By Mark Archibald — Corsicana Daily Sun
January 3, 2020
Texas’ Sixth District Congressman, Ron Wright, stopped by the Daily Sun Monday December 30, to wrap up 2019, though he said he is pessimistic about the legislative prospects in 2020.
Wright called 2019 “extraordinary.” After one year in office, Wright said he is ready to defend his record. “This year began with a partial government shutdown and ended with impeachment,” Wright said. “A lot of what happened in between, was a political circus.”
Wright said there are many positives happening in Congress, though leadership often politicizes the issues to the detriment of the people. Wright pointed to immigration, the cost of prescription drugs, and infrastructure as examples of big ticket items which need to be dealt with, but because of hyper partisanship and “politics on the cheap” he doesn’t expect many of those issues to be passed this election year.
“Impeachment has poisoned the well,” he said, “the sooner we can get past that, the better.” Poison pills which deliberately sabotage legislation and using committee votes to misrepresent the truth are well known election tactics. Wright said he hopes voters in the Sixth District are paying attention to what’s really going on.
Wright discussed the passage of the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) as a highlight of the legislative year. The agreement passed with bipartisan support and was the last legislative act of 2019. The USMCA updates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Intellectual Property and Digital Trade worker protections. and a sunset clause after 16 years.
“The USMCA is a win for President Trump, the United States, especially for Texas,” he said. The agreement will benefit the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. “It’s very much superior to the old NAFTA,” Wright said.
Wright, who represents Tarrant, Ellis, and Navarro Counties, said his greatest disappointment was failure of Congress to address spending and the national debt which surpassed $23 trillion this year. “Tax revenue is up 4% but spending is up 8%. That is the very definition of lunacy,” he said.
Wright highlighted positive economic benchmarks, including generational lows in unemployment and record highs in the stock market.
Wright supports entitlement reform and looking at defense spending as well as a Balanced Budget Amendment because, he said, “Congress has proven an inability to govern itself.” As a former Chief of Staff for long-time Ennis Republican Congressman Joe Barton, Wright said he understands that reforming entitlements or curtailing defense spending in this political environment will be close to impossible, because both are “sacrosanct,” regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with, to members of both parties.
Wright discussed the difficulty with which Republicans have had in messaging these issues. It’s so easy to demagogue Medicare and Medicaid funding. Wright also acknowledged that Republicans must also do a better job of connecting with suburban women voters. “Democrats have talked about education and healthcare in 2018, which really connected to suburban women. They’ll talk about the same things next year,” he said. “Republicans have to be prepared for that, and talk about our plans.”
Wright will face Democrat Stephen Daniel of Maypearl and Libertarian Melanie Black from Navarro County in November’s General Election contest.