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Massa: 'I would vote against it'

WATKINS GLEN—After talking briefly about agriculture, Congressman Eric Massa went on to health care reform before even being asked about it, at the Schuyler County Farm Bureau’s annual picnic, Thursday, Aug. 13.
“If I had to vote today I would vote against it,” said Massa about President Barack Obama’s health care reform bill.
He even had the 1,000 page draft bill at the picnic, held at Lakewood Vineyards. Massa said he has read it four times, but still does not understand some of it. He explained reading it requires other books referenced within the bill. Massa added he has gotten with other congress members to slow down voting on the bill. One of the reasons he gave for not approving of the bill is that in six years the health care premiums prices would be doubled.
Before taking questions, Massa also talked about agriculture and being on the agricultural committee.
“Agriculture is one of few committees not divided by party lines, it’s divided by regional lines,” he said.
Massa connected being on the agricultural committee and the home services and homeland security committees. He said they need a better visa system for migrant workers. Massa added that farmers should not be the ones held responsible for validating a worker’s papers.
Questions from the Farm Bureau members covered Marcellus shale, gun laws, and corn ethanol production. Concerning where the economy will be in the future due to spending and borrowing, Massa said we are starting to see the recession bottom out in next year. He warned that the problem to watch out for then would be hyper inflation. He also said he did not want preemptive action every time something goes wrong.
When asked about spending levels in the country, Massa said he had voted against the bank bailout bill, an action which he said got him called a “rogue Democrat.” Massa explained that he was told in Congress that because he was with the majority he had to approve Obama’s bailout plan. While Massa pointed out in many areas he did not approve spending, he did say that in the next budget he wanted to double what the VA got this year.
The bill about controlling the access of ammunition was another one Massa said he did not support.
“It won’t come out of committee,” he said, adding if it did, “I won’t vote for it.” Massa said the reason why is the gun laws currently in place are not being enforced.
Massa’s final words were, “I do not believe it’s the role of the government to solve all of our problems. It’s the role of the federal government to create a society for us to solve them ourselves.”
After the question and answer session, Massa was present to help hand out three Agricultural Environmental Management awards to area farmers. The recipients were Ken and Kenton Burr of Burr Ayr Farms, Rory Miller and Don Desrochers, and Jim and Eric Hazlitt.

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