U.S. Senator Jerry Moran drew a crowd at the Town Meeting held Friday afternoon as part of his Kansas Listening Tour. Area residents came to the meeting asking questions and looking for answers about what is going on in our nations capitol. Although most expressed favorable opinions of the job the Senator himself is doing they made their concern clear as far as the overall job Congress is doing and disgust at the unconstitutional actions the Obama Administration is forcing on the American people.
The Senator said the town hall meetings give him a chance to stay connected with the people he represents and get their feedback on the critical issues facing Kansas and the nation as a whole. He feels this gives his constituents a chance to vent and allows him to get a "dose of common sense" as he tries to focus on what the people who elected him consider the most important to them. His main objective is trying to make sure rural America stays alive.
Some of his objectives include education, technology, the deficit, cutting spending and the insuring the fiscal condition of our country. "I try to fight for what I believe in and this includes our Constitution. I want to pass what we have on to the next generation so they can continue to pursue the American dream."
"We have some serious problems. There is no doubt about that and this is a great frustration to those of us who are trying to do what is best for our country. Congress is over run by an administration that does whatever it darn well pleases. Senator Harry Reed and the democrats give Obama great latitude and let him fill in the gaps. They are trying to vote in anything that will make trouble in the next election, Senator Moran told the crowd.
"All I asked for at Christmas this year was a billfold and a new Senate Majority leader. Needless to say, all I got was the new billfold," Senator Moran joked.
The question was asked about the probability of impeaching Obama. The Senator said the problem is that it is a long process. Another constituent observed that Obama is doing everything hecan to destroy the United States and asked why the Democrats are going along with him. Senator Moran had no answer to that question but said the Republicans are working hard to repeal the laws that have been passed. "I want Congress to work to undo the things that have already been done. It is supposed to be the members of Congress who make the laws the President's job to enforce them but that isn't the way the last five years have been," he said.
A member of the audience thanked the Senator and Linn Jenkins for voting not to shut down the government. The Senator explained why he felt shutting down the government would have caused more problems than there already were.
Kansas Representative, Susan Concannon, asked the Senator to discuss the Affordable Care Act. He replied, "This act is a disaster and the consequences of what it is doing to American's health care are huge. It is especially damaging to those of us who are rural citizens since it is causing fewer hospitals and fewer doctors in these areas. Elected officials who gave out information that was totally false have caused the most damaging thing of all. ‘If you like your health care plan you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep him.' None of that has happened. I expected the Supreme Court to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional but as it is there is no bill that will repeal this act," Senator Moran said.
County Commissioner, Tom Claussen, said he talked to Representative Tim Huelscamp about the Affordable Care Act and he thought there could be changes made. The President announced that the bill could be fixed. but it may be so badly broken that we can't fix it, the Senator said. The overall concepts are so evasive that they just keep piling on more problems.
Mitchell County Hospital, Administrator, David Dick, said the government is lacking in all common sense as far as Critical Access Hospitals are concerned. The Senator discussed what they are trying to do to get this part of the bill fixed. It started out that Critical Access Hospitals had to be 35 miles apart. Then Obama decided they should be farther apart. Mr. Dick said, the Beloit hospital will be all right if they leave the definition as it is now but many of the surrounding hospitals won't be safe. If they continue to decrease benefits then Critical Access Hospitals won't be able to survive because most of the patients in many of these hospitals are on Medicare.
Senator Moran said the answer as to what can be done is that the Congress needs to quit passing bills with thousands of pages and then wait to see what the Regulator says they mean.
The Senator was asked if he thought the Republicans have a chance of retaking the Senate in the next election. Moran said he has been named as Chairman of the Election Committee to come up with six new U.S. Senators that could be elected in the next election. He discussed the FCC's damaging decisions and said we don't have the luxury of having an inter-party division and expect to get the necessary number of Senators elected. Since last November only four Republican amendments have made it to the floor. If the Republicans regain the Senate they should work to reverse the 60-vote rule the President and the Democrats got put through, he said.
When asked if the Tea Party will have much effect on the upcoming election, Senator Moran said they have two basic issues the most important of which is to get the Congress and the President to follow the Constitution. He feels they will play a part in the election decisions.
Senator Moran said the energy development in this country has come a long way but it will be a great day when this country is self sufficient and can tell foreign oil countries that we don't need them anymore. He referenced what has been done in North Dakota. Asked about the question of gold in Fort Knox Moran said there is going to be an audit committee set up to check that out.
Last but not least a constituent asked about the possibility of the Farm Bill finally getting passed. Moran said the committee has most of the bill worked out and are now working on the dairy policy. They should have the issue resolved in the next week or so. He said about 80 percent of the Farm Bill deals with Food Stamps and only 10 percent actually has to do with farm commodities. The Senator said he thinks the committee will get the bill figured out by the end of the month.
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