Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Fleming votes no on funding

Congressman John Fleming voted against a continuing resolution last week saying the measure did little to reform and sustain the nation's "entitlement" programs.

The resolution did pass, however, funding the government for the next six months.

"The continuing resolution was a good effort," the Minden Congressman said. "But it just doesn't do some things I would have liked to see."

Fleming said he was hoping for more money going back into national defense and less money "just shifting from one entitlement program to another."

"Medicare runs out of money in 10 years," Fleming said. "We know it's going to happen, and every year we wait to do something means it's going to take stiffer and stiffer reforms that could potentially hurt more people. When these programs collapse, the people who are going to be hurt are the most vulnerable - the people who can't bounce back, find a job, have some other source of income."

Fleming said he wants to reform the welfare system by placing work requirements on programs as well as instituting drug testing.

"If you apply for a job, you are going to have to pass a drug test," he said. "If you are going to get a free check you should also have to pass a drug test. We are telling people who use drugs that they are going to be permanently on dependency because they won't be able to get a job but they can always live off the government."

He also said another reform needs to be a complete repeal of Obamacare.

"Every metric we have shows it's driving costs through the ceiling and we haven't even fully implemented it yet," Fleming said. "The president promised that we would see a drop in premiums, but they have actually gone up. We are hearing estimates of 200 to 300 percent increases in premiums over what they are today."

As for Medicare, he said more than $700 billion is being taken from the program to help fund the President's health care overhaul.

"Which is one of reasons why Medicare is going to run out of money in 10 years," he said. "We need to reform Medicare where we begin to re-implement competition between providers and  insurance companies and build in the kind of efficiencies that make the dollar go a lot further.

"These programs do need to be saved and made sustainable, but we can't continue the growth," he continued. "If Congress does not make legitimate cuts in entitlement programs, what's happening in Europe will happen in America."

Fleming said one way or another, cuts were going to happen.

"Either we do it now where we can do it in a way that there is little if any pain, or we can slam into a wall and have drastic austerity which gives us Spain and Greece like results," he said.

"So we either go into glide slope with a soft landing or we crash. Republicans just want to fix it and make it something for the people who are disabled and vulnerable. But for Heaven's sake, we can't just continue to make a larger and larger portion of society both unemployed and dependent."






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