Rep. Bono Mack speaks to Pass EDA

The economy, jobs, and the national deficit are all hot topics in Washington right now, particularly for Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

Things might improve quicker if Washington made things simpler, she suggested during a luncheon sponsored by the Pass Economic Development Association and hosted at the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa May 25.
 
“We’re over-litigated and over-regulated,” she admitted. She singled out her recent victory to relax oversight of consumer safety laws when it comes to using lead in manufacturing, which she felt imposed an unnecessary burden that gave American businesses a disadvantage over foreign competitors. “It was too broadly interpreted, to the point that the stem valves to pump up bicycle tires would’ve been banned, which is only significant if you had children pumping up their tires by blowing into their tires — it was so broad that it even applied to old books: old books would’ve had to have been discharged from libraries.”
 
At the local level, there was room for optimism. According to Mack, “The outlook for our area is good, especially when it comes to tourism: hiring is up, hotel occupancy rates are up, and the number of visitors is up. These are all very encouraging signs.” 
 
She spent about 20 minutes taking answers from the floor.
 
Would federal programs benefit from being handed over, to be run by states?
 
While bureaucracy results in a system of waste, she wouldn’t oppose Medicare being taken on by the states, she said, but she would not want the states to be responsible for social security. She was asked for her thoughts on the regulatory efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency. She said that she would like to see the EPA “do a cost analysis on the cost of the regulations that the agency passes on to taxpayers.”
 
Henri DeRoule, founder of The Science Experience, a conceptual science museum slated to be built in Banning, asked for her opinion on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education — components of learning he plans to implement at his museum. Mack said that, despite a personal background in art history, she comes from a family that went into sciencebased careers, and is a “huge supporter” of science programs and education.
 
“Education has been such a beauracracy, it’s no longer inspirational,” she said. “We need to give back the opportunity for teachers and school boards to inspire again.”
 
Chris Woodin, a representative for Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, wanted reassurance that veterans would be taken care of.
 
While Mack felt that leadership needs to do a better job explaining the necessity for cuts, the government could do more with less bureaucracy when serving the nation’s veterans, especially since “ our pledge to veterans regarding their care “should be sacred.”
 
Her talk was cut short when the lights to the convention room went out for a few minutes — prompting Mack to joke that her experience last Friday would be added to her “most unusual” moments in politics. 
 

BY DAVID JAMES HEISS

Record Gazette
Published: Saturday, June 2, 2012 12:08 AM CDT