Since Democrats have insisted that Republicans are waging war on women, they should now condemn the actions of former congressman turned New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, Rep. Diane Black tells Newsmax TV.
“That behavior should be condemned,” asserted Black in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “It doesn’t matter whether you're a Democrat or Republican. When you put your name on the ballot and you're a public official, you're held to a high standard and that's a standard that I believe strongly that we need to hold people accountable for.”
The Tennessee Republican said it will be up to Democrats whether or not they want to forgive Weiner, who admitted on Tuesday to sending more lewd texts in the months following his resignation from Congress in June 2011.
“That will be up to them on what they do with Mr. Weiner,” asserted Black. “That's their prerogative on their side of the aisle. But when you run for office, you have a standard and you should apply that standard to every piece of behavior that you have.”
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A member of the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees, Black was also critical of President Barack Obama’s long-term vision for the economy, which he outlined earlier on Wednesday.
“The president ought to park Air Force One and come and work with the House Republican Caucus,” she said. “He continues to just take his message on the trail saying the same thing over and over again and we're still at a stubborn 7.6 percent unemployment rate and that just doesn't go away and the president continues to talk with no action.”
In his speech, Obama said that Washington had "taken its eye off the ball" as he pledged a stronger second-term commitment to tackling the economic woes that strain many in the middle class nearly five years after the country plunged into a recession.
Obama, in an hour-long address at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., also chided Republican lawmakers for succumbing to "an endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals." He said gridlock had only gotten worse since his re-election.
“He continues to just take his message on the trail saying the same thing over and over again and we're still at a stubborn 7.6 percent unemployment rate and that just doesn't go away and the president continues to talk with no action,” countered Black.
“We've already put our budget out there and our budget again does what the American people want us to do and that is to control our spending and to get our budget balanced within 10 years,” she explained. “We hope that we can get the Senate and the president with us and understand and start talking about why that is so important for the American people.”
Black, a former nurse, also acknowledged that it will be difficult for Republicans to defund Obamacare as some lawmakers have suggested.
“Defunding Obamacare is more than just through the budget process and part of that is because they were so crafty in the way they crafted the bill,” she explained, noting that there is a proposal to make mandatory aspects of the funding more discretionary.
She also introduced legislation to protect taxpayers from potential fraud and abuse under the president’s signature healthcare law.
“What the administration did because they delayed the employer mandate for one year, they also delayed the verification piece of that bill,” Black said. “The verification piece is a part of their own legislation — their own law that says that people have to qualify in order to get those tax subsidies — and by delaying that for a full year, and just having people attest to the verification can really defraud the American taxpayer.”
She said that some people may falsely “claim a certain income level or immigration status, or even the fact that they have employer-sponsored insurance at their job” as the law now stands.
With respect to immigration reform, Black agrees with many other House Republicans that lawmakers must look to securing the borders first before approving any comprehensive reforms.
“You can't really discuss a whole lot more beyond that until we do just that,” she said. “Otherwise you will continue to have bleeding over the borders and you will never solve this problem unless you first have security on the border.”
Rather than passing a comprehensive immigration bill as in the case of the Senate, the House plans to work on a series of smaller bills.
“What our leadership has told us is that we can take all of these individual pieces that we're doing and put them together into a package and send them over to the Senate,” she said. “And that's really the way this should be done. The comprehensive bill that was done in the Senate is so large and it's so complex that what we're doing on our side is we're discussing each one of these issues individually, totally transparent, through regular order.”
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