4th District Congressman Thomas Massie continues to be frustrated by rising national debt

05/03/2018 03:38 PM

ERLANGER – U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Garrison, says that one of his biggest frustrations so far in Congress has been the fact that the national debt has continued to rise despite the fact that the GOP holds the White House and both chambers.

Massie, who was in Northern Kentucky on Thursday addressing the Kenton County Rotary Club, reiterated that the reason the deficit continues to rise is the government’s practice of spending.

“You know, when I got to Congress, the first thing that I hung on the wall was a debt clock, and it said 16 trillion dollars,” Massie said. “Now the debt clock in my office says 21 trillion and it’s still climbing astronomically. A lot of people think that some of that is due to the tax cuts, but the reality is it’s not the tax cuts that are driving the deficit, it’s the spending.”

Now that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has decided not to seek re-election, there’s growing speculation about who will be his replacement.

Massie favors the U.S. Representative from Ohio’s 4th Congressional District.

“i would love to see Jim Jordan step forward,” Massie said. “There are a lot of us in Congress and a lot of the public frankly, outside of Washington, D.C., who are pushing Jim Jordan to run for Speaker.”

Massie has been outspoken about President Donald Trump’s airstrikes in Syria which were intended to deter the use of chemical weapons, like the attack on civilians in the Syrian town of Douma, allegedly by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, saying that Trump did not have the authority to order them without Congress’ consent.

“We had a classified briefing on Syria, yet no information was provided to us to prove that the chemical attacks were perpetrated by Assad,” Massie said. “Frankly, I think the president’s instincts are right on this, that we shouldn’t be involved in Syria. I just believe that he has some advisors who are pushing him to get more involved in Syria.”

As for Trump’s time in the White House thus far, Massie, for the most part, gives the president high marks.

“So far, he’s a 50 percent approval rating, which is pretty good for a person in that job, “Massie said. “We see North Korea coming to the table, we got tax cuts, we’ve got a good conservative Supreme Court nominee who was confirmed and is issuing good decisions I believe.”

Despite the issues in Washington, D.C., Massie followed the proceedings of the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly and believes that, despite the turmoil, some goods things were accomplished.

“Look, unemployment is at an all-time low here in Kentucky, they balanced the budget
again this year which is something that we’ve not done in Washington, D.C.,” Massie said. “They’ve got a challenge with the pension system. i don’t believe that they fixed it well enough this time around. I mean, they took all of the hits for trying to fix the problem, yet didn’t necessarily fix it.”

Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Kentucky, was widely criticized by Democrat and Republican legislators for his remarks about teachers in the debate over pensions.

Massie has not been critical of the governor saying that he applauds him for taking on the tough issues.

“Look, standing in front of a camera and doing this is a tough job, I’m not going to say that I always use the right words, so, I’m not going to criticize the governor for the words that he chose,” Massie said. “People are going to disagree on style, but you can’t disagree with his estimation of the problem, which is the pension system is going to go broke if we don’t do something.”

Three Democrats are running in the primary to oppose Massie in the fall.

The three-term congressman isn’t overly concerned, saying that he feels the Democrats in general, are in turmoil.

“President Trump won this congressional district by 36 points, I won this congressional district by 40 points, I think having a challenger is going to make for an interesting race, but frankly, the Democrats are off the rails this year,” Massie said.


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