By Stan Welch
Congressman Jeff Duncan was in Powdersville Tuesday afternoon as a part of his summer recess tour of the district. He moved steadily from table to table at Atha’s Restaurant, sitting with constituents, both asking and answering questions. The flow of patrons was steady, and Duncan extended the hour long meet and greet by a considerable margin.
Questions ranged from health care concerns to the Republican debate last week, and touched on a variety of subjects in between. When he wasn’t tied up with the voters, the Congressman answered a few questions for The Journal. He expressed his concerns about former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s situation concerning her private e-mail server.
“The fact that she apparently maintained a private server in violation of State Department protocols is troublesome enough. But now it appears that the Chinese have conducted literally hundreds of cyber attacks, including almost certainly on Clinton’s personal server,which was much less secure than those at State.”
While on the subject of foreign relations, Duncan expressed his concerns about the ultimate fate of the controversial deal that the Obama administration has reached with Iran, concerning their nuclear program. “I think the deal will be defeated in both houses of the Congress, but I don’t think that there will be enough votes to overturn the President’s almost certain veto.”
But he discounted the importance of the recent announcement by New York Senator Charles Schumer, the Senate’s third ranking Democrat, that he will not support the deal. “I think Senator Schumer is testing the waters, but I think he knows that his vote alone will not have an impact. He’ll be able to tell his large Jewish constituency that he voted to defeat the deal, while knowing that the President will almost certainly prevail on the veto. He’ll even have the luxury of voting to overturn the veto too, knowing that not enough Democrats will vote with the Republican majority to make any difference.”
When asked whether patriotism or partisan politics holds sway in the Congress right now, he simply answered, “That’s a very good question, one I can’t really answer.”
Speaking about the other political hot button topic, the Republican debate and the candidacy of Donald Trump, Congressman Duncan said that Trump’s main impact this early in the process lies in the amount of attention he is getting. “Right now, he is pretty much sucking all the oxygen out of the room, so to speak. He is getting so much media attention that the positions and views of the rest of a very talented field are going almost unnoticed. Whether Trump has the staying power to last for another fourteen months remains to be seen.”
Duncan reminded the press that his customary political BBQ and candidates’ forum is slated for August 24at the Anderson Civic Center. A number of national candidates are scheduled to attend.