Archive for Thursday, June 25, 2009

U.S. Senate candidate pans Obama’s plans in area campaign stops

June 25, 2009

Lawrence — U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran would like to see the federal government get rid of its ownership in private companies within the next year.

“The idea that this can just last forever, for one, is troublesome financially,” said Moran, who was in Lawrence on Monday. “… But two, business will make better decisions than some group of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., deciding how the market should operate.”

The Hays Republican and Kansas University graduate who now represents most of western and central Kansas in the U.S. House addressed the Lawrence Rotary Club at the Lawrence Holidome. He is seeking a U.S. Senate seat in 2010, and will face Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, in the GOP primary.

Later on Monday, Moran made campaign stops in Tonganoxie and Fort Leavenworth.

During an interview, Moran said that in the wake of the current economic crisis, Congress should craft a plan that is fair to taxpayers while ridding government of its holdings in bankrupt auto giants General Motors and Chrysler and other major companies.

“Kansans generally believe that we need greater fiscal responsibility, and this is not a Republican-Democrat thing,” Moran said.

The Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress are seeking major health-care reform. Moran said a recent Congressional Budget Office estimate likely would take the plan off the fast track. The estimate put its cost at $1 trillion over 10 years, but only about one-third of people currently without health insurance would gain coverage.

Moran said he would be wary of any public health insurance option that would compete with private insurers. Rather, Congress should focus on reducing the overall cost of health care by, for example, encouraging efficiencies in the industry.

“Make sure that rural health care providers and rural patients don’t get forgotten,” Moran said.

Moran, who was scheduled to visit Fort Leavenworth Monday afternoon, said President Obama needed to craft a plan addressing what to do with terrorist suspects held in Guantanamo Bay before closing the facility in Cuba. Kansas political leaders have strongly opposed moving any detainees to Fort Leavenworth.

“Everything I know about Fort Leavenworth suggests that that would be a terrible mistake,” he said.


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