SALADO — The Salado Area Republican Women hosted a conversation with U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, at the Tenroc Ranch event center Thursday.
A crowd of about 70 people asked Carter questions that covered subjects ranging from the economy to congressional gridlock, and ways to attract younger people to the Republican Party.
Jeanie Kilgore mentioned California’s “slide into recession” before asking Carter about the Republican Party’s ideas for stimulating the U.S. economy.
“California is an example of everything that’s wrong and Texas is an example of everything that’s right,” Carter said. “California’s high taxes and regulations put a boot on the throat of small-business owners.”
The ongoing climate of uncertainty fostered by provisions in the Affordable Care Act, as well as recent actions from the EPA, are causing business owners to keep their funds in the bank, he said.
“A landowner can’t develop his property because of a ruling made by a federal agency, so he or she doesn’t spend any capital,” he said.
Joe Mankawich asked Carter about ways to break the logjam between the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The problem lies with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., refusing to schedule bills for a vote, Carter said.
“The House has sent 500 bills to the Senate and they’ve taken up seven,” Carter said. “It’s purely political, the Democrats have many senators in trouble and if they don’t cast any votes, those votes can’t be held against them,” Carter said. “Also, Harry Reid wants to make sure President (Barack) Obama never has to veto anything.”
The Republican Party will “take back the Senate and grow the House” this November, he said.
Pat Noonan mentioned the difficulty many younger, college-educated people face trying to find work and wondered, short of mass forgiveness of student loans, what the Republican Party can do to attract them to the party.
“I don’t think the government should forgive student loans,” Carter said. “They got themselves into it, they can get themselves out of it.”
He added that his four adult children all paid back their student loans. Carter segued into the need to attract 25- to 40-year-olds into the Republican Party and ways to get their attention.
“The Republican Party has to get youth back into politics,” he said. “I’m launching a campaign through alternative media to let the youth know who I am.”
Carter is facing a re-election challenge from Louie Minor, a Belton Democrat, in November.