Monday evening approximately 100 local residents had the opportunity to speak directly to U. S. Representative Tom Marino (PA 10th Congressional District) about issues currently facing Congress.
Representative Marino opened the meeting with a brief ‘bio’ about himself, his family, and his background, and then went directly to responding to questions from the audience. Here are some highlights:
Changing the Culture in Washington: Marino listed 3 items he believes are necessary to effect positive change in Washington – 1) Term Limits (maximum 12 years for elected officials), 2) One law/One item (Eliminate ‘bundling’ many things into legislative ‘packages’), and 3) Place restrictions on congressional leaders that would prevent them from blocking votes on pending legislation. (Marino cited, as an example, 50 pieces of legislation that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is currently sitting on.)
Immigration Reform: If the politics were eliminated, the problem could be solved, according to Marino. Neither extreme – those who want total amnesty, nor those who want to deport the millions of illegal aliens – have a solution that will work. Marino believes a) immigration reform is necessary, b) amnesty is NOT the way to go, c) we must first secure our borders, and enforce laws currently on the books.
Jobs / the Economy: “The best thing we can do to help people is to downsize the federal government.” Downsizing government will allow for reduction in the tax burden, thus putting more money that can be spent in the private sector, into consumer’s pockets.
Obamacare: “No one in this country should go without health care because they can’t afford it.”
When asked about the future of Obamacare, Marino expressed concern that if it implodes it will devastate the U S economy. He indicated there are specific elements of the law that he agrees with, but at the same time has voted 40 times to repeal it.
“If anything is going to bankrupt this country it is Obamacare.”
The Republican’s have a plan to replace Obamacare, conceived and driven largely by representatives elected in 2011 and 2013, but with a Democratic Senate there is little likelihood it will go anywhere.
Executive Branch Overreach: Like many others, Marino believes there is a usurpation of power by the Executive Branch. The trend has developed over the last several administrations and Congress has failed to apply the brakes. He feels that the current administration has been more egregious than others. Recent Judiciary Committee hearings, at which prominent constitutional scholars testified, have supported this view. When asked about impeachment of the president, Marino outlined the process – the House of Representatives draws up the articles of impeachment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court acts as judge, and the Senate acts as the jury. Considering the current composition of the Congress there is little likelihood of this happening.
National Debt: The DAILY interest on our national debt is currently $ 1.4 BILLION. The long term implications of runaway/deficit spending can eventually lead to a collapse of the dollar as the world’s currency of choice. If this happens, dollars lose value and our economy collapses.
SVC National Debt Tracker
Debt at Beginning of Meeting $ 17,237,740,693,121
Debt at End of Meeting 17,237,895,399,873
Increase in Debt during the Meeting $ 154,706,752
Increase per minute $ 1,718,964
Next Meeting Monday January 13 – 7:00 PM.
DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT