Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2014 11:13 am
Conflict in the Middle East loomed large in a town hall meeting in Bowling Green with Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green.
The fight against Islamic State militants is one that America and other nations and Muslims need to be involved in, Guthrie said. “I think it’s in our interest to destroy them,” he said.
Guthrie has been hosting town halls throughout the 2nd District and on Wednesday stopped at the Knicely Conference Center. He faces Democratic challenger Ron Leach, a retired Army major from Brandenburg, in the November election.
The authorization of military force approved by Congress in 2001 would arguably cover actions that President Barack Obama is taking in Iraq and Syria now against the Islamic State, Guthrie said. However, he said he has voted to make that authorization more narrow.
It would be best for Congress to vote on authorization for new military action, Guthrie said. Congress already has authorized the arming and training of the Free Syrian Army, he said.
Arming and training the Syrians is important because if Syria becomes a haven for the Islamic State militants, they can wait out opposition, Guthrie said.
The militants are known by various names: the Islamic State in Syria, or ISIS; the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant, or ISIL; and the Islamic State.
“They’re well-funded, they’re well-organized and they’re evil,” Guthrie said. “And so we have to have boots on the ground. So the question is, ‘Whose boots are they going to be?’ ” he said. “I want it to be the Syrians’, and that’s why I voted for that.”
Updating his audience on legislative in Congress, Guthrie said the House of Representatives isn’t the cause of a lack of legislation being passed – the Senate is.
The House has passed more than 360 bills now waiting in the Senate, he said.
“So we don’t expect the Senate to pass every bill we pass,” Guthrie said. “That’s not how the Constitution works. They’re an independent body. They can do their own thing. We’d just like for them to pass something.”
When both the Senate and the House pass a version of a bill, the two groups are usually able to work out a compromise, he said.
The thing he’s most proud of during his time in the House is the reauthorization this year of the Workforce Investment Act, Guthrie said.
He said he hopes that, with the implementation of the redeveloped act, more people will be able to find work.
“Just helping people improve themselves through that program, I think that would be my proudest thing,” he said.
Guthrie also spoke about a bill he has sponsored to draw attention to Alzheimer’s research.
The bill would require the National Institutes of Health to submit an annual Alzheimer’s research budget proposal to Congress.
Guthrie said his bill would allow the National Institutes of Health to give Alzheimer’s attention similar to that given to developing cures for AIDS and cancer.
“We need to have that same effort with Alzheimer’s,” he said.