Arrington recaps House session, speaks out on immigration, agric - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Arrington recaps House session, speaks out on immigration, agriculture, Obamacare

Congressman Jodey Arrington was in our studio on Thursday (Source: KCBD Video) Congressman Jodey Arrington was in our studio on Thursday (Source: KCBD Video)

Congressman Jodey Arrington was in our studio on Thursday to give us some updates from this recent House session and talk about a broad range of issues.

"I think the House has been as productive as they've been in a long while," Arrington said. "We've passed roughly 160 bills out of the House making it the most productive session for the House since Harry Truman."

Their first priority was regulatory reform.

"We've had 14 major regulatory repeals in 14 separate pieces of legislation that have gone to the President's desk that will save the economy billions of dollars and over four million hours in filling out paperwork."

On keeping promises:

"I think we're doing a great job of delivering what we promised to the people we would do. The people who voted for me in this district and the majority of people across the country who expect Congress to work for them and do what we say and so I think we're making good headway, but I won't feel good until we pass legislation to repeal Obamacare ultimately..."

On Obamacare:

Arrington stressed the need to "actually repeal the mandates, the taxes, the regulations on Obamacare because that's the lynchpin for tax reform in so many things."

"That gives the American people the confidence that when Republicans are in power we can govern and we can deliver."

"Healthcare has dominated the discussion because you've had eight years of Obamacare, government controlled healthcare.  I don't think the intention was to drive costs up. But that is what has happened.  I don't think the intention was a collapse in the Obamacare exchange program, but that's what's happened."

"You really don't have much choice anymore and in some cases zero choices. It's one of the biggest costs for small businesses, family farmers and middle and working class families."

"There's always concerns about the devil in the details about Obamacare repeal. We need market reform, patient center reform, government out of healthcare and create real competition and choice. But there's a role for the government, it's a very limited role."

"In this case, pre-existing conditions is something the government ought to provide some assistance."

On agriculture, particularly, getting cotton back in the Farm Bill:

"We're a big agriculture economy out here, so another thing that comes up is when are we going to get cotton back in the safety net of the Farm Bill. We need to restore that component because it's been devastating to our region. This is an industry that means billions of dollars to this economy and affects everything we do out here."

On North Korea:

"You also have instability in the world. You've got North Korea with the intercontinental ballistic missile, they claim can reach the United States. Threats we take seriously."

On border security and threats to public safety:

"We gotta keep putting the pressure on the Senate to execute on things they promised to the American people. I've cosponsored other legislation to secure the border and stop illegal immigration."

On Kate's Law:

"This law will increase the penalty for folks who were deported then re-entered the United States illegally. If you commit a crime and re-enter the U.S. you have up to 25 years in prison."

"You've also got the ‘No Sanctuary for Criminal Aliens Act', which we passed in tandem with Kate's Law. That withholds federal grant monies from sanctuary jurisdictions."

On Debt and Washington Spending:

So what keeps Congressman Arrington up at night?

First thing? "Trump's tweets don't keep me up at night, like they keep the national media in a frenzy," Arrington said.

"What keeps me up at night is our national debt."

As a member of the Budget Committee, Arrington said he sees all the ways "we are spending ourselves into oblivion and setting the night generation of Americans, including my children, up for failure."

"How do we stop this spiral of deficit spending and debt? Nobody wants to cut this, that, or the other. Everybody's got something they want to protect. For too long we've kicked the can down the road."

"I'm on the Budget Committee. I'm the only Republican from Texas. I campaigned on reducing our spending and getting control of our budget and making sure that we actually balance the budget."

"It's tough. Everyone's going to have to take the pain. Everyone's going to have to make sacrifices."

"That's probably the toughest nut to crack, but it's one I'm committed to."

Arrington said those priorities should be reflected in the 2018 budget, the first budget process he's been part of.

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