Chances are you've heard a politician utter these three words: "Washington is broken."
It's a poll-tested thematic intended to convey a personal understanding of the frustration so many Americans feel for Congress' inability to produce results.
But when given the opportunity to actually fix Washington, too many of these same politicians suddenly go missing in action.
Take last week's much-hyped vote on Planned Parenthood, for example. The establishment put a bill on the House floor to create a special committee to investigate the alleged improper activities callously alluded to on video tape by senior officials at Planned Parenthood.
Like millions of Americans, I believe the alleged actions by Planned Parenthood executives, if true, are both heartbreaking and shocking. At the very least, the irreverence of Planned Parenthood leadership in how they manage a matter of such human importance should offend every American.
As such, I have authored legislation to fully defund taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood until a thorough investigation is completed, and instead transfer that funding to other providers of critical non-abortion women's healthcare in underserved communities. I have likewise supported multiple similar measures in the past weeks.
But as for last week's vote to establish a new investigative committee, I voted no. Many asked why, and the answer is simple.
There are currently three – yes, three — House committees investigating this matter. They are engaging in document requests, receiving testimony from Planned Parenthood personnel, reviewing troves of information, and committing taxpayer resources to this most important effort.
We simply don't need a new special committee to do the job Congress is already sworn to do. That is why I was the lone member of my party to oppose the measure.
As a conservative who believes in smaller, more efficient, less costly government, I consistently argue against attempts by the current administration to expand government, create more bureaucracy, and obligate taxpayers to redundant and duplicative expense.
Congress should hold itself to the same standard. A new committee would simply create additional bureaucracy and more expenses to investigate a matter that is already under investigation. It's the type of thing that only Washington could conceive.
Let's stop trying to impress and deceive the public with political show votes, and start trying to restore the public trust by actually legislating and producing real-world results.
We're either going to be the party of less government and less bureaucracy, or we're not. I'd suggest last week's vote says we are not.
If we'd simply do what we said we would, then maybe Washington wouldn't be so "broken."
Rep. David Jolly has represented Florida's 13th congressional district since March of 2014, when he won a special election that was correctly heralded by pundits as an indication Democrats would face major headwinds in the 2014 midterms. In July, Jolly announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who is running for president. Jolly recently emerged as a leading voice in support of Florida Rep. Daniel Webster's bid to succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House.
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