Tenney talks business, Trump and taxes at Chamber event

Published Jan 12, 2018 at 4:10pm

Rep. Claudia L. Tenney met with members of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce this morning for Breakfast with Our Congresswoman. It was her opportunity to talk about what is on the horizon for 2018 with details on specific topics, while also taking questions.

Tenney is beginning the second year of her first two-year term as the Republican representative of the 22nd District. She addressed a full house at The Beeches.

The event, said Tenney, is important because she gets the opportunity to keep the business community informed and have students from local schools present and engaged.

Tenney included some of observations about President Donald Trump as well. “This president is unique,” she said.

She said she is not always up to date on the president’s latests tweets when the media asks for her take, and that sometimes “I cringe,” while others are “funny, brilliant, vulgar.”

There is, she said, “a method to his madness.”

She said Trump does have good qualities as a businessman and leader, such as “when he makes a mistake he says he was wrong. Maybe not often,” she added to some laughter, adding that maybe he should do so more often.

Tenney said she’s talked to Trump on a range of topics, including advocating for local businesses. Trump promised her he would buy flatware from Sherrill Manufacturing’s Liberty Tabletop brand, the last manufacturer of flatware in the country, she related in a story first publicized last fall. She said she wanted the White House to do so as well. She noted that local businesses should reach out to her so she can advocate for them.

Tenney, a member of the Congressional Financial Services Committee, noted how it relates to banks and credit unions.

It is, she said, affordable local lending that “drives the economy.”

She said overregulation may benefit the big banks but “small players” are hurt when they are crowded out of the market.

She said she’s been pleased with the participation from residents of the district. She said she’s received good feedback in the seven or eight town hall style meetings she’s held with constituents. “I think it’s great,” she said, even mentioning the protestors with their “One Term Tenney” signs, who she credited for exercising their First Amendment rights. “I go out and talk to them,” she said.

Tenney also gave a few updates on the federal installations at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. The Air Force Laboratory at Rome is “a vital asset” that decision-makers in Washington D.C. know must be maintained. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service operation is “looking good too.”

The Federal Aviation Administration drone testing site has been extended, and “everything is going well.” She said she has invited the president, vice president and the national security adviser all to visit Griffiss to tour all these operations.

She also discussed a major topic she called “misunderstood,” tax reform. She said she has been working to dispel “claims that are just not true.” She also talked about local tax deductions, which she said will be beneficial to the majority of people in her district, those other than the most wealthy. She said 95.5 percent of the people in the district “should be getting a tax cut.”

She also discussed her take on boosting the economy in other ways. She advocated for “raising wages naturally not through forced minimum wage increase” and replacing the bureaucracy that empowers government with reform that empowers businesses and residents.

​She also took a few questions from the audience.

When asked by a student for her take on the #MeToo movement about sexual harassment and assault, she said: “I’ve experienced it too.” But, she cautioned, “we have to be careful,” and must use due process to avoid false accusations. “A lot of things are turning into sexual harassment,” she noted of individual instances that are not.

​When asked about North Korea, she said she is hopeful of the “peaceful pressure” from the U.S. “despite the president’s Twitter situation with Kim Jong-Un.” There is constant diplomacy, she said, and while the threat is real and serious, it is “not as looming.”