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AMAC Member Meetings: Connecting You to Congress

AMAC Town Hall Spotlight, OK-01
By AMAC Vice President of Government Relations, Andy Mangione

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Rep. Bridenstine (OK-01) addresses more than 80 AMAC members in Tulsa, OK, earlier this month.

There are over 4,300 AMAC members residing in Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional district and over 80 attended member-only meeting with their representative, Congressman Jim Bridenstine on October 14th in Tulsa. AMAC Delegate, Rob Curry, has planted and nurtured a strong working relationship between AMAC and Rep. Bridenstine’s district office – making events like this one an overwhelming success.

The first-term Congressman, a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve and a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, gave a very telling account of the state of affairs in Washington, D.C. He pointed out President Obama’s hypocrisy over the current conditions in Iraq. Bridenstine said that as the junior Senator from Illinois, Obama predicted how Iraq would grow unstable if American forces were not left in place after the peace had been established. Now as President, he refused to leave adequate forces in place in order to satisfy his campaign pledge of reducing American involvement in Iraq and his previous prediction has come true.

Congressman Bridenstine outlined in graphic detail how ObamaCare is stifling the economy and also how the president’s use of executive order in delaying aspects of the law abuses his authority and tarnishes the office. The United States’ great indebtedness is a tremendous cause for concern says the Congressman, and Americans need to be aware that the economy is in a precarious position as a result of all the federal borrowing and money printing. Bridenstine was blunt in his assessment of how America has arrived at this economic juncture: politicians have placed the economy in this position and Americans deserve better representation and honesty from their elected office holders.

AMAC members questioned Mr. Bridenstine on Republican leadership should the House expand its majority and the Senate flip to Republicans after the mid-term elections. Specifically, AMAC members were interested in Speaker Boehner retaining his position in this scenario. Congressman Bridenstine, whose first vote on the floor of the House was cast against John Boehner as Speaker, stated that someone with the courage to legitimately challenge him for this leadership position needed to step forward. However, the Congressman was not holding out hope that a challenger would identify themselves anytime soon.

Prior to the meeting, Congressman Bridenstine held a panel discussion with AMAC members to discuss their specific concerns. As is the case with many Congressmen who encounter our membership, Rep. Bridentsine was impressed with AMAC members’ command of the issues, their intelligent questions and thoughtful solutions for matters of importance to them.

Prior to the town hall meeting, Rep. Bridenstine asked to meet with a few AMAC members in his office for a roundtable discussion to get to know AMAC better.

Prior to the town hall meeting, Rep. Bridenstine asked to meet with a few AMAC members in his office for a roundtable discussion to get to know AMAC better.

AMAC Town Hall Spotlight, NE-02
By AMAC Delegate, Jim Hoy

Congressman Lee Terry (NE-02) speaks with AMAC members about the issues of importance to mature Americans.

Congressman Lee Terry (NE-02) speaks with AMAC members about the issues of importance to mature Americans.

On October 18th, Congressman Lee Terry (NE-02) spoke with 34 AMAC members in our second annual town hall for the Greater Omaha metro area. The meeting began with an update on local issues that ranged from efforts to upgrade the local Veterans Administration hospital and the new Omaha National Cemetery to a frank discussion about the long-term sustainability of Medicare. AMAC membership in NE-02 has doubled in the past year to over 2,700 members, and the Congressman recognized the importance of our grassroots activism. Attendees then engaged in a lively and wide-ranging question and answer session. Many expressed deep dissatisfaction with the Obama Administration, including their inadequate response to the Ebola crisis, the failure to control our own borders, ObamaCare, and the threat of executive amnesty.

As the chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, Congressman Terry fielded a number of questions concerning internet access/sales taxes, security of critical infrastructure against internet attack, tort reform, and the upcoming Continuing Resolution during the Lame Duck Congress. As always, the Congressman was receptive to everyone’s input and was frank in his responses. With the 2014 elections only two weeks away, this town hall demonstrated that senior conservatives are motivated and engaged at the local and national level.

AMAC Town Hall Spotlight, KY-04
By AMAC Vice President of Government Relations, Andy Mangione

Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04) meets with a sizeable group of Kentucky AMAC members.

Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04) meets with a sizeable group of Kentucky AMAC members.

Over 50 AMAC members filled the Kenton City Public Library in Erlanger, KY, on October 9th to meet with their Congressional Representative, Thomas Massie. Mr. Massie, who holds two degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, arrived early and personally met with his AMAC member constituents prior to the meeting.

Mr. Massie gave a clear recount of his time in our nation’s capital, describing how votes are called on the House floor and giving an overview of the voting process for Representatives. The first-term Congressman also spent time detailing a bill he sponsored, H.R. 3894, the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act. Under H.R. 3894, Social Security benefits would be neither taxable nor reportable on individual tax returns, enabling beneficiaries to retain more money for retirement while restoring the integrity of the program. AMAC is proudly on record supporting this legislation.

With the U.S. Constitution in hand, Rep. Massie responded to questions posed by AMAC members.

With the U.S. Constitution in hand, Rep. Massie responded to questions posed by AMAC members.

Congressman Massie was continually impressed by AMAC member attendees’ grasp of the issues and said as much throughout the evening. Attendee questions ranged from EPA redundancies on the state and federal levels, Common Core educational concerns, voter fraud, the Ebola crisis, and even genetically-modified food labeling.

AMAC members were eager to do more than question the Congressman on his dealings in Washington and wanted to know what they could do to become more involved. Representative Massie encouraged people to subscribe to social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. He places his reasons for voting for a specific bill along with a thorough explanation of the bill itself on his social media outlets. Mr. Massie suggested that AMAC members read what he posts and then share it with their friends digitally as a means of becoming more informed on issues and distributing information.

One of AMAC’s Delegates for KY-04, Jerry Ling, was able to attend this meeting and deepen the relationship AMAC has established with Congressman Massie. AMAC Delegates continue to be instrumental in organizing town hall meetings and keeping the Congressional office up-to-date on AMAC’s advocacy initiatives.

AMAC Town Hall Spotlight, IL-06
By AMAC Vice President of Government Relations, Andy Mangione

Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam fields questions from AMAC members in his district.

Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam fields questions from AMAC members in his district.

AMAC members in Illinois’ 6th Congressional district had the opportunity to meet with their Representative, Peter Roskam, on September 25th in the Barrington Village Hall. Congressman Roskam, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and also as the Chief Deputy Whip, opened the meeting with an optimistic view of America.

He views the country as one with “a lot of capacity,” meaning that ultimately, Americans right certain wrongs from previous elections. He has a good amount of faith in the American electorate and believes that they, not government, control the destiny of the country.
He also spoke about ObamaCare and described it as “very unsettled.” According to Rep. Roskam, the majority of changes to this unpopular law come not from lawmakers, but rather from the Administration, and he believes that the legislation will ultimately fail, just not overnight.
With regard to the United States’ foreign policy, Congressman Roskam believes it reflects President Obama’s personality. In other words, the President has replaced foreign policy strategy with just his personality, and he erroneously thinks that this will be enough to represent the best interests of the United States abroad. Rep. Roskam described Obama as a “reluctant warrior” when it comes to the conflict with ISIS. America’s intentions, says Roskam, are always honorable and never malicious. The world, according to the Congressman, acknowledges the United States’ unique role in it and expects participation in the form of leadership on the global stage.
Questions from AMAC’s members included concerns about military cuts, executive orders, and immigration reform. AMAC members were particularly interested in the prospect of a potential Congressional Republican majority and how it would affect Obama’s presidency. Roskam acknowledged that the dynamic and initiative will definitely shift should the Republicans control both the House and the Senate. However, he said it is ultimately up to President Obama to decide to work with the potential new majorities.

AMAC Town Hall Spotlight, ND-01
By AMAC Vice President of Government Relations, Andy Mangione

As the sole Congressman for the state of North Dakota, Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-01), met with AMAC members in both Fargo and Bismarck over the course of two days.

As the sole Congressman for the state of North Dakota, Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-01), met with AMAC members in both Fargo and Bismarck over the course of two days.

Thousands of AMAC members live in the Great Plains state of North Dakota. Rich in history and economically thriving (1% unemployment statewide!), North Dakotans are proud of their heritage and are happy to discuss how their state is contributing to America’s energy independence.
Congressman Cramer, a first-term representative was very generous with his time, and he detailed his experiences serving his constituency in Washington, D.C. The Congressman and AMAC had a few things in common. For example, he recognizes the urgency to address the looming problem of Social Security’s insolvency, preferably without using chained CPI. He understands that Social Security has become an issue that his opposition likes to keep unaddressed for its political expediency. Nonetheless, according to Cramer, the time to save Social Security is now. He is also a co-sponsor of the American Health Care Reform Act, a bill which dismantles ObamaCare among other things and injects market forces into the health care business sector to make for a more competitive experience for consumers. AMAC is on the record supporting this legislation.

AMAC members had many questions for Congressman Cramer, and he made sure to answer as many as he could so that he could still meet with people after the event to ensure their concerns were addressed. As is becoming the norm with AMAC member-only meetings, Congressman Cramer was impressed by the well thought-out questions posed by AMAC members and their deep knowledge of the issues that concerned them.
Even so, these meetings would not have been made possible without AMAC Delegate Jerry Youngberg’s introduction to the office. As a result of Jerry’s meetings with Rep. Cramer’s district staff, the Congressman’s office reached out to AMAC to schedule the meetings.

AMAC Town Hall Spotlight, MN-03
By AMAC Representative Connor Martin

AMAC members meet individually with Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03) following the conclusion of a town hall meeting in Eden Prairie.

AMAC members meet individually with Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03) following the conclusion of a town hall meeting in Eden Prairie.

 

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Jack Dearing

You tell me that I should vote. I have voted in every election for almost 40 years. But now I see no candidate that is worthy of holding office, in any party. I cannot vote for the lesser of two evils when the “better” of the two is terrible. AMAC should work to have “none of the above” on all ballots so politicians officially hear the disgust, yes disgust, that citizens feel for them. I love my country. I served in Vietnam, I work in manufacturing, I was a Red Cross volunteer for almost 10 years, I helped a friend get elected as a town councilman. But no more. I will continue to serve my country through my work and church activities, and maybe someday a return to Red Cross volunteering. I will pray for our governments, but don’t tell me to vote when there is nobody deserving of my… Read more »