Thank you for joining me today. As we begin the first week of legislative work in the Senate, there are many issues I look forward to addressing.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the government takeover of health care. I applaud them for that – and I will fight to see it brought to a vote in the Senate, so we may end this misguided big-government attempt at solving a problem better addressed by free-market principles.

As we gather this week for the President’s State of the Union address, I am hopeful he will speak to the urgency of the budget, which should be the first order of business for him and the new Congress. Washington has gone off the rails with spending – and if we don’t act – our debt will soon consume us.

The President is likely to introduce more spending – which he wrongly calls “investment”. We must enact fiscal restraint if we are to keep America competitive in the international marketplace.

With that in mind, this week I will introduce my first budget proposal, which features over $500 billion in spending cuts. This is the first step of many, needed to confront the biggest threat to our national security – our country’s perpetual debt. My proposal includes an overall rollback to 2008 pre-Stimulus spending levels, plus 10 percent cuts in some defense spending, and at least 20 percent cuts to a number of other department and agencies like NASA, TSA, Agriculture, and Department of Energy. My proposal also includes elimination of those that have gone beyond their usefulness or are not fulfilling their stated missions like Department of Education, GPO, and International aid programs.

Keeping in line with the idea of putting our economy back on track, I also plan to introduce legislation that would allow for a full audit of the Federal Reserve. We must take a critical look at the Fed’s monetary policy decisions, because it is more crucial than ever that we have real transparency with our central bank and the way the American people’s money is being spent.

And as myself and my fellow freshman members of Congress were chosen to represent Americans’ best interests, it’s important to constantly gauge our progress in taking back our government for the people.

On Thursday, I’ll be meeting with Senators Jim DeMint and Mike Lee, and grassroots Tea Party leaders from across the country to continue the conversation on how we defeat the debt and reduce the size of government. This inaugural meeting of the Tea Party Caucus will work to enact real change to protect our country and its taxpayers from an ever-expanding government.

I hope you’ll check back next week for an update on what we’ve accomplished.

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