Runyan Takes On Hot Button Issues On Ask the Congressman
As the election season heats up so do questions to shore area Washington Representative Jon Runyan. On WOBM'S ask the Congressman Wednesday night Runyan didn't back down on issues addressing abortion rights, Medicare and offshore oil drilling. We even know who he's rooting for on the presidential primary campaign trail.
When Runyan was asked why he voted to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood? Runyan says his votes were directed at the abortion issue. "If you're performing abortions and women's health activities in the same facility and you're not using taxpayer money, How is that even possible? I think it's a question that many people throw out there." Runyan says he was also opposed to the Obama Administration's attempts to make religious organizations fund contraception for their workers.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry Little wanted to know Runyan's thoughts on the President's plans to hike health care premiums to Active Duty Military, Veterans and their families? Runyan said "not only do I disagree with changing the rules of the people already in that game. but you could potentially harm your ability to defend yourself in the future by not being able to attract the right people." Runyan says he was told by Military Brass that the benefits package was a huge draw to recruits.
Runyan also took heat over a misunderstanding of a bill aimed at reigning in Medicare and Medicaid spending. A caller from West Creek insisted that the House Republican Budget that passed, caused an increase to her Medicare premiums. However, Runyan says under the bill, Medicare for anyone over 55 and over did not change at all.
Runyan's support of a huge U.S. energy bill also drew fire from a local environmental group leader. Greg Auriemma, who leads the Ocean County Sierra Club, questioned Runyan's stance on a bill that mandates opening up the waters off Virginia and the Jersey coast to off shore oil drilling. Runyan says offshore oil drilling was actually a very small part of the bill. "There were many other aspects of that legislation, ie, the Keystone Pipeline that was in there, that created a huge benefit not only to energy independence, energy security but the bottom line at the pump"
Runyan says he also made several attempts to amend the legislation to allow Garden State residents to vote on a referendum tha would exclude New Jersey from offshore drilling but he says those efforts were either tossed out or not voted on.
With regard to the long bruising Presidential primary, Runyan says he actually sees the benefit of the process. "If you just took a candidate and said and however decided was just going to throw him out there and said 'this is our guy there's no such thing as a primary' we'd be in a much bigger uproar. It is the process of being someone properly veted to go out and represent the party."
The 3rd District Congressman addresses other issues and talks about redistricting changes.