published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann quizzed about votes


by Chris Carroll
A small crowd listens to U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann answer questions during Thursday's town hall meeting. Fleischmann spoke and answered questions during a town hall meeting at Heritage House in Heritage Park on Thursday.
A small crowd listens to U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann answer questions during Thursday's town hall meeting. Fleischmann spoke and answered questions during a town hall meeting at Heritage House in Heritage Park on Thursday.
Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., holds up a pocket-sized version of the Constitution during a town hall meeting Thursday at Heritage House in Heritage Park.
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
    enlarge photo

'TOWN HALL' MEETINGS


U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann will hold four meetings in Hamilton County today.

• 8:30 a.m. -- Soddy-Daisy Municipal Building, 9835 Dayton Pike

• 11 a.m. -- North River Civic Center, 1009 Executive Drive, Hixson

• 1:30 p.m. -- Red Bank City Hall, 3117 Dayton Blvd.

• 4 p.m. -- Signal Mountain Town Hall, 1111 Ridgeway Ave.

As U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann wrapped up the day's third "town hall" meeting and opened the floor to questions, two generations challenged their congressman.

The older man began with a little praise.

Bob Strange, a 79-year-old Lookout Valley man whose business card says "retired," identified himself as a conservative Republican and said he voted for Fleischmann in last year's elections.

"However," he said, "unless you become reasonable, I'll be one of those who will vote against you."

At Thursday's four Chattanooga meetings, Fleischmann, R-Tenn., trumpeted his votes for legislation that cleared the GOP-controlled House, but never had a prayer of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Specifically, Fleischmann emphasized his vote for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity," which would have turned Medicare into a voucher program within 10 years. The Senate rejected Ryan's plan in a 57-40 vote.

"Voting on a bill which has no chance to pass and bragging about it doesn't accomplish anything," Strange told Fleischmann.

The congressman was undeterred, saying Washington endured "too many compromises over too long a period of time."

"I feel a duty to stand on principle," he said.

At all of his Thursday meetings, Fleischmann stressed his conservative record and the fact that he's never missed a vote. He took questions about corporations, taxes and a new federal report that showed defense contractors have wasted $60 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We've got a spending problem in this country," he said. "I've only got one vote out of 435, but rest assured ... I fight like heck for the people of this district with that vote."

At the third meeting, a few minutes after Strange addressed Fleischmann, 25-year-old Perrin Lance raised his hand to ask about "the very real and terrible consequences" of Fleischmann's vote against raising America's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Credit-rating agencies warned of government default if Congress failed to strike a deal before Aug. 2.

Just before midnight on Aug. 1, Congress approved a deal to increase the ceiling.

"If everybody had voted like you, I don't know if my grandparents would have their Social Security check," Lance told Fleischmann. "And I don't know if my college-age friends would have higher interest rates on their loans."

The different approach was something of an about-face for Lance, a community activist with Chattanooga Organized for Action -- the group behind last week's "Trial of Chucky" protest in which demonstrators dressed up like the "Child's Play" movie villain and blasted Fleischmann outside his Chattanooga office.

Fleischmann said Lance asked "an excellent question." But instead of addressing what would have happened had the debt ceiling not been raised, Fleischmann said he didn't support the final deal because it didn't include enough spending cuts or a balanced budget amendment.

"He didn't answer your question, did he?" someone said.

Lance shook his head.

16
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
dfclapp said...

Perrin Lance asked the best question and there was no suitable answer. I wrote to all our federal congressmen about breaking the impasse prior to the vote. Senators Corker and Alexander sent honest responses. Congressman Fleischmann said he supported my position in his written response, but voted agaist it in reality on the House floor. He is both dishonest and prefers brinksmanship to helping our country function. Standing on "principle" has its place, but there are many good people in Washington with different points of view and they need to find common ground for the benefit of the country rather than snipe at each other from opposite corners. We need an adult TN representative who will work for consensus rather that a child who crows about taking the ball and stopping the game if he doesn't get his way.

September 2, 2011 at 5:54 a.m.
Facts said...

As a voter for Chuck Flieschmann, I'll clear all of this up for you folks that seem so puzzled. The current Congressman was put in office by Democrats who voted in the GOP primary all throughout this district. After their support, they want to be heard and represented. They're getting nothing for their support. The local GOP has what they desire...a puppet who doesn't even understand why he votes as he does, whose money bought him what he could've never gained by earning it and is laughed at. Lesson to my former GOP, you've clamored over those with certain last names and those with money. Congratulations for record of being no different from the Democrats you insult.

September 2, 2011 at 10:43 a.m.
Facts said...

payingattention: I not only have my facts straight, I could name names of Democrats who were deeply involved in activating groups to vote for Chuck Flieschmann. You have your man. The local GOP has their man. You both should be dancing in the streets with delight that you've elected a puppet.

September 2, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.
terrybham said...

If Congressman Flieschmann is so concerned about the Federal deficit why doesn't he refuse his congressional pay? With all benefits included this would come to at least around $250-300,000.00 a year.

September 2, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.
Facts said...

payingattention: You might be "paying attention" but you don't understand. In Tennessee, there's no registration of voters by party. So at the time you cast a ballot, you are recorded as the "party" affiliate for the candidate that gets your vote. Simply, if you're the Democrats on Signal Mountain and Hixson that serve on the state executive committee of the Democratic Party and vote for Chuck Fliecshmann, you are recorded as GOP votes. Data is only useful if understood.

September 2, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
Facts said...

So, you believe the 3rd Congressional District race was determined in November's election? Why don't you take a peek at the August primary numbers to see how many voted in a GOP primary for the 1st time. As I said, Democrats got what they wanted & the local GOP has gotten what it deserves. I hope you are the mastermind behind all the upcoming elections for the liberals. It comforts this libertarian.

September 2, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
chrisbrooks said...

http://chattaction.org/post/9633075206/chucky-working-families-worst-nightmare

At a time when Chattanooga’s working families need all the support that genuine political leadership could bring, its becoming increasingly clear that we cannot count on United States Representative Chuck Fleischmann to stand up for us & deliver the jobs and relief that our working families so desperately need.

But an even worse nightmare is setting in for the everyday people of Chattanooga who are struggling to just get by. Not only is Chucky refusing to fight for them, he is actively working to destroy their hopes for a better future.

Unlike nightmares, though, there’s no waking up from this dream. This time, it’s real. A careful reading of the facts shows the truth.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann voted NO when it came time to raise the debt ceiling with a bill that had bi-partisan support. He willingly played a political game of chicken that terrified many Americans, many of whom are working families fearing for their livelihoods and retirements. Chucky had sided with Big Business and Wall Street banksters at the crucial moments and on the votes that matter. Chucky’s voting records has shown him for who he really is: a corporatist on the legislative war path to destroy Tennessee’s working families.

The everyday people of Chattanooga are struggling to make ends meet. While many of us are at risk of being laid off and our homes foreclosed on, Chuck Fleischmann is in Washington, D.C. giving away our jobs and doing his best to make sure that services like Medicare and Medicaid become privatized bags of cash for corporate cronies, passing increased costs to vulnerable seniors and families.

The impact of his irresponsible and reckless decisions in Congress not only will be felt in the downgrade of the S&P’s rating of U.S. credit, but it could also deal a huge blow to Tennesseans to the tune of $4.5 billion of budget cuts to essential services and agencies across the state, including billions of dollars spent right here in Chattanooga. Chucky’s record could lead to massive cuts in education, at a time when our kids are having to learn in schools that are grossly underfunded. Tennessee’s education spending is amongst the worst in the nation. As a result of Chucky’s failed leadership, over a hundred million dollars could be cut from the Department of Children’s Services, the agency that serves our local communities by providing adoption services and enforcing child safety laws ensuring that children aren’t abused or neglected. 

These devastating cuts are a direct result of Chuck Fleischmann’s vote against the debt ceiling increase. Voters need to be educated about how their some of their elected representatives are destroying their communities. That is why COA is proud to number among a growing chorus of grassroots voices springing up across Tennessee (Sparta, Nashville, Chattanooga) that are standing up & speaking out against the attacks on our communities.

September 2, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
chrisbrooks said...

Here’s the breakdown:

Tennessee is currently receiving around 40 percent of its funding from the U.S. Government, if that funding is reduced 10 percent to 30 percent total, the state would be forced to undergo $4.5 billion in budget cuts and would have to eliminate 5,132 jobs.  If this happens, TennCare would be hit with cuts of up to $2.2 billion, and would be forced to eliminate a number of jobs, the scope of which is currently unknown. TennCare provides Medicaid to the citizens of Tennessee and provides affordable health care to previously uninsured individuals.  The Department of Health and Human Services gets $860 million in reductions, and would lose 1,595 jobs. They provide a broad scope of services, including disability services, child care services, and adult protective services, among many other things.  The Department of Education would lose $276 million in funding, making it difficult for them to provide new textbooks or the quality teachers that our kids need.   Add on the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which would take a blow of about $229 million in budget cuts. They provide family support and support agencies and organizations that help those living with developmental disabilities and their families.  Finishing the cuts, the Department of Children’s Services; the agency would lose over $112 million. They provide foster care and ensure child safety.

The nightmare of our dying economy has gone on long enough and with Chucky as our US Representative, it doesn’t look like that nightmare will end. Chucky’s voting record certainly isn’t child’s play and with his recklessness our state could lose over 5,000 jobs and billions of dollars in cuts to services that help Chattanooga’s working families get by.

September 2, 2011 at 4:18 p.m.
Facts said...

payingattention I have to applaud you for at least not making the mistake I did in supporting Flieschmann. I coulndn't support Sheriff Gobble because he just wanted another government paycheck. I thought I was voting for an independent thinker. Shame on me on not knowing enough that Flieschmann's only role was to make sure the independent firebrand didn't get elected. You get full credit for that.

September 2, 2011 at 7:51 p.m.
01centare said...

chrisbrooks said... Here’s the breakdown: Tennessee is currently receiving around 40 percent of its funding from the U.S. Government, if that funding is reduced 10 percent to 30 percent total, the state would be forced to undergo $4.5 billion in budget cuts and would have to eliminate 5,132 jobs. If this happens, TennCare would be hit with cuts of up to $2.2 billion, and would be forced to eliminate a number of jobs, the scope of which is currently unknown. TennCare provides Medicaid to the citizens of Tennessee and provides affordable health care to previously uninsured individuals.

Not only that Chris. Many don't know or understand that jobs in the private sector will be affected as well. I once worked for a major MAJOR private insurance company that had a contract with the government to handle TennCare, Medicaid and Medicare claims. These people just don't understand how they're being lied to and royally screwed by the GOP. All they can see is the face of that one lone TennCare patient or food stamp recipient they've been convinced are somehow getting over, or that individual living in Section 8 or public housing. These people can't seem passed that image and how they're lives and incomes will be negatively affected with cuts to so-called social programs.

The middled-classed and wealthy have always stood on the shoulders of the poor. Knock the poor out of place and the middle-classed will fall down to the level of the poor, and many wealthy will follow.

September 4, 2011 at 7:24 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.