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The Suburbanite
  • Overflow crowd grills Renacci at town hall meeting

  • An overflow crowd came to tell new U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci its concerns Monday.



    Renacci, R-Wadsworth, held his first town hall meeting at Walsh University’s Barrette Center, and what was supposed to be a 150-person crowd blossomed to about 225.



    Although Renacci answered a number of questions, he said the meeting was really to listen to concerns.

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  • An overflow crowd came to tell new U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci its concerns Monday.
    Renacci, R-Wadsworth, held his first town hall meeting at Walsh University’s Barrette Center, and what was supposed to be a 150-person crowd blossomed to about 225.
    Although Renacci answered a number of questions, he said the meeting was really to listen to concerns.
    The congressman said he and his constituents should think about their children and their grandchildren. “We have to make sure we leave them with better than we got,” he said.
    Among other things, that will involve cutting spending and the repeal and replacement of President Barack Obama’s health care plan passed by the last session of Congress.
    Health care was a popular topic.
    “I have heard nothing from the Republican Party about what they will do about health care,” said Alma Houston of Canton. She said health care companies are getting rich while those who need it struggle.
    When Renacci said the current plan is driving costs up for employers and employees, Houston challenged him. “That’s not the fault of Obama health care,” she said.
    But Renacci said the plan “doesn’t take into consideration the costs it’s pushing down. It’s killing jobs,” he said.
    “We do need reform, there’s no doubt about it. Eighty-five percent of our problem is the cost. We did not fix the cost.”
    He said he has 87 congressional freshman colleagues who say they were sent to Washington to repeal the Obama plan.
    Jim Warner of Louisville wanted to know what Congress will do about the debt ceiling.
    Renacci said the problem is overspending. “We need to get it under control.” The current session couldn’t make enough cuts to do that, he said.
    Jobs also were a major concern. “What are we going to do about the manufacturing jobs” and bringing them back to the U.S.? asked Rudy Kogut of Plain Township. “We can’t compete with those wages.”
    Renacci said, “We’ve got to make our businesses more competitive” by bringing taxes down and reining in regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, which drive business costs up.
    “Can you consider research and development?” asked Thenice Gall of North Canton. “We are not going to be what we were” in terms of a manufacturing economy.
    “I’ll consider anything possible,” Renacci said.
    Joe Comanitz of Jackson Township wanted to know Renacci’s expectations. “Even though you’ve got a vast majority in the House, how can you be sure you’re going to get any of this done?” he asked.
    Renacci said there appears to be a new sense of cooperation in the Capitol.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The (Democrat dominated) Senate is now listening,” he said. “Washington has woken up.”