Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, stopped in to The Eagle this morning to talk to about his first 100 days in Congress.
Pompeo said there is a “lot of unfinished” business in Washington, mostly related to the budget.
As lawmakers focus on the federal budget deficit, Pompeo said, you “try every day to do what you said you would in the campaign. Your task is to come up with effective policy. We have a divided government today. That even understates it.”
Pompeo voted for a budget bill that cuts spending by $38 billion over 10 years, “which in Kansas is real money,” he said. “I thought it was the right thing to do at that moment.”
Pompeo said he wants to strengthen Social Security and “fix” Medicare. Doing so, he said, will mean difficult decisions to reduce spending.
“You can’t just push the chairs around,’ he said. “Doing nothing is not an option. I have not heard the argument that doing nothing will help seniors.”
Pompeo also spoke about the aviation summit Gov. Sam Brownback held in Wichita on Monday.
Pompeo noted that in all but one case, the headquarters of aircraft companies in Wichita are not in Kansas.
He said regulatory policy and tax policy “matter an awful lot about where businesses are going to go.”
Folks in Washington, he said, “are jealous of our ability to keep our manufacturing base.”
Wichita has a trained workforce, but that’s not enough to compete with other states that offer better tax policies, he said.
Pompeo also said that he “will always support funding for NCAT and NIAR (the National Center for Aviation Training and the National Institute for Aviation Research) but “resources are going to be much, much less.”
Pompeo said it has been difficult to tell constituents who come to his office asking for support for a program — no matter how worthy the cause — that funding just isn’t available.
“This fiscal crisis we face. . . it’s real,” he said. “It’s where we find ourselves.”