Editor’s Note: This is part of a weekly series of candidate profiles leading up to the March 1 election.
U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said that one of the key things that will steer this country away from the abyss of debt and other governmental problems is experience — that now is not the time for change.
Particularly with his promise to back the military and cut taxes.
Brady is up for re-election as the District 8 representative in the U.S House. He faces Andre Dean, Craig McMichael and Steve Toth, all GOP members, in the primary, which will ultimately decide the race because there are no Democratic contenders.
“I’m going full in for our troops every time, including their pay raises and for state-of-the-art weaponry they need to win,” Brady said.
Brady cast a yes vote for the recent spending bill that was signed by President Barack Obama.
Brady said that the bill, while made out to be a travesty, had some good things attached, including fully funding the military for two years, and closing the visa loophole regarding foreign travelers.
It also lifted the ban on selling energy — particularly Texas energy — around the world, which is critical for the state; stops the IRS from targeting conservative organizations; and rolls back funding for the EPA to 1989 levels.
“Overall, I always look at the deficit, and (the bill puts) spending back to what it was in 2008, before Obama took office,” Brady said. “While a lot of points were made about what’s not in there, I think that’s just an excuse for not funding our military.”
Brady said the voters didn’t send him to Washington to be popular, but to take the tough votes to get the country on track.
“I’ve got the backbone to do the right thing, even when it’s not popular,” he said. “I’m the only candidate with the experience and conservative track record to beat the liberal Democrats.”
Some of the issues coming up will be crucial he said; Speaker Paul Ryan has set five Republican House priorities for this year. Four of them will come from the Ways & Means Committee, which Brady chairs.
The first one is to create a 21st century national defense — a military that can defeat ISIS and secure our borders.
The other four include:
•Fixing the broken tax code, and making it fairer and flatter
“I want a tax code built for growth,” he said. “Growth for families’ paychecks, for local businesses, and built for growth of the U.S. economy.”
A tax code that’s fair will help balance the budget as well as help pay down the staggering national debt, Brady said.
“We’re going to outline our idea for both repealing and offering patient-centered health care for America,” he said. “People will be drawn to health care that is not dictated from Washington.”
Brady said the market is where the government is looking to go to solve the problems with health care.
“Our idea of the market working is to offer a health care backpack,” he said. “Americans can choose a plan that is right for them, one they can take from job to job and state to state,” Brady said. “We want to create an option that puts patients in charge — the exact opposite of Obamacare.”
There are more Americans on welfare than working full-time, Brady said.
“This year, we’re going to bring to the House floor a bill that will reward work, require work, and get people out of government poverty traps,” Brady said.
“We want to build more stuff in America and sell it around the world,” he said.
The push is to level the playing field for trade, especially in foreign markets, Brady said.
Brady also said he will continue to fight for his pro-life values, Texas energy, and to lower the deficit and national debt.