STEUBENVILLE - U.S. Rep. Bill Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, spent his first day of vacation meeting with local Republicans and talking about the new federal health care law.
And Johnson had plenty to talk about Saturday during the annual Jefferson County GOP picnic at Jim Wood Park.
Johnson said attempts to provide special health care benefits for congressional staff employees are wrong and should be stopped.
TALKING HEALTH CARE — Several members of the Jefferson County Republican Party talked about the federal health care law with U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, Saturday during the annual GOP picnic at Jim Wood Park in Steubenville. The congressman stopped at the picnic during his first day of vacation. Taking part in the conversation were, from left, Albert Macre, Kris Haught, Dr. Brian Wilson, Johnson and County Court Judge David Scarpone. - Dave Gossett
"The Congress should live by the same rules as the American people. I have always thought that way and I do not want to see exceptions now," said Johnson.
"Members of Congress should not receive special treatment under the law for anything. Obamacare is bad policy, and should be permanently repealed for all Americans. I've voted nearly 40 times to repeal Obamacare in whole, or in part, and will continue working to eliminate this terrible law," Johnson said.
"An amendment to the health care law was introduced by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that will change the health care formula for congressional staff members. The president is trying to fix that but under the amendment the Congress is giving itself and its staff members special privileges and that is just wrong," stated Johnson.
"Everyone I talk to in my district is opposed to the Obama health care law. I have declined the congressional health care coverage and am receiving my health care through the veterans health plan I earned while serving in the U.S. Air Force," explained Johnson.
He said he also is hearing concerns from his constituents regarding the economy and jobs.
"We have been working hard to bring the regulators in line to stop attacking the coal industry and jobs in Eastern Ohio. We want the federal regulators to stop going after the oil and gas fracking industry so we can see prosperity in our district," Johnson said.
"The Obama administration does not want our country to use fossil fuel. I believe it is time to let the markets determine if the American people want alternative fuels. If they do it will be reflected in the markets. But I believe the people of Eastern Ohio want to see our economy grow and more jobs that are available through the coal industry as well as the oil and gas drilling," Johnson said.
Congress is currently in recess and Johnson said he is taking the time to meet with residents in the 6th District.
Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Dr. Brian Wilson said approximately 65 people attended the annual picnic Saturday afternoon.