John Archer visits Washington
U.S. House of Representative candidate John Archer visited Washington Wednesday morning to speak with constituents and to make his sales pitch prior to the Nov. 6 general election. Archer, a Republican, is running against Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack for Iowa’s second congressional district seat.
“With 13 days left before the election, we’ve been to all 24 counties several times,” Archer said. “Just to make sure we meet as many voters face-to-face as possible. Once they get to know me and look me in the eye, they like me, and start to trust me.”
A group of about 12 people surrounded Archer as he sat down for a cup of coffee at the Coffee Corner. He said the people in attendance talked about banking regulations that they believe stifle job creation.
“I talked to a banker about the burdensome banking regulation known as ‘Dodd-Frank,’” he said. “That is suffocating small, community banks. It’s making it difficult for individuals to obtain loans because of the amount of paperwork they have to go through.”
Archer said the government needs to keep in mind that unintended consequences can flow from its well-intentioned policies.
“I wouldn’t say Dodd-Frank was a knee-jerk reaction, but it certainly went too far,” he said. “The rules are still being implemented right now. Small banks don’t know what regulations are coming out tomorrow, even though the legislation was passed in 2010.”
Archer said that the prospect of new regulations leads to uncertainty in the banking industry, which in turn hurts employment and economic development. He said an uncertain business climate hurts much more than just banks. He said that Siemens in Ft. Madison has laid off 400 workers because of uncertainty regarding wind energy subsidies.
A five-year farm bill is something Archer would like to see Congress achieve.
Archer’s background includes 12 years at John Deere. He’s part-owner of a manufacturing company in Bettendorf that employs 160 workers.
“It’s that private-sector business experience that I’m going to take to Washington, D.C.,” he said. “I’m going to look for fraud, waste, abuse. Politicians have to understand that the money being spent is not the government’s money, it’s our money.”
Archer said there are people who genuinely need government assistance.
“There are individuals who, through no fault of their own, are unemployed,” he said. “We need to provide that safety net for those individuals. There are individuals who have been injured on the job or off the job. We need to provide assistance to those individuals. We need to provide Social Security to retired people.”
The national debt is one of the country’s biggest problems, Archer said. He said he’s not in favor of raising taxes, although he’s reluctant to sign a pledge that he would never raise taxes under any circumstance.
“I’m not going to tie one hand behind my back and say I would never vote to raise taxes because there might come a point in the future when I have to make that tough decision,” he said. “We have to start controlling spending, and that means looking at each program to see if it’s run efficiently and effectively.”
Archer said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, but did not mention other specific programs he would cut. He said there are areas in which the government duplicates tasks, and that this could be done away with.
“Right now, I believe we have 17 or 18 educational programs to teach individuals how to be financial responsible,” he said. “Maybe we need one or two of those programs.”