U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa anticipates Congress will raise debt ceiling | TheUnion.com

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa anticipates Congress will raise debt ceiling

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa.
The Union file photo |

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa called the back-and-forth between the president and federal lawmakers over raising the debt ceiling “rhetoric,” anticipating that the government will increase the limit before a Sept. 30 deadline.

LaMalfa, who on Thursday gave an interview at The Union offices, said he understands President Donald Trump’s frustration. However, he expects Congress will write a spending document and deliver it to the president.

“I don’t think the House or the Senate is looking for that,” said LaMalfa, R-Oroville, of failing to meet the debt ceiling deadline. “If the president wants to bluff on that a little bit … maybe that’s a tactic for him.”

Trump recently tied funding for a border wall along the Mexican border with raising the debt ceiling, suggesting he’d veto a spending bill that failed to include funding for the wall.

LaMalfa, a Trump supporter, said the border wall has broad support.

Trump regularly mentioned the wall during the campaign, saying Mexico would pay for it.

Congress currently is on its recess. LaMalfa said he’d return Sept. 5 to Washington, D.C., where he said he wants to continue working toward securing funding for north state infrastructure, bringing biomass plants to his district and implementing tax reform.

LaMalfa said he wants manufacturing jobs to return to the United States. Small businesses play a massive role in employing people, and reform of the tax code is essential.

“It needs to be simpler. It needs to be fairer,” LaMalfa said. “I think everything needs to be on the table in tax reform.”

Current events

Asked about the recent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the president’s response to them, LaMalfa echoed Trump’s sentiment that blame exists on many sides.

“These aren’t counter protestors,” LaMalfa said. “They also showed up to mix it up.”

The congressman said he denounces violence from any group. Trump clearly condemned that violence as well, and LaMalfa called outrage at the president’s comments about blaming both sides a manufactured news story.

Outrage over Confederate monuments also is a created narrative, LaMalfa said.

“I think it’s a slippery slope of censorship over who decides what’s censored,” LaMalfa said. “Do we censor everything?”

Questioned about legal, recreational marijuana sales coming next year to California, LaMalfa reiterated his opposition to cannabis and noted it remains illegal under federal law. He said marijuana won’t be a positive for society or make it stronger.

“All we need is more Jeff Spicolis running around,” LaMalfa said, referencing the “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” movie character.

Saying he’ll run for re-election next year, LaMalfa recently has held a number of town halls. He had one earlier this year in Grass Valley, and said he’ll return to Nevada County for a town hall, though he has no immediate plans.

LaMalfa characterized the Grass Valley town hall as not very productive because of people protesting.

“If we’re going to have yelling matches over it, not much is going to be done,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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