New Year, New Congress
2010 was a challenging year in this country, as American families lived through record high unemployment rates and a lagging economy. And much to their disappointment, their elected officials in Washington seemed more concerned with making government bigger than creating jobs. During the 50 town hall meetings I held this year, my constituents voiced their discontent with what was happening and I joined them in their frustration at leaders in Washington's failure to listen to them. Whether the trillion-dollar government takeover of health care, the out-of-control federal spending that has led to a national debt of more than $13.2 trillion, or their attempt to pass the controversial cap-and-tax program, Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team spent much of 2010 ignoring the American people. However, she couldn't ignore them anymore when Election Day resulted in a clear rejection of her ideals and policies as her party lost their majority in the House.
When Congress returns in January, I will be dedicated to cutting federal spending, paying down the national debt, and creating jobs. I promise to continue to push for more transparency and accountability during the next Congress. But most importantly, I will continue to represent the values and voices of the Third Congressional District of Oklahoma. I join you in your belief that the federal government cannot continue down its current path of 'spend now, pay later' without having serious repercussions for our future. If we continue to push our bad decisions and debts on our children and grandchildren, we will leave them with an economy that potentially could not recover. Not only is this irresponsible, it's unacceptable and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 112th Congress to ensure that does not happen.
I am also honored to be serving as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the next Congress. In this leadership role, I will continue to be the voice for farmers and ranchers at the leadership table and work to protect American farmers and ranchers. It is an honor to continue in this leadership role on the Agriculture Committee where I have served since you first sent me to Congress in 1994. As a lifelong farmer from the diverse, agricultural state of Oklahoma, I have lived the real world challenges farmers and ranchers face across the country. I will continue to be a strong voice for agriculture and rural America. I will work to make sure we write a market-oriented, fiscally responsible farm bill that will provide America's farmers and ranchers with the necessary tools and certainty they need to produce the safest, most affordable, most abundant food supply in the history of the world.
I encourage you to contact my office over the coming year and let me know your opinions. I also hope you will join me at one of my 50 town hall meetings next year. As the meetings are scheduled, you will receive a notice in the mail and the schedule will be available on my website at www.house.gov/lucas/townhalls.shtml.