20110324 Rep. Chaffetz update

Campaign: This was a town hall meeting held at the Provo Library. Representative Chaffetz gave an introduction then had a question and answer period. He also took a little extra time at the end to show some slides and share his passionate concern about government waste.

I spend about half the nights away from my family. I want to be back in Alpine at 9. Deidre is here and Kelly is working on our campaign as well. They have been working so hard to help with this.

I am still pinching myself to be there in Washington. All the history and the situation that we are in now. It is truly mind boggling. I want to speak for 10-15 minutes about what I am working on and then have questions and answers. I like to do this on a regular basis.
It is a amazing how many don’t do this. This is a campaign meeting. I do Congressional meetings also, but this is campaign oriented.
My biggest concern is that we are not following the Constitution and doing what the government was supposed to do. Fiscal discipline, limited government, national defense and accountability.

Fiscal discipline in this country is a mess. You usually hear me say this about the size and scope of the problem we are facing. We are facing so much red ink in this country. Almost a quarter of every dollar is spent is on government. If you were to spend a million dollars a day every day it would take 3000 years to build up this debt. I remember that I was complaining about our debt getting to 9 trillion when I first ran. In 48 months it grew by 60%.

In the last 29 days we have added 220 billion in debt. That is money in the red and the situation is getting worse. We are spending 600 million / day in interest. In order to internalize this and the peril that we face you can look at what is going on in Japan.
What happened in the blink of an eye is that Japan, who was the biggest buyer of our debt is no longer in a situation to buy our debt. Japan may need to sell some of our notes. As we continue to throw hundreds of billions in the market there may be less buyers. Then you raise your interest rates and that gets cruel.

I asked the Fed chairman about the interest rates of the dollar. He said, no problem. The next day, the IMF said that they would not pay for the dollar. The Fed Chairman had testified just the day before and didn’t see any problem.

We are putting so much money in to the market place it is a problem. Inflation will hurt the fixed income people the most. We have no energy policy other than do nothing. This is a calamity that we are doing nothing about. The administration is tying up lands so we can’t get energy. The Department of Energy was supposed to wean us off oil. We moved from 30% to now 60% of oil dependency. We are now looking at gas over 3.50/gallon. Our farmers are watching every penny. We are moving towards 4 and 5/gallon. When your energy is based on what is happening in foreign countries you are not doing the right things. We are not moving towards independence but our hands are tied. I have been to Anwar and there is nothing there. They were saying that it would take too much time but we would have been done by now. If you look at what we have here, then you see the administration blocking us here as well. This puts us on a path where we are not in control of our destiny. We need to take care of ourselves.

We are not taking care of fiscal or energy needs. The federal government is becoming every part of our lives. One of my favorite people out there is George Will. He came and spoke to us at the 112th Congress. He said the big question was, “Is the congress going to be relevant?” The Federal Registry will be more pertinent than the Federal Record from Congress.

I am totally opposed to the Libya initiative. The president is not adhering to the bounds and controls he should be in. We should stand up. I think the action in Libya is unfounded. It is a civil war in North Africa and we should not be entering it without consent from Congress. The second part was that when the President stood before the world and said that he had authorization from the United Nations, he was fundamentally wrong. His power is not from the UN but from Congress. This has just played out in the last few days and we have to stand up in Congress. That is not the way that he can operate. I have had a lot of interviews and we will be back in session next week and we will work on it.

Question A lot of people know what you did with CNN and we are pleased. I’d like to thank you on hydro power as well. I have been trying to come up with ways to get our country back. You have mentioned Anwar. We can produce from Anwar in 5 years. It can be done. We are producing 1.5 million gallons a day on our coasts. We could get so much more from there. We have to undo what the EPA and regulations have done. What will you do?
ANSWER RIght now we consume 18 mill/day which is 20+% of the national amount. You can see why the price goes up based on supply changes. We are not being self sufficient. We could allow the permitting to happen so we can get these resources.

One of my biggest concerns is the foreshadowing from administration is that they are going to use the Antiquities act to take more land. Rob Bishop is by far the best on this issue. I am happy to pat him on the back and follow his lead. We are fighting them on every front. Part of what Rob was able to obtain was 22 pages from the Obama administration that is planning on this masive land grant. They won’t give us the rest of the document. We know that this is happening. The administration also has a new theory on wild lands. On Dec 23, 2010 the Departments offered new guidance. They had a new theory about buffer zones. They don’t think that you should be able to even see anything. They want to take off so many acres. There were some really smart Senators from Wyoming and Montana. They got themselves excluded from Antiquities but we didn’t get it.

They think they should regulate dust. They are looking at a new theory on milk. If you are a milk producer you have to have an oil plan to deal with a milk spill since milk has some oil. I am working with the Farm bureau guys and trying to stop this.

Since Obama took office until now. there are 157,000 new federal workers on the payroll. These are buereaucrats. I asked the OMB about this. The President will say to you that there is a pay freeze. However, 70% of Federal workers got a bonus last year. They can get step increases still and that is okay. In October 2010 they said they would hire more. The payroll is 6 billion higher this year than last year. “When we buy all these security machines we have to hire more people.” How many more agents do you need?

Question We sent you an email 2-3 months ago. We didn’t get a response. How do we communicate back and forth? We do it with Senator Hatch. Congress needs to hear from the country.
ANSWER We get about 10,000 letters and email each month. I have no auto pen and won’t let anyone sign for me. We get generic questions. I am trying not to do form letters. I am trying to do the best I can. We have 14 employees in our office. Senate has 3 times more.

Question As a new person how enthusiastic are you that we can turn things around.? Do you feel that they understand what we said from the last election? What the heck are you going to do about it? Do you have support?
ANSWER No I don’t have the support of the rest of the House.
The ship is turning a bit. We are talking about how much to cut. I don’t think the amount is enough. I think Boehner is serious. We passed Obamacare repeal easily. The senate is still owned by the Democrats. When we had the first CR vote we did cut. We defunded Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. EPA. But the Senate is not taking it up.

I am going to be a little critical here. This freshman class is not nearly as conservative as you would hope. Going back to 111 Congress Pelosi did something that was dangerous. She added an “open rule.” Boehner said that we would have an open rule and there was hundreds of amendments. The Heritage Foundation reviewd the amendments. We took 60 different votes. Only 43 members voted for 100% of the cuts. I was the only one in Utah.

One more statistic that is frusttrating. But Trey Guodi from SC and Mulveny from SC offered us cutting to 2006 levels. That would have cut 134 billion from budget. Less that 100 members voted for that amendment. Alan West didn’t vote for it. He is out there on FOX and didn’t vote!! There are memebers that come from districts not as conservative as we are. look at Adam Kinsinger. He voted for less than 20% of the cuts and he is young. It is a team sport that we work in.

I have a bill about Federal workers having to pay their taxes. We have close to 100,000 federal employees that don’t pay their taxes. It is in the billions of dollars. With 435 people in the room it is tough. John Boehner says that he will let the will of the body take force.
I have been very clear with him about the cuts not being enough. It’s why I go on radio shows. We need the will of the people to get to their representatives. I want them to hear from their people.

Question Our current immigraiton policy is not sustainable. Can you address HB116 constitutionality? What is the will of Congress to do something about this?
ANSWER Left to me HB 116 I would have vetoed. It is unconstitutional (clapping). Congress is broken and the body has failed to do what it needs to do. It is immoral and people are being exploited and taken advantage of. I hold to my 7 point plan and I am holding to it.

It starts with fixing legal immigration. You have to start there or you will not solve this problem. Until you stop the flow you won’t solve the problem. Visas – As best we can tell there are just shy of 90 different kind of visas. Religious, students etc. The first clue that the system is broken is when you need an attorney to understand it. 40% of visa entrants don’t leave. Some say that they want to move around. That is broken.

We also have a lottery. What a terrible way to pick a family. What happend with a lottery. 55,000 come from a lottery and 1 million apply. Some people apply and don’t care if they win, but if they do then they come.
We have to get rid of rewards and incentives.
We have to enforce the current law.
English should be the official language.

Question What is the will?
ANSWER It is always an election year. Just wait until we get past this next one. I think this is wrong. What I want to do this term is that I think you will see some good things come from this Congress. I will present things that most people there will not want to touch. I want the others throughout the US to address this.

Last year I sponsored several bills that went nowhere. I sponsored a bill about everify, border and other controls 12 R 10 D but the committee didn’t take it up. I am not an attorney and I am on the Judiciary. I was on the committee. We met 12 times in 24 months. We never dealt with a substantive immigraiton bill. That is a reason for change in 112th Congress. Most people are scared to death.

I want to report back in 12 months time. It depends on what I can accomplish. The Governor has sent a letter to ask for the waiver. We have sent back questions to UT about ti. This idea has not been fleshed out well yet.

Question The message is that it is best now in the election year because the people want it resolved. It’s the corporate donors that don’t want it resolved. the voters are starting to catch on. They should be held accountable.
ANSWER I don’t hear that. The companies are seeing this as a nightmare because of liability. This is a huge battle. My interacation with the Hispanic Caucus is that they have made it hard. They weren’t able to get amnesty during the best Democrat times. They have tried again and again. “Can’t we just come up with a common ground?” We will see what the fruits are. I am working on it.

Question I have written and received word but I have one concern. You voted twice aginst the Constitution. The Patriot Act has given us the DHS, TSA and a runaway BATF. We need to put the power back to the people. We don’t want to be treated like crminals.
ANSWER PATRIOT Act gets passed in 2001. In 2005 and 2006 it was altered. Because part of it expires in 2010 we had a vote to extend the provisions. I voted against it since we didn’t have hearings or a markup. Markup is when you offer amendments. It didn’t go through the process. I didn’t vote for it.

112th came up and Lamar Smith as Chair was willing to talk to me about it. He said that we would need hearings and a markup. He needed time to extend it so that we could get that. So we extended 3 provisions to be given 90 days. I voted in favor of that. I had a lot of people that hit me for that. I can tell you that I stand by that vote.

One of the biggest security concerns I have is NSL (national security letters). Also, I didn’t want roving wire taps to expire. If I get a warrant to follow one person then I should be able to jump to the different devices that he jumps to. I wanted to extend that to be able to follow a person.

The committment I got was a bit of time. We have had one hearing and will have another in a couple of weeks. I am working with Ron Paul and Rand Paul. I have lunch every Thursday with Ron Paul. He is a leader on this. Rand is very encouraging on this and is trying to get it changed. That is why I voted. If we don’t make the changes I won’t vote for it.

Question Very serious consideration to each part of that act and how it affects us and the Constitution.
ANSWER I would encourage you to read the changes that have already happened. We have done some good things. I want to get through a number of things especially NSLs.

Question I used to write Hatch and would get a response. He never reads them. Now I write Dear Intern. You know about SEIU attorney. You wrote a letter to Eric Holder. Are you going to push for investigation?
ANSWER Former and current SEIU officials who were caught on tape talking about some economic terrorism. It was on the news etc. We drafted a letter from our committee and we sent to AG Holder. We asked him to investigate and respond to us in committee. These things take time. We have something that others don’t have. We can subpoena and we will pursue this.

Question If someone else had done this years ago they would have been in serious trouble.
ANSWER I believe because of the Internet we are just better informed. The speed is that much better. When we just had 3 television networks and didn’t have all ends of the spectrum you would have missed this. We now have competition and 24 hour coverage and those who expose get good coverage. The person in the room had a recording device and got all this forward in just a couple of days.

Question I have been going back to read about what they did in the beginning of the country. Is there a way we could impeach Obaama? We could bring forward all the lies and destruction.
ANSWER We have a duty to hold him accountable. I have not gone as far as impeachment charges.

Question When are you running for President?

Question How much does tenure really count?
ANSWER All things being equal I would much rather have seniority but it doesn’t matter if you don’t vote right. I think it is perpetuated by those in office. As a freshman I was named a ranking member in my committee. I had people on the right of me who had been there for 8 years. I am now chairman my second year in my second term. I work with leadership and colleagues. We are voted on by our colleagues in the House. I made the case that I was the best person and most focused and was voted in.

Question Running against Orrin hatch
ANSWER I am a definite maybe. My job and role in the House is going so well. I don’t know. Deidre says different things each day. I serve at the will of the delegates.
Audience You are the only one to hurry on.
Audience You have heard the cheers. You have 2,3 or 4 times as much
Audience You could do this.
ANSWER Thank you. Stay tuned. I want to stay focused on my job. For instance, and please don’t release this until Monday, but Monday morning I will be in Guantanamo. We will be in Haiti. I don’t know where that will go. I love what we are doing!
This job is such a great responsibility.
Also, take a look at the Kabul Bank – NY Times story. We are working on some of that.
If I ran for Senate it would be campaign versus job mode. If we talk about issues then I know that we would win.

Question We haven’t been written back from Orrin Hatch. I don’t see much changing. They are RINOs that got in. What is your feeling about nullification and the states taking back their rights?
ANSWER Republican Study Committee website. We had one of the Supreme Court Justices come in. I asked “How do the states enforce the 10th amendment?”
He answered, “You ahve to stop taking their money.” There shouldn’t be a Department of Education and the NCLB. A couple of years ago about 8% of education funds came from federal budget. When I talk about repealing NCLB I get equal resistance from Democrats and Republicans. The State has to go back and do the economic analysis and even the UEA will tell you that it is so much work to manage NCLB. The State should take the challenge to undo it and that would be a great way to start moving that ball forward.

Question Federal lands?
ANSWER Mike Lee represented a lot of these counties. He knows what he is talking about. He has the right energy and legal perspective. Mike Noel is doing some good things on 277. I introduced a bill to sell some lands. During the Clinton Administration they did a study and found lands that, “Serve no public purpose.” 130,000 acres in Utah and I said that we should sell that land. Lee and McCain have co sponsored in Senate and I am hoping that will go through.

3.3 million acres is surplus land. We spend annually about $347 million / year on buying more lands. We have got to stop. You have got to take the fight up.

Last thing:
I just went to Afghanistan about a month ago. I want to talk about that. I have a problem with that. In Oct 2009 I took a position that we should come back. This is the longest war in the history of our country. The problem that I have is that we have greater than 100,000 Americans serving there. I have great respect for our troops. What we are doing there is wrong.

I got to spend an hour with General Petraus. I challenged him on the rules of engagement. According to national intelligence the Taliban does not pose a clear and present danger to US or Afghanistan. Intelligence also says there are less that 50 Al Quaeda in Afghanistan. The challenge I have is that if you are going to commit our troops you go with everything.
We have now been there for almost 10 years.

During the 86 months with Bush 620 men and women died. During the 18 months of Obama over 700 have died. They have changed the rules of engagement. I agree with their ideas but we are on a nation building exercise. We are misusing our troops. It used to be that if we had a convoy moving through town we would blow up a building. You now have to see the person and be as humane as possible which means more people die. The rules of engagement are untenable and we are not playing to win. We are uing smaller caliber rounds and we have changed. He is a great man and this was a great chance to meet with him. We are not seeming to get out.

The pentagon deals with IEDs daily. The dog is the best way to fix the explosives concern. The TSA is wrong. These dogs don’t have lobbyists. Doges are the best way to fight explosives!!! (he feel this one!).

This picture shows the poverty. They have wall structures around all their towns. The sad thing is that 80% of towns have no electricity and they get less than a 3rd grade education. We were in a forward operating base. One of the challenges we face there is that we have a challange with training. We were doing an exercise training how to take down license plates. They don’t read, write or hold a pencil. We are trying to train them and prop up a fundamentally corrupt government.

Peshawar, Pakistan where Gary Powers took off in the U2 youtube movie.

Here is Mr. Khan. I love this guy. He trained and was educated at CMU. After an hour of talking I pulled him aside. I asked him, “Pakistans hate Americans, right?” “Yeah.”
“Why do you hate us, we give you billions of dollars?”
“In the northern part of our country we have dry years and wet years. We grow poppies up North. Americans and Europeans come in and buy these poppies. Americans also then come in and cut them to the ground. You buy them and then destroy us and our families.”

This is a training camp north of Peshawar. We are up in a helicporter with this picture. You can see the roads and other things here. We met with USAid and asked for their list of projects. This is their favorite project to show progress. We are spending 10’s of millions of dollars to improve the road and build a bridge for a village that has no cars! Look closely on the picture. We will work on this.

I went on Sunday to a homecoming of 80 people in our UT National Guard. We have over 1000 National Guardsman who will be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. As much as I encourage to bring our troops home and want to bring them home, we need to support them. Help them. Embrace their families. Carry their businesses. They leave for a very long time and I can tell you that the United States of America is a great place. We can disagree and be in each others space because of our freedoms. That is what makes this country great.

Thanks for letting me serve.

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