Thankfully I have my Harley Davidson helmet, because I plan to spend as much time as the new leadership allows back in my district. Republicans in this Congress need to follow through with our commitments and be accountable to the people we serve.
- Defend America's hard-earned freedoms
While it is important to acknowledge mistakes have been made in Iraq, we must ensure that the war on terrorism is not fought on American soil.
We cannot shirk from our obligation to protect our families and nation from the enemies of freedom, and we must continue to provide American men and women in combat resources that will enable them to come home safe and victorious.
We also must work to improve our broken immigration system by pursing policy initiatives that toughen border security and end illegal immigration.
- Pursue effective and innovative solutions to problems we currently face without expanding the size and scope of government
Despite our minority status, Republicans can play a major role in policy debates during the 110th Congress.
We should take a look at policies that will make health care more accessible. Residents of my district continue to stress to me that they want health care decisions to be made by patients and doctors, not by the government and insurance companies.
One of our greatest national liabilities is our overwhelming dependence on foreign oil. Our country needs to diversify our energy supply through domestic alternative energy sources and bolster our domestic oil production.
A final area Republicans should explore is education reform, where empowering local school districts and families will produce educational excellence.
Ten years ago Republicans were known as the party of Ronald Reagan, but big-government policies supported by the past few sessions of Congress muddled and transformed the American public's perception of our party.
If we can follow the principles listed above in such as way that Americans can discern the difference between our core values and those of the opposing party, Republicans will have an identity to be proud of.
Tim Walberg is currently in his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Michigan’s Seventh District, which includes Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee counties and parts of Calhoun and Washtenaw counties.