Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 30, 2013

Hensarling dishes on D.C.

Congressman draws huge crowd to talk about events facing nation

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Fifth District U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling spoke briefly on the country’s financial status, then fielded questions on a wide range of subjects during a town hall meeting at the Henderson County Courthouse Annex  Wednesday.

Hensarling said there are two ways to stem the growing deficit. One is to expand the economy and the other is to cut spending.

“Historically, our nation's economy has grown around three percent annually. Under President Obama’s economic policies, the new normal has become around two percent,” Hensarling said.

If the government doesn’t rein in spending Americans will be paying the bill for future generations.

“Unless we change our out-of-control spending ways and allow our nation’s economy to begin thriving once again, we will be the first generation in American history to leave the next generation with less freedom, fewer opportunities and a lower standard of living,” Hensarling said. “Debt is the symptom. Spending is the disease.”

Hensarling also discussed recent U.S. House legislation that will force the Senate to pass a budget, something the upper chamber hasn’t done in the past few sessions.

“Every day, hard-working taxpayers in Henderson County must set priorities in their family budget,” Hensarling said. “Yet the Senate has failed to pass a budget, much less set spending priorities for nearly four years.”

Hensarling responded to several audience questions during the more than 90-minute session. One audience member asked what could be done to control the Environmental Protection Agency and the regulations it places on businesses.

“It there is a greater job-destroyer in the United States, I do not know its name,” Hensarling said. “We could be energy dependent in 10 years if the government can get out of the way.”

Hensarling said Washington is increasingly controlled by an unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy with more power to determine our lives than any time in history. More regulations have been added during Obama’s administration than in any past presidency, he said.

When questioned about his views on illegal immigration, Hensarling said immigrants have played a large role in building our nation. He added, however, that those who enter the country illegally should not be pushed ahead of those standing in the immigration line.

“Illegal immigration is a threat to national security, economic security and the rule of law,” Hensarling said.

The congressman is opposed to chain immigration, a practice of allowing the legal immigrant to send home to bring in more adults from their family such as parents, siblings and adult children.