Republican Congressman Tom Latham held a town-hall meeting in Waukee Monday afternoon, fielding questions and comments about topics like term limits and the prospect for a federal government shut-down. Kevin Brodbeck of West Des Moines urged Latham to quit making spending concessions to Democrats and, instead, to “shut the dog-gone thing down.”
“We’re in this eternal loop of every two months, three months we’ll have the big broughaha, and someone’s holding up the budget for a mere couple billion here and the Democrats say, ‘We’ll pay for it later! We’ll pay for it later and we have to get this done.’ No, we don’t,” Brodbeck says.
“This country did very well for a couple hundred years without having all these payments and we’re quickly going down the route of Europe and the former communist countries. I’ve been there. It isn’t pretty.” Iowa National Guardsman Scott Schulte of Perry told Latham the threat of a government shut-down this past spring damaged morale among soldiers who were deployed in Afghanistan.
“Now the leadership, the military leadership, said, ‘Listen: everything’s good to go. We’re still in a war. Nothing stops because there’s no financing,'” Schulte said. “But the young people, it weighed on them because the young people don’t have a lot of assets to support their family while they’re deployed and this spooked a lot of the people.”
Latham says he understands why people are “angry” with the way Washington operates these days. “I feel the same way because it has become dysfunctional,” Latham says. “The people don’t want to work for solutions. The partisanship that has come along here in the past few years is just simply wrong. People are not working for the good of the American people. They’re working for their own reelection and it’s unfortunate.”
Latham says he’s holding five town hall meetings this week to give Iowans an opportunity to share their frustrations. Latham, who is moving from Ames to Clive, intends to seek reelection from Iowa’s new third congressional district and will likely face Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell of Des Moines in 2012.