By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, July 18, US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) spoke to the Republican Women of Shelby County. The first term Congressman is concerned about the Iran deal to lift the sanctions recently negotiated in multi-part talks. Rep. Palmers said the, “Truth is Iran may already have a bomb.”
Congressman Palmer said that a security analyst who briefed Congress testified that Iran could be two months or a year from having a bomb. Palmer said that the analyst testified that if the people in power in Iran gave the order to prepare a nuclear weapon from the materials they have already assembled it could take as little as two weeks.
Rep. Palmer told the ladies of the Republican Women of Shelby County, “I think this is a horrible deal.” Palmer said that the US can not send in inspectors. Only international inspectors can be used. It is no wonder that the President of Iran is saying that they got everything they wanted.
Palmer said that he is going to Israel in a couple of weeks will be meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is not a tax payer funded trip.
Palmer said that Iran wants to get out from under the sanctions and that both Europe and Asia want to buy oil from Iran. One thing we could do is to repeal the 1975 Oil Security Act which would allow the US to export more oil. “We are floating in oil.”
Palmer warned, “I think where we are headed is a military confrontation.”
There were an estimated 38 people at the picnic in Hoover’s Veterans Park despite the 95 degree temperature.
A member of the audience asked about the Jade Helm military maneuvers in the Texas desert.
Palmer said, I don’t know much about it but we have had those (military training exercises) before. “Under this administration people believe the absolute worst.” I know a lot of people in the military and if their commander came in and told them to attack Homewood and shoot to kill anybody who got in the way most of the officers would not follow that order. In the military if an order is un-constitutional you are not required to follow that order. “Unless he has built an army of illegal aliens I am not worried about it (Jade Helm).”
On his frustrations with current leadership Rep. Palmer said, “We don’t have a Republican majority. We have a government coalition.”
Congressman Palmer said that he is a member of the Freedom Caucus along with fellow conservative: Mo Brooks. They are presently the only two members from Alabama; but the group is growing. It started at 30 members and now we are up to 40 something.
The Freedom Caucus was founded in 2015 when it split from the Republican Study Committee. It is chaired by Rep. Jim Jordon (R-Ohio).
On the growing ideological divide in the country Palmer bluntly admitted, “There are radicals on both sides and there are nuts on both sides (right and left).” There are jerks on both the right and the left. Palmer said that he spoke recently at the traditional marriage rally in Montgomery and afterwards one atheist came up to him and said that they lived in the district and could not disagree more with Palmer’s words. Then don’t vote for me then. Go find another candidate. That is how this country works.
On the recent Medicare Doc fix, Palmer said that we should never legislate from a crisis point. We still haven’t passed the budget and the proposed Doc fix will cost us $140 billion over the next ten years. “I voted against it.” Palmer said that a lot of doctors live in his district and, “A lot of them are mad at me,” (for the no vote). “I told them you will be back in 4 or 5 years.” The payments do not grow at the rate of inflation so you will have to come back again.
Palmer warned that our debt to GDP to debt rate is what Greece’s was in 2008.
The conservative congressman said that they are trying to get appropriations bills passed. Some Democrat added a rider about the Confederate flag that has nothing to do with appropriations so leadership moved to block that and the whole appropriations process got side railed. “The last few weeks have been less than stellar,” Palmer admitted. “If you are smart you will learn from your mistakes. If you are brilliant you will learn from other people’s mistakes.” Congress is at best just smart, some of the time.
Rep. Palmer promised that they will bring up a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. This video has the Democrats on their heels.
Palmer is referring to Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who speaks at length in the video about what appears to be selling fetal body parts. Dr. Nucatola is the organization’s senior director of medical services.
The congressman said that he is for arming our soldiers in response to the terror attack in Chattanooga. We need to pass a bill to require that our guys in our military training and recruiting facilities be warned when there is an attack. In Chattanooga the attacked attacked one facility and then drove seven minutes away to attack a second facility and the guys at the second didn’t even know about the first attack yet. We need a nationwide warning system.
Palmer spoke about his bill to postpone full implementation of the new medical coding system: ICD-10. We are changing from a system with 16,300 codes to one with over 60,000 codes. It is enormously expensive for doctors to change all of their billing software and to retrain all of their staff. If they miss a code then CMS says they might not get paid by Medicare and Medicaid for up to six months and has encouraged doctors to take out a line of credit as a result of the change. A lot of doctors in rural areas have sold their practices or have gone out of business rather than spend the money necessary to switch to ISC-10. Palmer said that his bill to have a two year grace period already has 60 co-sponsors. The US Department of Health and Human Services have since implemented a one year grace period. Palmer said that his bill requires CMS to prepare an analysis of how much this will cost. They don’t want that.
Rep. Palmer admitted that the Supreme Court ruling in Kennedy versus Birdwell did not go as planned. The media said we had no plan on what to do if the court had ruled against Obamacare. That is not true we did have a plan. We would have allowed free market exchanges giving consumers more insurance choices than they have under Obamacare. The Court ruled in a different direction. “I don’t know what the leadership is going to do.” The Freedom Caucus is going to continue to talk about healthcare. The leadership needs to hear from the grassroots.
Palmer warned that there is a concern is that homosexual activists will interpret the recent ruling on gay marriage in such a way that Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, and Freedom of Religion could be limited. Palmer favors legislation to protect religious and speech liberties in the wake of the ruling.
Palmer says that he hears from many conservatives who want the Congress to stop President Obama. Palmer said that Congress is limited there because Obama is the commander in chief. “He has the title and he has the constitutional authority. I have cautioned people that we can’t violate the constitution because we don’t like him violating the constitution.” He is President because we either voted for him or because we didn’t vote. “If those 3 million people who normally vote in Presidential elections had voted (in 2012) he would not be President.”
One member of the audience said that they had read that Obama was just going to cancel the election and remain in power.
Rep. Palmer said, “I am certain we are going to have an election. That story is a distraction. If we didn’t, most of us in Congress would be dead or in jail.”
On conservative momentum, Palmer said that we are losing because our people sit on their butt and don’t get involved. You are the exceptions because you are sitting out there in 95 degree heat listening to your congressman. The primary is where we are losing. The problems with developing a cohesive agenda in Congress is that we wait to see who the Republicans come up with and then we vote for them in the fall. Conservatives need to do a better job of vetting candidates at the Primary level. Conservatives won’t do the hard work of raising money to support candidates.
On the trade deal, Palmer said that was Paul Ryan’s trade bill. He was personally involved. I see Paul every day in the gym. He is looking ahead to the next president not this president. Palmer warned that in the Trans Pacific Partnership all 12 nations have an equal vote. Malaysia (for one example) is a TPP nation and they are a tier 3 nation with Syria and North Korean and Iran. Up to 30 percent of their labor force is forced labor and yet they would be an equal member nation with the United States in the TPP structure.
Palmer said that cyber attacks are a huge problem. Wave after wave of attacks are coming from Russia and China. The Russians protect them. The Chinese hacked into the US Office of Personnel Management. The hackers got records on federal employees going all the way back to 1988. 22 million Americas are effected.
Palmer said that he is already working on raising money for his next campaign and is trying to raise most of it here in the district because, “I don’t want to be accountable to corporate interests in DC…It takes an enormous amount of money to run for office.”
Republican Women of Shelby County President Dawn Ray invited everyone to join Congressman Gary Palmer for a tele-townhall at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21. Call (877) 229-8493 toll-free, then enter the call number: 114449 to participate.
Ray said that Gary Palmer grew up in Hackleburg, Alabama. Went to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where he received a degree in Operations Management. He worked for 12 years in the private sector before forming the Alabama Family Alliance, which later became the Alabama Policy Institute.
Congressman Palmer represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.