Words from Washington

Congressional mailbag

During the recent district work period, I traveled around Central Washington, listening to local residents' questions and concerns. And each month I receive thousands of emails, phone calls and letters on a variety of topics. I wanted to share a few questions that I received at the meetings and from the e-mails, calls and letters sent to my office.

What steps have been taken to repeal ObamaCare?

I am fully committed to repealing President Obama's health care law. The Democrats who control the Senate have refused to approve the House-passed repeal bill, yet work continues by House Republicans on alternative ways to stop implementation of the law through an open, transparent process. Our repeal efforts stand in stark contrast to the manner in which those who controlled Congress jammed ObamaCare through Congress-but the American people deserve better and demanded better than secret backroom deals.

I am a co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the trillion dollar government takeover of our healthcare system. Since the new Congress convened, I have voted to repeal and defund the law, repeal the 1099 mandate on small businesses, and repeal a law that arbitrarily bans doctor-owned hospitals from being opened and restricts existing doctor-owned hospitals from growing to meet the needs of their communities.

What is being done about Washington, D.C.'s out of control spending?

I am gravely concerned about the size of the federal government and the rate of government spending. When times get tough American families tighten their belts - they don't spend even more. Yet, that's exactly what President Obama and Democrats in Congress did when they passed bailouts, stimulus spending and the trillion dollar government takeover of health care. It's time for the federal government to stop spending money it doesn't have, reverse course and have an honest conversation with the American people about the budget crisis and the spending cuts and entitlement reforms needed to solve the problem.

In only the first three months since Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, I have voted to cut the congressional operating budget, to stop the earmark system, to repeal ObamaCare, to return spending to pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels, to end taxpayer funding for Presidential campaigns, and to begin shutting down the TARP bailout. More work is necessary, but these are steps in the right direction to fiscal responsibility.

What can be done to address rising gas prices?

Every family and small business in Central Washington is facing the burden of climbing gas prices, and something needs to be done to increase production and lower costs.

The United States has immense resources and ability to produce energy, and I am committed to exploring all options. I recently introduced three pieces of legislation to increase our competitive edge in energy production and get people back to work.

These three bills are part of the new American Energy Initiative, an ongoing effort to address rising gasoline prices and expand American energy production. This initiative will lower energy costs, grow our economy and create jobs. As Chairman of House Natural Resources Committee, I am committed to finding sensible solutions to America's rapidly rising energy costs and help boost our economy by actively producing our own American energy resources.

- Congressman Doc Hasting s represents Central Washington's Fourth C0ngressional District


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