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Chaffetz decries EPA, ACA, minimum wage

By Sierra Trujillo

On a stage decked with campaign materials, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) spoke to students of USU Eastern as well as members of the Carbon County community regarding concerns with the state and federal government. While most of the hour-long town hall meeting focused on question and answer with the audience, including comments on minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act and the pharmaceutical industry, Chaffetz also addressed concern with the Environmental Protection Agency and its role in the energy industry.
“I have had the Environmental Protection Agency administrator before our committee more than any other cabinet level position and will do so again. They’re (the EPA) useless, they’re worthless. They’re not doing their job… and their objective, the president’s objective, is not to grow the energy sector, it’s not to provide more jobs and grow the economy and make sure that our country is energy independent. Their goal is to raise the price of energy as much as possible ‘let’s just do everything with wind and solar… and all that and let’s hope that coal goes out of business,’” said Chaffetz, mocking the EPA and federal government’s stance on the coal industry.
Chaffetz was asked a question by a member of the audience regarding the legality of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to pay for health care or pay a penalty, to which he responded “The president said everybody’s health care was going to go down on average $2,500 per year. Anybody experience that? I mean that’s just not happening. The House of Representatives more than 60 times has voted to repeal Obamacare.”
A major topic of concern in metropolitan areas is the increase of the federal minimum wage, with many requesting $15 an hour as a starting number. Chaffetz responded to a question regarding this topic by stating “The approach that I’ve taken as a member of Congress is that the federal government shouldn’t be getting involved with this. I just don’t believe there should be a federal minimum wage. I think the marketplaces should work that out. I think how we deal with things in Price and Salt Lake is very different than Philadelphia and Detroit. The more competitive, the more knowledgeable, the more benefit that you offer, there is a natural inclination and desire and economic benefit for a company or an organization or an individual to pay you more.”
Chaffetz took office in the House of Representatives in 2009. He is up for reelection in the fall, with his current term ending in January 2017.

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