Naples, N.Y. — Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, was in Naples Saturday morning for the first of a round of town-hall style meetings throughout the 29th district. The district includes all of Ontario County except Geneva, Yates County and portions of Monroe County.
The congressman spent the beginning of the meeting — which drew a sizable crowd to the Town Hall on Main Street — showing pie charts and similar illustrations to back his legislative agenda he said focuses on cutting federal spending and reducing the debt.
Here are Reed’s responses to some questions.
Q. “Why not a flat tax-rate system, to simplify the tax code to make the tax rate fair?” — Steve Richards of Naples
Reed: “There is growing support for simplifying the tax code. Look at (General Electric Co.) not paying $35 billion as well as other companies. That is a problem. We need to make it a flatter tax code.”
(Reed added he expects to be appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee June 14, giving him a greater say in these matters.)
Q. “What role do you see the Tea Party playing in the upcoming election?” —Roberta Jordans of Naples
Reed: “To me, the Tea Party is not a bunch of radical extremists. I have had the most intelligent questions asked by Tea Party members. I think it’s a great movement. It shows people will not sit on the sidelines any longer.”
Q. “What are they really going to do with the water from hydrofracking?” — Jim Barbour of Naples
Reed: “Oversight is critical. Permit fees and regulations must be dedicated to the (state Department of Environmental Conservation). There are going to be bad actors. We need to hold them accountable.”
Q. “Will you do whatever you can to protect the water? Water is life. Can I count on you?” — Barb Haefele of Naples
Reed: “Yeah. I live here, we have a cottage on Keuka Lake. That is why I support regulatory oversight. Accidents happen. But we will be diligent. We will do the work.”
Q. “We have the ability to shut the borders down (to control illegal immigration). Why don’t we?” — Warren Jordans of Naples
Reed: “The House has clearly sent a message that the borders need to be secure. Everyone can come here legally. I am for that. We got the legislation we need to enforce (border security). We need to enforce