Op-Eds

Originally printed in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 6, 2014

Fifteen months ago, I asked then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton why she hadn't simply picked up the phone and talked to the Benghazi survivors to find out what had actually happened. Instead of being straightforward, she deflected this uncomfortable question with a now-infamous question of her own: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

The answer to that question and the motive behind this administration's lies and coverup are finally becoming quite clear. The belated release of a Sept. 14, 2012, talking points email from deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes proves that senior White House officials were fully engaged in directing the coverup and perpetuating the lies.

According to the Rhodes email, the goal of the administration's Benghazi spin was "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." This was in spite of the fact that within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, the administration knew — or certainly should have known — there was no protest.
Originally printed in The Washington Post, April 25, 2014

We recently visited Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova. In each country, our allies want a stronger immediate response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its ongoing subversion of Ukraine. They also believe, as we do, that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest acts of aggression require an enduring strategic response from the United States, Europe and NATO. It should be clear to all that Putin’s Russia has taken a dark turn. There is no resetting this relationship. We cannot return to business as usual.

Western countries had high hopes for our relationships with Russia after the Cold War and acted on that basis. We provided billions of dollars to help Russia’s transition from communism. We created new mechanisms for consultation. We expanded trade. NATO committed not to deploy significant military capabilities onto the territory of new alliance allies, even as it expanded. In short, the West sought to include Russia in the promise of a Europe whole, free and at peace — a vision we still believe would benefit all participants.
Originally printed in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 21st, 2014

Based on how much we spend, every child in America should be getting a world-class education, which would include connecting our classrooms to digital opportunities. To get there, the federal government doesn't need to spend more money — the Federal Communications Commission already runs a program called E-Rate that distributes over $2 billion to schools and libraries to purchase communications services each year.

What we do need is real reform in Washington and an end to the waste, fraud and abuse inherent in the current program.
Originally published in The Hill, February 2nd, 2014

Today, Americans access broadband Internet almost everywhere. We are using it to talk, view, tweet, post and pin at home, at work, in our cars and on the move.

As much as broadband is changing the way we live, it also challenges the decades-old assumptions behind the regulation of communications networks in the United States.

For years, the federal government regulated telecommunications providers as if confining them to lanes on a racetrack: one lane for traditional telephone service, another for wireless and yet another for cable. Each lane was assigned different rules by the government because it came along at a different time, operated with a different business model and utilized service-specific technologies.
Originally printed in The Wall Street Journal, January 6th, 2014

On Monday, Jan. 6, I am filing suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to make Congress live by the letter of the health-care law it imposed on the rest of America. By arranging for me and other members of Congress and their staffs to receive benefits intentionally ruled out by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the administration has exceeded its legal authority.
Originally published in USA Today, July 14th, 2013

The dominoes have been falling for years: 36 municipalities have gone bankrupt since 2010. Last Thursday, the biggest domino yet fell. The City of Detroit – with debt of $18 billion-- filed for protection to reorganize under Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy code.

American taxpayers need to watch their wallets. Next will come a call for a federal bailout to alleviate Detroit's pain. Congress should act now to ensure taxpayers aren't forced to pay for decades of mismanagement by liberal politicians and public sector unions.
Originally printed in The Wall Street Journal, May 15th, 2013

In January, for the first time since the Benghazi terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2012, Hillary Clinton faced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify about the attack. In response to my persistent questioning about what the State Department knew about the nature of the attack, the former secretary of state famously exclaimed: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

New testimony by State Department whistleblowers and an Interim Progress Report prepared by five House Committees show what a huge difference it makes when members of the administration ignore repeated warnings of growing danger, deny requests for additional security and then attempt to cover up their negligence. That dereliction of duty ultimately resulted in the death of four Americans.
Originally printed in Investor's Business Daily, March 1st, 2013

Over five months ago, terrorists in Libya successfully assaulted the American diplomatic post in Benghazi. Four brave Americans died: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

On Jan. 23, I asked then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a simple question: Why didn't she just pick up the phone and call the survivors to determine what actually happened in Benghazi?

Instead of providing a simple answer, she displayed exasperation, launched into an indignant reply, and ultimately dismissed my question with one of her own: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
Originally printed in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 12th, 2013

Throughout its history, the federal government has properly used debt to help overcome threats to the nation and to build necessary and longstanding infrastructure. Much of the American Revolution was financed with borrowed money, as were World War II and the Cold War against the now defunct Soviet Union.

The interstate highway system, coastal ports, and the locks and dams that make our inland waterways navigable are examples of valuable debt financed infrastructure. Failure to incur debt to finance these worthy, constitutionally allowed activities would have made the establishment of our prosperous nation more difficult, or maybe even brought our history to a premature end.
Originally printed in USA Today, January 25th, 2013

During her Senate testimony, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that approximately 25 Americans who were on the ground or who witnessed the terrorist attack in Benghazi were immediately evacuated. Secretary Clinton also revealed that neither she, nor her senior people, debriefed or spoke with those people immediately after the attack, or for months afterward, to understand what happened. She stated that she didn't want to be later accused of playing politics.