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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Sen. Moran hosts Lansing town hall meeting

  • U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said the most important issue for Congress and President Barack Obama to deal with is national debt and fiscal condition of the U.S.
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  • U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said the most important issue for Congress and President Barack Obama to deal with is national debt and fiscal condition of the U.S.
    Moran, who represents Kansas, said the federal budget can't be balanced over night, but he thinks the government should be on a different path.
    The Republican senator's remarks came Thursday during a town hall meeting in Lansing.
    Moran said he's already hosted town hall meetings in all 105 counties in Kansas as senator, and he's now making a second town hall tour around the state.
    "I don't know how you solve the deficit problem unless more people are working," he said.
    He said Congress and the president have done next to nothing to create an environment for jobs.
    During his remarks, Moran criticized Obama's strategy of using executive action to enact portions of his agenda without Congressional approval. The senator argued this is not abiding by the Constitution as it was taught to him in school.
    Moran said there are two things Congress could do to address this. One would involve restrictions on how money can be spent in appropriation bills. But, he said there are not 60 votes in the Senate to pass such provisions.
    He said members of Congress also can file lawsuits against the president. The problem is, he said, the president will be out of office by the time cases are decided.
    "But, maybe it means something for future presidents," he said.
    When asked about comprehensive immigration reform, Moran said he believes "our immigration system is broken."
    He said the U.S. has a system in which borders are not secure for national security purposes.
    He also said there is an ethical and moral issue regarding people who try to come to the country legally, but go decades without receiving an answer.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We have a system that doesn't work," he said.
    Moran also was asked about banking regulations.
    The senator said the regulation resulting from the federal Dodd-Frank law, which was passed in 2010 as a response to an economic crisis, is hurting community banks. He said community banks are merging, forming larger banks.
    "I think our community banks are in jeopardy of continuing to be in existence," he said.
    Moran said he doesn't believe the government has solved the "too big to fail" problem regarding some large financial institutions.
    Moran answered questions about other topics, including domestic energy production and the Keystone XL pipeline as well as federal transportation bills and issues facing veterans.
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