U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood said the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be taken seriously, but he isn’t ready to see them derail the judge’s confirmation.
LaHood, a Dunlap Republican, said Christine Blasey Ford has been given ample opportunity to share her story with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
LaHood said the eleventh-hour release of her claims raises suspicion.
“I think the fact that (ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee) Dianne Feinstein sat on this since July is a headscratcher for me on why this was not brought forth, why there wasn’t a vetting of this,” LaHood said.
Feinstein said previously she was honoring Ford’s earlier wishes to remain anonymous.
When asked if he thought the process was being rushed for Kavanaugh’s benefit, LaHood said that's for the voters to decide.
“I think there’s politics being played on the other side,” LaHood said. “We have election on Nov. 6. The voters will decide who they think was at fault.
“Overall, I think (Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck) Grassley has handled it the way it should be handled.”
Congress has one week to come to agreement on a new Farm Bill before the current five-year agriculture and food assistance plan expires.
LaHood backs the previously approved House version which strengthens work requirements for those who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. He believes the work requirements are justified, given there are nearly seven million unfilled jobs in the U.S.
“If you are an able-bodied working person from 18 to 59, we want to put work requirements on you receiving food stamps,” LaHood said. “We think with an economy that's strong and going well that we ought to be able to do that.”
The Senate version of the Farm Bill strengthens SNAP. A nonpartisan research group claims the House version would strip SNAP benefits from nearly two million Americans.
The House version bolsters crop insurance for farmers.
Negotiations are expected to continue between the House and Senate this week.
Lawmakers in the U.S. House are expected to vote this week on a measure to make the recent tax cuts permanent.
A new report claims a new round of reductions would add $3.2 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade.
LaHood said he thinks the tax cuts will further drive the economy.
“If you look at what has happened in the economy, we are going to have 4 percent growth. We have more people working in this country than ever before,” LaHood said. “We have a low unemployment, you have to have people working, making money to pay down the debt that we have.”
LaHood noted he's concerned about rising deficits, which is why he voted against the omnibus spending bill earlier this year.
LaHood serves the 18th Congressional District which includes parts of Bloomington-Normal.
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