Steven Reynolds is running for 4th District Congress.
He’s not afraid to discuss vital issues facing the country such as immigration, healthcare, and Social Security solvency.
His opponent, however, was not so eager to face the voters during a Southern Standard/ WCPI political forum. Congressman Scott DesJarlais did not show, much to the dismay of Reynolds.
“I think it’s important we go out and visit our citizens,” said Reynolds. “That’s what I’ve been doing. It’s no surprise tonight that my opponent did not appear. We have seen him one time since April. We’ve been campaigning weekly. We’ve shook the hands of over 10,000 people. We’ve touched over 275,000 people electronically, but yet we’ve seen my opponent one time in the last five months. I think that’s irresponsible and I think we can only draw two conclusions from that. Mr. DesJarlais does not respect the citizens and the voters for him, otherwise he would turn out here and meet people and go campaign. The other conclusion we can draw from this is Mr. DesJarlais cannot defend his record in the six years he’s been in Congress.”
DesJarlais has never attended a Southern Standard/ WCPI political forum. He is trying for his fourth term.
Reynolds, a Democrat, is a Tennessee native who was born just down the road in Summitville. For the last 28 years, he’s worked in infrastructure, building roads and bridges in nine countries and 46 states.
When asked about immigration, Reynolds was not in favor of throwing people out, but making them legal, taxpaying citizens.
“During the course of my career, I’ve spent over six years in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California and anyone who would tell you there’s not a fence or a wall on the border has never been there because there’s plenty of walls and plenty of fences,” said Reynolds. “We want people to enter our country legally. That should be our requirement and we should do everything possible to make sure that happens."
Reynolds continued, "How do we handle immigrants who are here now? Well I don’t think we can send out someone like the Gestapo to round up 20 million Americans. The cost would be astronomical and it’s unrealistic, so we must find a way to incorporate folks into our society so they pay taxes and become Americans. For those who commit crimes who are here illegally, they would be deported. And if we really want to get serious, we’ll start throwing in jail people who employ illegal immigrants who do not use the e-Verify system.”
When it comes to healthcare, Reynolds says Obamacare is not to blame for rising costs as many Republicans contend.
“The truth is there are a very small amount of people who are insured under the Affordable Care Act,” said Reynolds. “However, my opponent, and many folks on the other side, will try to convince the public the ACA has had everything to do with the rising healthcare costs. I contend it’s because we deal with monopolies and we deal with insurance executives who make millions of dollars in bonuses and we deal with pharmaceutical executives who makes hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses. If we break up these monopolies and increase competition and the choices we have for insurance, hopefully that will drive the cost down.”