Special Report: What's Wrong with Washington? Lawmakers answer y

Special Report: What's Wrong with Washington? Lawmakers answer your questions

Posted:
"We're moving from rhetoric to reality on healthcare law," Sen. Alexander said. "We're moving from rhetoric to reality on healthcare law," Sen. Alexander said.
"I've always said let's have trade and tourism and cultural and educational exchanges and help out to a limited extent during humanitarian crises, but let's take care of our own people. We can't afford to run the whole world," Rep. Duncan said. "I've always said let's have trade and tourism and cultural and educational exchanges and help out to a limited extent during humanitarian crises, but let's take care of our own people. We can't afford to run the whole world," Rep. Duncan said.
"I think we have to look at it on a country by country, issue by issue basis. For example, I think foreign aid to Israel is critically important," Rep. Fleischmann said. "I think we have to look at it on a country by country, issue by issue basis. For example, I think foreign aid to Israel is critically important," Rep. Fleischmann said.
"In business, we woke up every day, we had problems, we solved 'em. That's how you make progress," Sen. Corker said. "In business, we woke up every day, we had problems, we solved 'em. That's how you make progress," Sen. Corker said.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) - If you could ask your congressman or senator anything, what would it be?

We asked that question recently at WATE Gene Patterson on Facebook and got several responses.

We took them to Washington recently and got some answers.

Washington D.C. is an exciting city. People from all over the country and all over the world come to visit.

It's also the place that can impact you directly. Whether it's through healthcare or taxes, all these things are decided within the Beltway.

And so armed with some of your questions, we visited with a number of our locally elected officials.

Our first stop was the office of Sen. Lamar Alexander, who stepped out of a committee meeting to speak with us.

Sen. Alexander and Sen. Bob Corker, both Republicans, represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.

Across the Capitol, Second District Congressman Jimmy Duncan and Third District Congressman Chuck Fleishmann, also Republicans, represent much of our East Tennessee viewing area.

And all agreed to share their thoughts.

Our first question was from viewer Jimmy Hill who asked about healthcare.

"Why do lawmakers get free lifetime healthcare when they voted for Obamacare for us?"

The answer - it's not free. It's private insurance offered to members of Congress and eight million other federal employees.

Sen. Alexander addressed the Affordable Healthcare Act:

"We're moving from rhetoric to reality on healthcare law," he said. "If they're young, they're going to pay a lot more for health insurance. They're more likely to lose their policy because employers are going to look at cost of insurance and decide to pay a penalty and let employees go into a new exchange or Medicaid."

Another viewer, Robert Miles, asked, "Why (does) America keep putting so much money in the pot and sending it anywhere but here in foreign aid?"

The answer, the U.S. spends about 1% of its budget on foreign aid.

Duncan believes it's more than that.

"I've always said let's have trade and tourism and cultural and educational exchanges and help out to a limited extent during humanitarian crises, but let's take care of our own people. We can't afford to run the whole world," he said.

Fleishmann offered this perspective.

"I think we have to look at it on a country by country, issue by issue basis. For example, I think foreign aid to Israel is critically important," the congressman said.

Rick Bosch asked: "Why can't you work together to solve problems? Almost all of your constituents do that every day."

Corker doesn't disagree.

"Both sides, unfortunately, continue to look at the next election, amendments are offered to differentiate one side from the other, none of which is any part of any life I've ever lived," the senator said. "In business, we woke up every day, we had problems, we solved 'em. That's how you make progress."

And a final question: "What gives you hope for America?"

"Both parties want the same good things for people and for the country, so I have hope. We're always going to have problems and challenges. We have bigger ones now then we've ever had before," said Rep. Duncan.

But Corker sees those challenges as a reason to finally get things done.

"We try everything else until we finally try the right thing. I think we're at that point to do the right thing and a willingness to leave this place, a better place," he said.

Obviously, many Democrats may disagree with everything said in our piece by these Republicans.

But one thing both parties can agree on is that to make things better, the voting public must remain engaged.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.