David Vitter Discusses Obamacare, Tax Reform and More During Bossier Town Hall Meeting
Louisiana's Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter was in town today to host three town hall meetings in Bossier and Bienville Parishes as well as the Downtown Shreveport Rotary Club.
Constituents asked Vitter a broad variety of questions, but the questioning focused primarily on Obamacare and the future of Social Security and Medicare.
Vitter reemphasized his stance on the Obamacare debate that he will do whatever it takes to put an end to the federal healthcare reform. 710 KEEL asked the senator about his thoughts on companies like Forever 21 dropping employee hours.
"Unfortunately, it's a huge trend around the country and we've seen a lot of negative reaction like that to Obamacare."
Vitter was also asked about the upcoming debate on the nation's debt ceiling.
"I'm certainly not going to vote on an increase in the debt ceiling unless and until we have a workout plan to deal with the debt."
State Representative Jeff Thompson made an appearance at the town hall meeting this morning at Bossier Parish Community College. 710 KEEL asked him about what he thinks Bossier voters would ask Vitter.
"On everybody's mind right now is what's happening in [Washington,] D.C. and how that's going to trickle on down here," Thompson told KEEL News. "Obamacare and the cost of that and what it's doing to businesses."
But, Thompson says that there are some federal outfits here locally that are of interest to voters.
"The future of Barksdale is always on everyone's mind. We've got some state and federal government issues on I-69 funding, the port, getting I-49 up and running finally, we're so pleased with that."
Highlights of Bossier Town Hall Meeting
A broad range of questions were asked by Bossier Parish residents that did not relate to Obamacare. Here are some highlights.
A Constitutional Convention To Make Congress Do Its Job
One voter asked Sen. Vitter about convening a constitutional convention as a way to make the Senate do what the voters want. Vitter's response:
I agree with you completely about the problem. I'm not so sure about the solution and I'll tell you why. The idea of a wide open, open agenda constitutional convention scares me quite frankly because you know who is the best political organizer in the last 20 years? Barack Obama. If recent history is a judge, the left could out-organize us in terms of such a constitutional convention and I don't know what the heck might come out if that's the case and we have a wide open, no holds barred constitutional convention. I don't think the problem is our constitution. I think the problem is the enforcement of the constitution.
Tax Reform: A Solicit For The Fair Tax
Senator Vitter was later asked about tax reform, specifically the constituent was asking about why Vitter has not signed on to support the Fair Tax (a national sales tax instead of the income tax and related taxes). Here is how Vitter responded:
"I am not on the bill yet because there are a lot of details that I want to make sure I understand, including making sure I understand what the ultimate would clearly be... Quite frankly, I can't support a consumption tax if it's going to be 22% or something."
The constituent interjected it would be 23%.
"Okay, well, that is my concern," Vitter retorted. The constituent tried to reason that it would be in place of the rest current tax burden. "I'm telling you flat out I am not hiding anything. That 23% is a concern of mine, I realize what you get rid of, but that is a high sales tax."
The senator then asked the crowd if they would support a consumption tax. About a quarter of the audience raised their hand in support. A third said they would oppose. The rest abstained from the vote. The crowd said if it was 10% they'd consider it, but 23% was way out of the question.
"Well, that illustrates my concern."
Sen. Vitter offered the flat tax (a simplification of the current tax code) as another viable tax reform model.
President Obama's Eligibility To Be President
A constituent asked Sen. Vitter why he is not challenging Barack Obama's eligibility to be president and why Obama wasn't vetted.
"Do you mean a birth certificate? I don't know what you mean by vetted. There is no vetting for the presidency except for elections."
The constituent responded about several lawsuits going on questioning Barack Obama's eligibility to be president, as well as Donald Trump's efforts to get the President to display his college records.
"Let me be dead honest with you. I disagree with you that there is a big issue. I think this is a complete distraction from a lot of important fights. So, I'm not spending my time on that because I don't think that is a valid concern, number one, and I think it is a complete distraction from other fights.:
Another constituent exclaimed that he thinks it's a concern. Vitter responded that he can file suit and re-clarified that there is no vetting process, but you can challenge it.
Vitter's Thoughts On Fifth District Congressional Race
We asked Senator Vitter about his thoughts on the swift special election happening in the 5th Congressional District.
"I'm not going to endorse any candidate," answered Vitter. "There are going to be several very legitimate conservative Republican candidates, so I fully expect we'll keep it in Republican hands."
However, the Republican did have an extra note on what he thinks about the process.
"I just hope we have a full spirited debate. Unfortunately, I think this election campaign was sort of truncated with this sort of action."