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Let’s Talk About Solutions

Bradley Byrne


U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1)

Growing up, my mother always told me that no one likes a complainer. We all remember that friend who always whined or complained about everything from their food to the rules of the backyard football game. 

In today’s political discourse, I think people are equally put off with someone who spends all their time complaining about the problems in our country but never offers up any solutions to solve the problems. 

Don’t get me wrong. It is very important that our national leaders speak out and draw attention to the problems facing our nation. In fact, oversight is one of the most important responsibilities of Congress. From President Obama’s continued executive overreach to years of wasteful spending, there are plenty of problems to talk about.

But we can’t stop at just talking about the problems. Instead, we need to move past the rhetoric and actually offer realistic solutions to solve the problems. It is easy to be against something, but it is a lot harder to actually be for something.

Take the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for example. Everyone agrees it is a shame that veterans across the country are being left on waiting lists and denied the services they deserve. The VA system is completely broken and stuck in a culture of complacency. 

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I believe the solution to the problems at the VA is to give our veterans greater access to private care. All veterans should be offered “Choice Cards,” which allow them to receive medical care from their doctors in their local communities instead of having to travel to a VA facility. Increasing access to private care is a real solution to solve the problems at the VA. 

Pushing back against a bloated federal government is another example of where we must move past the rhetoric. Most Americans agree that the federal government has grown too big and is spending too much money, but little action has been taken to downsize the federal government.

I have a solution, known as the Sunset Act, which would most certainly reduce the size of the federal government. The Sunset Act would create a ten year expiration date for all federal agencies and require Congress review and renew each agency prior to its expiration. Without Congressional renewal, the agencies will cease to exist. This bill is exactly the type of commonsense solution we should be talking about. 

This week I am holding town hall meetings all over Southwest Alabama as part of my Conservative Solutions Town Hall Tour. I chose to call it a “Solutions Tour” because I want to encourage others to talk about solutions instead of only talking about problems.

It is easy to rattle off a list of issues facing our country, but it is a lot harder to actually offer up alternatives to the current “Washington knows best” philosophy that has taken hold in our government. We must put forward a solutions-based agenda that offers an alternative to President Obama’s big government philosophy.

From illegal immigration to the fight against the Islamic State to the skyrocketing national debt, we have serious issues facing our country, but they are not problems that can’t be overcome. There is a reason America is the greatest country on the face of the Earth, and it is because we are problem solvers.

So I hope you will join me in moving beyond only talking about problems and instead offer up realistic solutions that solve these problems. If we do that, I think we can make real progress in moving our country in the right direction.

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Written By

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican who represents Alabama's 1st Congressional District.