Our current immigration system doesn't serve America's economic or social interests and undermines respect for the rule of law. Fundamental reform is badly needed and long overdue. That is why I support immigration reform, and why I initially joined a bipartisan group of senators to try and find common ground on the issue.

But it's also why I left that group. And why today, I must oppose the so-called "Gang of Eight" immigration bill soon to be taken up by the Senate.
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Fundamental reform is badly needed and long overdue. That is why I support immigration reform and why I initially joined a bipartisan group of senators to try and find common ground on the issue.

But it's also why I left that group. And why today, I must oppose the so-called "Gang" of Eight" immigration bill soon to be taken up by the Senate.
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Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the country was rightly focused on steps we might take to help stop such horrible crimes from happening. Unfortunately, the proposals offered in the Senate, including the expansion of background checks, would serve primarily to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens, while doing little, if anything, to prevent the kind of tragic violent crimes that took place in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.
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At its core, the Second Amendment helps ensure that individuals and local communities can serve as the first line of defense against threats to our persons and property. Any limitation on this fundamental right of self-defense makes us more dependent on government for protection. But government can’t be everywhere at all times, so the practical effect of limiting our individual rights is to make us less secure.
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It is time for conservatives to reframe the debate. It is time to focus on the principles that will lead us to the kind of country and society we want for our future and ourselves.
Here is the principle I ask conservatives to consider: The opposite of bad government is not good government. It isn't even limited government. The opposite of bad government is a Civil Society. A free and strong civil society is built on the innate desire of Americans to freely contribute to the betterment of the community.
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One of the most important aspects of our economy is the price of energy. It affects virtually every aspect of our lives. Higher oil prices, for example, lead to higher energy costs. Families are forced to spend more and more of their incomes on heating and electricity bills. Food and other goods become more expensive as the price of producing and shipping rises. Businesses are harmed as costs go up.
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The last time Congress was close to passing legislation that required the federal government to balance its budget the national debt stood at $5.3 trillion. Since then, the national debt has nearly tripled to $16.4 trillion.
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