus, which focuses on restoring the critical balance between the powers of the states and those of the federal government.

Economy

Economy & Federal Spending

The key to getting our economy back on track and getting Americans back to work is finding ways to help private-sector businesses thrive. As someone who started and ran his own small business for nearly 30 years, I understand the challenges these businesses face, and, as a member of the House Committee on Small Business, I will continue to push for common sense policies that will reduce the tax and regulatory burden under which entrepreneurs and business owners must operate. If we do this, it will give businesses the incentives to grow and hire more workers, unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, and promote real, sustainable economic growth. While we need to pursue these kinds of reforms within our current system, in the end I believe we need to eliminate the income tax and replace it with the FairTax – a national sales tax that would replace all other forms of federal taxation. Rather than taxing productivity, like our current tax system, the FairTax would foster economic growth, keep American businesses competitive in the international marketplace, hinder tax-evasion, and encourage investment.

We must also balance the federal budget, which will help to restore confidence to financial markets around the world, give banks the confidence to begin lending once again to small businesses, and ensure that the next generation of American entrepreneurs are not saddled with excessive taxes. Annual deficits have been over $1 trillion for four years straight, and the national debt is quickly approaching $17 trillion. In 2006, when President Obama was still in the Senate, he said that “increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally,” and that “leadership” means not “shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.” I couldn’t agree more, and I plan on fighting every day here in Congress to reduce federal spending and get our nation’s fiscal house in order. However, we cannot fix our nation’s finances without an honest, grown-up conversation about entitlement reform. The two biggest entitlements, Social Security and Medicare, are each insolvent, and a crisis is around the corner if we continue to ignore the problem and fail to act. Since Americans who are nearing retirement age and those who are already retired paid into Social Security and Medicare their entire working lives, Congress must ensure that they receive the benefits they rightfully expect and have been promised.

However, the fact remains that Social Security and Medicare face serious solvency problems in the long term, and the unfunded liabilities of these programs range in the tens of trillions of dollars. If we do nothing to reform them, future beneficiaries will receive only a small percentage of their promised benefits – if they receive anything at all. For this reason, we must look for common-sense reforms that will provide the benefits promised to those near or in retirement while at the same time protecting Social Security and Medicare for future generations.

Health Care

Health Care

ObamaCare was signed into law on March 23, 2010, after a long and drawn out process which saw Congressional rules bended and the will of the American people ignored. Since its passage, public opposition to ObamaCare has continued to grow, and the more that people learn about what was in it, the more they demand repeal.

As a fiscal matter, ObamaCare is a disaster. With all budget gimmicks taken into account, ObamaCare will cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion in its first ten full years of enactment, and it will add over $700 billion to our nation’s debt. For these reasons alone, the bill should be repealed. But even if the fiscal math of ObamaCare added up, the policies it imposes should be repealed because they are detrimental to our nation’s health care system. ObamaCare and its mandates have already resulted in skyrocketing health care premiums throughout the country and millions of Americans not being able to keep their health insurance.

Despite all the fiscal and policy problems surrounding ObamaCare, the most important reason for pursuing repeal is that it is blatantly unconstitutional. ObamaCare’s individual mandate, its private sector rules and regulations, and its expansion of the Medicaid burden on states represent a level of federal involvement in the lives of every day Americans and in the affairs of the states that would horrify our Founding Fathers. The Supreme Court agreed that the Medicaid expansion, as written, was unconstitutional, but they upheld the vast majority of the law through a misguided rewriting of the individual mandate – interpreting it as a tax despite the fact that is was clearly written as a legal mandate.

The Supreme Court did, undeniably, get one thing right in its decision: The court emphasized that its decision “does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people. “Immediately after ObamaCare passed, I drafted and introduced a bill to completely repeal 100% of ObamaCare, and I am pleased that this language has been passed overwhelmingly in the House.” I will continue to work on defunding and repealing ObamaCare until it is fully uprooted from the U.S. Code.

Once we repeal ObamaCare, we can get to work on making the kinds of commonsense reforms that will lower health care costs, increase access, and improve the quality of our nation’s health care system. We should allow small businesses to form pools with other small businesses to spread out the risk and lower the costs of health care. We should allow individuals to purchase their insurance across state lines, bringing more competition to the industry while reducing costs and increasing quality. We should provide for meaningful reform of our medical liability system, which would address one of the major reasons for the rise in health care costs in recent years: frivolous lawsuits and the practice of defense medicine that results from them. In addition to these common sense solutions, I believe we must increase the attractiveness and use of health savings accounts and end the tax discrepancy between individuals who purchase their own insurance and those who get health care insurance through their employees. We should pursue each of these policies with stand-alone legislation, so that good ideas are not held hostage to massive, thousand-page pieces of legislation and so the American people can hold their elected representatives accountable for their votes on each of these specific provisions.

Immigration

Immigration

As a sovereign nation, we must control and secure our borders. It is troubling that the levels of illegal immigration continue to rise and that the Rule of Law is not being enforced. I believe we only encourage illegal immigration by discussing amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal immigrants living in the United States today. I adamantly oppose amnesty, regardless of the guise under which it is presented. Amnesty pardons immigration lawbreakers and rewards them with the objective of their crime—citizenship. I believe we must tighten and strengthen our border control efforts. I have traveled to the southern border and have seen the unprotected areas that allow the free flow of illegal immigrants into our country. Allowing illegal immigration to flourish is a threat to our national security.

I have seen the fences being built on the border by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. I have watched illegal immigrants scale these fences and easily move between the United States and Mexico. To address this, I have designed a concrete border wall proposal. I have 35 years of experience in the earth-moving, drainage and concrete construction business, which gives me the background to design an effective wall. My concrete wall would function as both a human and vehicle barrier, inspired by the success of the concrete wall in Israel. My design is cost efficient, easy to construct and impenetrable. This design would funnel illegal traffic to our ports of entry, where it can be reasonably controlled by our nation’s customs and border patrol agents.

In addition to a physical deterrent, I believe we must shut off the job magnets that encourage illegal immigrants to come to the United States. I have authored New IDEA, the Illegal Deduction Elimination Act, which would protect American jobs for American workers. New IDEA would make wages and benefits paid to illegal immigrants nondeductible for federal tax purposes. This would eliminate the incentive of hiring illegal workers to employ cheap labor. New IDEA would also make E-Verify permanent and provide “safe harbor” for employers who use this employment eligibility system. My legislation would also create an information sharing system between the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. By using an automated system to verify employment authorization, and by sharing this information amongst three federal agencies, false identification documents and illegal workers will be identified more easily.

In addition to border security and workplace enforcement, our nation must eliminate needless incentives that encourage illegal immigration and cost taxpayers significant amounts of money each year. I do not believe it is in the best interest of our nation to continue tolerating the practice of illegal aliens giving birth to children in the U.S. in order to obtain citizenship for the child, then moving back to their country of origin with the hopes of achieving uninhibited access to our country for as many family members as possible. This is why I have introduced H.R. 140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, to limit birthright citizenship to a child born in the United States to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen or national, a legal permanent resident living in the United States, or an individual who is serving on active duty status in the U.S. Armed Forces.

As the Vice-Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, I will continue to support an immigration policy designed to enhance the economic, social and cultural well-being of the United States. Immigrants have made, and will continue to make, a valuable contribution to our nation. Through assimilation, immigrants will benefit from our shared American culture of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and patriotism. A major component of assimilation is being proficient in English. For centuries, the English language has been the uniting force in this great nation. Studies continue to show that those who know English get better jobs, earn higher wages and are less dependent on the government. For these reasons, I have authored the English Language Unity Act to make English the official language of the United States government.

Agriculture & Energy

Agriculture, conservation and energy are all issues that are extremely important to Iowans. The Fourth District is one of the leading agricultural production districts in America and will lead the nation in egg and pork production and will be near the top in corn and soybean production as well. It will also rank first among all 435 congressional districts in ethanol and total renewable energy production. Agriculture is a major part of our economy and our communities in Iowa, and federal agricultural policy has a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of Iowans. All new wealth comes from the land, and we need to add value to those resources as close to the corn stalk and bean stubble as we can.

In 2008, as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I helped write the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, more commonly known as the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill was set to be renewed in 2012, and as a senior Member of the House Agriculture Committee, I played an active role in the legislative process. An extension of the 2008 Farm Bill was passed on December 12, 2013 that was set to expire on January 31, 2014. On January 29, 2014 the Conference Report on H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 was passed in the House. I am pleased that we produced a 5-year Farm Bill for the people of Iowa and all Americans so they can have the agriculture policy predictability they deserve. This was a good, bi-partisan effort and I am grateful for the hard work and efforts of Chairman Frank Lucas and my fellow Agriculture Committee Members. The President signed the final Farm Bill into law on February 7, 2014. I was honored to be a voice at the table for Iowans throughout this process and I will continue my work to support sound agriculture policy moving forward.

I also believe it is important that the Fourth District remain a leader in wind energy, ethanol and biodiesel production. In order to become energy independent, we need to increase the size of the domestically produced energy pie by pursuing an all of the above domestic energy policy. Doing so will help to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy, and as the founding co-chair of the Ag Energy User’s Caucus, I work hard to advance legislation to do just that.

Traditional & Family Values

I support traditional family values. This starts with the most precious gift we are given – life. I hold steadfast in my belief that life begins at conception. Just as our Founding Fathers acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence, we must protect life as one our most fundamental, unalienable rights. A moral society cannot be sustained unless full human rights are extended to the unborn. In Congress, I have cosponsored the Life at Conception Act, which would establish personhood at the moment of conception and guarantee the constitutional right to life for unborn children. I have also cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would prohibit taxpayer dollars from being use to perform abortions.

I am also a strong supporter of traditional marriage. This union between a man and a woman is the building block of the family and the cornerstone of our society. Thirty-one states have either passed constitutional amendments to define marriage as between one man and one woman or have passed initiatives that uphold this traditional definition. I believe the United States should pass a constitutional amendment to defend marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

I believe that education policy plays an important role in supporting families as well. As the spouse of a former Iowa teacher, I realize the decisions about education are among the most important decisions that families make. I believe we must give our children the best foundation possible and that starts by giving parents more options in the education of their children. School choice will result in parents being able to send their children to safer, better schools. I support efforts to take education out of the hands of the federal government and put it back in the hands of state legislatures, local policymakers and parents who know how best to meet the educational needs of their students.

Parents provide the foundation for the family, and yet, I am concerned that in today’s culture, the rights of parents are being threatened. The federal government and a runaway judiciary have started down the path of empowering the government and court system to play an active role in the lives of our children. I believe parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, should be protected, which is why I am a proud cosponsor of H.J.Res.3, a constitutional amendment to protect parental rights from being infringed by the federal government or foreign entities.

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