Rep. John Curtis won his run-off race against Chris Herrod with 75% of the vote. After a short-lived celebration, he was back to Washington on a red-eye.
He made it to D.C just in time for a committee hearing on the national debt.
Wednesday afternoon he voted in favor of an immigration bill that went down in flames with less GOP support (121-301) than the bill before.
Curtis explained that he voted for the bill “not because it was perfect” but because he’s “interested in getting something through the House” and “frustrated that we haven’t been able to do so.”
GOP support lacked even with a last minute tweet from the president supporting it, and a meeting face to face last week.
A redo will give Curtis and others a chance to fine tune an immigration deal.
“One of the things that was missing was dealing with our seasonal workers- right now we are hitting a wall and there is a lot of businesses really suffering because they can’t get the help they need.”
Curtis says he gets calls from Utah farmers almost weekly worried about labor issues.
Dreamers another top concern.
“It is simply not right that we have not been able to find an answer for them, there are a lot of variations that would work but bringing some kind of stability to their lives is really important.”
Finding a permanent solution to separating families at the U.S. Mexico border also a must for Utah’s Curtis who says, “there is just no way we should be separating families – no way under any circumstances.”
The border security and immigration reform act that failed Wednesday had money for a border wall. Curtis prefers focus on broad national security
The better question is border security and i hardly talk to a person that doesn’t agree we need better border security- not just our southern border, but our northern border, our airports and seaports and in my opinion we should use our latest technology- our best minds to figure out how to best security.
With today’s announcement that Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy is retiring this summer- Curtis looks for a quick replacement.
Curtis believes Trump will make a good call replacing Kennedy who is often the swing vote and moderate.
“I think his (Trump’s) last pick was right on the money I hear everywhere I go in Utah that they are really pleased with his initial pick and if he can find that caliber of individual again you will see him appointed and serve well.”
Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee is on a short list of those considered and he has said the he would “not say no” if offered the appointment.
“If I had to speculate” Curtis says, “POTUS will move quickly and put a name out to the senate, the house does not get to vote on that.”
National Debt to Eclipse Economy
An early meeting where Curtis testified before Congress addressed issues of the National Debt eclipsing the budget. All members were invited to address the Joint Select Committee on Budget Process Reform.
“I said look at Utah there are a number of things we are doing right and highlighted our baseline budget practices and if we could do that one thing in Washington we could avoid shutdowns ad continuing resolutions and really put us in a position to be more thoughtful – logical and methodical when we put that budget together.”
“As far as I’m concerned we need to bring Utah’s values here and show them what we are doing so well in the state.”
He told the committee: “Utah is doing a lot of things right, and I believe this ‘base-line budget’ process is one of many things that Congress can learn from states like Utah. By passing a base-line budget, Congress could make meaningful adjustments to spending levels without the constant threat of a government shutdown. I strongly recommend that this select committee study Utah’s base-line budget process and consider recommending that it be adopted in Congress’ budgeting and appropriations processes moving forward.”
Watch his full testimony to the bicameral committee here.
To hear more on SCOTUS upholding of the Trump Travel ban, full interview here.
“I think it is really important the United States controls its borders if it ever leans towards racism or discriminating against a religion or people of ethnicity that is wrong.”
The Opioid Crisis
“ I was shocked to learn how much Utah was leading in a bad way in this category. We double the national average in prescriptions for pregnant women- opioids that is out of character and harmony with our district.”