PDT Staff Writer
With the U.S. House of Representatives continuing to pass legislation that hits the Senate wall, U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup says it is hard for Americans to feel like anything is getting done in Washington.
“You can go back to the idea of just passing a budget and how the government is supposed to run,” Wenstrup said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Times. “Four years without a budget from the Senate until we finally said you (Congress) don’t get paid unless you pass a budget. It is very frustrating, but I think the American people are starting to get it. And that’s why there was a lot of enthusiasm for No Budget No Pay. If we can just get that to parlay to constituent enthusiasm and tell their Senators ‘we want you to go do your job. We want you to take up some of these bills the House is passing, and at least address them.’”
No Budget, No Pay is as simple as it sounds: If Congress can’t pass a budget on time, members aren’t paid.
Wenstrup said legislation being passed in the House are a result of bipartisanship where members of both parties are working together.
What is happening with Immigration Reform?
“I think what you’re hearing out of the House is really the structure that I have been saying all along, which I’m glad to see people feel the same way,” Wenstrup said. “If you look at it historically, we had immigration reform in 1986, but we didn’t change what caused the problem, which was basically an open border, so those that were here illegally have kept coming.”
Wenstrup said the U.S. is a nation of immigrants. He said his mother recently found the paperwork where is grandfather became a U.S. Citizen.
“It would be hypocritical to say we’re not a nation of immigrants and that’s what has made us strong,” Wenstrup said. “But it’s how we go about it. And I would like to see a good strong legal immigration system. It’s step by step - verifying the border - we’ve got to have local sheriff’s. We’ve got to have states weigh in and say, ‘yes, we feel that it’s secure.’ We’ve got to do better than what we’re doing.”
Wenstrup says he appreciates it when someone is brought in from another country to provide something that will employ four or five Americans.
“Why would we not be for this?” he said.
He noted the final component is what to do with those who have been here illegally.
“You can’t really address that unless you secure the borders,” Wenstrup said.
Wenstrup was asked about President Obama postponing one component of the Health Care Reform Act while leaving another component on the table. Is that constitutional?
“I don’t believe it is,” Wenstrup said. “The problem is, if you challenge it, it is difficult and it takes a long time. It would more than likely have to go to the Supreme Court. The other part is - the administration says, ‘well, guess what? the IRS is going to stand down from this part of the law and not enforce it.’ Then it makes it difficult to change things. That’s why in the House, we said we were going to go ahead and legislate delaying the business mandate. We took it a step further - why should businesses get the break and not the individual. We delayed the individual mandate. But again that hasn’t been taken up in the Senate.”
Wenstrup was at Market Street Cafe during the noon hour Tuesday to meet with constituents as a part of his “Coffee With You” event. Wenstrup went from table to table and talked with area residents, answering their questions.
Wenstrup said - “Election time is coming for a lot of people and they had better start being asked the questions, what do you intend to do for America?”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.