Frank's Footnotes Newsletter: Putting Washington's Paychecks on the Line

Cutting Washington's Pay: Tying Paychecks to Performance on Sequestration

I wrote last week about the dangerous round of automatic Sequestration spending cuts scheduled to take effect in three months. It would be very harmful to both our military and to New Hampshire’s economy. Experts say the severe reductions would result in the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1916, and the smallest Air Force in our history. As if that wouldn’t be bad enough, the Center for Security Policy estimates nearly 4,000 jobs are on the line right here in New Hampshire. Nationally, over 1 million jobs are in jeopardy.

This week, I became a cosponsor of a bill to make sure officials in Washington would suffer if Sequestration happens as scheduled in its current form. I added my name to H.R. 6438, the Member Pay Reduction and Responsibility Act. Simply put, it says that if Congress and the Obama Administration fail to act by the end of this year, they won’t get paid as usual. The paychecks for the President, Vice President and all Senators and Representatives would be reduced equivalent to the Sequester’s percentage cut to non-exempt, non-defense discretionary spending (about 8.2%, as projected in OMB’s recent report).

Americans expect their government to responsibly address this important issue. It’s only right that they suffer the consequences if they don’t fulfill that obligation.

Principle Attraction: Two NH School Principals Visit Capitol Hill

I had the opportunity to meet with two of New Hampshire’s esteemed educators, Ellen Small, Principal of Iber Holmes Gove Middle School (IHGMS) in Raymond, and David Ryan, Principal of Nashua High School. Both were recently recognized for their dedication to educating Granite State students.

In 2011, Iber Holmes Gove Middle School was named New Hampshire’s Middle School of Excellence. This award given by the Excellence in Education Initiative, which acknowledges public schools that excel. Principal Small’s colleagues attribute the school’s success to her strong leadership and constant support of students and teachers. I’m proud of the hard work and dedication Ellen has invested in helping make IHGMS an award-winning school.

Principal Ryan was recently named a finalist for the 2013 MetLife/NASSP National High School Principal of the Year. This program recognizes both middle and high schools principals for creating exceptional learning opportunities. I appreciated the chance to speak with Principal Small and Principal Ryan and to discuss ways in which I could support their initiatives and New Hampshire’s public school system. Their work is so important to our school children and we appreciate all of the time and effort they put into their schools.

Keeping What Works: My Vote to Defend Welfare Work Requirements

You may have heard about the Obama Administration’s recent efforts to undermine a critical component of welfare. That is why I voted Thursday and helped pass H.J. Res. 118, Providing for Congressional Disapproval of the Administration’s July 12, 2012 Waiver of Welfare Work Requirements. This resolution expresses the House’s disapproval of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo undermining the bipartisan welfare reform law of 1996 and would prevent the Obama Administration from weakening the law’s federal work requirements.

We have seen the many benefits produced by strong work requirements. They help welfare recipients get back on their feet, that’s good for them, good for their community and good our nation. Which is why I want to preserve work requirements. I wish the Obama Administration would, too, because most Granite Staters share the desire to see people shift away from government dependency and into the workforce. As your Congressman, I’m using my vote in the House to defuse the threat of looming tax increases, to cut red tape while limiting the ability of bureaucrats to issue it, and by promoting an economy that is based on free enterprise.

Our Constitution: 225 Years of Liberty and Freedom

One of the world’s most amazing documents passed a remarkable milestone this week. Monday was the United States Constitution’s 225th anniversary. Few documents in world history have achieved this longevity. It becomes even more significant when you realize the very same document our Founding Fathers signed back in 1787 is still providing freedom and defending our rights as citizens to this very day. You’ll have a hard time finding other documents from that era that are still in effect today.

One of the very first things I did upon entering Congress back in January 2011 was to participate in the bipartisan reading aloud of the U.S. Constitution on the House Floor. (I had the honor of reading the Second Amendment, which guarantees your right to keep and bear arms.)

Our Constitution has been amended 27 times over the last 225 years. That is one of the secrets to its success and longevity: because we, the people, have the right to modify and change it as we see fit. Instead of being set in stone, our Constitution has the flexibility to address new needs and concerns while still maintaining and protecting our fundamental rights. As your Congressman, I am committed to making sure all legislation passed by the House, fall within the guidelines of the Constitution.