By Elyssa Parnell
NEWBERRY — U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney attended to the questions and concerns of voters in Newberry County during a town hall meeting held last week at the Newberry Opera House downtown, giving community members the opportunity to voice their needs and concerns.
Questions ranged from Obamacare to questions of impeachment, to the care of U.S. veterans.
Mulvaney explained to citizens that all bills regarding spending money start in the House, where they can be sent back and forth between the Senate, making amendments.
If the Senate makes a change and sends it back with changes the House disagrees with, Mulvaney said, they have three options — they can change it again and send it back, accept it, or do nothing. The options of changing the bill again or doing nothing, Mulvaney said would ultimately lead to the government not being able to spend any money.
“If the government can’t spend money, it shuts down,” he said, referring to last October’s government shut down.
The Legislature controls the purse-strings, Mulvaney said, as the Senate usually digs in its heels, making the House fold.
A concerned veteran questioned Mulvaney last Thursday on his care, specifically that involving the investigation with Dorn VA Medical Center.
“Dorn has had serious problems,” Mulvaney said. “Six people have died because of bureaucratic problems in not getting them service on time.”
Mulvaney explained that a hospital manager from Tennessee had allowed wait lists to grow, but instead of getting fired, she had been moved to Dorn VA. When the problems began there, they allowed her to retire.
The waiting list is now back to where it is supposed to be, according to Mulvaney. He explained there are also problems at Dorn with HVAC regarding their surgical room. If a veteran came to Dorn for surgery, they would be sent somewhere else.
“They just can’t get it clean enough,” Mulvaney said. “I’m sympathetic to their plight, but it needs to be fixed.”
“I have three children, and they were all born on the same day,” Mulvaney said. “I have triplets. I currently have no insurance on my child.”
Unfortunately, his third child, Michael, cannot be registered under Obamacare because the system is not equipped to handle three children born on the same day.
The best solution they had received thus far was to register the child with a different birthday, hoping the system could handle that, which would not be legal if the child were to need medical assistance. The problem had yet to be resolved Thursday.
“I have tried to convince the President to delay, repeal the bill, replace it, or add changes, but he said no,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney said his assumption was that insurance companies will go broke at some point, begging for the government to take it over.
“I think that was their intention in the first place,” he said.
Mulvaney told citizens he was one out of 25 who voted against the Ukraine package.
“We assume that there are good and bad guys in every fight,” Mulvaney said. “My starting point is that if I don’t know who you are, I assume you’re a bad guy.”
Mulvaney said he was trying to be slow to bless the Ukrainians by giving them money and guns. As far as the Russians, Mulvaney said what they have done was wrong, and he felt they needed to be punished.
Mulvaney said he was afraid to send tanks into Russia simply because of the stronghold they have over the Western economy when it comes to natural gas.
Mulvaney said the most significant thing Americans will see in the remainder of 2014 could be an immigration bill that is currently in the House. He feels it will pass.
Why won’t there be any more significant legislation between now and November? “We try not to do anything 14 months before an election,” Mulvaney said.
Although Mulvaney said he wished he could say there would be a lot done about jobs, the economy, and the debt and deficit of the nation accomplished, he felt that issue would be around for the next few more years.
“Washington is reactive, not proactive. We fix things after they are broken,” Mulvaney said. “My biggest fear is now we are dealing with stuff so large, it will be difficult to fix after it has already been broken.”
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108.