Palmer talks national issues with business leaders

Published 3:55 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2018

BIRMINGHAM – Congressman Gary Palmer updated local businesspeople about happenings in Washington, D.C. during an “Eggs and Issues” event on Wednesday, April 4, at the Birmingham Marriott Hotel off U.S. 280.

Palmer said the national media has not focused what the leadership in Washington, D.C. has accomplished, including gains in the fight against ISIS and an improving economy.

Small businesses are crucial for the economy to continue growing, Palmer said.

“The economic and employment engine of the economy is small business,” he said.

Republican leadership in Congress used the Congressional Review Act to overturn 15 of the previous administration’s executive orders for government regulations, Palmer said.

“Not only did we not get resistance, we got enthusiastic support,” he said about regulatory agencies.

Palmer said he was involved in the effort to reform the country’s tax code.

“We can not wait another 30 years to do tax reform,” he said. “We needed a tax code for the 2018 economy.”

The recent omnibus spending package approved by Congress came about as a result of appropriations bills passed by the House of Representatives not being taken up by the Senate.

“It’s been a huge frustration for us in the House,” Palmer said. “I believe Congress is broken.”

One measure that could be used to avoid filibusters that lock up the Senate is the “two-speech rule,” Palmer said. The rule limits senators to two speeches on any given issue.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to make the process work,” he said.

Palmer said he is not a “fan” of tariffs, such as those that the Trump administration recently announced against China.

Instead, the strategy should be to lower manufacturing costs to level the playing field with Chinese manufacturers.

“If we drive our advantages in energy—and we are an energy superpower—we will be more than competitive,” Palmer said.

Also, energy alliances could form a “third leg” of relationship with Asian nations, along with military and economic alliances.

Infrastructure and health care were two other issues Palmer said are critical to the future of the United States.

Palmer said he believes the country’s best days are still ahead, but there are challenging financial decisions to be made.

“We have the ability to correct our course,” he said.

The Congressman was hopeful about the chances of Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections.

“We’ve got to talk to the heart of the American people,” Palmer said. “They’re desperate for authentic leadership.”

At the conclusion of his presentation, Palmer was presented with the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise Award for his 93 percent voting record on issues deemed to be crucial to business.

The event was co-hosted by the Greater Shelby County, South Shelby, Hoover, Montevallo, Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills chambers of commerce.

The presenting sponsor was Alabama Power.