By Laura Harvey
Antigo Daily Journal
May 28, 2009
Eighth District Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. was in Antigo on Tuesday as part of a congressional listening session that took him from Woodruff to Shawano
Kagen discussed provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the nearly $800 billion stimulus bill that was signed into law in February.
“I was able to return almost $4 billion to the state house,” Kagen said. “And I’m pleased to report that there are no earmarks in the bill.”
The money was well-received in Madison, where it is administered through the Office of Recovery and Reinvestment.
Most of Langlade County falls into the district of Dave Obey, though the eastern half of the county is part of the Eighth District.
Pressed to delineate the priorities of the 111th Congress, Kagen cited health care reform, as first. After that he listed education, including federal help with affordability, followed by an emphasis on energy independence.
“We need to put the economy back on track,” Kagen said. “It boils down to jobs, jobs and jobs.”
Kagen, ho voted against the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, admits that he’s still intent that culpable banking and investment officers should be prosecuted.
“I believe we need to catch and punish the crooks that stole the American peoples’ money, and then clean up the economy and the mess that has been left behind,” he said. “This will not be an easy task and will require a great amount of sacrifice and effort by all,” he added.
“And lastly to re-write laws to prevent this from ever happening again.”Kagen, the only member of the Wisconsin delegation to sit on the House Agriculture Committee, chatted with area constituents about their concerns, especially those related to farming.
Before leaving, Kagen touted a forestry field hearing tentatively slated for in July. The bi-partisan session would include three members of Congress to lead a discussion on the sustained management of the forest, and opening up the federal forestry land for harvesting.