Stutzman Fighting For VA Hospital, Pence For Budget Cuts

By John W. Davis

April 26, 2011 Updated Apr 26, 2011 at 10:56 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - We need to put unemployed Hoosiers back to work. That was the message from 6th District Congressman Mike Pence Tuesday night, at the Allen County Lincoln Day Dinner.

Indiana's NewsCenter went one-on-one with Pence before his keynote address.

Congressman Pence was eager to talk about lowering the unemployment rate in Indiana.

He said jobs will be created, once federal spending is under control in Washington, D.C.

Pence also discussed the pain at the pump Hoosiers are feeling with gas prices lingering over $4 a gallon.

Pence said gas prices are high because of a weak U.S. dollar.

To combat higher prices, he said we need to drill more oil in America.

He also said we need to invest in more alternative energy sources, like wind, nuclear, and natural gas.

Pence said we also need to cut our $14 trillion dollar debt immediately.

He said if we don't make cuts now, the debt with double to $28 trillion in the next eight years.

"If we can get spending under control. If we can embrace coherent policies to expand our energy independence, I believe we're gonna bring relief at the pump and when we bring relief at the pump, we're gonna bring real relief to this economy," said 6th District Republican Congressman Mike Pence.

Meanwhile, Pence said he is still considering a run for Indiana Governor in 2012.

Pence told Indiana's NewsCenter he will make his intentions known, later this year.

Pence explained that if he does run for Governor, he will not seek re-election to Congress.

Meanwhile, 3rd District Republican Congressman Marlin Stutzman introduced Pence at the Lincoln Day Dinner.

Indiana's NewsCenter asked Stutzman what needs to be done to bring jobs to Northeast Indiana.

Stutzman said while on recess from Congress this week, he has been talking to business owners and managers in our area.

Stutzman said those employers want the government to back off, and promise not to raise taxes.

At that point, businesses will feel comfortable enough to begin hiring again, continued Stutzman.

Meanwhile, Stutzman is standing by his recent Paul Ryan budget cut votes.

"If you're 55 and older, you will see no changes to Medicare or Social Security, as you're familiar with," said 3rd District Republican Congressman Marlin Stutzman.

"But If you're 54 and younger, there will be changes and we need to do that so that you and I have those programs around, when it's our turn, when we reach those ages," explained Stutzman.

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Congressman Stutzman held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to address concerns about Fort Wayne's VA Hospital.

Stutzman wants to reassure veterans that despite recent confusion, he is fighting to keep inpatient care and other services at Fort Wayne's VA hospital.

Stutzman said he is pushing for a new, 27,000 square foot expansion for a mental health annex.

Stutzman said the latest proposal will not interrupt current services.

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Meanwhile, union workers gathered Tuesday evening at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 166 to protest Congressman Pence and Congressman Stutzman's visit to Fort Wayne.

Opponents said they are against Republican federal budget proposals that seek to balance the budget on the backs of the middle-class and working families.

The union hall was located across from Ceruti's on Ludwig Road, where Tuesday's Allen County Lincoln Day Dinner was held.




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