I want to bring Utah's values to Washington. I'm a fifth generation Utahn, and was raised with Utah values: reverence for freedom, respect for others, and the importance of service, civility, and frugality. It's an honor to be serving the people of Utah in the United States Senate.
We should respect and appreciate the contribution of Utah’s agricultural industry to our economy and our security by resolving the uncertainty and federal overreach associated with public land usage, reducing the excessive number of wild horses and burros, and fostering sustainable forest and land management policies. I favor trade policies that open markets for Utah’s agriculture exports. The visa distribution process for crop, livestock, and dairy workers should be managed on the state level rather than the federal level.
Budget & Debt
I believe it is inexcusable to add $500 billion to $1 trillion annually to the debt, saddling us and our children with hundreds of billions of dollars of interest. I will work with like-minded senators who will oppose a budget process that prevents effective debate, amendments, and spending caps. I will look to eliminate ineffective and wasteful programs and to reform entitlements for people under 55 years of age.
Politicians in my party have historically rallied to the banner of a balanced budget. The passion appears to have cooled a bit over the last few years as deficits have nearly reached a trillion dollars under a Republican Administration. But even in past years, the political enthusiasm for fiscal balance has generally not been accompanied by realistic proposals to actually achieve it. We now have more than $21 trillion in national debt. The interest paid last year by American taxpayers on that debt was nearly $300 billion.
The best way to reduce the deficit would come through economic growth. The tax and regulatory policies enacted during 2017 were designed to do just that. Even with high growth, we will have to reduce government spending if we are to reach a balanced budget. I have long favored a Balanced Budget Amendment that would help reduce the federal deficit and help rein in spending. If we are at all serious about balancing the budget, we have to look at where most of the money is spent. Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and other non-discretionary items make up about two-thirds of government spending. Defense spending is also eligible for savings. We must depoliticize the process of defense funding: Our military leaders should be trusted to make the decisions about which weapons programs receive funding, not politicians.
Clean Air, Energy, Water
I support greater efficiency standards in cars, trucks, and factories to reduce energy consumption and pollution. I support the utilization of all our energy resources including gas, coal, wind, nuclear, geothermal, hydro, and solar. We are fortunate Utah's coal power plants, which provide over 75 percent of our electricity, are at the forefront of the clean coal industry.
Foreign Policy & National Security
America's leadership and greatness is the result of our economic strength, a military that is second to none, our promotion of freedom, and the fundamental goodness of our people.
The decision to send troops into a foreign country must be made only when a substantial American interest is at stake. This should be a very high hurdle. We should maintain clear superiority in conventional military capabilities and at least parity in nuclear capabilities. American military strength is the best friend peace has ever known.
We must promote our values of freedom and free enterprise through our diplomacy, economic ties, alliances, and other soft power tools.
When nations attack our infrastructure, elections, technology, or vital interests, we should retaliate and punish their behavior with appropriate and meaningful measures.
The Affordable Care Act should be repealed and not replaced by another one-size-fits-all bureaucracy. In its place, states should be given flexibility with their Medicaid funds to implement their own programs for caring for the poor.
Health insurance costs must be reined in. I will apply my career experience in healthcare and finance to install market-based incentives to reduce costs. This will include transparency in provider pricing and quality information to consumers. I will promote cost-sharing insurance policies and health savings accounts. Further, I will support requiring pharmaceutical companies to spread the cost of drug development with other countries, reducing the huge price inequity Americans experience.
I support legal immigration. I respect and welcome those who have followed the law and have made the United States their home. Our nation is stronger and more vibrant by virtue of a strong legal immigration system.
The legal immigration system should be merit-based, giving applicants credit for such things as English fluency, having trade or technical skill, personal savings, and advanced degrees so these individuals may become assets to their communities and prosper in our country.
I firmly oppose illegal immigration. I support measures to secure our national borders. I support a simplified legal status verification system that will allow an employer to know whether a prospective employee is in the United States legally and that will sanction employers who nevertheless hire people here illegally.
I support President Trump's proposal, made last year, to give Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) individuals legal status. However, I oppose giving these individuals a special pathway to citizenship. I support ending chain migration and the visa lottery program.
Life, Family, Religion
I am pro-life and pro-family. I will defend religious liberty and will only vote to confirm judicial nominees who will fully honor the First Amendment guarantee of the same.
A multi-front approach is needed to combat the opioid crisis.
On the supply front: pressure Mexico, China, and other countries to curtail the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.; establish better detection at our border; stop drug companies from promoting opioids to physicians; make it easier for law enforcement to shut down “drug mills” that fill obviously false prescriptions; and establish a federal database to identify multiple prescribers and abusers across state lines.
On the demand front: provide counseling and treatment for those who want to escape drug addictions; and assure that first responders are equipped with necessary medications to prevent overdose deaths.
With two-thirds of Utah held as public land, it is my priority to obtain greater local and state involvement in decision-making and management of public lands. I support multiple use of these lands and will work to prevent excessive land grabs by presidents and federal bureaucrats. The Antiquities Act and the Endangered Species Act should both be reformed to require state approvals and local involvement. The State of Utah should assume management responsibility for select public lands when economically feasible, initially on a pilot basis.
I support the Second Amendment. Gun laws and school safety measures should be established by each state, not imposed by the federal government. I do not support newly proposed federal gun legislation, with the exception of the removal of bump stocks for public sale and an updated background check system promoted by Congress and President Trump.
I support the Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, though I believe the package should have been revenue neutral, rather than adding to the deficit. The corporate tax cut will encourage real wage growth; the only way to raise real wages is for businesses to grow, compete with other businesses for employees, and raise the wages they offer to recruit. The tax cut will thus not only let people keep more of their wages, it will help raise their wages.
Trade & Tariffs
I support trade with other countries; as a net export state, Utah benefits from foreign trade. In some instances, nations or companies have cheated on trade agreements and America should take punitive action against them. Further, we have done too little to help American citizens who have been disproportionately impacted by automation and trade policies.
I oppose broad-based tariffs but I will support focused tariffs that penalize cheaters and dumping. President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs are being narrowed to impact only the offending nations rather than our EU, Canadian, or Mexican allies. I favor trade policies that open markets for Utah’s agriculture exports.
More on Mitt’s stance can be found at https://www.romney.senate.gov/issues