By – Caroline Rayburn
AMAC Members Meeting with Congressman Tom Cotton
From AMAC Representative Connor Martin, AR-03 and AR-04:
As 2014 rolls into the summer season, and AMAC steadily builds its profile on Capitol Hill, our engagement efforts at the grassroots level continue to expand as well. Over the last weekend in June, AMAC proudly hosted another AMAC members-only town hall event in Arkansas for Representative Tom Cotton, the second-term congressman for Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District. Turnout at the event was outstanding, with dedicated AMAC members showing up early to get a prime seat and pack the house. Congressman Cotton, arriving right on time – a punctual reflection of his honorable service as a combat-veteran Ranger in the U.S. Army – immediately got down to business and interacted with audience members on the most pressing issues of the day. Topical discussion was wide-ranging, with specific and concentrated focus on the key issues most important to the fiscal future and economic health of our great country. AMAC members were particularly interested in discussing ObamaCare, its impact on Medicare and health care generally, as well as Social Security reform, federal spending, budgets, debt and deficit reduction. Congressman Cotton discussed in great detail key aspects of these issues, as well as other hot topics of interest – such as the VA scandal – with AMAC members. Following a robust question and answer period, AMAC members were able to meet individually with the Congressman, shake hands and chat in an open, friendly, and informal manner. All in all, the town hall with Congressman Cotton was a resounding success – a testament to the power and value of the true member-driven, grassroots model exemplified by AMAC. As the summer transitions into fall, AMAC looks forward to hosting more and more of these invaluable events, and we will continue to keep members informed of similar events scheduled for next several months!
From AMAC Delegate Bob Cheney, KS-01:
As AMAC’s Delegate for Kansas’ 1st Congressional District, Bob Cheney, has traveled across the district to meet with the staff of Congressman Tim Huelskamp. According to Cheney, Rep. Huelskamp’s district staff was not familiar with AMAC, “so I got to educate the government employees as to what was going on in their district, state, and across the country.” Additionally, “I attended a town hall meeting with Rep. Huelskamp in Jetmore, Kansas. About 40 locals attended the meeting, including a member of the Kansas legislature and a small group of teenagers from the local high school.”
“The meeting, as scheduled, lasted a little over an hour, as the Congressman had just come from a luncheon honoring Vietnam veterans and left to attend another town hall an hour away. I asked several questions at the Jetmore meeting – mainly about veterans affairs, jobs, and the economy in general. Rep. Huelskamp was very gracious and treated all questions with respect and answered them in language that wasn’t Washington mumbo-jumbo. I was able to shake his hand briefly after the meeting, and I let him know that AMAC was a presence that would be growing. I believe Rep. Huelskamp is doing a great job, and I appreciate that he does not toe the line with D.C. Republicans, but instead maintains his conservative Kansas values.
From AMAC Delegate Judy Smith, NV-03 and NV-04:
In early June, AMAC Delegate, Judy Smith, met with her Congressman to bring him up-to-date on the issues of importance to mature Americans. “I had a very nice meeting today with Congressman Steven Horsford and his Senior Community Liaison, Detrick Sanford. We discussed the current issue regarding the massive increases in prescription drug costs – not only for seniors, but for all individuals. The Congressman was not familiar with the details of this issue, but he assured me that he would look into it. Moreover, we also discussed the fear that seniors currently have regarding the future of Social Security. I emphasized how important it is that we all get involved in this issue so that our voices will be heard. Rep. Horsford asked that I keep in touch with Detrick regarding these specific issues and that I continue to keep him informed of the current and future concerns of AMAC members.”
Smith also met with Congressman Joe Heck recently. “My meeting with Congressman Heck and his Medicare Caseworker, Joy LeBlanc, was very good indeed. Some of the topics we discussed include the prescription drug cost increases, or the loss of coverage, on many of the most popular drugs for seniors, Medicare Advantage policies, and term limits for politicians. The Congressman does not believe that term limits will happen anytime in the near future; however, he did state that he has been thinking of bringing up the idea of forced retirement. I personally thought that forced retirement would be a great idea and would certainly stop politicians from have lifetime careers of 30, 40, or 50 years.”
From AMAC Delegate Fred Yerrick, CA-52:
AMAC Delegate, Fred Yerrick, continues to engage with Congressman Scott Peters in California’s 52nd Congressional District. “Congressman Peters hosted an interactive town hall to address the federal budget concerns facing our nation. The town hall was held in San Diego, California, on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, and approximately 15 attendees were present for the Congressman’s opening remarks.”
According to Yerrick, “Congressman Peters began the meeting with an overview of the current actions within the House of Representatives. Representative Peters underscored what he perceived to be the House’s two primary accomplishments: the allocation of funds to make physical improvements to the San Deigo-Mexican border and the designation of funds for a local company to build 10 or more drones.”
“Congressman Peters went on to state that much more work is needed, but that the House of Representatives is not working well together. In fact, many elected leaders refuse to speak with members of the opposing party.”
Following these statements, “Rep. Peters took a few questions. One question concerned the lack of security on America’s southern border and what America is planning to do about illegal immigrants here. Congressman Peters stated that the illegal children will be processed and returned to their families.”
Finally, “the interactive portion of our meeting ended with a briefing on America’s budget concerns presented by a member of the Concord Coalition. Attendees followed up with many questions and recommendations for America’s budget deficit.”
On Thursday, July 10, 2014, Yerrick also represented AMAC at a “Save Home Health” rally in San Deigo. The event, which garnered significant publicity in local media outlets, featured special guest, Congressional candidate for CA-52, Carl DeMaio. For the past several months, AMAC Delegates have been meeting with members of Congress to let them know how ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare home healthcare will hurt America’s most vulnerable seniors. Yerrick expounded upon this point during Thursday’s rally by highlighting how these cuts also disproportionately affect women. “These cuts disproportionately affect women. The majority of people receiving vital home healthcare are women. The majority of caregivers providing this care are women, and the majority of small business owners employing the caregivers are women. All are negatively affected by these cuts.” Yerrick has helped to elevate this important issue not only in CA-52 but across the country!
*Please note that AMAC does not endorse candidates or contribute money to campaigns or political action committees.
From AMAC Delegate Stephen Mosier, WA-03:
AMAC Delegate for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, Stephen Mosier, continues to spread word about what AMAC is doing at the federal and local levels of government. “I met with Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler at her district office in Vancouver, Washington, in late June. I have been to her office before, but this was the first time I had the chance to meet with her personally. I updated her with the latest numbers of AMAC members in her district as well AMAC’s membership growth nationally. She was very impressed with the membership strength in her own district.”
“I presented her with a brief outline I had prepared using AMAC data highlighting the negative impact of the cuts in funding to home health agencies nationally and in the state of Washington. The Congresswoman was aware of the cut to this program and of its negative effects, but she was surprised by the numbers of senior citizens and home health employees impacted in our state. She assured me that this is one of many aspects of ObamaCare that Congress is still trying to formulate strategies to eliminate or to at least mitigate. She pointed out that the current Administration is not eager to work with Congress on making any meaningful changes to ObamaCare. Rep. Herrera Beutler expressed that she appreciates AMAC’s efforts to keep the public informed and to keep the pressure applied in this particular area.”
From AMAC Delegate Bob Kranz, MS-04:
Bob Kranz faithfully serves as AMAC’s Delegate for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Along with several other AMAC members, Bob recently attended a veterans forum hosted by Congressman Steven Palazzo. “Steven is a Marine veteran and currently serves in the Mississippi National Guard. There is a strong military presence in MS-04 with the Keesler AFB, the Navy CB base, Stennis Facility, and TONS of retired military. This particular event was held at the Biloxi VFW, which is located ½ block from the entrance to the Biloxi VA hospital and across the street from the VA ‘service center.'”
“Congressman Palazzo had all of his staff present – all of which are previous military. He even has a representative of the Wounded Warrior Project, who is part of his staff. Also present were representatives of other organizations who help veterans, in various ways, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and the Red Cross.”
According to Bob, “there is a tremendous amount of frustration and anger in the veteran community, and a number of the audience members explained and described their personal horror stories. Congressman Palazzo tried to connect those in the audience with the appropriate staff or support folk to try to find help for those who need help now, as well as those who have grievances which are not currently life-threatening.”
“The Congressman explained some of the pending legislative initiatives Congress has undertaken to solve some of the problems facing veterans and the VA, and the consensus of the audience is and was that there must be accountability on the part of the employees and leadership of the VA. VA employees must be subject to firing as well as civil and criminal prosecution if their (VA employees and staff) actions warrant it!
Over the last several months, Bob has also been involved in Mississippi’s contentious primary campaign. Bob is pictured below with former Senate candidate, Chris McDaniels, who was narrowly defeated by incumbent Senator Thad Cochran in a primary runoff. Although AMAC does not endorse candidates or contribute money to campaigns or political action committees, AMAC is proud to see our delegates participating in the democratic process and letting candidates know about AMAC.