Jodey Arrington has represented Lubbock and a massive swath of West Texas for four years and Lubbock Lights strongly endorses him for a third term.
We enjoyed our visit with Congressman Arrington – he clearly exhibited wide and deep knowledge of important issues and understands West Texas values.
He’s also been endorsed by President Trump.
His opponent, Vance Boyd of Anson, who has done stunt work in movies among many other things, has views in line with most West Texans and we enjoyed getting to know him.
But he cannot come close to Arrington’s knowledge and experience and that experience is important.
Our congressman has said he’s interested in term limits for Congress and his opponent like to rail about “career politicians.”
But in a place like West Texas – where we don’t have the number of representatives other areas of Texas the nation has – having a congressman with experience pays off in getting things done for Lubbock and West Texas.
The best example is the legendary George Mahon.
We asked Arrington what his priorities would be if re-elected and he said:
- Fostering growth for rural West Texas and America by getting modern infrastructure in place to get food, fuel and fiber to markets. He said where we don’t have the people and traffic other areas of the country have to get road work done, we “have the argument (because of) what we send out to feed and clothe those people.” Arrington says he’s working to designate I-27 as a federal highway from Laredo up toward Canada.
“The challenge will be how to pay. Democrats want to raise taxes and chip away at corporate tax cuts that stimulate the economy,” he said.
- Rural healthcare. Our congressman is co-chair of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Rural and Underserved Communities Heath Task Force.
“We need access to basic healthcare in small-town America,” he said, adding he led an effort to put an amendment in the recent Farm Bill to allow hospitals to restructure finances at a lower interest rate to lower capital costs.
- Reining in Washington and the federal government. “We need more free markets,” less spending and debt, he said.
- Border security and illegal immigration. “This is a national issue and Texas is on the front lines,” he said.
A lot of this, he said, hinges on President Trump’s reelection.
We also asked Arrington a series of questions. Here they are, with his answer. The first one conveniently transitioned off his comment about reelecting the president.
What has to happen for President Trump to get re-elected?
“The Democrats have done a pretty good job of helping him,” said Arrington about the impeachment process.
Folks in the middle will determine the election, he said and believes most Americans do not believe the president’s actions were impeachable and the process was a waste of time.
“They think the Democrats have gone way too far and (Speaker Nancy) Pelosi has allowed the radical left” to promote more government involvement in the economy, with the so-called Green New Deal, elections and health care.
He said many people feel the country is safer and the economy is stronger since President Trump took office with trade policies, tax reform and border security.
“The president needs to be as focused and disciplined as he was at the State of Union – focused on his record of accomplishment and success of economy,” said Arrington.
What other things could be done to keep the economy performing as well as it has?
“Capitalism is under attack. The reason we’re the most prosperous country in world is because of freedom in marketplace. We’ve repealed 12 regulations for every one we put in. We have an economic renaissance, lessening the load on job creators,” he said.
Some regulations and government oversight are needed, but Arrington said it should be a “light touch.”
He said the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be great for comprehensive trade deals and had bipartisan approval.
“We should also take advantage of the United Kingdom leaving European Union. There are also opportunities in Africa,” said Arrington, who added he’s on the committee for trade and wants to open new markets for farmers and energy producers.
What can we do to get a balanced federal budget?
“As much as I respect and admire President Trump, he’s not tackling spending and the GOP has not tackled debt. It’s a top priority,” said Arrington, saying he’s in favor that Congress can’t recess until they pass a budget and he’s strongly in favor of balanced budgets that local and state governments and businesses do all the time. The debt is a crisis, he said. “(It would be a shame) If we ever lose American Exceptionalism because we could not handle fiscal affairs … ” Arrington said. Congress doesn’t lack the know-how on how to cut the debt, but lacks the will. “There will be push back and outcry to politicians who like to be popular.”
Will the war on terror ever end?
“We will always have to be vigilant to combatting terrorism. We have to persist, have to be vigilant and relentless to defend the homeland after what we saw on 9/11. We’ve been rebuilding our military and have made tremendous strides to equip our soldiers with the tools and resources they need. Our commander-in-chief has restored our strength. Terrorists don’t respond to threats. The president is reluctant to use force, but when he does, he does it fully. If we withdraw and retreat early it creates problems. We need the lightest touch but with power behind it. Israel, our ally and only true Democracy in the Middle East needs our help,” he said.
Is immigration reform still needed and if so, what has to happen?
“The border security component is one component … but as long as we supply jobs and social services and rights and privileges of citizens to those who are here illegally, those magnets have to be turned off. If you don’t turn off magnets and chain migration you can build walls to moon and not stop it,” he said.
How do we make healthcare more affordable for more people?
“We have reforms, if we can (have the votes to) push those market-based reforms through, (we’ll have) real choice and lower costs for lower and middle income families,” he said, adding he’s worked on legislation to lower drug costs.
What did we not ask you that you want to mention?
“We need to rein in Washington and return more to the states generally speaking, he said, giving education, religious and political freedom as examples.
Arrington said when he eventually leaves Congress, he hopes he can look back and see that he and his colleagues put in systemic reforms and changed the culture.
“Even in our hyper-partisan environment I work with Democrats and find opportunities,” he said.
“We can debate and advocate but be civil and constructive and have friendships. We can be passionate and patriotic but at end of the day we’re Americans first. We love each other and show respect. If we don’t restructure through term limits, we’re just rearranging the furniture,” he said.