Rep. Ron Kind Talks About the Fall Congressional Session
By Erik Altmann
Rep. Ron Kind was back in D.C. this week, as congress reconvened for the fall. He took the time out of his busy week to discuss his hopes for the latest congressional session.
Kind stated that his top priority for this fall "remains getting this economy back on track, and creating good paying jobs, especially for western Wisconsin."
He added that "it's the small businesses that are the backbone of our regional economy, their the ones that will be able to create the jobs the quickest back home."
In response to President Obama's proposed American Jobs Act, Kind commented that "a lot of the measures that the President is proposing make sense, including the investment we need to make in our nation's infrastructure."
"We've got a deteriorating 20th-century infrastructure that's not ready for 21st-century growth," he said.
Kind pointed to the I-35W bridge collapse and the need to replace the Stillwater Lift Bridge as two examples of our deteriorating infrastructure.
"We've got bridges falling down on us, for crying out loud. It's inexcusable, and the replacement for the Stillwater Bridge project has been 50 years in the making. It's long overdue," Kind said.
He also noted that the St. Croix River Crossing project has bi-partisan support, with all the senators from both Minnesota and Wisconsin in favor of it.
In addition to the St. Croix River Crossing project, Kind is still pushing hard for farm bill reforms. In August, he held a series of farm forums discussing the issue.
"It makes no sense that we have huge taxpayer subsidies going to a few, but very large agri-businesses. That's were the bulk of the funding is going, and it's not helping our family farmers back home."
Kind added that "it's not fiscally responsible. We've got federal paychecks going to addresses in Manhattan, Chicago and Hollywood, all under the Farm Bill. It just makes no sense."
The biggest hurdle that needs to be cleared this fall is the ability to compromise on legislation.
"There's too much of an attitude of my way or no way at all, and that leads to political paralysis," said Kind, adding that "we need to start coming together on this, and forming a bi-partisan approach, because that's what people expect us to do back home."