Palmer in Pelham: Congressman meets with first responders in Pelham

Published 3:41 pm Monday, August 24, 2015

Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer visited with first responders in Pelham Aug. 21, addressing issues such as the Iran deal, the EPA and healthcare. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer visited with first responders in Pelham Aug. 21, addressing issues such as the Iran deal, the EPA and healthcare. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Congressman Gary Palmer had lunch with some of Pelham’s first responders at Louie’s Fine Foods on Aug. 21. Palmer addressed concerns with the Iran deal, the EPA, healthcare, Planned Parenthood and more, giving attendees an update on Washington.

The Iran deal is the biggest issue Congress will be voting on after Labor Day, according to Palmer. He and 35 other republican members visited Israel last week and met with the American Israel Education Foundation, the prime minister and the president.

“The primary purpose of the trip, for me, was I wanted to get a better handle on where we need to be on this Iran deal,” Palmer said. “I was certain before I went that I was going to vote against it and I’m absolutely certain I’ll vote against it now.”

He said at the rate the country is going, war is inevitable and the question is whether to confront them in six-eight years when they have greater capabilities or sooner.

Palmer said they are headed toward a bomb, and two secret agreements were brought to Congress on Aug. 20. One of those agreements would allow the Iranians to do their own inspections of a facility believed to be where they are making the bomb.

“No one from America can be part of the inspections, and now we are finding out the main facility is going to be inspected by the Iranians,” Palmer said. “It’s hard to believe we would agree to something like that, but we did.”

A decision like this would normally take two-thirds vote to approve, but will now take two-thirds to disapprove.

As a member of the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on environment, Palmer also shared his opposition to the EPA’s newly proposed rule on methane emissions. He cited a study conducted by the University of Texas in coordination with the Environmental Defense Fund, Palmer noted that methane admissions represented approximately 0.38 percent of the total natural gas withdrawal and production in 2012.

According to Palmer, scientists agree that methane emissions need to be kept under 2-3 percent of total production, and the current leakage rate is only about 1.5 percent. Because of that, many experts claim the EPA’s proposed rule is unnecessary.

Police Chief Larry Palmer asked Congressman Palmer about healthcare during the meeting and for advice concerning the war on drugs in Pelham, stating it has never been harder to get at this problem.

Congressman Palmer said he had a vested interest in the healthcare issue because is insurance costs him about $1,600 a month. The objective, he said is to create a balanced budget in 10 years by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

They would like to replace it with a market driven system that would create health savings account with funds that would roll over each year. He said people could potentially use that saved money to pay for college and other large expenditures. “We have some of the smartest people in the country in Congress,” Congressman Palmer said. “These are all people who are great problem solvers. They are innovators. What we haven’t done is harness that.”