Chris is focused on three priorities in Congress: growing the economy to create jobs, working toward a balanced budget, and protecting freedoms. Each decision he makes on every bill the House considers reflects if it fits withthose goals as well as if it is in the interest of his constituents in the 19th Congressional District.
For a more detailed look at where Chris stands on each issue, continue reading:
Fiscal Responsibility and Growing the Economy
To grow the economy, Chris believes we must first address the impediments to job creation: high taxes, onerous and duplicative regulations, and rising health care and energy costs. We also need to improve our infrastructure and expand markets and access to capital. In the House of Representatives, the new Republican Majority has put forth legislation to make progress on all of these issues.
A number of pro-growth proposals have been signed into law, such as a repeal of the onerous and costly 1099 requirement that accompanied Obamacare, a temporary extension of the payroll tax deduction and reforming our trade relations with South Korea, Panama and Colombia to ensure U.S. exporters are treated fairly. The House has also passed, with Chris's full support, over 30 additional job-creating bills that have stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Despite Senate inaction, Chris will continue to fight for priorities that facilitate economic growth, and advocate for comprehensive tax reform that closes non-productive corporate tax loopholes, allowing for lower rates for small business owners and hard working families. Chris will also continue efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare – something we passed in the House that also died in the Senate. Importantly, the House was able to successfully defund portions of this misguided law and, most notably, prevent the hiring of new IRS workers to enforce it.
To put the United States on a path of fiscal responsibility, Chris voted for the House Republican budget which encourages growth and allows us to pay off our debt, while still protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The new Republican Majority cut discretionary spending in both the 2011 and 2012 Appropriations Bills - the first time since World War II spending was lowered two years in a row. Our country's deficit, while still way too high, has been reduced by approximately 25% since Chris took office – a trend that must continue.
The House also took bold action to address our long-term fiscal crisis by passing “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” which would have immediately cut spending, enforced caps on future spending, and sent a constitutional amendment to the states requiring a balanced budget.
Keeping Our Promises
Americans have worked their whole lives with the promises of Medicare and Social Security. While we are facing tough fiscal times, it is equally important that we keep our commitment to seniors - which means protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits for current recipients and ensuring future beneficiaries can count on those programs to be there when they need them. Chris has advocated for no cuts to Medicare or Social Security in the debt ceiling debate, and was pleased to see the final bipartisan agreement protected these benefits. He also has voted for the Republican Budget Plan, which puts our country on a course towards a balanced budget while preserving and strengthening critical programs like Medicare for generations to come.
Chris will not vote for any legislation that cuts benefits to current recipients of Medicare or Social Security, and will only vote for a bill that makes certain these programs are stronger in the future. With Medicare projected to be bankrupt within a decade, keeping the status quo ends Medicare.
Health Care Reform
Before Chris came to Congress, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010 with a 219-212 vote by the Democratic majority against bipartisan objections and unanimous Republican opposition. This bill increased government spending by over $1.2 trillion, and put numerous new onerous regulations on businesses and individuals, including the requirement to file a 1099 form for all transactions of $600 or more, It also included a massive $569 billion tax hike and placed an unconstitutional mandate on Americans, requiring them to purchase expensive health insurance. Throughout Chris's travels in the 20th District, business owners and individuals have expressed opposition to this bill because it has done little to lower high health care costs and will continue to be a detriment to job creation and economic growth.
Chris voted to repeal the President's health care law, which unfortunately stalled in the Senate. Additionally he voted for a repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement (which was ultimately signed into law) and a repeal of the CLASS Act, along with various bills that defunded parts of Obamacare and prevented its implementation.
Chris is an outspoken supporter of the right to bear arms and to protect one’s life, loved ones and property. As a student of history, Chris understands that our Founding Fathers were passionate about the need for an informed and armed electorate to prevent tyranny. Thomas Jefferson himself wrote that “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” As Congressman, Chris will oppose any legislation which restricts the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms for protection or for sport.
Chris was a cosponsor, and voted for, H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act.
Stronger National Security and Defense Reform
Read Chris's op-ed on reforming our national security establishment to make us safer while spending less money: Military is Poised for Reform
Working for Our Farmers
Chris believes that Upstate New York is home to the hardest working farmers in the world. Through his work on the House Agriculture Committee, where he is the only Republican from the Northeast on the Committee, he is committed to ensuring New York's family farms have access to new markets and reduced regulations.