Vol. 52, No. 6

In this edition

In this edition of the Forum, we reached out to GOP leaders around the country and asked them a simple question: “What would you like to see from Washington in the coming year?”

Profiles and Perspectives: President Bush Responds

To mark the President George H.W. Bush’s passing on November 30th at the age of 94, the Forum has decided to reprint our interview conducted with him in 1990.

Govern Within Your Means: A Unifying Goal in Divided Times

The greatest contribution President Trump and Congress could make in 2019 is to follow the lead of cities across America and balance their budget.

Diversity is Key to Election Security

As we look to modernize as a nation, Washington needs to ensure the administration of elections stays under state and local control as required by the 10th amendment of the Constitution.

With Divided Federal Government, a Silver Lining Could Emerge

At a time when our federal government continues to expand and the national debt continues to grow, there can be virtue in gridlock.

People Matter, and it’s Time for Washington to Lead

As the New Year begins, I urge Congress and the President to hit reset and begin giving their constituents the leadership America deserves.

It’s Time to Return Common Sense to Washington

We strive to give small businesses the service they need, when they need it. That is the way the federal government needs to work.

Forget Term Limits. How about Time Limits?

They say work expands to fill the time allotted. Maybe a deadline would help move work along.

The Party of Results in the Age of Rhetoric

Voters know that America is moving in the right direction with a booming economy, lower taxes for hardworking families and respect for our great nation around the globe.

Healthcare and Immigration: Our Most Salient Issues Are Longstanding Problems

As long as both Republicans and Democrats come to the table and agree not to dig in their heels, I am hopeful.

A Message from the States

The federal government has usurped power from the states and our individual liberties have eroded resulting in a bloated national bureaucracy.

Voters Deserve to Know Their Votes will Count

In a recent Gallup poll, a full one-third of Americans were not confident that their votes are accurately counted.

Empower, Don’t Impede, the Pioneering Spirit of the States

Nothing is given without strings attached, and the guidelines and regulations that come along with federal grants hinder progress.

Election Security: An Ongoing Responsibility

A core strength of American elections is the decentralized process. No one entity has oversight over all ballot counting, which means there’s no single point for a bad actor to attack.

It’s Time to Return Common Sense to Washington

Like many Americans, I look at the discord in Washington, D.C. and shake my head with disgust. The constant bickering and pursuit of a soundbite to air repeatedly on cable news needs to stop. It is time for D.C. politicians to put people over party and get back to public service.

The partisan divide in our country seems to be getting larger and our leaders in Washington are contributing to it. We need our elected officials to stop demonizing every idea that comes from the other party simply because it comes from the other party. It’s not about who came up with the idea. It should be about getting the job done in the best interest of the American people.

I’m a small government conservative, but that does not mean I reject all ideas that come from the Democratic Party just because Democrats proposed them. Nor should they reject ideas just because Republicans proposed them. There are good ideas from both sides of the aisle.

As the owner of a successful small business, former state senator, former mayor, and current Iowa Secretary of State, I know the value of finding common ground to accomplish things. That is what I would like to see our leaders in Washington do. President Trump and the members of Congress need to find common ground on economic issues, healthcare, immigration and national defense to make our country stronger.

As Iowa’s Secretary of State, I have made it a priority for my office to work at the speed of business, not the speed of government.

Rather than standing on their soap boxes and making speeches about what is wrong with the other political party, I would like to see our federal officials huddle up and work together on what we agree on. The President and Congress need to each lay out an agenda the American public can relate to and support. That common ground can help them determine the details of what pieces of the plan can be implemented today and what might require a more patient strategy.

As Iowa’s Secretary of State, I have made it a priority for my office to work at the speed of business, not the speed of government. We strive to give small businesses the service they need, when they need it. That is the way the federal government needs to work. They need to partner more effectively with the U.S. Small Business Administration, community colleges, chambers of commerce, city governments and other groups that have a vested interest in businesses launching and thriving.

Continuing to reduce and cut government overregulation should be a top priority. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. It is imperative that we free them up to focus on putting their product or service out and not having to be paper shufflers, burdened with the heavy hand of government at every turn. Common sense needs to be returned to government. The system should be helping entrepreneurs cut through the red tape instead of adding layers of bureaucracy.

We strive to give small businesses the service they need, when they need it. That is the way the federal government needs to work.

States serve as the laboratories to a better government and, as such, Congress and the President would do well to look to the states for successful models. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Iowa as the number one state in the country. We are perfectly situated in the heart of the Midwest to allow our state to promote value-added agriculture, wind energy, and many other areas. Iowa has one of the highest voting registration and participation rates in the nation, the best high school graduation rate in the nation and robust civic engagement in all corners of the state. Every state has unique strengths they can draw upon to be competitive internationally, if cultivated and promoted properly. That partnership between the private sector and government is crucial. That is a role the federal government can play.

Americans want a Congress that works for them. Our citizens’ voices need to be heard. If we do not stop the partisan bickering, Americans will lose confidence in our elections process. It is imperative those of us in elected offices set an example in how we run our campaigns and how we conduct ourselves when we are serving the public. Demonizing someone else because their viewpoint differs from yours is counterproductive.

President Ronald Reagan‘s farewell message about the “shining city on a hill” is still a dream Americans believe in. They are asking their government leaders to clear a path, remove barriers and level the playing field. Americans do not need a hand out, but a hand up. Give citizens the tools and the knowledge needed to succeed, so they too can have a piece of the American dream. I believe that is what state government and local government do best. Congress need to take a page out of that playbook.

Paul Pate serves as Secretary of State of Iowa.