Congressman Tells Business Owners to Never Give Up
Mike Kelly addresses agriculture and business owners at breakfast hosted at by the college
Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 22:02
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- Third Congressional District Rep. Mike Kelly (R) visited Westminster College Feb. 13 encouraging Pennsylvania agriculture and business owners to not give up on America.
About 60 people listened as Kelly spoke about the country's debt crisis.
"I think the situation that our country faces today causes someone to wonder how we got here and why we can't adjust it and come back out," Kelly said.
Kelly's address focused on building the country back up and how the citizens of America and Pennsylvania can make a difference. One way is to get involved in the election.
"How do we fix it? By going to the polls and voting," Kelly explained. "If you don't vote, your vote doesn't count."
A problem Kelly said with many Americans is the apathetic way they view politics. He explained that most people only get fired up about one issue and only support the candidate that agrees with them. Kelly's view is that Americans need to be aware of the politician who can best take care of them rather than the one who is the most popular at the time.
"We represent big businesses, little businesses, colleges, the agriculture," Kelly explained. "We are the United States."
The congressman related his personal experiences in business by telling the story of how his car dealership almost closed its doors. After receiving a phone call from General Motors, Kelly fought to keep his family business afloat.
"If they can do that to Mike Kelly in Butler, PA, they can do that everybody," he said.
Kelly ended up saving his business, but still felt his mission wasn't over. He ran for office in hope of making sure other Americans aren't in the same position he was once in.
"I am a voice in DC," Kelly explained. "It doesn't matter if you are a Republican, Democrat, or a Libertarian, I represent everybody."
Kelly's views of the presidential race have much to do with the country's position financially.
"I am not upset with our President as a person, but I am upset with his policies because they're destroying our country," he said.
After speaking about the United States' debt crisis, Kelly was approached about a controversial topic among agricultural workers. National child labor laws are prohibiting those under 18 from driving tractors, work with hay in barns, or any other chore around the farms.
"Children can't even do normal farm kid things," PA Farm Bureau Vice President Henry Karki explained. "You wouldn't even be able to take care of your horse at the stable if you weren't of age."
Karki came to the breakfast in the Witherspoon Rooms to address these legislative issues within the bureau. Karki will be going to Washington DC with Congressman Jason Altmire this month, then next year with Kelly.
"We've always been able to work with these legislators," Karki explained. "He's been on board with us since he's been down here, so what we do is we present our arguments at the capital."
Karki explained it's important for citizens to recognize agriculture is a big piece of the American economy.
"Agriculture is the only true environmentalists there are because they have to be," he explained. "Otherwise we'd die."
Kelly represents the Third Congressional District, however, under a redistricting map drawn by state lawmaker, Kelly's new district would have included New Wilmington and most of Lawrence County. However the courts have forced a scramble to form new legislative district maps. Meanwhile it would appear candidates for elected office across Pennsylvania are starting their campaigns using 2001's boundaries. The PA primary rolls around in April.