By Shari Harris, Publisher
The Texas County Republican Committee hosted their annual Lincoln Day festivities at the Sherman Hill Field House on the Licking High School campus on Saturday, March 25. This year’s featured guest speaker was U.S. Representative Jason Smith.
The festivities began with a social hour, followed by a meal catered by the Licking Senior Center. Republican elected county officials joined Texas County Republicans and several Republican party representatives at the gathering.
Speakers included State Senator Karla Eslinger and State Representative Bennie Cook, who both talked about recent successes in their respective branches of the legislature involving protecting children from gender transitioning medications and surgeries, and protecting women’s rights to be able to compete against other women in sporting events.
Featured speaker U.S. Rep. Jason Smith was met with a standing ovation when introduced. Smith began by thanking State Sen. Eslinger for her pivotal role in protecting the 8th Congressional District during last year’s redistricting by the State Senate.
Smith discussed his appointment as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He pointed out this places him in a unique position to control changes to taxes. He assured his constituents at the event that he had no intention of harming people’s Social Security or Medicare.
Smith discussed China, including the large trade deficit and the flight pattern of their “weather balloon” over Missouri.
The Ways and Means Committee has oversight over the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), and trade policy. Smith reported the committee would monitor the IRS closely and he questioned recent requests for more funding for their department.
Smith described himself as an oddity in Washington, D.C., as a representative who is more interested in his constituents than lobbyists. He listed his priorities as working class families, small businesses and farmers.
“We are not the party of country club elitists. We’re the party of working class Americans,” Smith expressed. “I’m going to work my heart out to fight for our values.”
Missouri Republican Party Vice-Chair Leann Green stated she felt the evening went really well, and was very pleased with their keynote speaker, Rep. Smith.