Kinzinger: We Need an 'All of the Above Energy Policy'

-By Warner Todd Huston

Earlier this week I participated in a media call-in with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL, 11th District) on which he discussed the budget and other issues.

Unfortunately, I missed the fist few minutes because one of the other journalists must not have muted his phone and his noise was so loud that I could not hear the first few minutes.

In any case I asked the Congressman a question about how conservatives were taking the the budget deal that Speaker Boehner negotiated with the Senate and the President and the congressman said that it was only the beginning. He pledged that he and the other freshmen would continue to push hard on more cuts and noted that this was a good beginning. Congressman Kinzinger also hit on some other issues. They are as follows (what appears here are my quick notes of what Kinzinger was saying to us)

On The Debt Ceiling

Rep. Kinzinger: We need some tough love. If they came before us today to raise the debt ceiling we wouldn’t do it. If they are going to come to us to ask for that then we need to see a proposal for a fundamental change in how we do business. It’s going to have to be significant.

On The EPA

Q: Will budget cuts at the EPA affect clean up of environmental messes?

Rep. Kinzinger: The average American has cut their spending by 2% but the federal govt has raised its spending by 25%. Just cutting a department’s budget does not mean they have to be underfunded. The EPA has decided to make regulatory changes by fiat. They’ve stepped outside of their role.We need to reign them in.

On What’s Up Next

Q: What next on the budget battles?

Rep. Kinzinger: The (full term) budget is going to be at the forefront of everybody’s mind. There’s a lot of issues with the EPA, over taxation, job creation…. but I am of the opinion that govt cannot create jobs. We can destroy jobs but not create them.

We are starting to see bi-partisan agreements on free trade on Panama and Colombia. But the vast majority of issues is going to be about the budget and jobs.

On Medicare

Q: Do you support the changes in Medicare? How will they change for seniors?

Rep. Kinzinger: In six years Medicare is broke. Eventually Medicare will be underwater. But we’re talking about changes for anyone under 55. If you’re 55 and older you’re going to keep your same system for the rest of your life and the new system will be means tested. If you’re poor you’ll get more care.

I am not for privatizing social security. Our plan is like the one here in Congress.

On Gas Prices

Rep. Kinzinger: We need to adopt a serious all of the above approach on gas and energy. I don’t think we need competition we need solutions. We need to drill now. Before BP we were issuing 10 drilling permits a month. Now, after the BP spill we’ve given out only a handful this whole time. The instability in the Mideast has shown us how dangerous it is for us to rely on Middle Eastern oil imports. Also nuclear plays a large, important role in our energy.

Times when gas prices get high and we get concerned and then when they fall we don’t get concerned need to end. We are going to be deadly serious about drilling here. And then we’re going to have a 20 year or 30 year plan to get off oil. But we need to drill here. And this is an issue that has a lot to do with national defense and national security….

Rep. Kinzinger was generous with his time for this call and he addressed the questions head on, without sounding like he was trying to weasel out of answering.

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  • Mmmmmm....Adam Kinzinger.

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