By Tom Waring
Wire Staff Writer
Supporters of Democrat Kevin Strouse last Thursday protested outside the Langhorne district office of Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick.
Participants sported handmade posters and Strouse rally signs as they voiced their opposition to Fitzpatrick’s views on issues of importance to senior citizens and the middle class.
“Simply put, Congressman Fitzpatrick cannot be trusted to protect Social Security,” Strouse said.
Strouse came out against privatization of Social Security, and he was joined in that view by the protesters.
“I’ve paid into Social Security for my entire working life, and I’m depending on its guaranteed benefits,” said Bensalem senior citizen Lynda Mintz.
Strouse is a former Army Ranger, CIA counterterrorism analyst and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives in Middletown with his wife and two young children. He is program director of Teach2Serve, a nonprofit that teaches social entrepreneurship to local high school students.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is claiming that Strouse will be a “rubber stamp” for President Barack Obama.
The NRCC described the Obama administration as “incompetent,” noting the president is vacationing on the affluent Massachusetts island Martha’s Vineyard as various national and international crises unfold.
Obama issued a brief statement on a couple of issues on Aug. 14, then was on a golf course six minutes later.
“With crises both national and international, and our economy in the tank, Pennsylvania families can’t afford to send Kevin Strouse to Congress. Strouse will do nothing but rubber stamp the Obama-Pelosi agenda at a time when America needs a check-and-balance on this administration,” said NRCC communications director Andrea Bozek.
Last Thursday, Fitzpatrick addressed the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce during a meeting at Cairn University.
The congressman touched on strengthening American manufacturing.
“Americans and American business deserve policies and solutions that empower them — and common-sense reforms that inspire innovation, job creation and opportunity,” he said. “To achieve any of these worthy goals, we need public-private participation, bipartisanship and commitment. By working together, we lay the groundwork for the achievement of hard-working American families and the success of the American economy.”
Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the House of Representatives. The 8th district includes all of Bucks County and a portion of Montgomery County.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick has joined a group of lawmakers calling on President Barack Obama to protect “Buy American” preferences for government purchasing in the face of new international trade agreements that could harm U.S. businesses and workers.
“While international trade and trade agreements are essential to the continued success of the American economy, that trade should not overturn longstanding federal rules requiring the government to buy American-made products,” Fitzpatrick said. “American negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership appear to have agreed to treat all products of TPP nations as ‘American’ — undercutting the longstanding Buy American measures. That’s unacceptable, and the president should step up and prevent it.”
Fitzpatrick notes that the proposed trade agreement terms could result in U.S. tax dollars being invested in manufacturing sectors in other nations, rather than in American-operated businesses. A decision to alter Buy American preferences could disrupt the Buy American Act of 1933 and congressionally approved purchasing policies.
“It is crucial that you protect the integrity of Buy America preferences. The Buy American requirements have had a key role and lasting impact in creating jobs and bolstering the economy of the United States,” reads the letter sent to Obama. “Any ‘national treatment’ terms [in the TPP] should not require us to waive longstanding Buy American policies.”