Rep. Tom Reed’s second town hall meeting on Saturday, December 12 was in Stanley, Town of Seneca (Ontario County). A relatively small crowd, about 20 to 25, came to listen/talk to our congressman.
We had the regular routine of the Pledge of Allegiance, introductions, announcing that this was his 150th town hall meeting, and a short summary of events in Washington (including telling us how proud he is that his manufacturing bill –which is not part of the budget but was put into the bill in the cover of night–will be signed into law soon). The meeting was running like most of Reed’s rural meetings until…
The tone of the meeting changed when a retired (conservative) physician, who I have encountered before at Rep. Reed’s meetings, spoke:
“I am discouraged by your vote on this Omnibus. The voters in America has overwhelming spoke several weeks ago to stop Obama and his agenda. There is no other clear message with such a republican landslide. Yet you voted in your vote in effect to fund Obamacare, you funded amnesty, you voted to give money to big foreign banks, you voted to crush financially any tea party opposition to republicans. The only way this vote passed was to have Obama lobby enough democrats enthusiastically that it was in their favor. So the vote passed with democratically help. Why did we vote for you? What is the difference in your position and what the democrats would have done? I think this completely votes in the favor of the main stream establishment Washington and completely stamps—stumps— on the American people.”
Reed: “Let’s take it one issue at a time. So the vote you say didn’t didn’t defund—or didn’t attack amnesty—immigration. You are referring to the Executive Order.
Doctor: Where was the defunding mechanism to defund Obama from carrying out the executive order?
Reed: The Executive Order doesn’t go into affect until June of next year. So it has been delayed to the middle of 2015. So my thought process on this was: OK, if we could isolate the issue of Homeland Security, which we did, and take the Immigration issue in a Republican Senate and a Republican House so strategy speaking we would put ourselves in a better position to take on this Executive Order that hasn’t take effect as of yet.
And that is one of my concerns. I am glad that we did the Town Hall today. Because we have heard a tremendous amount of rhetoric that has come out of some of our colleagues down in Washington about how this is the worst thing ever that past the house. There is nothing in here, we caved and everything else. There are some solid wins here…that we took territory that we have been working two or three years for, and put it in the legislation. Once that’s in now we can go to the next session which is the next nine months and February for the immigration issue and fight on that ground to claw more back.
That’s sometimes I get concerned that some members are not being supportive or are out there trying to fan those flames are losing sight that this not a one vote turn the ship around ninety degree turn. This is a long term, incremental reclamation of territory in Washington, DC. And so by my vote, I was trying to demonstrate areas that we could gain more victory, solidify what we have, because if we don’t work on what we have we could lose it all, so this is part of a longer term strategy.
Reed definitely knew his crowd. (I was probably the only non-republican or non-conservative in the audience.) He was saying what he wanted the crowd to hear–1) they have a plan to change the role of the government and 2) if the Tea Party doesn’t join with the moderates their plan won’t work.
Reed: The other issue?
Doctor: Money for Big Foreign Banks.
Reed: Where did that come from?
Doctor: That came with the derivatives clause and the FIDC bailout money and there are big foreign banks that will get that money.
Reed:Now just so we’re clear. That was a key component of Dodd-Frank. Dodd-Frank is what we just clawed back in this bill. I have not been very supportive of Dodd-Frank big government take over that it represents. You are not going to be able to repeal Dodd Frank right now. This is a small piece that we can claw back. If this reform doesn’t happen, then our farmers who are using this vehicle to be getting the money to get their products to market lose the ability to get that cost effectively. The reform puts more cost of the agricultural community.”
I doubt that the Doctor was satisfied with Reed’s response. There is a big difference worrying about Big Foreign Banks taking risks that American Tax Payers would be responsible for (Again!) and farmers getting their crops to market. It would seem that there would be a better way to help the farmers.
Other topics brought up:
Fair Tax– A member of the audience brought it up. Reed let him talk about it– he defined it as a National Sales Tax would replace all other individual taxes. Reed responded that there will be hearings on the Fair Tax.
Obamacare–A (republican) pharmacist is against Obamacare because the pharmaceutical companies are seeing a lower profit margin on their prescriptions, so they are enticing doctors to write more prescriptions. She would rather have a Single Payer system.
Social Security–Reed’s same old song and dance, but with updated Charts.
One audience member asked if the Federal Gas Tax (18¢ per gallon) is in a dedicated fund to maintain highway infrastructure. Reed said that it is.
Reed reported that the increase to Campaign Funding is to fund the Democrat and Republicans Conventions, which used to be tax supported.
The President of the Yates County SCOPE spoke against the UN Small Arms Treaty (that has not been ratified by the Senate yet, and probably won’t be) that limits sale of small arms to warring countries. Somehow that infringed on his Second Amendment rights.
Reed proudly announced the budget bill has lower the EPA funding and number of staff. A victory for Small Government.
Before Rep. Reed left, he told us that he was heading to Seneca Falls to run in their “It’s A Wonderful Life” Celebration 5K race.