Sunday, December 17, 2023

Congressman Brecheen looks back on first year in Congress, what to expect in 2024

Looking Back on First Year Experience in Congress and What to Expect in 2024
by Congressman Josh Brecheen (R, OK-02)
First published in The McCarville Report
December 15th, 2023

I wanted to take some time to reflect on what was a productive, and at times, challenging year and give a preview of what constituents can expect for the year ahead.

In-Person Town Halls

By far my favorite part of this year was having the opportunity to host 60 in-person town halls throughout Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District. From Washington and Ottawa all the way down to Bryan and McCurtain counties, it has been an honor to travel throughout the district and meet so many wonderful people. Learning from the late Senator Tom Coburn, I have always believed that in-person town halls are the best way for Members of Congress to learn and hear from their constituents. While holding these town halls, I have had the opportunity to meet so many constituents from all walks of life—many of whom share the same concerns. Whether a Republican, Independent, or Democrat, constituents are understandably worried about where our nation is headed due to our nearly $34 trillion national debt, our porous Southern border, and the immoral cultural rot that has spread throughout the country. In 2024, you can count on us hosting more in-person town halls throughout the district where you can come and ask questions and have your voice heard!

Cutting Spending

As many may know by now, the significant focus of our office is to cut wasteful government spending so that we can begin to make a dent in our national debt. It is this ballooning debt that is leading the average American family to spend $1,200 more per month to buy the exact same goods and services as compared to January 2021. I am proud to say that this year I requested $55.3 billion in cuts, voted for amendments that would cut $35.7 billion, and introduced and cosponsored bills that would cut $360 billion of annual federal spending. When it comes to cutting spending, we still have a long way to go in Washington, D.C. Many politicians are not comfortable cutting spending, regardless of how small.

Securing Our Borders

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of our border crisis and had the opportunity to visit our Southern border back in February and in March. Not only does the Biden Administration’s negligence on our border undermine our national security, but it also is punishing the American taxpayer. It is estimated that the crisis on our Southern border costs American taxpayers around $450 billion per year. I introduced the No Obamacare for Illegal Aliens Act of 2023 to protect taxpayer dollars by preventing illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-subsidized healthcare benefits. I also introduced the DHS Border Services Contracts Review Act to ensure the federal government is spending taxpayer dollars in a responsible manner when executing government contracts at the Southern border. I am proud to say that this legislation passed in Committee.

Returning to Biblical Morality and Founding Principles

In addition to spending cuts and our border crisis, I am also laser-focused on helping our nation return to our founding principles and biblical morality. As President John Adams said back in 1798: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Unfortunately, America has drifted away both from God and the advice of our Founding Fathers. In my first term, I introduced several bills that can help our nation get on a better path. Just last month, I introduced the Protecting Religious Freedom for Foster Families Act, which would prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from implementing its proposed rule to discriminate against foster parents who do not affirm LGBTQ ideology. I am proud to say this bill got passed as an amendment to the Labor and Health and Human Services (LHHS) spending bill. I also introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Researchers Who Prey on Children Act, which would prohibit any individual who has been a principal investigator/project leader for any study that facilitated “gender-affirming care” or affirmed a minor’s identity in conflict with his or her sex from receiving federal financial assistance for future studies or experiments.

Fighting Back Against Biden’s Bureaucrats

President Biden has used the Executive Branch as a weapon against the American people. Unelected bureaucrats are frequently making consequential decisions and instituting rules and regulations that impact the lives of the American people—all without the authority of elected officials in Congress. That is why one of Republicans’ first acts this Congress was to fire the 87,000 IRS agents that Biden hired to target middle-class Americans. I also introduced several bills aimed at fighting back against the regulatory state. The Deregulating Restrictions on Interstate Vehicles and Eighteen-Wheelers (DRIVE) Act, which would prohibit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from implementing any rule or regulation requiring vehicles over 26,000 pounds that are engaged in interstate commerce to be equipped with a speed limiting device set to a maximum speed. Additionally, I introduced the Stop Government Overreach in Ranching Act, which would reverse FDA guidance, “GFI 263,” which restricts the use of commonly used livestock antibiotics, such as penicillin, LA 200/300 (oxytetracycline), sulfa-based antibiotics, gentamicin, and a host of other antibiotics that are often bought at local feed stores.

As we look to 2024, I will continue to focus on pursuing policies that cut wasteful spending, secure our borders, and help our nation return to the principles of biblical morality. It has been an honor to serve the constituents of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District and I look forward to 2024 and the chance to continue to work for you!


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