Reed holds Town Hall in Penn Yan

John Christensen
U.S. Rep Tom Reed (R-Corning) addressed a small turnout at the Feb. 20 Town Hall meeting in Penn Yan.

U.S. Congressman Tom Reed was in Penn Yan Friday, Feb. 20 for one of his local “Town Hall” appearances to brief his constituents on current matters in the nation and to hear their concerns.

About 18 Yates County residents attended, including Penn Yan Trustees Rich Stewart and Dave Reeve, Town Supervisors Pat Killen (Jerusalem), Jack Prendergast (Benton), and Pat Flynn (Torrey), Yates County Republican Chair Sandy King, as well as members of Yates Progressives.

Reed spoke primarily of the crisis in the Middle East and a proposed joint resolution of the House and Senate to authorize the President to use the Armed Forces against the Islamic State terrorist group, commonly called ISIS. While several spoke of the need “to kill these people,” Reed cautioned that “Sometimes, an enemy can be our friend.”

He attempted to clarify the difference between Sunni and Shia Islamic groups, and how Iran might be able to help combat ISIS.

When confronted by Rich Stewart with the question of the the looming shutdown of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the impact it will have on funding for local volunteer fire departments for necessary equipment, Reed quickly placed the blame on the Senate and the need for a 60 percent majority there on all matters, substantive and procedural.

In a press release issued Feb. 23, Reed calls for the partial removal of the Senate filibuster. He says Democrats are holding the Department of Homeland Security funding hostage by threatening to shut down DHS if Republicans do not back down on challenging President Obama’s amnesty agenda.

In the statement, he says:

“I am calling on Leader McConnell to follow Harry Reid’s lead and change the rules of the Senate to improve efficiency and ensure that legislation, that the American people support, gets to the Senate floor. The House has done the people’s work and it is time the Senate does as well.

“That is why I am proposing a simple majority to debate a bill in the Senate. The American people are sick of gridlock and government that cannot get anything done. This is a common-sense reform that is fair to Americans who expect their government to work for them, while also still preserving what makes the Senate a separate and distinct branch of Congress. The time is now to reform the Senate and I join with my colleagues, both liberal and conservative, that believe that something must be done.”