Congressman Tim Bishop
September 13, 2013 @ 12:00 am EDT
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Our congressman from the 1st Congressional District, Tim Bishop was our speaker this morning and he outlined some of the topics that he thought may of concern to us.
Tim began with the situation in Syria. He pointed out that there was a real reluctance to using military strikes to punish the Syrian government. His constituents and the constituents of his colleagues across the country were expressing serious doubts that the use of weapons would accomplish the goal of stopping the use of chemical weapons.
His take was that diplomacy was a much better route, but ironically that approach was unlikely without the credible threat of military action. We now find ourselves in a place where we may get what we want without the risks that are usually unfathomable when the missal fly. The Russians have been the patron of this brutal regime and without them Assad is adrift. If the Russians increase the pressure Assad will likely relent.
Debt Limit- The looming threat of shutting down the government unless the Senate and the President give up on the Affordable Healthcare Act. Not likely, but it is a looming threat. Bishop pointed out that the competitive market that was created with the legislation is beginning to impact the cost of insurance and the trend is to cut it by 50%. That is the projection at the moment. He went on to remind us that Medicare was as least as much hated by the same political forces that are upset about “Obamacare”. In that case there were refinements and few people today want to go back to the days when Medicare did not exist. During the Q&A the congressman pointed out that the deficit has been constantly dropping and at a rate that is much faster than anticipated
Immigration Reform- The opponents according to Bishop want the borders secured before any legislation is passed. To that he told us the $30 billion in additional border security has been added to the effort. Then he went on to outline the depth of the dilemma. Children who know no other country than the United States are not and should not be expected to go to a foreign land. If you deport the parents, what do you do with the children? And some of those children are legal Americans because, while their parents may be undocumented, they were born here.
Bishop put it this way; we have three choices
1) Round them up and send them back to where they came from. (We don’t have enough planes)
2) Attrition- As he put it make life so miserable for them that they want to leave.
3) Create an Immigration Act and pass it, with the recognition that there will be some inequities, and difficult choices.
During the Q & A that followed. The topic of the ethics investigation that we saw in Newsday was brought up. Tim told us that any and all information that was sought has been provided. I am cooperating 100%. The question was about him interceding on behalf of a campaign contributor who wanted a permit for a fireworks display. Mr. Bishop noted that interceded for several organizations as well, including the local fire department for the same issue.