It’s no wonder that Walter Jones has been elected to the U.S. House since 1994. He can be a very dynamic speaker. He proved such at the Federal Update Luncheon put on by the Havelock Chamber of Commerce and Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow Monday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.
Jones wasn’t a wealth of information during his speech. He didn’t offer any solutions to the quagmire that is Washington, D.C. politics. He could offer no real hope that the federal budget would be straightened out — or that there would even be a budget. After all, the country hasn’t had a congressionally approved budget in four years.
He couldn’t tell us if civilian defense workers would face more furloughs next year, though he did tell us he voted against the Budget Control Act that brought us sequestration.
Instead, the Republican stressed some of the points he has been making in Washington and in various appearances in his district.
His points included that the United States needed to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He stressed that the wars had cost billions in dollars and thousands of American lives.
“No more money for Afghanistan,” he said. “We need to keep the money at home.”
He stressed fiscal responsibility, a point we can get behind. He talked about the lack of a federal budget and that raising the debt ceiling simply encourages more spending.
“Washington is a city of Sodom and Gomorrah of money, Democrats and Republicans both,” he said. “This has got to change.”
He told those attending that the budget issues of the last few years have hurt the nation.
“We have squandered the greatness of this country,” he said.
And part of that responsibility rests with Congress.
“I’m very disappointed to be a part of a system that’s not doing right by the American people,” he said.
While the luncheon’s other speakers — N.C. Sen. Harry Brown, Jamie Norment from ACT and Col. Blayne H. Spratlin, commanding officer of Fleet Readiness Center East at Cherry Point — provided updates on new state laws designed to protect military bases, lobbying efforts for the base and workload at the state’s largest employer east of I-95, Jones’ speech is most likely still resonating with those who attended the event.
Jones made very good points, spelling out what was wrong with Washington, and he vowed to fight for the district’s interests.
His solution to solve the budgetary crisis of the country is for the United States to get out of Afghanistan. That would indeed help, but what we didn’t get from Jones was any idea — or any hope for that matter — that the budgetary and other problems in Washington would soon be solved.
If that’s the case, residents of Havelock and workers at Cherry Point can expect more uncertainty moving forward.