U.S. Rep. Fred Keller (R-Pa.-12) held his 10th telephone town hall on Monday where he spoke about visiting his congressional district soon and issues that included federal spending, jobs, vaccinations and critical race theory.
He is concerned about accountability in federal spending because President Biden’s budget proposal has spending that Keller wants to make sure is targeted and won’t cause debt.
“Our kids and grandkids will have to pay for the spending that will be done this year,” he said.
As he has stated in the past, Keller said it’s important to define infrastructure during the latest federal infrastructure talks and proposals.
“In rural Pennsylvania that means roads, bridges, broadband Internet access, energy pipelines and water and sewer systems,” he said.
He believes in what he called an all-of-the-above energy strategy of natural gas, coal, wind and solar.
Keller stated that the abundance of natural gas in his district helped lower energy costs for Pennsylvanians by $1,100 per year.
“In the past six months, our team has travelled to every county in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District to hear about issues that are important to people,” he said.
The House of Representatives will be in recess in August, so he will have an opportunity to be in Pa.-12 and speak to constituents and hear their concerns.
“We will be visiting each of the county fairs to see the great work that our FFA and 4-H students do along with other members of the public,” he said.
Keller spoke about his legislative work on the RECORDS Act that would open up the National Personnel Records Center and help veterans gain documents to access their benefits.
He spoke of the Nurses Care Act that would have temporary nurses’ assistants gain nursing certification based on their experience and work performed during the pandemic.
Another work of legislation is the Rural Health Act that would allow rural hospitals to get equitable funding compared to urban areas.
He is also working on legislation that would let people choose how to use their VA benefits for education and not have Congress tell them what educational institution to go to.
A small business owner called and stated he was having trouble getting employees because no one is applying for work.
“The best thing we can do is continue policies that incentive people to get back to work,” said Keller. “I don’t fault the people, I fault the policymakers.”
Some callers expressed problems trying to obtain their tax returns or passports, which Keller said they can go to his website, keller.house.gov and a member of his team can help them.
On the issue of Critical Race Theory, Keller stated that he believes the history of the U.S. is great and that the country corrected its past mistakes.
“We need to talk about the things that unite us and make us an exceptional nation, so I do not support any kind of critical race theory,” he said. “There are amendments to upcoming bills this week that say we should not be funding schools that are teaching critical race theory.”
On the issue of people being frustrated with politicians, Keller said he would caution people against painting everyone with one broad stroke.
He encouraged listeners to research their elected leaders and support someone who shares their values.
The topic of vaccinations was brought up by a few callers and Keller said that people have the right to be vaccinated if they want it, but they should not be forced to take a vaccine against their will.
When it comes to vaccines in schools, Keller stated it is a local issue and that people should be proactive and talk to their local school boards.