5 Questions with Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI)
Heritage Action: What aspect of government (i.e., program, department, agency) do you want to reform the most? What legislation are you currently pushing or working on to achieve that reform?
Rep. Amash: I’m very concerned about the crushing debt burden that the federal government is placing on future generations. We’re coming up on four years in a row of trillion-dollar deficits. That level of debt will reduce the economic opportunity available to our children and grandchildren. It’s immoral.
I have proposed a unique balanced budget amendment that has wide bipartisan support and I think has the potential to change the terms of the debate. H.J. Res. 81, the Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment, balances current year spending with the average revenue of the last three years. That smoothes out the jumps and dives in federal revenue, makes the budget more predictable, puts downward pressure on taxes, and over time ensures small, sustainable budget surpluses to pay down the debt.
HA: What’s a piece of smaller legislation, or nominee, that is currently on the agenda but flying under the radar that you feel conservatives should be concerned about?
Rep. Amash: Conservatives should strongly oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Ex-Im provides below-market loans and loan guarantees to foreign entities that purchase domestic goods. Principled conservatives recognize that this type of corporate welfare violates the Rule of Law because it unjustly enriches some companies at the expense of others, while putting taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars of loans. This week, I introduced H.R. 4268 to end Ex-Im.
HA: What do you enjoy the most and the least about being a Member of Congress?
Rep. Amash: I enjoy working to make a difference. The House’s new, more open process allows even freshman legislators to offer up their ideas. From my first day in office, I’ve pursued policies that expand economic freedom and individual liberty, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find some great allies, particularly among the freshmen.
I dislike being away from my wife and three young kids.
HA: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in Washington?
Rep. Amash: I like to spend time with my kids and plant trees when the weather is nice.
HA: What do you miss most about being a kid?
Rep. Amash: I most miss playing outdoors and being near my brothers (although, in all fairness, they both live within a few miles of my home in Michigan, and I talk with them every day).