Q&A with Congressman Steven Palazzo

The Republican party of South Mississippi has spoken, and has put their ultimate faith in you.  Your leadership and guidance is what matters most.  How do you plan to implement change within our government?
“I am proud to be part of a conservative majority committed to restoring the public’s trust in government by stopping the out of control spending and working towards a smaller government that is accountable to the American people.  Two weeks ago, we voted to reduce the Congressional budget by five percent across the board and will save U.S. taxpayers $35 million. While it is a small amount compared to the debt this Congress inherited from its predecessor, it’s a signal to the American people that we are serious about reducing the size of government and restoring their trust in their elected officials.”
What issues are most important to you, and what are your goals for the 4th District of Mississippi during your first term?
“I am particularly focused on doing all I can to help grow jobs in South Mississippi.  Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and I want to make sure we reduce the burdens they face so that they can hire the talented people that call Mississippi home.”
As a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, who served in Iraq, you have a unique perspective on what is happening overseas.
What do you feel is the appropriate course of action at this time?
“Because of the hard work of America’s fighting men and women, many of whom are from Mississippi, Iraqis have an opportunity to embrace the freedom we all enjoy.  It is largely now up to their political leadership to ensure that their nation takes the steps to freedom.”
Please tell me how you feel about the importance of the ship building industry, and in particular in South Mississippi?
“I am extremely proud of the contributions the people of South Mississippi have made in supporting our United States Navy and Coast Guard.  In order to project power around the world, the United States need a strong Navy.  While our nation faces economic uncertainty, we must continue to invest in our national security and especially in our Navy.”
We are so proud of your commitment to our men and women in uniform. Would you please explain the Armed Forces committee?
“I am very pleased to serve on the Armed Services committee.  This committee focuses on ensuring our war-fighters have the training and equipment they need to complete their mission.  Within the full committee, there are several subcommittees that deal with specific areas of that overall effort.  I am excited to serve on the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee – an extremely important committee for not only the military assets, but also the economy of South Mississippi.
Putting an end to Illegal immigration is paramount.  Where do you stand on this issue?
“The current immigration system is broken – both in terms how people can legally enter the country, as well as how easy it is for individuals to sneak across our boarders illegally.  The primary focus of any immigration debate should start with how we can secure our borders.”
When you were sworn in, you were quoted as saying, “It’s time to put South Mississippi families first.”  What will you do for the betterment of South Mississippi families? What can they depend on through your leadership?
“Every day I step foot onto the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, I ask myself, ‘how will this help the people who sent me here?’  I am excited to be part of a majority in Congress who believe we should listen to the American people – whether it be in reducing the size of government or preventing the government takeover of our health care system.”
Since the BP oil spill, there are still a great many South Mississippi fishermen, restaurant owners and employees, and other small businesses that have yet to see one dime in settlement for the loss of their wages and for being without an income. Some businesses were forced to close their doors as well. These individuals continue to be in terrible trouble, through no fault of their own. What can be done through your office to assist them?
“I have been concerned with the way the Gulf Coast Claims Facility has been operating and I will continue to monitor the process very closely, as well as work with the rest of the Congressional delegation to ensure our constituents’ needs are being met.”
Would you please explain your involvement on the Science and Technology committee?  I understand the committee has jurisdiction over NASA and marine research.
“The Science, Space and Technology committee offers me the unique opportunity to help craft the future of our country’s space policy.  I am one of only a few freshmen members in the House to serve as chairman of a subcommittee, and I am proud that mine is in charge of Space and Aeronautics.  From this role, I plan to do all that I can to help bolster our space-related programs, especially the work being done at Stennis.”
The changes in health care are now in process. Private health insurance companies across the board have notified their customers of numerous changes that went into effect as of January 1. It is frightening to most Americans because the information about the government health care reform act is quite muddled, unclear and very hard to understand.  What will you do in an effort to repeal or certainly revamp this health care reform?
“The first bill I cosponsored in Congress was the bill to repeal the Democrats’ health care monstrosity.  The Democrats’ plan was passed over the objections of most Mississippians, built on unconstitutional individual mandates and unprecedented burdens for state budgets. In short, Obamacare is poised to destroy the greatest health care system in the world.  It is my belief that many of the appealing aspects of the current law, such as providing coverage for pre-existing conditions, can be accomplished without bankrupting our nation.”



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