Two Republican candidates for Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District say 36 years is enough for Democrat Edward Markey, and they want to cut spending by the Federal government and improve the economy.
Lexington’s Jeff Semon and Frank Addivinola of Malden met with GOP supporters in Watertown this week at a . Both are vying this election year to take on Markey, Melrose's representative in the U.S. House.
Addivinola said Markey has lost touch with what the public wants, and criticized his support of environmental regulations.
“Markey says environmental regulations stimulates job growth,” Addivnola said. “ I object to that – regulations impede progress.”
In an MSNBC interview Markey said he believes jobs are created by driving innovation in new technology to meet the regulations.
Semon said President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are “engaging in class warfare.”
“They have not choice. There are no results they can point to,” said Semon, who said he does not agree with the idea that for some to succeed others must fail.
Reducing the Federal budget will mean cutting some funds for social programs, Addivinola said.
“It’s a tough choice, but some people on entitlement programs are going suffer as we reduce entitlement programs,” Addivinola said.
Semon said he does not think people will have to suffer to cut the budget. Social Security and Medicare need to be reformed, and he said he likes Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposal where people have more choice in where to put health care dollars.
Reducing the federal deficit is a priority of both candidates, and they both had ideas for how to improve the economy.
If elected, Semon said he would make repealing the health care reforms known as “Obamacare” a priority, if the Supreme Court has not struck the legislation down. He also would like to change the federal tax.
“I want to reform the tax code, flatten it and reduce it,” Semon said.
Business owners want to have more certainty so they can make decisions about their business.
“Business owners want to hire, but it is unclear about what will be coming down the line," Addivinola said. "If they are going to take a risk they want to know what the consequences are before doing it.”
Semon said he opposes expiring tax cuts because it leads to uncertainty, and he does not like earmarks in the Congressional budget.
Giving a line-item veto power would be a good idea, Addivinola said, and he does not like “clustering of bills” because it allows special interests to be approved by being connected to a bill on an unrelated subject.
The two differed on their approach to foreign aid, but both said they would like to manage it differently.
“I think it should be used as a last resort in negotiating with countries to avoid military action,” Addivinola said. “It should be given as an endorsement to countries that align their policies and values with the United States.”
Semon said he believes foreign aid is needed to help United States’ allies and to help soldiers and other Americans working overseas. He would like to change how the amount is determined, and not have guaranteed aid year after year.
“Foreign aid does some good, but the idea that it is bench marked to the previous year is outrageous,” Semon said. “It should start over each year.”