GT: No to shutdown

Some members of Congress in the Republican Party have floated the idea of a government shutdown as a way to attack the Affordable Care Act.

While he does not support the health care law often referred to as “Obamacare,” Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-5) does not agree that a government shutdown is the way to go.

He said in an interview with the Times Observer last week that he does not believe those members are advocating for such a shutdown.

“That’s never a good thing,” he said. “I’ve run those numbers. (It) should save money, but you don’t. It costs a significant amount of money to wind down the government and money you haven’t budgeted… to start it back up.”

He explained that a shutdown would not affect Social Security and Medicare payments. “Those are significant costs,” he said. Regarding military salaries, he said that some “may not get their paychecks” which “creates hardships” but “eventually they’re going to get paid.”

Thompson explained that, in his view, those “talking about this” are doing “what we can to derail… implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

“It’s damaging to families, individuals and businesses,” Thompson noted. “This thing was just fatally designed.”

Asked if the 40 votes that the House of Representatives has taken to repeal the Affordable Care Act were misuse of time and effort, knowing that the Senate will not approve such a measure and President Obama would likely veto such legislation, Thompson said of those votes, “It’s about making a statement about continuing to work on the terrible consequences.”

He noted as evidence that the effort is valuable that seven or eight significant aspects of the bill have been repealed within those 40 votes.

Thompson also expressed the view that full repeal is possible.

“I think it needs to be repealed and start over,” he said. “I think it is realistic. The IRS will be collecting your health care information. That’s what they have to do. It’s in the law.

“We’re going to be talking about this for a long time. Most of the Democrats (that are) my friends were locked out of that process. They were not allowed at the table until a vote was held.”

Thompson also spoke candidly on the situation in Syria and how the United States should proceed in addressing that situation.

“I don’t know who the good guys are,” he said, noting that when we “engage” in international affairs “picking winners and losers” can be a challenge.

To prove that point, he spoke about the attack last September in Benghazi, Libya that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others.

“My belief, I believe that he was there with his aide… he had no business being in that consulate,” he noted. “(I) think he was there cleaning up for (former Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton and (former Ambassador to the United Nations) Susan Rice.”

“All this foreign aid, it’s been very ineffective,” Thompson said, explaining that a similar situation exists in Egypt, where the U.S. gives $1.9 billion in aid annually. “Now we’ve got a lot of the Mideast countries that have found themselves with this oil industry” making larger aid payments than the U.S. He questioned whether the aid buys the U.S. the influence it is intended to.