Our first year on Capitol Hill – August 2015

has been exciting, challenging, and productive

The Capital

by Congressman Curt Clawson

Curt ClawsonJune 25th marked my first anniversary as your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Reflecting on this milestone, I’d like to share the roadmap and objectives that my team and I’ve developed to guide us – and summarize some
of our accomplishments this past year, in service to the citizens of Southwest Florida.

MISSION STATEMENT: We are committed to represent Florida Congressional District 19 with integrity and to the very best
of our abilities. Our key goals are: 1) protecting the U.S. Constitution, 2) developing and supporting practical legislation, 3) promoting fairness for all stakeholders, and 4) serving our constituents and securing federal assistance for local needs.

PROTECTING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION: We respect, defend, and preserve the U.S. Constitution. We promote core conservative values, including limiting the size and scope of the federal government.

I’ve opposed funds for the President’s unconstitutional executive action to offer amnesty to four million illegal migrants – and against his DACA executive order which led to tens of thousands of children from Central America illegally entering through our southern borders last summer. I’ve supported actions to secure our nation’s borders. I voted twice against using accounting gimmicks to artificially fund the Highway Trust Fund.

As your Representative, I’ve consistently voted against funding ObamaCare, and will support conservatives in the House as we
finalize legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

PRACTICAL LEGISLATION: We support, cosponsor, and vote for practical solutions and smart governance ideas, using our team’s extensive private sector experience and fresh business perspectives. We focus on legislation that will help grow our economy and move us toward a balanced budget.

Towards this goal, I supported the 2016 GOP Budget – the first budget passed through the House in six years. The budget wasn’t perfect – but businesses need predictability to invest and grow. I’ve supported six appropriations bills, offering amendments that will help our district wherever possible. I’ve also supported the Keystone XL Pipeline to help grow our economy and create jobs.

With respect to foreign policy, national security, and border issues, I’ve been an active Member of both the Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees in the U.S. House, and I’ve cosigned every resolution and voted yes on all legislation supporting the State of Israel.

I’ve sponsored or cosponsored 117 resolutions and pieces of legislation, and I’ve cast over 600 votes – in pursuit of policies of
practical governance; while always sticking to core conservative values.

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: Applying a business background in bringing together various stakeholders (employees, shareholders, unions, boards of directors, customers, suppliers), I’m working hard to help the Republican Party win the fairness arguments on all matters.

I’ve been speaking out and promoting positions that support the idea that all stakeholders deserve, and must have, a seat at the table – on all aspects of governance.

Recently, I introduced an amendment and led the discussion on the need to prevent foreign currency manipulation in all future trade deals – in fairness to the millions of world-class American workers who have lost or still might lose their jobs to this unfair practice.

During various immigration debates, I’ve made the argument that amnesty or special treatment of illegal migrants is unfair to the millions of Americans, including legal immigrants, who are either unemployed or struggling to make ends meet.

I’ve also opposed any deals with Cuba’s Castro brothers – arguing that any deal must include a fair accounting for the U.S. citizens who’ve lost land to the Castros.

CONSTITUENT SERVICE: We pledge to selflessly and passionately serve the best interests of all of the residents of our district. Wherever federal involvement is appropriate, my office works in partnership with colleagues in federal agencies, and with state and local officials, to assist the citizens of Florida 19. We are keenly focused on the needs of the almost 100,000 military veterans who reside in our district. We are especially involved with programs and actions that protect the Everglades, our water resources, our beaches, wildlife, waterways, and the ecosystem that makes Southwest Florida such a magnificent place in which to live.

Toward this goal, I’ve co-sponsored two bills and authored an amendment to another bill to increase federal funding for the
restoration and preservation of the Everglades. I’ve focused on projects critical to the flow of clean water from Lake Okeechobee, through the Caloosahatchee River, and into the Gulf. We have supported projects of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, other federal agencies, and a dozen local environmental groups in Florida – securing $5 million in extra funding.

I’ve opposed drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and cosponsored an amendment to prevent drilling there after the current
ban (through 2022) expires.

Valuing the advice of health officials in Lee and Collier Counties, I supported the SGR or “doc fix” to Medicare, so critical to funding and assuring medical coverage for our tens of thousands of senior citizens.

I’ve supported legislation dealing with FAA funds for TSA services and Flight Towers for our local airports.

My impressive, hard-working team in our Lee and Collier offices and on Capitol Hill has processed several hundred immigration, veterans’ affairs, and other cases within our district, and they’ve responded to thousands of emails, letters, and phone calls from our constituents.

It’s been a terrific first year. And while I aligned with conservatives for a change in leadership in the House, and voted NO on several key votes as I stood firm for conservative principles, I have consistently voted YES on legislation that moves our nation in a positive direction during these challenging times. I’ve also reached across the political aisle on practical issues of governance. For example, I’ve cosponsored Amendments on the trade bill and on Everglades funding with like-minded Democrats. I’ve also met with and will collaborate with Senator Nelson on issues important to the Everglades and toward the
prevention of off-shore drilling.

Following the address I gave to the nation on behalf of the Tea Party following the President’s 2015 State of the Union Address, the National Journal gave my office high praise for our positive impact on changing the debate in Washington. Other groups like the Heritage Foundation, Freedom Works, Eagle Forum, and Club for Growth have consistently ranked us very favorably amongst my peers.

Please let my team know how we can better serve you. Call us in Washington, in one of our district offices, or stop by and say “hi” when you are out and about.

Mr. Clawson represents Florida’s 19th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the former CEO of Hayes Lemmerz International, the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive wheels.

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