VERSAILLES – Congressman Warren Davidson held a Town Hall meeting in Versailles on Monday evening and met with 40-50 constituents to answer questions and explain his stance on issues.
John Sanders, of Bradford, questioned Congressman Davidson about House Bill 397 that addresses funding the under-funding of the Central States Pension Fund. Sanders, who is a Teamster, is concerned that his pension fund will be insolvent in 2025. The bill passed the House, but Davidson said he did not support it because it is a loan without consequences if there is a default, which makes it a grant.
Davidson said this would be precedent setting because there are “lots of under-funded pensions around the country. When you say that you’re going to give the money and not have conditions for repayment, there will be a massive line – We can’t afford it.”
He did share there is momentum and bi-partisan support for a solution being worked on by Senators Portman and Brown. That bill would institute consequences on defaults. “I get how big of a deal it is,” said the congressman. “My father-in-law is on a Teamster’s pension covered at Central States. I hear about it regularly.”
The evening was not without controversy. Davidson shared his views on the economy and the issue with the rate of growth being slower than the rate of spending. “The economy is doing really well,” he said. Employees are finding better wages than they’ve had in a while.”
The biggest concern for Davidson is the deficit. He would like to see Congress hold the line on spending to allow the rate of growth to catch up. Davidson was interrupted by a woman from Springfield who identified herself as Lori. “Tax the wealthy,” she said. She continued to disrupt after Davidson asked her to go to a microphone to ask a question. “But you’re too one sided. You have to understand you have Democrats that are your constituents.” Davidson answered, “I understand there are Democrats here and I understand that Republicans will go to the mic and ask questions. I would expect Democrats to do the same.”
Lori also pushed Davidson on Russians manipulating the election and white supremacy. She maintained that Russia’s interference gave Donald Trump the presidency. As to the interference in elections from foreign and domestic actors, Davidson said, “I guarantee you there are resources being committed to this that have passed both houses of Congress.”
Davidson admitted there was a growth in white supremacy and in the coverage of white supremacy. “When you look at it, we have little micro-cultures going on around the country,” he said. “One of them is white supremacists, another would be groups like Antifa…” Lori interrupted again, “Don’t, don’t start that. That is not true. Antifa is nothing compared to…” Lori was interrupted by someone who said, “Let the man talk.” She responded, “No, no. He’s not telling the truth. I want you to respect the truth. Antifa is not an organization that has ever hurt anybody.” Her comment drew laughter from the audience with one person asking if she’s ever been to Portland, Ore.
Davidson also address the United State Mexico Canada Trade Agreement and expects it to pass in September or October, trade with China, opposition to Red Flag Laws, Gender Equality Bill that will not pass in the Senate, and a proposed assault weapon ban.
In speaking to an assault rifle ban, Davidson shared there are 13,000 murders in the U.S. each year with 50 percent caused by handguns. The next highest instrument for murder is a knife or cutting instrument, followed by physical assault, a blunt object and then rifles of all kinds, although it is trending up.
As a manufacturer, Davidson said he’s learned that you need to solve the right problem. “If you don’t solve the right problem, you continue to make bad parts.”
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