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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Getting America Back On Top

August 15, 2016
Bilirakis Blog

Many of my constituents, local businesses, and organizations are struggling in today’s economy. Although our state brings in many tourists and our local businesses continue working hard to help our communities thrive, our government is not encouraging and embracing growth as best it could. We need to cut red tape to allow more growth, our laws need to be updated, and we need to reform the economic system to get our nation back on top.

Regulations are necessary at times, but in today’s world they are more known to stifle innovation and infringe on liberties. Currently, our system favors established interests – big government, big labor, and big business – over hardworking Americans and consumers. I support a plan that will regulate smarter, more efficiently, and effectively. One important piece of legislation I am proud to co-sponsor, the FTC REPORTS Act, will help cut back on unnecessary regulations by promoting transparency and accountability at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This bill requires the FTC to submit an annual plan to identify future activities including rulemakings, plans to update or develop guidelines, and more. This will help bring about a more efficient and transparent FTC.

Along with cutting red tape, we must regulate smarter, and allow businesses to thrive. I am working to ensure that job growth will continue in my home state, and across our nation. Tourism is an integral part of our economy – especially in Florida. Increased tourism means more American and Floridian jobs. This is why I co-sponsored legislation, which became law, to reauthorize a major player in the travel and tourism industry – BrandUSA. My bill means job growth without utilizing a cent of taxpayer money. In fact, it lowers the deficit. Millions of Americans across the country are still struggling, and Brand USA reauthorization is a jobs bill with a proven track record of success. Common sense solutions like these to boost the economy and create jobs will spur our slow economic recovery.

We must embrace our new energy abundance to bring affordable and reliable energy to consumers. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I worked on the the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act. This bill represents a shift in energy policy – from the scarcity mindset of the past towards a surplus mindset of the present and future. This legislation will help improve the energy infrastructure in my home state of Florida and all across the country.  As our energy sector continues to evolve, federal policy must allow the industry to take advantage of technology achievements in order to provide for a growing market that yields jobs at home and gains more influence abroad.  This bill marks a significant step in modernizing our energy policy in the new era of abundance and providing a fertile and fair path for energy infrastructure in the years to come.

We must promote financial independence and growth. The constant government bailouts we have come to know all too well are hurting our nation. The House recently passed legislation to prohibit funds from being used to designate a financial entity as “too big to fail” or as a “systemically important financial institution.” This legislation will protect hard earned taxpayer dollars from being spent on such bailouts.  I am working to protect our taxpayers and small businesses and allow these organizations and companies to thrive on their own.

We must put students and workers first. Each and every American should have the opportunity to excel in schools and workplaces. Our economy grows when we have capable, hardworking Americans in jobs of all kinds. I am specifically working to improve education and work opportunities for our Veterans. My bill, the Veterans Education Survey Act, would study the effectiveness of educational assistance programs for Veterans administered by the Veterans Affairs Department to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Veterans’ GI benefits. Learning new skills, combined with the tools these Veterans have gained from their service, will further assist their transition to civilian life. Our Veterans, and all students and workers, deserve every opportunity to succeed and to help our economy grow.

Additionally, we must encourage Internet innovation and update our laws to reflect the technological advancements of today. We need to establish clear and consumer friendly rules to encourage further advancements. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues to come up with regulations as they go, creating confusion and inconsistencies. I am working to make sure we have consistent, fair regulations that protect consumers and local businesses. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, I continue working to protect consumers from government overreach and hold the FCC accountable. I am proud to co-sponsor the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, to prohibit the FCC from regulating the rates charged for broadband Internet access service. This bill will help to protect consumers and broadband providers while ensuring no future FCC abuses authority.

Finally, we must reform the system to cut back on lawsuit abuse. This will better protect the consumer and small businesses. An important bill I worked on, the TROL Act, aims to stop patent trolls from suing small businesses. This will help stop the practice of abusive patent demand letters while protecting the rights of legitimate patent holders to protect their intellectual property. These protections will ultimately protect the ability of small businesses across the country to innovate.

I will continue my efforts to support our local businesses, give them the freedom to thrive, boost our economy, and encourage innovation and independence to get our nation back on top.

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