Thank you, Mr. Speaker, good morning Mr. Speaker and good morning ladies and gentlemen of the Iowa House.
First and foremost, I must express my deepest gratitude to my wife, Ivelisse, and our daughters, Anna and Addy, for the support they give me and the sacrifices they must endure for me to serve in public office.
I would also like to thank your loved ones who are here today as well as back home, who make similar sacrifices that allow each of you to serve. For we all know, that without the support systems we have back home and the constituents who elect us, none of us would be able to do this job, nor endure the burden it places on each and every one of us. So, to all of our families and our constituents, I say a heartfelt thank you!
I also need to thank my Republican colleagues for choosing me to serve as the Majority Leader of the Iowa House. It is truly humbling and a great honor!
If you had asked the doe-eyed young freshman who walked into this chamber 14 years ago if I ever thought I would be serving in this role, the answer would have been a “hard no”.
I stand here now, all these years later, ready to serve the Iowa House Republican caucus and the great state of Iowa in my role as House Majority Leader.
To Speaker Upmeyer and Majority Leader Hagenow I want you both to know how grateful I am for your years of leadership and service. You have both taught me many things and helped me grow as a legislator and a leader, thank you! It is without question that Speaker Grassley and I have some big shoes to fill and I welcome your continued advice and counsel this session.
As the Majority Leader my intentions are to listen to the caucus, hear the concerns of the people of Iowa, and translate their ideas into the best public policy possible during this session.
My sincere hope is that we can all work together to accomplish this goal. While I know that not every measure brought before this body is going to pass with unanimous support, I would encourage each and every one of us to look for the opportunity to cross the political divide and find common ground.
From the Iowans I’ve spoken with over the last several months, they are constantly disappointed in the dysfunction they see coming from their Federal government in Washington DC.
Fortunately for Iowans, they don’t have to worry about that here at the state level. They have come to expect positive action and results from this body and their state government.
As we move ahead this session, House Republicans will continue to build on the track record of successes that has kept us in the majority here in the Iowa House.
While I could stand here and deliver a message about specific policy pieces that should be accomplished or go over our budgeting principles, again, or give an extensive review of chapter 724, the weapons chapter for those who are wondering, I will instead simplify my message down to one guiding principle that should be at the forefront of every vote we take here this year, Freedom!
Let us strive to find new and ingenuitive ways to make Iowans freer. Free from burdensome government regulations. Free from an overly complex tax system. Free to raise their families and live their lives without the fear of government intrusion. Free to exercise their individual fundamental rights without government sanction or approval. Free to worship the Lord throughout their daily lives as they see fit. Free to provide the best education possible for their children. Free from the many hands of government reaching into their pocket for yet one more dollar of their hard-earned money.
Yes, Iowa is in a great place financially, economically, educationally, and by many other metrics, but our work is not done. I guarantee you there is more freedom to be found for our constituents if we only apply ourselves and look.
Iowans deserve a government that works for them, not against them. If we as the Iowa House of Representatives hold the principles of freedom and liberty high and use them as the balance and the scales by which we judge the proposals before us, then Iowans will have the state government they need and deserve.
We have work to do, now let us get to it.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the Iowa House.