Valdosta Daily Times

February 16, 2014

Kingston addresses issues

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Congressman Jack Kingston took a break Friday from campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss this year to discuss national issues affecting the area.

Kingston addressed the possibility of an upcoming BRAC, or Base Realignment and Closure commission, along with the debt ceiling, out-of-control spending, health care, and the NSA.

“I’m on the House Appropriations committee and Rep. Austin Scott is on the Armed Services committee, and between the two of us, we are working to help Moody keep the A-10 mission.”

Regardless of whether or not there is an actual BRAC, Kingston said the likelihood is high that due to cuts in the defense budget, there will have to be reductions made and he wants to ensure that Moody is protected.

Regarding the recent exposure of the National Security Agency’s data-gathering efforts, Kingston said he agreed that the original intention of the Patriot Act was to “spy on the bad guys” and the interpretation of the Fourth Amendment is a hot-button issue in Congress right now.

As for President Barack Obama’s health-care initiative, Kingston said the reforms that were supposed to reduce costs to citizens are actually costing them far more, an average of a 30 percent increase.

“I think you’ll see continued efforts to defund it, but we probably won’t have much luck as long as Sen. Harry Reid is the majority leader.”

Kingston is also a proponent of tying incentives to government leadership to encourage smarter spending and reduce waste.

“When we said that until a budget was passed, no one in Congress would be paid, the Senate finally passed its first budget in four years in 2012. Accountability works.”