3rd District Republican Congressman Jon Runyan addresses questions about his stance on the Fair Tax Legislation, Veterans Healthcare and benefits, Medicare, the U.S. Postal Service and the student loan interest rate standoff on WOBM's live monthly call-in program 'Ask the Congressman'.

A Brick resident called on Rep. Runyan to sponsor the Fair Tax Legislation, that would abolish the federal income tax and impose a national sales tax. However, Runyan says after reading the legislation and speaking with a main Legislative sponsor, he still has questions that haven't been addressed.

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Runyan says he'd like to know the economic impact the bill would have on the purchase of new big ticket items like vehicles. He also wanted to know how it would impact the accounting industry and the workers that it supports?



Runyan says the latest federal budget passed by the House includes tax reform provisions, both personal and corporate which eliminates some of the loopholes. However, he says the budget is languishing in the Senate.

Runyan, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA), took questions from a veteran from Albany N.Y. who's frustrated over the Veterans claims appeals process. Runyan explained the role of the appeals courts and the role of the committee he chairs in hopes of helping the veteran make headway in getting his and other veterans cases resolved.

Runyan also talked about the opportunity he had to take Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to an out-patient healthcare facility on the Joint Base. He says he was able to talk in-depth about the growing need for healthcare services in rural communities as soldiers return home from Afghanistan, especially access to services to treat hidden brain and hearing injuries as well as PTSD. Runyan says he recommended the V.A. follow the private healthcare model and place more of these services into communities by using satellite facilities or forming public-private partnerships with area hospitals.

He also addressed a question about the need to use taxpayer money to bail out the U.S. Postal Service. However, Runyan believes numbers prove that the Postal Service's fiscal issues are being caused by an over-funded pension system and he's sponsoring legislation that addresses that. Runyan says that legislation is also languishing in the Senate.

Runyan talked about the Republican measure to help prevent student loan rates from doubling. It's a bill that uses money from the Affordable Healthcare Act to help pay the cost to which Runyan says "here we made an honest attempt to fix this problem and actually pay for it because that is a huge part of what we're in is spending is out of control."

Runyan also addressed a constituent's concerns about the Republican plan to help rein in Medicare cost. He assures listeners once again that Medicare won't change for people 55 years and older.