Monday, August 13, 2012

Congressman Griffith ponders what can be accomplished before the elections

Griffith with wife Hilary talk to George Barker

The coveted plastic golf clubs were the grand prize at the Greater Griffith Open Thursday at Putt Putt on Peters Creek Road. Water squirt guns were other prizes. Griffith couldn’t help but take a swipe at the EPA saying, “are you sure they are not being outlawed … this could be a major hazard.”

He said he hoped everyone had a good golf game because “you know you didn’t do this on your own … you know somebody else built the course.” An obvious reference to President Obama’s Roanoke remarks taken out of context – “you didn’t build that – someone else did.”

Griffith announces prizes with son Starke

Griffith then told The Roanoke Star that he hoped some things would get done in the few days before the election when congress is in session. He was optimistic that a bill introduced by Rep Pete Olson (R-TX) would pass with bipartisan support. The bill that allows power companies to comply with federal orders to maintain grid reliability during a power emergency without facing lawsuits or penalties for violating potentially conflicting federal environmental laws. Basically Griffith said that means, “if you are ordered by one federal agency to do something you can’t get in trouble for violating another set of rules.” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) introduced another bill Griffith thinks will pass. That bill streamlines licensing for small hydropower projects that generate less than 10 megawatts of electricity. He couldn’t recall any “no” votes on the bill in committee.

Banking regulations are the same way said Griffith. “Maybe we need all kinds of checks and balances for the giant banks that are doing investments all over the world then you need one set of standards. The Dodd-Frank Bill applies to everything. Applying all the same rules to local banks doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Griffith didn’t think the Farm Bill; tax reform or sequestration would be taken up. “Sequestration shouldn’t be political … it was passed by Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “Everyone signed on to that deal.” Griffith didn’t vote for it however. Democrats are “just playing games with the Bush tax cuts too,” he said. “We shouldn’t raise taxes in a down economy and we’re still down.”

He believes since President Obama extended the Bush-era tax cuts in 2010 that he should extend them again since the economy is still struggling. “Should Obama win reelection we’ll have to figure out a way to let him save face,” said Griffith.

With sequestration looming on January 1 and trillion-dollar cuts coming that will be applied across the board Griffith believes there can be compromise there too. “In all fairness we can cut the military some … bring 10,000 troops in Europe back and save $800 million.” He said he voted to reduce DOD spending to 2011 levels, cutting $7.6 billion from their budget. “That’s doable … sequestration is not doable.”

Griffith with water gun

The Farm Bill has been stalled. There is reluctance to extend subsidies and food stamps for only one year versus five years. It gives farmers no certainty. With farmers suffering severe drought loses Griffith believes there will be compromise there too. Just when that compromise happens is the question.

Keeping 26-year old children on a parent’s insurance police is making the insurance companies money said Griffith. They are healthy and parents pay more to cover the family. “We’ve got to figure out something to do about pre-existing conditions.” There are 120 bills pending on Obamacare replacement but they will have to wait until after the election.

If Obama wins reelection there are things that need to be fixed like the $750 million of Medicare reductions over a 10-year period. “If you drop the amount of money paid to Medicare doctors so they don’t even break even then they will not accept any more patients.”

On social security Griffith says everything is on the table including raising the retirement age for most employees. He has some trepidation when it comes to labor intensive careers where age limitations apply. “That makes sense to me – but if we do nothing social security will not survive past 2023.”

Grffith will be facing Democratic opponent Anthony Flaccavento in November.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Local Events, National, Politics

Tags: , , ,


No Comments

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

Leave a Reply