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Congressman Barrow Visits Vidalia
Saturday, 12 January 2013

January 12--  Twelfth District Congressman John Barrow spent his week off from Washington making stops at various locations in the district including a visit to Vidalia Wednesday. 

Image He stopped by the annual pre-legislative breakfast sponsored by the Toombs-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce.

Congressman Barrow is one a few Democrats who voted against President Obama's economic package to keep the country from going over the "fiscal cliff."

"Well it made some necessary and appropriate changes to the tax laws.  It took some of the sunset provisions out of some of the Bush tax cuts to make those permanent, but in other places it actually raised rates.  While there a lot of things that needed doing in the fiscal cliff package, it spent a whole lot more money than it raised and that's why I couldn't be a party to it.  It basically kicked the can down the road on the question of cutting spending and that's a necessary part of the cure for what ails the federal government.  It only kicked the spending can down the road for a couple of months and that's just not enough," he said.

Congressman Barrow says he's hearing a lot of frustration from his consitituents because Congress can't get anything done.

"That's the theme I've heard all across the district and I know why.  One of the reasons they're frustrated is they see folks up there who seem more interested in fighting with each other than they are in coming together and working things out," Barrow reports.

The Congressman says redistricting along party lines is partly to blame for the impasse.  He claims the fringes of both parties have influenced congressional district lines to the point that centrist politicians find it hard to get elected and take their more moderate views to Washington.

"That's the glaring omission in Congress. We have lots of people who represent the extremes on both sides, but not nearly enough people who represent the moderate majority in this country, the centrists, the folks who want us to practice the politics of cooperation and compromise," he said.

Congressman Barrow campaigned with the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and says he doesn't think the House of Representatives will go along with President Obama's stated aim to limit gun ownership.

"The Constitution is very clear.  It confers a personal right to keep and bear arms and the Supreme Court has decided that is the way the Constitution has to be interpreted.  We have a lot of friends of the Second Amendment in the House and nothing can be enacted into law that doesn't go through the U.S. House of Representatives.  Between the House, members like me who support the Second Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court, I don't think we have to worry about anything happening anytime soon that will infringe on anyone's Second Amendment rights," Barrow said.

The Congressman is also doubtful about the legality of President Obama using Executive Orders to go around Congress even though some believe there are statutes in place regarding homeland security and even health and human services which could provide a basis for such orders.

"Executive orders can only be issued to implement authority conferred by statute upon the Office of the President, so if there's not a statute to back it up, an Executive Order is not worth the paper it's written on," he believes. 

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