Contact: 202-225-6216

Name: Ron Estes

Congress: Kansas, District: 4, Republican

Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 62%

Status: Active Member of the House

Score Breakdown:
61% (115th Congress: 2017-2018)

Key Votes:

H R 1: Tax Cuts
Vote Date: December 20, 2017Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This bill, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), would slash the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, cut individual income-tax rates through 2025, and effectively eliminate the tax penalty on Americans who do not purchase health insurance by reducing the penalty amount to zero. The latter was a cornerstone of the 2010 ObamaCare legislation.

The House agreed to the final version of H.R. 1 on December 20, 2017 by a vote of 224 to 201 (Roll Call 699), after which the bill was sent to President Trump for his signature. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the tax cuts in this bill will keep more money in the hands of American businesses and consumers, where it can be invested into the economy, thus spurring economic growth. Unfortunately, however, the bill does not address federal spending, which needs to be reined in via other legislation.

H R 849: Death Panel
Vote Date: November 2, 2017Vote: AYEGood Vote.
The Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 849) would repeal the provisions of ObamaCare providing for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), otherwise known as the “death panel.” In a statement applauding the passage of H.R. 849, David O. Barbe, president of the American Medical Association (AMA), said, “IPAB puts significant health care payment and policy decisions in the hands of an independent body with far too little accountability. Its cost-cutting targets would lead to short-sighted strategies that would threaten access to care for millions of Medicare patients across the country.”

The House passed H.R. 849 on November 2, 2017 by a vote of 307 to 111 (Roll Call 604). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to interfere in healthcare, let alone ration it by deciding who should and should not receive medical care.

H R 36: Abortion
Vote Date: October 3, 2017Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Known as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Protection Act,” this bill (H.R. 36) bans abortion when the age of the preborn baby is 20 weeks or longer. “After 20 weeks,” the bill says, “the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, for example, by recoiling.”

The House passed H.R. 36 on October 3, 2017 by a vote of 237 to 189 (Roll Call 549). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because all forms of abortion constitute the murder of preborn children, and the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, overstepped its proper authority by “legalizing” abortion in the first place.

H R 2824: Home Visitations
Vote Date: September 26, 2017Vote: AYEBad Vote.
The Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents Through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824) would authorize $400 million a year through 2022 for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, which was created under ObamaCare. Under ObamaCare, the MIECHV Program is intended as a wellness and prevention program for homes in poor communities and is to serve as the basis for developing and implementing a national strategy. MIECHV mandates home visits by nurses and other workers to test both the children and parents in order to make improvements in the following extensive list of areas: prenatal; maternal; newborn health; child health and development; children’s cognitive, language, social, emotional, and physical development; parenting skills; school readiness; child academic achievement; reduction in crime; reduction in domestic violence; improvements in family economic self sufficiency; and more.

The House passed H.R. 2824 on September 26, 2017 by a vote of 214 to 209 (Roll Call 537). We have assigned pluses to the nays because going into homes to check up on the physical, emotional, and economic “wellness” of families not only goes way beyond the few and defined federal powers authorized by the Constitution, but also is part of a dangerous trend of government further interjecting itself into the family.

H R 3354: Fracking
Vote Date: September 8, 2017Vote: NAYGood Vote.
During consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 3354), Representative Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to prohibit funds to process any application for a drilling permit that would authorize use of hydraulic fracturing or acid well stimulation treatment in the Pacific outer continental shelf.

The House rejected Carbajal’s amendment on September 8, 2017 by a vote of 177 to 230 (Roll Call 483). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should not interfere with energy exploration. Regulation of various industries, such as energy, is not one of the federal government’s enumerated powers under the Constitution. Allowing the United States to fully utilize its energy resources would make the country more self-sufficient and create, potentially, millions of jobs.

H R 3354: UN Human Rights Agencies
Vote Date: September 7, 2017Vote: AYEGood Vote.
During consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 3354), Representative Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds for making contributions to various United Nations human rights agencies, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The House rejected Yoho’s amendment on September 7, 2017 by a vote of 199 to 212 (Roll Call 470). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because taxpayer money should not go to fund any agencies of the United Nations, especially those led by communist, Marxist, or radical Islamic regimes, which are some of the world’s biggest offenders of human rights.

H R 3180: Intelligence Authorization
Vote Date: July 28, 2017Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 3180) would authorize classified amounts of funding through fiscal 2018 for 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and intelligence-related activities, including the Office of the National Intelligence Director, the CIA, and the National Security Agency. The bill would also require the director of national intelligence to submit to Congress multiple reports regarding Russia’s campaigns directed at foreign elections and its efforts related to cyber influence, including an assessment of Russian influence conducted during the three years prior to the bill’s enactment.

The House passed H.R. 3180 on July 28, 2017 by a vote of 380 to 35 (Roll Call 437). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the very idea of Congress authorizing classified amounts of spending is unconstitutional, as well as frightening. Furthermore, some of the agencies that this “classified” spending is funding are themselves engaged in unconstitutional activities, such as spying on and gathering data from U.S. citizens without a warrant. While assessing (dubious) Russian influence in U.S. politics is an acceptable use of federal funds, much of this bill’s spending is unconstitutional and should be rejected.

H R 806: Ozone Standards
Vote Date: July 18, 2017Vote: AYEGood Vote.
The Ozone Standards Implementation Act (H.R. 806) would delay by eight years the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), issued on October 26, 2015. The EPA’s new NAAQS for ground-level ozone levels went from 75 parts per billion (PPB) to 70 PPB.

Upon its passage in the House, the bill’s main sponsor, Congressman Pete Olson (R-Texas), said in a statement, “My bill provides needed flexibility so that states and localities can adequately achieve new, lower standards with time for compliance. Health remains the first priority in setting standards and giving our local officials the tools they need make the Clean Air Act work.” The Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to set criteria pollution standards for ground level ozone.

The House passed H.R. 806 on July 18, 2017 by a vote of 229 to 199 (Roll Call 391). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because it provides temporary relief from having to immediately implement the new ozone reduction standards. Ideally, the EPA should be abolished and the Clean Air Act repealed, since both are unconstitutional infringements on state responsibilities.

Vote Date: June 27, 2017Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This legislation (H. Res. 397) “solemnly reaffirms the commitment of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s principle of collective defense as enumerated in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.” Under Article 5, the member nations of the NATO military alliance “agree that an armed attack against one or more of them ... shall be considered an attack against them all.”

The House passed H. Res. 397 on June 27, 2017 by a lopsided vote of 423 to 4 (Roll Call 328). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because the United States should stay clear of entangling alliances such as NATO, but also because the NATO provision that obligates the United States to go to war if any member of NATO is attacked undermines the provision in the U.S. Constitution that assigns to Congress the power to declare war. Moreover, the number of nations that the United States has pledged to defend under NATO has grown from 11 to 28 over the years, as the alliance itself has grown from 12 member nations (including the United States) when NATO was created in 1949 to 29 today. Although NATO was ostensibly formed to counter the threat from the Soviet bloc of nations, some of the nations the United States is now pledged to defend under NATO were once part of that bloc, including Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic (as part of Czechoslovakia), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

H R 10: Dodd-Frank Financial Regulations
Vote Date: June 8, 2017Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This bill (H.R. 10) would overhaul financial industry regulations and repeal many provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. Additionally, the bill would change the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into an executive-branch agency funded by annual appropriations.

The House passed H.R. 10 on June 8, 2017 by a vote of 233 to 186 (Roll Call 299). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because regulation of the financial industry is not a responsibility, nor one of the enumerated powers, of the federal government. While allegedly put in place to protect consumers from irresponsible Wall Street tycoons and prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, Dodd-Frank has, in reality, negatively affected small community banks and credit unions with its heavy regulatory burden. While this bill does not represent a complete exit of the federal government from the financial industry, it is a step in the right direction.

H R 1616: National Computer Forensics Institute Authorization
Vote Date: May 16, 2017Vote: AYEBad Vote.
The Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 (H.R. 1616) would, according to the bill, authorize "within the United States Secret Service a National Computer Forensics Institute" for fiscal years 2017 through 2022. According to the bill, "The Institute shall disseminate information related to the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime and related threats, and educate, train, and equip State, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges." (Emphasis added.) In the name of combating cyber crime, this bill would further erode the distinction between local law enforcement and federal policing.

The House passed H.R. 1616 on May 16, 2017 by a vote of 408 to 3 (Roll Call 258). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal equipment and training to state and local law-enforcement officers not only is unconstitutional, but also further federalizes the police system.

H R 1628: ObamaCare Replacement
Vote Date: May 4, 2017Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Rather than voting to repeal ObamaCare, the House voted instead to retain much of ObamaCare under the guise of "repeal and replace." The legislation (H.R. 1628), known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), was strongly backed by President Trump and the Republican congressional leadership. Consequently most Republicans voted for the bill, but 20 voted against it. Liberty-minded Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) noted that the AHCA entailed "replacing mandates, subsidies and penalties with mandates, subsidies and penalties." Another Republican lawmaker, Representative Andy Biggs (Ariz.), while "applaud[ing] all the hard work of the House Freedom Caucus, which has made every effort ... to improve this legislation," nonetheless concluded that the "final bill ... does not meet the promises I made to my constituents." Biggs added, "I remain committed to a full repeal of ObamaCare."

The House passed H.R. 1628 on May 4, 2017 by a vote 217 to 213 (Roll Call 256). We have assigned pluses to the nays because ObamaCare should be repealed, not replaced with a Republican variant of unconstitutional government healthcare that more liberty-minded lawmakers have referred to as "ObamaCare Lite" and "ObamaCare 2.0." Admittedly, the Democrats who voted against this GOP alternatives have gotten "pluses" on this for the wrong reasons (they do not want to move away from the ObamaCare brand and in many cases want even more socialized medicine), but the Republicans who voted against the bill based on principle as opposed to partisanship are to be applauded.

H R 244: Omnibus Appropriations
Vote Date: May 3, 2017Vote: NAYGood Vote.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act or omnibus bill (H.R. 244) would provide $1.16 trillion in discretionary appropriations through September 30, 2017 for the following federal departments and agencies: $20.9 billion for Agriculture, $56.6 billion for Commerce-Justice-Science, $593 billion for Defense, $37.8 billion for Energy-Water, $21.5 billion for Financial Services, $42.4 billion for Homeland Security, $32.2 billion for Interior-Environment, $161 billion for Labor-HHS-Education, $4.4 billion for Legislative, $53.1 billion for State-Foreign Operations, and $57.7 billion for Transportation-HUD. The measure would also authorize classified amounts of funding for various U.S. intelligence agencies.

The House agreed to the omnibus appropriations bill on May 3, 2017 by a vote of 309 to 118 (Roll Call 249). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this fiscal 2017 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our nearly $20 trillion national debt.

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