Kaufman Herald: Representative hopes to de-fund Planned Parenthood, vote down nuclear deal
More than 50 people gathered at the Kaufman County Public Library last week to hear from one of their elected officials.
U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling held a town hall meeting Friday to talk about what is happening in Washington D.C., and take questions from his constituents. Hensarling discussed wanting to replace President Barack Obama with a conservative Republican in 2016, the recent push to replace House Speaker John Boehner, the Iran nuclear deal, major Supreme Court rulings from the last year and a recent push to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
“I usually try to be optimistic,” Hensarling said at the beginning of his town hall meeting. “As of recently I find it difficult.”
While discussing Planned Parenthood funding, Hensarling brought up public outrage over the recent shooting of a lion in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile he said “Millions of lives of unborn children are trafficked. Where is the outrage there?”
Hensarling’s comments were made after several videos of Planned Parenthood officials appearing to negotiate the sale of aborted fetuses were released online.
A woman at the town hall asked if Hensarling would publicly promise to vote for any bill that would remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
Henslaring would not make that guarantee, saying that he would need to read the bill first. He did say that de-funding Planned Parenthood is a priority.
Hensarling also spoke out about the Supreme Court and its recent ruling to make same sex marriage legal.
The representative said he teaches tolerance to his children, but “there is a difference between voluntary tolerance and coercing acceptance.”
When asked if he would support North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows’ attempt to oust Boehner as Speaker of the House, Hensarling said he considers Meadows a friend, but that he cannot support his idea.
He admitted to feeling “frustrated” over the work the Republican controlled House has been able to accomplish.
“I’ve had the pleasure of serving in a Republican majority, but not a conservative majority,” he said.
While he would like to see more conservative party leadership, Hensarling said he does not think the ousting would have the votes, and even if it did, the entire House would have a say over who would succeed Boehner – including House Democrats.
“I don’t want to turn over that process to Democrats and moderates,” Hensarling said. “A system that would empower Democrats and moderates does not strike me as a good idea.”
When asked about the Iran nuclear deal – a deal proposed by President Obama that would have Iran eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent, and reduce its number of centrifuges by nearly two-thirds in exchange for sanction relief from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations – Hensarling said he planned to vote the deal down “early and often.”
“I don’t trust Iran. I don’t trust Obama. I don’t know why I would trust them together,” he said.
Also at the town hall meeting:
• Hensarling said he would like to combat what he described as a social welfare state. The representative said there should be a social safety net, but that systems like Medicare and social security have “gone broke.”
• The Texas congressman admitted that he has not picked a candidate yet that he would like to see win the Republican nomination for president.
• Hensarling said he is worried about the state of the military. He described it as being “hollowed out.” U.S. armed forces, he said, are at the lowest they have been since World War II.