Baron Hill gives progress report
Cathy May, Contributing Writer
Congressman Baron Hill was introduced by Ripley County Economic
Director Brad Buening Monday, July 2, where the congressman gave
a six month progress report entitled, New Directions for America.
The congressman said after the election the mood of the country
was all about change. Thats something he and other fellow
congressman have worked on. He outlined five areas they have focused
on and gave an overview of what has been done so far.
Strengthen the Military. Congress has enacted remaining 9/11
Commission recommendation, while he says the present administration
opposes this in its current form. The president vetoed the original
versions of the FY 2007 Supplemental containing real benchmarks
for Iraqis to take over their own country and send our troops home
and Congressman Hill says President Bush has threatened to veto
the Defense Authorization bill that includes a pay raise for the
Restore Accountability. A Congressional Ethics Reform package
was enacted that includes banning gifts and travel from lobbyists.
This measure required no presidential signature. Baron Hills
bill to establish an independent ethics commission made up of former
members of the Congress was passed. He says he strongly opposes
the method in place where congress investigated its own. Another
measure to restore accountability has been taken through the Fiscal
Honesty and Accountability Act, which introduced the Pay-As-You-Go
rules law. Hill explained this is no different than running a household,
if youre going to spend the money, youve got to find
a way to pay for it. He says the nations deficit is $9 trillion
right now and that has to stop.
Achieve Energy Independence. Congressman Hill noted that
last year big oil companies got a big tax break. The president has
threatened to veto the efforts of Congress to repeal subsidies to
big oil companies and invest in renewable fuels. The congressman
also expounded on the gasoline price gouging he feels is a real
threat. He said hes noticed that prices vary in a short stretch
of road as much as 20 cents per gallon. Congress also wants to prevent
price-fixing by OPEC and major oil companies. The congressmans
bill would enhance tax cuts for manufacturers of hybrid cars. Theyre
expensive to buy and expensive to make, he noted, adding he
felt money would be well spent by making these vehicles more affordable
Grow Our Economy. The president vetoed efforts to expand
tax credits for small businesses on May 1. Congress has an innovation
agenda to create new technology and more science and math teachers.
Congressman Hill noted that after serving on the science committee
he realized we have a real problem with the number of math and science
Caring for our children and families. In the last category
that the congressman spoke about he noted that the president has
threatened to veto the Medicare price negotiation to lower costs
for senior citizens and opposes cutting interest rates on student
loans. The minimum wage was raised for the first time in 10 years.
Congressman Hill noted that he feels its time for politicians to
become bi-partisan and work together for the good of the American
people. He said there are some big issues facing our nation and
working together will be the only way to get them resolved. Right
now, he says that is not the feeling on Capitol Hill, making the
wheels spin slowly.
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Congressman Baron Hill gave an presentation on New
Directions for America: Six Month Progress Report, in
Versailles at the Tyson United Methodist Church Fellowship
Hall on Monday, July 2. He said Congress had convened
for the week and he was glad to be able to share what
they had been getting done in Congress with constituents.