By Brian Graves, Staff Writer
Monday, January, 14, 2013 —
Congressman Richard Hudson told local business leaders Thursday that if President Obama uses executive action in order to increase the country’s debt limit “we should sue him or impeach him.”
The issue of the debt was just one of several issues Hudson was questioned about when he visited the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce on his “listening tour” as a new member of Congress.
Hudson said Stanly County was the 10th meeting he has had and it was well attended, with almost 40 packing a conference room at Stanly Regional Medical Center.
“I love coming to Stanly County. It’s one of my favorite places,” Hudson said.
“We’ve accomplished a lot together over the years.”
Hudson served as district director for former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes.
“You’re going to see our styles are very similar,” he said.
“I believe the only way I can be a good congressman and represent you is if I come here often.”
The congressman said he has been assigned to the Agriculture, Education and Workforce and Homeland Security committees.
“Agriculture is my top priority because of the impact on this district,” Hudson said.
He will be chairing a subcommittee concerning transportation as part of his duties dealing with homeland security.
“It’s very rare a freshman gets that much responsibiity,” Hudson said.
He said he is excited about being on the job, but sobered by the tasks ahead.
Many of those tasks were addressed during the conversation Hudson had with Chamber members.
“If you’re recruiting businesses and you want me to get on an airplane and go somewhere, let’s go. Or I’ll pick up the phone and invite them and tell them how much we want them to move to Stanly County. I’m on board. I’m part of the team,” he said.
“But the best way to create jobs in this community is to make sure our existing businesses survive, thrive, grow and expand and allow entreprenuers to start businesses in this community.”
“I talk to community bankers every day about the challenges and frustrations of not being able to lend money to people because of the strings coming from the federal government,” he said.
“I’m looking at tweaks to the Dodd-Frank legislationthat Republicans and Democrats can work on together.”
Hudson said he still opposes the Affordable Health Care Act, but acknowledged that it is the law and it will be difficult with the current shape of Congress to be able to make much change during the next two years.
“My preference would be to start over and look at market-based solutions,” Husdon said.
“There’s a lot of ideas of how to do this differently, I’m just not sure that’s going to be possible in the short term. If there are things we can fix in the framework we have in front of us, I’ll work with you. But, for the next two years that’s all that’s possible.”
Hudson said the debt was the greatest national security threat and he will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless there is an even cut in spending dollars.
“We are spending ourselves into oblivion,” he said.
“We are printing money to buy our own debt with. There’s going to be a day of reckoning. You can pick your favorite program and we can’t afford it if we continue down this path.”
He said he was disappointed with the fiscal cliff bill that was passed.
“If we passed an increase on the top two percent, it’s not going to give us eight years of funding or eight months of funding or eight weeks of fudning. It’s eight days of funding,” he said.
“We can’t raise taxes enough to get out of this situation. We have got to cut spending and we have got to deal with entitlements.”
He said he is encouraged that many who entered Congress with him came to “do something.”
“When it comes to that debt ceiling, that’s the last shot we’ve got (to negotiate spending cuts) and I’m not going to budge,” Hudson said.
But after suggesting potential impeachment should the president try to use executive orders to raise the debt limit, he said that is not a palatable option.
“The thought of that almost makes me sick because the last thing we need in this country is that kind of division,” Hudson said.
“We’ve got to find a way to come together. The president can’t pick and choose what laws to follow.
“I really would like to work with the president if we can get past this debt ceiling.”
“The sides aren’t that far apart,” Hudson said.
“The big arguement is over citizenship for people that are already here and I think we can come to an agreement on a worker program that makes sense that doesn’t lead to citizenship.”
He said there has to be operational control on the border before any true solution can be applied.
Hudson said the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has already passed a plan designed to strengthen the program, but the Senate has not taken any action on it.
“The idea is not to touch anyone’s Social Security or Medicare who is at or near retirement and I won’t support anything that does that,” Hudson said.
“We’ve got to keep promises to seniors, but for folks my age and younger, you have a choice to have Medicare as it is or the options members of Congress has. At the very least, you’d have three choices.”
He said working on Social Security will be a matter of “people sitting around the table and not taking shots at each other and finding the way forward.”