Reed meets with TEA Party group in Benton

Gwen Chamberlain
Rep. Tom Reed speaks at a Town Hall meeting held by the local TEA Party

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed told a group of about 50 people last week that he wants input from continuants regarding the upcoming critical vote on the debt ceiling.  

He admitted he’s got reservations about casting a “no” vote because of the possible consequences of raising the nation’s debt limit. He says he’s sure raising the limit will result in increased interest rates, but several in the audience strongly encouraged him to vote no.

He said it’s necessary to consider that passing legislation is an opportunity to get something out of the House and made into a law that will be approved by the Senate and signed by the President.

“If we go over the brink and default, there will be ramifications,” he said.

Other issues Reed addressed were:

• NATURAL GAS EXPLORATION IN MARCELLUS SHALE: Reed said he was puzzled about how he became known as a strong supporter of energy companies. “I can tell you whole-heartedly, we are not going to allow anything to happen in our backyard that will destroy the Finger Lakes,” he said, explaining his family has a cottage on Keuka Lake.

He explained he wants decisions to be based on science and data.

He is co-chair with a Pennsylvania Representative of the Marcellus Shale Caucus, which has met twice. At the most recent meeting, they heard a report from an organization called Stronger, a not-for-profit agency that reviews state regulations. When the State Department of Environmental Conservation completes New York’s regulations, the agency will review them and make recommendations.

He stressed that he feels regulating the industry should be up to the individual states, but also said it’s important to be aware of the economic impact of exploration.

He said he doesn’t think the Environmental Protection Agency is taking a realistic look at the situation, and he favors reasonable regulation with strong enforcement.

• PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: Reed said he considers the current group of candidates to be vice presidential candidates. He said, “We haven’t met a presidential candidate yet,” adding he likes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

• PAUL RYAN BUDGET PROPOSAL: Reed supports the Paul Ryan budget proposal, and says it’s time for an honest, open discussion about the budget. However, he later noted he doesn’t support Ryan’s proposed method to cut taxes. He said he prefers “taking it down in a revenue neutral way,” and explained he’s not interested in reducing taxes across the board.

The TEA Party will meet again at 11 a.m. June 11 at the Penn Yan Village Hall.