The Role of Government

The Constitution gives the federal government well defined powers that are very narrow in scope. The Tenth Amendment was intended to prevent federal encroachment of our individual liberties and leaving much of the authority to the states. After all, the states created the federal government, not the other way around. I remain committed to the cause of limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise, and family values. The voters of Senate District 10 can rest assured that I will continue to defend and promote these vital principles as their voice in the Texas Senate. 

Fighting the Biden/Harris Federal Overreach

Almost all of the major problems we face in Texas originate with the federal government. Whether it’s vaccine mandates, border security and the immigration crisis, inflation, high gas prices, even CRT has its genesis in Washington. With the vaccine mandates, Washington is even making health care decisions FOR you that should be made BY you.

Other recent examples include the proposal for the IRS to monitor transactions in your personal bank account and the Justice Department’s labeling of parents as domestic terrorists for simply voicing concerns about their children’s education. This unprecedented federal overreach must stop.

Washington must stay in its lane and adhere to the Constitution. We must stop the federal encroachment into our individual liberties and leave authority with the states the way our founding fathers intended. Texas’ sovereignty over all powers not specifically enumerated in the Constitution and thereby granted to the federal government must be recognized. 

Securing The Border

As a former police officer, I understand the direct impact that a porous border has on our communities. The Biden/Harris Administration has shown a blatant disregard for the human and drug smuggling crisis at our border. The influx of illegal immigrants, human trafficking, and gang activity is at the highest levels we have ever seen. To counter this, Texas has deployed resources as never before, and we must continue to do so. My record in the State House and as the former Chair of Homeland Security and Public Safety demonstrates my dedication to securing our border.

Most recently, I supported measures that allocated $3 billion to border security efforts, made a $250 million down payment to begin building the wall, supported ongoing efforts to deploy aircraft, boats, DPS troopers, Texas Rangers, the State Guard and National Guard, installed over 5,000 cameras, established the new Texas Task Force on Border & Homeland Security, and invoked the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to work collaboratively with neighboring states. Texas is by far doing more than any other state—arguably more than the federal government – to secure the border and combat drug and human trafficking. 

Jobs and the Economy

Government should not be allowed to compete with business and we should always trust the people and business over big government. My duty as an elected official is to foster an economic environment that allows the free market to work. Our tax system should be simple and government regulation must be limited, predictable and navigable.

Texas government should never spend more than it has and growth in state spending should be capped at a factor of population + inflation.

When analyzing proposed legislation, the first questions I always ask are: will this limit government, promote free markets and support individual liberty?

Ensuring Religious Liberty

Government must never regulate or interfere with religious practices. The First Amendment unequivocally guarantees our freedom to worship and live out our faith in God without government interference.

Defend the Second Amendment

All law-abiding citizens have the unalienable right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the U.S. and Texas constitutions. I have and will always defend these rights.

While serving as chairman of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, I successfully blocked dozens of unconstitutional bills that would have infringed upon our Second Amendment protections.

Protecting the Unborn

I believe that life begins at conception, that every human life is precious, that all life is a gift from God and that we have a duty to protect the unborn.

Abortion is truly the tragedy of tragedies in our nation. In fact, a primary reason I first ran for office was to work to help bring an end to abortion. This is something I still pray for every day.

Texas has come so very far in achieving this goal particularly in recent years. In the early days of this effort, I was proud to have led in some of Texas’ earliest abortion limitations establishing the parental notice and consent laws that remain in effect today. I also was the first legislator to ever file the fetal heartbeat bill.

Please read my 2019 report and its comprehensive analysis of pro-life accomplishments in Texas since 1973.

Improving Education

On matters related to education, my core philosophy is that parents – not government – know what is best for their children. Whether the choice is attending public school, private school or home school, parents should always have the final say in matters related to education.

It is critical for Texas to have the best public school system in America. Texas is known as the best state in which to work, live and raise a family but it must also be known for our great schools. We must get back to the basics with a focus on preparation for college and career.

Our public school districts were once locally controlled, hence the name ISD (independent school district). The state’s role was limited. But over the years state and federal driven bureaucracy (such as high stakes testing) has smothered that independence and the ability of parents, teachers and local community leaders to guide education. This has shifted both funding and focus out of the classroom and into compliance and administration.

I believe we can do better. We need increased autonomy at the local level for teachers and parents and the state should only intervene if schools are failing our children. I also believe very strongly in our community college systems. Community colleges bring tremendous value to the local economy and can greatly aid in preparing students for the workforce. Community colleges are showing real, measurable results and are such an effective option for students. We should expand collaborative efforts between our community colleges and our public, private and home schools.

Oppose Critical Race Theory (CRT)

Most people believe that CRT is solely about race. It’s not. CRT tries to define people, actually judges people, by their group affiliation—most often skin color but also gender and economic status—rather than viewing them as individuals created in the image of God. Such division is the very heart of prejudice, discrimination, and racism! 

CRT also falsely accuses (and teaches our children) that the United States is a fundamentally racist nation. In fact, the New York Times 1619 Project specifically states that the purpose of the American Revolution was to protect the institution of slavery. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that America has long made racial discrimination illegal at every level of government, including its elections and institutions of education. What remains today of prejudice and bias is of the heart, not of the law.

CRT is rooted in Marxism, not in our Constitution’s protection of each individual’s unalienable rights. Marxism has led to the enslavement, oppression, poverty and death of hundreds of millions in just the last century. The main tenet of CRT is that the people are divided into two groups, the oppressors and the oppressed. Such division has always been a tactical theme in Marxism.

Property Rights

The ability to own, manage and protect your property is a fundamental right. Without secure property rights we will not have liberty or a vibrant economy.

Some Texans were recently being denied the right to determine their local governance. They were being annexed by cities, against their will, with little to no commitment for city services or other meaningful benefits. Hand in hand with the grassroots, I was honored to pass legislation ending forced annexation in Texas.

Supporting Law Enforcement; Oppose Defunding the Police

When a peace officer puts on that uniform, they announce everyday their willingness to sacrifice their safety – even their life – for ours. Our police officers, sheriff deputies, constables, troopers, marshals, rangers, everyone carrying the badge need to know that we care about them and appreciate their sacrificial service.

As a police officer of many years, I will always defend the men and women in blue. I will always defend law enforcement against the Woke anti-law enforcement culture.

Election Integrity

Election integrity has never been more important. Improvements in ballot security, especially through the ability to audit, is imperative.

In 2017, I carried the legislation implementing the Texas Voter ID law. The courts had struck this vital statute and changes were necessary to comply with the 5th Circuit ruling so Texas could reinstitute this integral part of election integrity.

After the 2020 election, we learned that in the months leading up to that election Mark Zuckerberg dispersed an estimated $350 million to local county elections offices through grants provided by The Center for Tech and Civic Life. These private funds (which came to be known as Zuck Bucks) were heavily funneled to urban areas where, without transparency and oversight, they were ripe for fraudulent use.

In response, this year I authored and passed a bill prohibiting local county election offices from accepting private donations, such as Zuck Bucks, to prevent the danger of undue influence and fraud.

Texas must now further increase public confidence in our elections by demanding transparency with capabilities for robust auditing.

Standing with Israel, Our Economic Partner & Ally

Hundreds of companies in Texas do business with Israel. Over the last 20 years, Texas exports to Israel totaled about $13 billion dollars and the country is now our 4th largest trade partner. In fact, Israel recently purchased F-35 advanced combat stealth fighters that are produced in Fort Worth.

Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East and it is America’s best partner in that hostile region. Being a faithful partner and friend to Israel is always in Texas’ best interest.

In 2017, I was the lead legislator in passing Texas’ anti-BDS law, which took a stand against companies and government entities participating in an economic boycott of Israel.

In 2021, I authored the legislation creating the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, Anti-Semitism Advisory Commission. That law adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which covers all forms of contemporary antisemitism, including antizionist and anti-Israel antisemitism.