I hope you had the merriest of Christmases and are able to enjoy time with family and friends during the holidays.
As of this writing, 2012 is drawing to a close and there is still no agreement in place to avoid having our country go over the fiscal cliff, which would result in huge tax increases for American families and businesses and would devastate our military in addition to cutting some of the programs depended on by many Americans.
The House has passed common sense legislation to prevent the fiscal cliff and stands ready to work with the Senate if and when that chamber takes up any of the prior measures that have been passed by the House, approves versions of its own, and begins the negotiation process. The House cannot negotiate with itself. The Senate must pass something for our consideration. Even though the Senate has not yet acted, I am returning to Washington this weekend so we can move quickly in the event the Senate does act.
Now is not the time to raise taxes on anyone. Our economy is fragile and a robust recovery cannot take place until the focus is put on reining-in out-of-control spending. Washington does not have a tax problem; it has a spending problem. I stand ready to return to Washington to do my part to avert the largest tax increase in American history and to address the underlying problem of reckless spending.
And, as an eventful 2012 comes to an end, we look forward to new challenges and triumphs in 2013. One of the changes will be the look of Missouri's Fourth Congressional District. Due to congressional redistricting, which is Constitutionally required every decade, many congressional boundaries have changed. As a result of the changes, I look forward to welcoming the good citizens of Boone, Cooper, Howard, Randolph, and parts of Audrain Counties into the Fourth District.
At the same time, I will miss serving citizens living in Ray, Lafayette, Saline, Cole, and parts of Camden, Polk, Jackson, and Webster Counties who are now in different districts. It has been an honor to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives for the past two years.
2013 will also see me adding to my responsibilities in Congress. In addition to serving on the House Armed Services and House Agriculture Committees, I will begin a new challenge as a member of the House Budget Committee – the committee primarily responsible for developing the annual budget resolution. I feel fortunate to be able to bring to the table my experiences as a small business owner, farmer, wife, and teacher, as well as the common sense ideas the good citizens of the Fourth District have shared with me over the last two years - ideas which are sorely needed in Washington. It makes sense to us to live within our means and not spend more money than we bring in. Those concepts need to be followed in D.C., as well! I look forward to working on developing a plan to get us back to a bakanced budget and getting our country out of debt.
2013 is the time to begin building a true economic recovery and we can do this by getting people back to work and stopping runaway spending that burdens our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt. I am committed to working to cut out-of-control spending and to strengthen our economy to allow America’s businesses to create jobs - and ask for your prayers in taking on this task. It is possible with all of us working together and God's blessing on our nation.
I wish each of you a blessed, healthy, and prosperous 2013.