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Rothfus meets constituents for coffee in Fawn

Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus speaks to constituents during a question and answer session at the Fawn Township municipal building on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

By R.A. Monti
Thursday, July 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Rep. Keith Rothfus is not satisfied with the government's response to several of the hot button topics in Washington these days.

“Nothing like this has ever been attempted before,” he said of 2009's Affordable Care Act. “No country in the world has ever attempted to micromanage the health care of 300 million people.

“We (Western Pennsylvania) have the largest participation in Medicare Advantage in the country,” he added. “Obamacare takes away from that. One of the things Obamacare does is, it prevents seniors who don't like the Medicare plan they picked, to pick a new plan.

“I introduced a new bill, with a congressman from Oregon, that would allow seniors to choose a new plan in the first three months if they don't like the one they picked.”

Rothfus, R-Sewickley, made the remarks at the Fawn municipal building during one of his “Coffee with Keith” meetings, the freshman congressman's program to meet with his constituents.

“Every congressman has about 700,000 bosses,” Rothfus joked, referring to his constituents. “The founders wanted the Congress to be representative of what the people want at the moment. I'm here to find out what's going on.”

Rothfus said he thought the recent immigration reform that was passed in the Senate was done too hastily.

“The bill that was passed in the Senate is a very dense piece of legislation,” he said. “The devil is always in the details.”

He's also unhappy with the nation's economic recovery.

Rothfus agrees the economy is recovering, but doesn't agree with President Obama's financial policies — which Rothfus said aren't growing the economy fast enough.

“This has been the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression,” he said. “During the recovery in the 1980s we added 1.1 million on jobs one month. We're scraping along at the bottom right now only adding 100,000 jobs-per-month. We need to be adding 400,000 a month.”

And his disappointment with the president doesn't stop there.

“You have a White House that, every time you approach them with policy, they throw a wet towel on it. What's the compromise? Half of a wet towel?”

Rothfus took questions from a group of about 10 constituents, then spoke one-on-one with anyone who wished at the end of the talk.

“I knew I wouldn't agree with most of the things he had to say, but I'm still glad he came out,” said George Erceg, 64, of Fawn. “I saw he was having some of these around (the district), but I didn't want to have to travel to Beaver.”

Fawn Supervisor Jason Davidek said anytime the township of about 2,300 people can have one-on-one time with a U.S. House member, it's a welcomed experience.

“I think, as a small township, this is a great opportunity,” Davidek said. “People in the township can have the ear of a federal official and he can understand our needs and concerns.”

R.A. Monti is a freelance reporter for Trib Total Media.



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