Congressman Mike Conaway made a pit stop in Sweetwater on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011 for a lunchtime meeting with local community leaders at the Sweetwater Country Club.
The Republican representative of the 11th Congressional District of Texas led the discussion about several of the happenings in Washington as well as issues which affect local voters.
Among the Congressman's agenda were in regards to the debt ceiling and what led to the decisions, in which he later discussed the communication between the parties -- which was somewhat drawn out by various media outlets. Several advantages to the solution were that taxes were not raised and that a five month time period was given before continued work on the balanced budget amendment.
However, though the cap that was implemented has almost been reduced to a reasonable percentage, Conaway expressed concern that the steps taken would probably be changed by future Congressmen, yet also stressed the importance of resolving future problems of any kind through the use of multi-generational solutions.
In addition, Conaway offered his perspective on the recent credit rating downgrade given to the US by Standard & Poor's (S&P), simply stating that while those in office do agree with the facts that have been presented, they do not like the message given to America by S&P.
At that time, the congressman opened the floor for discussion. Several issues brought up were in regards to local matters, such as the future of the community banking and the effects on agriculture following the budget cuts.
Other concerns which have both state-wide and national impacts presented by the audience were on the health care issue and of agencies from both state and federal levels to examine their budgets in order to make cuts. Conaway used his experience as a fundraiser with the United Way to explain that shedding costs can sometimes result in better efficiency.
National affairs were also explored during the meeting, including the possibility of a national sales tax and ways to keep funding as well as jobs within the States. The national sales tax initiative, according to Conaway, would need broad support which would start by informing everyone on all the facts. Funding outside of the US is continually being examined, while cheaper labor costs play a part in moving and keeping jobs in other countries.
Before the meeting's end, Conaway expressed his thanks to those in attendance, several of whom thanked Conaway for his work during the open discussion. While the nation has faced continuous and seemingly mounting problems, said Conaway, now is the time to draw strength from the American heritage to heal the national wounds which would prove to be a messy and timely ordeal, but would be possible to carry out.