U.S. Rep. Stewart Visits Utah Legislature

(KCPW News) The U.S. Representative for Utah’s 2nd District spoke to both chambers of the Utah legislature on Tuesday.  Stewart gave an update on the latest happenings in Washington, and he also took questions from a handful of senators and representatives. For the most part, he delivered the same message to both the House and Senate, lauding the state government for its effectiveness and offering some insight as to how Republicans in Washington plan to handle upcoming political tests, such as Obamacare.

“This law is hurting the American people and working families,” Stewart said. “And most of the Democratic colleagues that I associate with back in Washington recognize that that’s true. Their response is, ‘Don’t repeal the law. Work with us to fix it.’ But everyone recognizes that there are enormous challenges ahead for Obamacare.”

Stewart also mentioned a few alternative plans to address the problems with the Affordable Care Act, saying that the media hasn’t given those ideas enough attention.

In the Senate, Democratic Sen. Luz Robles, who may challenge Stewart in the upcoming midterm election, asked how Stewart plans to address air quality issues in Utah. Stewart responded by saying he would defer to the state for solutions.

“I appreciate the work that the House and the Senate and the governor are doing to address some of those issues. I think it’s appropriate that they do that,” he said.

“The reality is,” Stewart continued, “is that you have an enormous challenge before you. This sounds kind of flippant—I don’t mean it, but it’s really true—if you want to fix air quality in the Salt Lake Valley, then tear down these mountains and convince the jet stream to come 300 miles further south than it has. Because there are significant geographical considerations here that we can’t really affect much.”

Stewart also commented on the recent deal forged by Congress to increase the debt limit. He said he disagreed with the GOP leadership’s decision to raise the debt limit without trying to use the situation as leverage on other issues, calling it a “mistake” not to do so.