Common Staff Writer
Ohio’s 6th District Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) was in Portsmouth, Monday to meet with area officials and tour the new King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio. While in Portsmouth Johnson sat down for an exclusive interview with the Daily Times, to discuss issues facing Washington.
“Most of the stuff that’s going on in Washington, deals with our (United States) fiscal issues. The house (of representative) passed its budget last week, (it) balances within 10 years, saves, strengthens and preserves Medicare and Social Security. It begins to address tax reforms, so Americans get to keep more of what they earn,” Johnson said. “On the other side of the fence you have the (United States) senate that finally passed a budget this weekend, one that includes massive increases in spending and higher taxes.”
He said the difference between the two budgets is an indication the ideological differences that exists between the two parties.
“The two budgets reflect the two ideological positions. So, we will see what happens,” Johnson said. “We’ve now submitted our budget, the house has passed a budget, and the senate has passed a budget. Now it goes to conference and will come back where we will hopefully end up with a budget for America, rather than a continuing resolution.”
He noted, a continuing resolution was recently passed by the house and the senate that keeps the federal government funded through the end of September.
Johnson said in the continuing resolution the defense department was given the ability to prioritize and program money.
He said within the continuing resolution funding was provided to continue the RD&D program in Piketon with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and USEC.
“That’s a very important program and we will continue to fight to make sure the American Centrifuge Project continues to get funding. We’re hopeful what we are going to see now, is a move from RD&D to the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program so, they can get fully operational,” Johnson said. “USEC is the only facility in America that provides us the capability to enrich uranium that we need for our nuclear defense system.”
When asked if good news was on the way about the pending DOE loan guarantee for USEC, Johnson said, “I think so. I met with officials from the Department of Energy last week and they are very much supporters of the USEC program.”
Johnson said he and his staff are currently working on several pieces of legislation.
“We are working on advancing the cause to export liquid natural gas. Right now American does not export liquid natural gas. We lead the effort to stop the war on coal during the last session of congress. We plan to get right back on that again. with legislation that would prevent the stream buffer zone rule from going forward. We’ve got the WWII Memorial Prayer Act that we will be reintroducing. That’s to have Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer, inscribed on the WWII memorial in Washington,” Johnson said.
He said his office is also looking to introduce a couple of veteran’s bills during this session as well.
For more information about congressman Bill Johnson visit, billjohnson.house.gov
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.