Dance to the Tune and Pay the Piper

let-ed To the Editor:

The following is a copy of a letter I hand-delivered, along with many others from 5th District constituents, to Congressman Thompson.  This was done at a rally near Bellefonte to protest the Congressman’s refusal to hold open, public town meetings in his district.  His response for this was that he wasn’t going to fulfill this responsibility when called to do so by his opponents.  My response is that he is our representative in the U.S. Congress.  If he wants to dance to the tune, he should pay the piper.

February 23, 2017

Congressman Thompson,

From all reports, you appear to be 100% in support of the Trump agenda thus far.  I, as a resident of the 5th District, am not.  I wish to voice my strong opinions on some of the most important issues.

Having read your comments appearing in our Lock Haven newspaper of 2/9/17, concerning the Affordable Care Act, I found them to be both misleading and profoundly lacking.  With over 50 challenges in an ongoing attempt to repeal the ACA and, years to come up with a new plan, you and your fellow republicans still have only a hodgepodge of vague ideas to offer as a replacement.  I respectfully request that if you finally solidify a viable alternative that it 1) covers at least as many Pennsylvanians as the ACA, 2) it does not exempt coverage for pre-existing conditions, 3) has family coverage for children up to 26 years of age, and 4) costs no more for the same comprehensive coverage the ACA provides.

Since no appropriate agency experts were consulted and, indeed, many felt Trump’s immigration ban made us less safe, I urge you to reject support for it.  The ban has already separated families, and abandoned allies that have sacrificed for America.  It has been reported that the odds of death at the hands of an immigrant are 1 in 1.3 billion.   The ban and indeed, Trump’s immigration policy in general, is unnecessary, in it’s present form, cruel, and very costly for us, the taxpayers.   Please withhold support for all such dangerous, reckless directives now and in the future.

Denying funding for Planned Parenthood is unnecessary and cruel, as well.  This program provides vital health care and counseling for a great many disadvantaged women and their families, while providing no tax dollars for abortions.  Supporting Planned Parenthood is the decent and moral thing to do.

Please do not lend your support to mountain top removal mining.  This method wreaks havoc on our beautiful Pennsylvania landscape.  It pollutes our sparkling waters and poisons our fish and wildlife.  There are much, much better ways to accomplish the desired economic results.

Another grave concern I have is that you do not vote in favor of or support any “right to work” legislation.  Right to work is simply a euphemism for “right to work for less”.  It throws the worker under the wheels of the big business, corporate money bus.  To support this bill is a betrayal of Pennsylvania workers.

Finally, we desperately need, for the sake of this democracy that we all love, to have a bipartisan, independent, “National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election”.  Such a commission, especially in the light of multiple investigations into Secretary Clinton’s e-mails, would only be fair and just.

There are many more pressing and worrisome issues that need to be addressed.  Such things should be presented and discussed fully at a town hall meeting.  Rest assured that constituent inquiries and the need for appropriate responses will likely be multifold and ongoing.

Please send a written response by mail.  I thank you for your effort in that regard.

Dan Reeder