Monday, Congressman Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, addressed the North Jefferson County Republican Party at their monthly meeting.
“We are two weeks away from what I think is the most important midterm race in our lifetime,” Congressman Palmer said. We have never been this divided as a country, Palmer said.
Palmer said that members of Congress have received threats and that his own volunteers had an incident where they were manning a Palmer for Congress tent at an event and a woman circled their tent yelling at his volunteers.
Rep. Palmer said if all you watch is MSNBC and CNN you think this election is going to go bad for Republicans, “But I am guardedly optimistic. I think we are going to pick up seats in the Senate some that no one believes we can take. I think we can hold the House.”
Palmer said that he has regular meetings with all of the mayors in the district and that he has a meeting with all of the legislators from the district before they go into session.
Palmer said that in Congress his focus has been on key provisions. One of these, “Is keeping our regulatory administration under control.”
“Before 2008, there was a net gain of 100,000 more businesses opening up than closing,” Palmer said. “After 2008 70,000 more businesses were closing than were opening.”
After the election, “We repealed sixteen Obama era regulations,” Palmer said. “That is what got the economy turned around and growing. We passed a major reform of Dodd-Frank.” We were losing one community bank per business day under Dodd Frank.
Palmer said that Congress had to lower the corporate tax rate. Ireland’s corporate income tax was 12.5 percent. Companies were moving their headquarters overseas to avoid the heavy tax burden. “We were forcing businesses out of the country.”
“GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is not your best predicter of where the economy is going,” Palmer said. “A better indicator is gross output.” It has doubled over the first three quarters and we think this quarter is gong to be 4.5 percent Palmer said.
“Our guys are getting beat over the head on the campaign trail is that we tried to take away coverage for pre-existing conditions,” Palmer said. “That is not true. The American Healthcare Act that passed the House included an amendment that included a risk sharing plan for people with pre-existing conditions. That was my amendment, the Palmer-Schweikert Amendment.”
Palmer said that the amendment was based upon a risk sharing plan that was passed in Maine. Palmer said that under the Democrats plan they had guaranteed issue. Insurance companies were pulling out right and left. There is no way to evaluate risk. Palmer said that with his amendment the person with a pre-existing condition can buy insurance at the same rate as everybody else, but 90 percent of that premium is going to that risk sharing pool. The rest of us are going to pay $4 or $5 a month to the pool, and I am going to back that up with $billions of dollars.
“I am going to bring this back,” Palmer said. “When Maine implemented it, premiums went down for everybody.” Democrats said that passage of their plan would lower premiums 20 percent. They actually have doubled and tripled.
“Democrats saying that we were getting rid of care for pre-existing conditions that was a bald faced lie,” Palmer continued. “Even though our bill died in the Senate we can bring it back before the end of the year.”
“I have gone to the White House to talk to President Trump about allowing states to take their Medicaid money in block grants,” Palmer said.
“Association health groups will cut your premiums in half,” Palmer predicted. “The City of Hoover is looking at setting up an association health group.” There have been discussions with Jefferson County about setting up an association health group.
“There is no such thing as Medicare for all,” Rep. Palmer said. “Medicare is a government subsidized insurance plan. It would cost $32 trillion if they passed Medicare for all.”
Palmer said that what the Democrats are really modeling their plan on is the Canadian plan. “In Canada the doctors are government employees the nurses are government employees. When they run out of money they ration care.”
Palmer referenced a Huffington Post article about the wait times that Canadians experience waiting to see a specialist such as an oncologist.
“If you have to wait 18 weeks to see a specialist for cancer that is a death sentence,” Palmer said. “That is why people come to America for treatment. You do not want a British system. They make health care decisions for you.”
Palmer said that the migrant caravan marching from Honduras and Guatemala, “Is being paid for, we think. by George Soros. Somebody is paying for it.”
“We are going to have border security,” Rep. Palmer said. “The Democrats want to think this is to keep some poor dad from coming over to get a job that is not what this is about.” They are arresting ten to twelve people at the border a day either from countries known to support terror or persons already on a terror watch list. “72,000 Americans died last year from drug overdoses that is more than died in the entire Vietnam War.” Fentanyl is as addictive as heroin. I talked with Chris Christie at the White House recently. He is the de facto drug czar recently. “That is being made in China. We interdicted enough fentanyl in the last year to kill 500 million people. That is what we are trying to stop. This whole think about separating kids from parents at the border that was passed under the Obama administration.” I was there in 2015 at the detention facility on the border. I don’t think you can blame President Trump.”
“The media at least held the government accountable,” Palmer said. “That is not happening anymore. They are complicit in causing more destructive behavior.”
“I think we are going to have legislation to deal with people in the country illegally,” Palmer said. You can not have amnesty or these people will just keep coming.
One reason that we are losing young people is that they have grown up and gone to school with kids who are here illegally, “And they are scared to death that their friends are going to be deported,” Palmer said. You can’t be a drug dealer, cant be in a gang, you have got to have a job and pay a substantial fine. These people will come out of the shadows. We have got to find a way to do it.
Palmer said that the Administration is looking at combining the Department of Education and the Department of Labor.
“We are just a few years away from being out of farmers and electricians,” Palmer warned. The plumbers have told me that they are just ten years away from being out of workers and there is a critical shortage of welders. “We are dying for truckdrivers. That is one reason we are pushing for work requirements for welfare.”
“Over half the people who are drawing benefits are under 35 years old, 40 percent of them are male, and most of them are White,” Palmer said.
We tried to get work requirements for food stamps in the Farm Bill,” Palmer said. “If we have to vote on the Senate version of the Farm Bill I will vote no.” The Democrats in the Senate were going to filibuster over the work requirements so they took it out. “That is why it is important that we hold the house and pick up some seats in the Senate.”
“We have passed bills to defund Planned Parenthood out of the House,” Palmer said. “But we have got to add some courageous pro-Life conservatives to the Senate.”
Tuesday Palmer will be holding a town hall in Blountsville.
Gary Palmer is seeking his Third term representing Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.
Palmer faces Danner Kline (D) in the November 6 general election.