The Islamic terrorist attack that occurred in New York City this week highlights the need to reform the United States immigration system. Rather than prioritizing those who have earned the right to enter our country, the current program utilizes a lottery to award visas without proper vetting, which threatens our national security. Further, our immigration policy should spur economic growth and raise wages for hard-working Americans. These reasons are why I am a co-sponsor of the House of Representatives version of the RAISE Act.
Rep. Francis Rooney | All Articles
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Rep. Francis Rooney
Francis Rooney is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 19th congressional district. He serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and previously served as U. S. Ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2008.
As a former United States Ambassador to the Holy See, I have worked with a uniquely non-hegemonic sovereign that utilizes moral persuasion and "soft power" diplomacy to combat crises around the world. Whether Islamic-inspired terrorism, medical epidemics, corrupt regimes, or human rights violations, this form of diplomacy can produce positive outcomes and avoid armed conflict. This is why the unaccountable and underperforming United Nations (UN) needs serious reform.
If people want to receive health care services in the comfort of their own homes, they should not be punished for their decision. Unfortunately, due to an Obama Administration regulation, seniors and disabled persons are penalized for choosing to receive home health care services. This is yet another overreaching government intrusion into peoples’ lives that needs to be reversed immediately.
Reactions to President Trump’s recent executive order reversing President Obama’s misguided Cuba policy have missed the point. The focus on the tourism aspects of the deal are misplaced, as the real issue with our relationship with Cuba is capitalism and free enterprise versus communist socialism. Specifically, the Obama policy sought no commercial reforms and favored the Cuban regime over the Cuban people. President Trump’s changes are meant to avoid commercially supporting the Cuban dictatorship by preventing transactions with GAESA, the military run enterprise that controls much of the Cuban economy. American capitalism should never support Cuban communism, and going forward it won’t.
We are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. The recent increase in attacks around the world underscores the ineffectiveness of current counterterrorism efforts. A strategy combining both hard and soft power is the only way to eradicate this threat. A new focus must be made on soft power to attack the root causes or stimuli of Islamic radicalism, which in turn leads to extremist terrorism and violence. To achieve this, Islam will have to undergo a reformation to reconcile itself with the 21st century world. Eliminating blasphemy laws and all consideration of the applicability of Sharia Law in the secular realm, as opposed to the religious, are milestone barometers of progress in this evolution.
President Trump’s decision to visit the Vatican on his first overseas trip underscores the importance of United States diplomatic relations with the Holy See. History shows that the moral persuasion, or “soft power” diplomacy, of the Holy See is an important resource for successful pursuit of American foreign policy goals. Going forward, the United States and the Holy See should work together on their common objectives of defeating Islamic extremism and promoting human rights.
The United States tax system is a disaster. It takes Americans too long to file their taxes, rates are too high, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been used as a political weapon, and the code picks winners and losers. On the business side, the United States has the highest statutory tax rate in the developed world, stifling job and economic growth. It is time to rein in the federal government’s over-taxation to provide the relief to hard-working Americans that they deserve.
One of many encouraging policy changes President Donald J. Trump has inaugurated to date is his executive order requiring federal agencies to conduct internal reviews. Agencies are directed to find ways to operate more efficiently and eliminate wasteful spending. If President Trump seriously wants to reduce wasteful spending and reform government, the United States Department of Education (DOE) is a good place to start.