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<a name="1" style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:18px;" href="http://preview.pec.coop/News/PressRelease.aspx?PRID=242">U.S. Congressman speaks at PEC headquarters</a>
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<div style="margin:0;font-family:Georgia,Helvetica,Arial,Sans-Serif;line-height:140%;font-size:13px;color:#000000;"><p><b>February 17, 2010<br />FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE</b></p><p><b>U.S. Congressman speaks at PEC headquarters</b></p><p>U.S. Representative Lamar Smith, R-Texas, spoke about fiscal restraint, the federal budget, energy legislation, health care reform and national security at Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s headquarters in Johnson City on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Smith represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Bexar, Blanco, Comal, Kerr, Kendall, Real and Travis counties.<br /><br />Smith, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, began his presentation by challenging the notion promoted by a nationally-renowned columnist that America’s reign as a great nation is coming to an end.<br /><br />“I think that is something we need to challenge. I think if we choose the right policies in Washington, if we get our financial house in order and get our priorities straight, we will continue to be a great nation,” Smith said. “It all depends on the choices we make."<br /><br />The congressman spoke about the importance of cutting spending in Washington, and he said he takes President Barack Obama at his word that he and the congressional leadership want to work with Republicans to reduce the federal deficit. Smith also said the most recent budget proposal was a “source of concern” that sets records for tax increases, spending and the size of the deficit.<br />Smith said the United States government hasn’t had a balanced budget since the late 1990s. He said it is essential the nation’s leaders begin practicing financial restraint.<br /><br />“In 2009, for the first time in history, the United States spent two dollars for every one dollar we took in,” Smith said. “No government, no family, no industry, no organization can do that for very long. Sooner or later, you’ve got to pay it back.”<br /><br />Talking about the energy issues facing America, Smith said he wants more alternative energy such as wind and solar. He said the U.S. needs better technology to access the oil and natural gas within its borders. Smith also advocated for more nuclear power, and he said that technological improvements over the past 30 years should calm public concerns about the safety of nuclear plants.<br /><br />With regard to health care in the United States, Smith said there are about 14 million long-term, low-income people in the country who do not have access to health insurance. He said that while more than 50 percent of Americans oppose the health care overhaul proposed by Democrats, there are several bipartisan measures that Congress could pass to give those citizens the help they need.<br /><br />After his presentation, Smith fielded questions from PEC employees.</p><a href='http://preview.pec.coop/privacy.aspx'>Copyright © 2009 Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc., All Rights Reserved.</a><div class="feedflare">
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