The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

August 29, 2012

Jenkins discusses hope for Republican majority

By Roger McKinney

COLUMBUS, Kan. — U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., on Wednesday addressed government regulations, repealing the health care law, overhauling the tax code and other issues at Columbus City Hall.

The small group attending was composed mainly of Republicans. Eight people were there, excluding Jenkins’ staff members. It was part of Jenkins’ continuing Congress to Kansas Tour.

“I’m afraid not a whole lot is going to get done until after the election,” Jenkins said. “Then it’s going to be lame duck from hell.”

Mike Houser, of Columbus, a Republican candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives, said he’s interested in tax relief and getting the government off the backs of businesses.

“We’re going to do that if a few faces change,” Jenkins said. “We are looking at fundamentally overhauling the federal tax code” to eliminate many deductions, including those that allow large corporations to not pay any federal taxes. She said that’s despite the U.S. having the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

Houser said the tea party mindset has been imprinted on the people.

Jenkins responded that conservatives are motivated.

“I think this election cycle is going to reflect the outrage,” she said.

She said Democrats are using scare tactics regarding the plan by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the vice presidential nominee, to overhaul Medicare.

Republicans have not always done the right thing, Jenkins said.

“When Republicans had unfettered power in Washington, they blew it,” she said. “We won’t make the mistakes of the past.”

She said the only way to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which Jenkins and other Republicans label Obamacare, is to elect a Republican president and a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.

Lorie Johnson, Cherokee County Republican chairwoman, said some residents remain on unemployment rather than taking an available low-paying job, then they claim a deduction on their taxes.

“Right now we have people who are happy to collect unemployment and not work,” Jenkins said. “We have a problem with people working the system.”

Jenkins is being challenged in November by Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen. Told of the Jenkins statement, he issued a response by email.

“Congresswoman Jenkins sounds like she has spent so much time in Washington she has forgotten what real life is like,” he said. “Nobody is happy to be unemployed. To offer a catch phrase instead of a solution is insulting. When I go to Washington, I’ll work with both parties to create jobs for the people of Cherokee County, not criticize them.”

Jenkins said the choices Americans make on Nov. 6 will be important.

“If we don’t stop it here, we’re not going to recognize the country in a few years,” she said. “We’re going the way of European countries, and no one desires that.”

Fall challengers

U.S. REP. LYNN JENKINS is being challenged by Topeka Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen and Dennis Hawver, a Libertarian from Ozawkie, in the Nov. 6 election for the 2nd District U.S. House seat.