Rep. Frank Lucas
Congressman Frank Lucas brought to the state home builders' recent meeting a message from "The Temple of Honesty" as he poked fun at D.C.
The greatest challenge at Capitol Hill is the 53-47 split in the Senate for this reason:
1. The rules of unlimited debate call for 60 votes to shut off the debate, so "no one is in control."
2. There is tremendous turnover in membership. As a senator of 18 years of service, he was 434 the of 435th on the seniority level when he arrived, only because of a death. Now, he is 99th and, next session, expects to be at least 84th. An experienced Congress has many benefits to the voters.
Interesting sidelight: Congressman Lucas is head of the Agriculture Committee. He said most people don't know that three-quarters of the committee's funding goes to someone to eat the food, i.e. WIC and food stamps, for example.
Congressman Lucas is a member of the seniority ladder for the Financial Services Committee. He believes Congress should use the market economy to get things rolling again.
And what about the health-care debate? The U.S. Supreme Court will decide, he said. His opinion: They will decide the whole issue in one vote, and not piecemeal it.
$15 trillion debt? Doesn't that scare you? If you give GOP control of both House and Senate, we turn off the excessive spending. In 1994, we had Bill Clinton as president. We turned down spending, turned down tax rate increases and we got things going. IF we get control, we'll turn down the spending and grow our way back into balance.
Finally, from one homebuilder, "Frank we could do this or we could do that. But can you tell me what the tax rate will be next year?" Don't know. "Can you tell me what the health insurance costs will be next year?" I can't tell you.
Bottom line: We have an environment that is so discouraging, against risk-taking. Change it up in the fall and we'll all get back to business. This should not be the fourth year of a recession. We should be out of this mess by now.