Hello everyone, my name is Francisco “Quico” Canseco and I am the the Congressman for Texas’ 23rd congressional district, which stretches from San Antonio across west Texas. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you throughout my time in office. Here are my thoughts on this year’s State of the Union address.
I have watched the State of the Union Speech on television many times; attending it in person is a powerful reminder of the honor the people of the 23rd District have entrusted me with, and all the hard work we must do as legislators to get our country back on track to economic recovery. While I am happy to hear the president wants to cut spending, create jobs, and rein in our exploding national debt I have some advice for the President: Cut up your credit cards and stop the spending spree.
On Government Spending:
The American people spoke loudly in November, they not only want the government to stop spending – they want the government to cut spending. While I applaud that the president is talking about fiscal accountability, his track record doesn’t leave me with much hope for success. Over the last two years the president and the Democrats engaged in a spending spree that led to an 84% increase in non-defense discretionary spending. This was at the same time many family budgets were shrinking and small businesses were tightening their belts. With our national debt at a record $14 trillion, I urge the president to join Congress as we work to cut spending and look forward to his proposals in the budget he will release in a few weeks.
Jobs, the Economy, and putting Americans back to work:
I am pleased that the president recognized that small businesses are the job engine of America. The number one issue the American people want addressed is getting the economy back on track. If the president really wants to help the job creators, he will ease the uncertainty that is currently plaguing our economy caused by job-destroying policy proposals. Over the past 2 years the president and his Democratic allies in Congress went on a spending spree attempting to purchase economic prosperity. Unfortunately, all the American people have gotten in return has been 20 straight months of unemployment at 9% or higher, trillion dollar deficits, and a record $14 trillion debt. President Obama claims he got the message from the American people, therefore he must now understand that we cannot spend our way to economic prosperity. I believe we must cut spending and get our fiscal house in order, thus helping create the right environment to unleash the almost $2 trillion dollars of capital that is currently sitting on the sidelines.
On Tax Reform:
This is an area where Republicans, myself included, would gladly work with the president. Right now, the tax code is too complex, too costly to comply with, and hinders the competitiveness of American businesses in the world. Any tax reform should make our nation’s tax code simpler, fairer, and flatter.
I was pleased to hear the president wants to move the Korea Free Trade Agreement forward. This trade agreement will be a huge win for American businesses and workers, and we’ve delayed passing this agreement long enough. However, I strongly urge the president to also move forward 2 other trade agreements: the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and the Panama Free Trade Agreement. Both these countries are key components of a constructive foreign policy towards our Latin American neighbors and helping create jobs here at home by opening up markets abroad for American exports.
On Border Security:
With recent news that the Obama administration has canceled the Virtual Fence, and a draw-down of national guard troops on the Southwest border is to begin June 1st, I am most disappointed that the president did not address a plan for border security. With drug cartel activity and cross-border attacks increasing from California through Texas, we must address the dangerous violence on our southern border immediately. Two weeks ago four American workers, simply doing their job in my district, were shot at from Mexico. This is absolutely unacceptable, not just to me but to the people of Texas. In the upcoming weeks I will be reaching out to the president in hopes that we can begin to put together a plan that will protect the people living in a state of fear along the Southwest border.