INTERVIEW: Congressman Arrington talks budget and gun control

INTERVIEW: Congressman Arrington talks budget and gun control

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Congressman Jodey Arrington talked to FOX34 about this year's fiscal budget and the issue of gun control after the Las Vegas shooting. 

"The big items that I'm most excited about and I think most reflect the interests and values of West Texas is number one to rebuild the military," Arrington said. "We have cut tens of billions of dollars, probably reduced the spending on military 10-15 percent over the last few years. I can tell you that the threats have not decreased so we've got to make sure that military men and women have the tools they need to keep us safe and to be successful and save themselves."

Arrington said another important part of the budget is deficit reduction.

"I think the biggest threat to the country's future is our national debt," Arrington said. "We reached $20 trillion, we have the worst deposition that we've had in the history of this country. So we've got to start reigning this spending in and get control of this budget and start working that debt down."

Arrington said initiating tax relief for the middle and working class was also accomplished as a side item of the budget through a process called reconciliation. He said though these three aspects were successful, he thinks more cuts could've been made. 

"I think that $200 billion of mandatory cuts is more than we've cut in 20 years and mandatory spending is what is driving the debt," Arrington said. "But I think we could've done $400 billion, we could've done twice that."

The budget entailed $10 billion cut to the USDA, which has had a significant impact on the SNAP program. Arrington said he supports this measure 100 percent.

"That policy recommendation was if you're an able bodied adult with no dependents and you're receiving government assistance or in this case food stamps, I feel the same way about Medicaid and other federal assistance, you ought to be working or you ought to be retrained for a new job or better job," Arrington said. "I think the American people, the vast majority of people, agree with that as a baseline for somebody that's receiving assistance."

In light of the Las Vegas tragedy, the NRA is calling for a review of the ATF regulations responsible for bump stocks on the market. Arrington said we need to get all the facts straight before Congress could step in. 

"We don't need to legislate with emotions running so high, everybody's heart is broken over this incident so I don't think it's the best context from which to legislate," Arrington said. "I think we need to step back, we have to look at tapes, and see if there are ways that we could improve our prevention or intervention in a scenario like this."

Arrington said this is still an issue the government can't avoid.

"We should look at it, but I'm very sensitive, whether it's our freedom of religion, freedom of speech, all of our fundamental rights," Arrington said. "The threshold for infringing on those rights because of some reasonableness with public safety or whatever it is, ought to be extraordinarily high. So I don't think we ought to have a knee jerk reaction from either side."

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