If there is one sentiment Congressman Mac Thornberry holds to, it’s that the United States must keep moving forward.
Thornberry stopped by the offices of the Borger News-Herald to offer his thoughts on various issues affecting the U.S. at the present time, as well as events that have been in the constant cycle of the media.
•Tuesday’s presidential debate – Thornberry said he watched the debate Tuesday evening between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. He did say that he had to call a reporter at the end to give his thoughts on it, or otherwise he would have turned it off.
“I thought they were just arguing with each other more than anything else, so I got tired of it, to tell you the truth,” he said.
•The effect of debates on voters – He said the first debate mattered a lot, because it helped people get a better idea of who Romney was as a candidate.
“The first debate was the opportunity to see him without a filter, without the commercials, but to see what he’s like,” Thornberry said. “It made people feel better about him.”
He said he didn’t feel like the debate Tuesday evening would really have an impact on voters for either candidate. He said most people probably sympathized with the candidate they are leaning towards, and those that don’t care for arguing probably didn’t care for the debate at all.
Thornberry said he thinks debates can show people certain things about candidates, but doesn’t necessarily feel specific points are what sway voters towards one or the other.
•What will get done if Romney is elected – Thornberry said more will actually get done if the Senate changes hands and Romney is elected. He said one of the biggest frustrations the House of Representatives is facing right now is that over a hundred different pieces of legislation have been passed by it that have not been passed in the Senate.
“They haven’t passed a budget in four years, for example,” he said. “I think if you get everybody on the same page, more will be done.”
Thornberry said there is a good chance of the tax code being overhauled if Romney is elected, and there will also be changes in the regulatory agencies under his leadership. He said he thinks there is a chance to start to reform some of the entitlement programs for younger people, which is where two-thirds of the budget lies.
“Until we deal with that, we’re not really going to deal with the debt and the deficit,” he said.
He said he feels the country is in a such a bad place economically that it’s going to force the government to take some sort of action one way or another.
•What will happen if Obama is reelected – Thornberry said that if President Obama is reelected the health care bill will certainly take effect. If he is there to veto any appeal, it will be in effect by 2014.
Thornberry said some stuff will still get done, but he feels it will be more “give and take”, more of a trade-off type of process. The same people will most likely head up the regulatory agencies, and oil and gas will continue to be affected.
He said the regulatory agencies will most likely continue passing regulations on various issues related to oil and gas. Congress can pass repeals on those regulations, but Thornberry said such repeals would most likely be voted by Obama.
“They can basically go and do what they want to do, and it’s tough to stop,” he said.
•Personal goals – Thornberry said he feels the biggest issue facing the country at the present time is the economic situation. He said he tries not to be overly dramatic, but he feels the country is at a point that if it doesn’t get its economic house in order, it is going to be a very different country.
“For me, that has got to be the top of the list, the whole economic debt, spending, and taxes issue,” he said.
Thornberry also serves as vice-chair of the Armed Services Committee and analyzes the challenges taking place in national security. He said trying to make impact on such issues personally is where he spends a lot of his time and effort.
“It’s the first job of the federal government to defend the country, and it’s not getting any easier,” he said.
•Voting in this year’s election – He said it is important for voters to get out and cast their ballots in the upcoming general election.
“Many people take Texas for granted, as far as the presidential election goes, but we’ve got a Senate race and other races down the ballot,” Thornberry said.
If Romney wins, he said it is important for him to win the popular vote across the country, and every vote and every state matters. He said it gives a stamp of endorsement to the candidate who is elected.
“I do believe in a lot of ways this is the most important elections that I’ve ever seen,” Thornberry said.
He said Texas is not one of the states that gets the most attention as far as the election goes, but it is important for everyone to get out and vote, because everybody has a stake in the election.
(Watch for part two of the BNH’s conversation with Thornberry in the weekend edition, as he discusses where he feels our country is at now, community colleges, and energy production.)