Bob Goodlatte: Looking ahead in the New Year
As we ring in 2014, the House and Senate return to Washington for the start of the second session of the 113th Congress. Looking forward to the New Year, it is abundantly clear that our nation has much to accomplish to tackle the challenges of today and ensure a prosperous future for generations to come. However, with a new year and a new session of Congress comes new opportunities.
In addition to the full agenda of the House Judiciary Committee, there are several issues I hope that the Congress will work to address this year. One of the most pressing is our current fiscal situation. Additional measures to cut federal spending and reduce the deficit will be required to put our nation back on a path toward fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. I will continue to work toward this goal throughout the next year.
Another issue that I hope to see addressed is meaningful tax reform. Anyone who files a tax return knows that the tax system is overly complex. Congress must act to simplify the tax code, which will generate economic growth and create jobs by making America more competitive in the global economy. We can encourage investment, savings, and general entrepreneurship if we allow for tax reform that reflects the desire of Americans to be in charge of their own hard-earned money.
Last year, support grew significantly for reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates the volume of ethanol that must be blended into the fuel supply. The RFS Elimination Act, which I introduced, is currently supported by 71 bipartisan cosponsors. In October, I led a letter signed by 169 Members of the House to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a reduction of RFS levels for this year. The EPA recently acknowledged that this mandate is unworkable by proposing a reduction in the 2014 RFS. There is growing momentum in both the House and Senate for a legislative fix to this broken mandate. I hope that in the coming year we will see legislative action to provide much-needed relief from the ethanol mandate for businesses, farmers, and consumers.
Our country faces major challenges related to taxes, government spending, and the growing size and scope of the federal government. We must continue working to tear down the barriers to job creation. As we embark upon this New Year, I will continue to remain focused on getting our nation back on the right track.