Founding Father George Mason warned that the power of the United States Senate must be checked and balanced. The upper chamber of Congress, he said, would be like a “screw in mechanics, working its way by slow degrees, and…should ever be suspected of an encroaching tendency.” Sadly, many Pennsylvania voters today might use the word “screw” and “Senate” in the same sentence as well – and for many of the same reasons.

Mason’s fears were justified: the Senate is a failure, unable to fix itself or the dysfunction in Washington. Millions of American families see the evidence of this failure every day, with chaos at the southern border, dramatic price increases at the checkout counter, and anti-Semitic, anti-American hatred spewed across our college campuses.

After more than 20 years as a leader in the private sector, I know a “turnaround” situation when I see one. Solving these massive problems requires shock therapy in our nation’s capital – and that includes retiring ineffective career politicians like Sen. Bob Casey who helped create this mess.

Unlike my opponent, I’m an outsider who knows how to confront reality, develop a plan, and make the necessary, hard choices to get things back on track. That starts with addressing the root causes driving Washington’s stagnation: a toxic political culture; an entrenched bureaucracy that resists change; and misguided incentives.  

Here is my plan to shake up Washington.

First, we must take on the culture of Washington. Politicians and bureaucrats there grandstand and push their favored talking points while skirting responsibility for rising prices and regulatory decisions that make families in communities like Bloomsburg, PA, where I grew up, worse off. This lack of accountability would never fly in the business world.

An important step for creating a culture of accountability is to make it easier to fire nonperforming bureaucrats. Far too many in our government are self-interested and insulated from a competitive, merit-based process for hiring and firing. Fixing this will make government more accountable and better.

We also should relocate federal agencies closer to the people they serve. Let’s bring the Department of Energy to Pittsburgh, so the bureaucrats who regulate energy projects can work among people who understand fracking and LNG. And we should reinstate President Trump’s decision to move the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado.

The federal government should stop focusing resources and attention on misguided ideological agendas like diversity, equity, and inclusion. Congress should reject the tens of millions of dollars the Biden administration is requesting for DEI. Instead, let’s enforce laws that protect Americans, like removing foreign nationals who incite violence or endorse terrorist activity.

Second, we must rein in federal overreach. Traveling across our Commonwealth, I consistently hear from farmers and small business owners that their biggest problem, other than inflation, is overregulation. Federal regulations cost our economy nearly $2 trillion each year. That’s money that isn’t going into paychecks or being invested to create new jobs.

Let’s restore President Trump’s executive order that required cutting two regulations for every new one added. We should also explore letting citizens challenge rules through an expedited process, putting the burden on agencies to prove that their regulations are in the public interest.

Congress also needs to impose stronger checks on agencies to ensure significant regulations get proper scrutiny. It’s crazy that we have a system where naming post offices requires action by both chambers of Congress, but regulations that cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars can go into effect without a vote.

Third, we must radically improve congressional effectiveness. Congress is becoming less productive and failing to serve as a crucial check on the executive branch. It is passing barely half as many laws each year as it did during the 1980s. And what does it say about the state of the institution that the most popular profession for former members is lobbying?

Turning around Congress starts with term limits. The Founders never imagined that Congress would become an institution filled with career politicians who stay on well past retirement age. Yet more than one-third of Senators are 70 or older. If I am elected to the Senate, I will serve no more than two terms. When I’m done, someone else can try. That’s how it should work.

We also need to prevent members from using their positions to enrich themselves. More than a third of members of Congress or their immediate families actively trade stocks and other financial assets, even when they sit on committees that oversee the companies they invest in. We should ban this activity as well as lobbying by former members and their families.

Bringing accountability and sanity to Washington won’t happen overnight. It’ll take electing a new generation of leaders who don’t owe anybody anything and aren’t afraid to break things. Career politicians like Sen. Casey have become part of the problem rather than showing the leadership needed to solve it. Only by electing outsiders like me to shake up Washington can we restore the self-government that Americans and Pennsylvanians deserve.

Dave McCormick is the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania.

12 thoughts on “Dave McCormick: Here’s my plan to take on the culture of Washington, rein in federal overreach, and improve Congress”

  1. Mr. McCormick,
    I’ll vote for Trump because the corrupt RINOs, Democrats, and legacy press machine are aligned against him, despite the fact he is a horrible candidate, too old, and I doubt he will win if Biden drops out of the race. If Nikki Haley was the R candidate, I’d skip the President question and only vote on the local races. My belief is you are a RINO too, despite this fine article. Your quote about Mexico is deeply troubling. Have you noticed the Biden Administration (which I detest) has recently restricted the flow of humans and drugs across the U.S. border? It seems the Dems realized the border issue was not polling well for them. I believe that’s evidence the border can be shut without war.
    “I would consider sending our military into Mexico to take out the cartels. We’ve got incredible capability right now. In the Middle East, these drones are precise. We’ve got precision guided missiles. We can destroy those cartels. And we should consider that. That would be one of the first things I will be pushing the president to do. Take a much more aggressive action against what is truly a war on America.”

  2. Thanks, Michael. Your position is why Republicans lose over and over. Democrats then declare a mandate as they continue to take seats and move policy farther and farther left — but most importantly, you aren’t voting for a person you agree with on 80% of issues to allow communists to win.

    McCormick and other “RINOs” who are attempting to win a state with hundreds of thousands more D than R voters, but you would rather hold out for a more conservative yet less electable candidates.

  3. If you believe this I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. This is the third time I have posted this and it seems that Mr. McCormick is deleting any comment that does not support him. But has no problems with conspiracy theorists like Michael Sweeney
    So answer this Mr. McCormick.
    1. Do you believe in free speech, even when it disagrees with your own statements?
    2. What grantees do the American public have that you will leave after two terms?

    1. Judah, we both agree that Canidate McCormick offers no guarantee (it can be a tricky word to spell and even more difficult to deliver.) I think we might also agree that Senator Fetterman has surprised many PA voters.

      @Mike, you haven’t realized yet that the Republicans and Democrats are the same entity. Ask Speaker Johnson. It is all theater. McCormick wants to wage war on Mexico. Yikes.
      Everything about Covid was lies. The Republicans, Libertarians, and mostly everyone who was an adult failed our children. The election is already over. 1210 AM is dumb.
      “Hey, anybody
      Know the bitter side of death and glory
      Hey, everybody
      Knows a picture tells a worn out story
      Face down, I can taste the blood
      It’s hard to breathe, someone let me up
      I can’t hear you, have you had enough?
      ‘Cause I’ve had enough” SMITH & MYERS – NOT MAD ENOUGH(lyrics)

      1. @Mike — the country has lunched left with the absence of Republicans being competitive in seeing states. They are out fundraising Republicans and out maneuvering. Republicans aren’t conservative enough? Fair argument to have – when 60% isn’t registered to vote communist/dem and 30% agree with moderate Republicans. You aren’t winning then
        You win by getting Republicans in – registering more in the districts and persuading people. You don’t throw out the ones appealing to the broader base.
        It’s a representative democracy.
        Stop throwing the “RINO” out be because he or she isn’t committing political suicide in their district.

        Also – on the other side- hold safe Republicans accountable to be more intelligent and persuasive. Not ideologues who stamp their feet and yell talking points.

        They should be leading by showing the messaging and policy that works with strong arguments that will persuade people.

        Again. Your pursuit of purity in supporting candidates leads to losses. No one cares what lovers say.

  4. I would genuinely like it if those running for office plainly detailed the facts of government actions and follow through consistently with their of actions to correct those that need to be corrected. Recently the Federal government had an auction of bonds – $19 Trillion worth. About $16.6 Trillion was refinancing of maturing debt. The rates these new bonds pay is higher than those retired – so the existing debt is costing us more. The money was previously spent. The remaining $2.4 Trillion was new spending. The interest that will be paid on the national debt this year will be greater than the money spent on defense. Our elected officials from both parties have hollowed out the US economy. Sure the Dow hit 40,000 this week, but what would that look like in 2000 pre-inflation dollars. We are in a mess and when the chickens come home to roost, they may find that the roosts have collapsed.

    1. The Dow is at an an all time and unemployment is at 3.4%, the lowest i has been in 54 years. There is one party has not hollowed out our economy and it is not the party of Trump.

      1. Judah,
        Look up what “present time value of money” means on Investopedia. Then apologize to Frank.

    2. Frank,
      You are correct. Our politicians pretend they are “Democrat” or “Republican” but they almost all are in the same pocket of Oligarchs. Warren Buffet is a modern-day Lex Luther. Most people think he is an avuncular, friendly, even patriotic person. He hates everything you were taught about the United States. He’s the lowest of the low. He is a billionaire. He brags about not paying taxes while scolding us he should be paying more taxes. He funds programs that teach poor people that equity is the same as equality. He funds old and out of touch TV personalities like Bill Maher – they know the train has left the rails and sometimes say sane things but mostly babel. Billionaires steal your vote and own politicians. Find them. Look up what “tar and feather” and “run them out on a pole” means.

  5. “Wwe also should relocate federal agencies closer to the people they serve.” These agencies support Americans at national levels not just the residents of Pittsburgh or Colorado and those agencies already have regional offices.

    “The federal government should stop focusing resources and attention on misguided ideological agendas like diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Americans have either forgotten or never learned the lessons from the Civil Rights Movement and the laws that were put in place because of it.

    “Sadly, many Pennsylvania voters today might use the word “screw” and “Senate” in the same sentence as well – and for many of the same reasons”. Actually it is the House that is the problem. It took a record setting 15 votes to elect Kevin McConnell Speaker of the House and only 269 days before he was removed. Mike Johnson also faced a similar and ongoing threat. Their crime, working with Democrats to get bills passed.

    We also see this same references in regards to Bobert, Greene, Jim “Gym” Jordan, Matt Gaetz, and other members of the Putin Pac Who are intent on abusing their office, heckling the President and insulting other members of the House. All the while doing everything they can to gridlock every legislative effort.

    “The Founders never imagined that Congress would become an institution filled with career politicians who stay on well past retirement age. Yet more than one-third of Senators are 70 or older”. So what. Age, usually, brings wisdom, being old does not mean you are any less incapable. If we are going to enforce any age limit on Congress than the same should be applied to the Supreme Court.

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