In what he described as an informal setting before a small group of supporters on Tuesday, U. S. Representative Mike Pompeo announced his bid for reelection to represent the fourth district of Kansas. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback appeared beside Pompeo and offered his endorsement.
In his endorsement, Brownback praised Pompeo’s work on sensible federal regulations and controlling federal spending. Brownback said the upcoming election is very important, with the budget and the economy being the most important issues.
In his remarks, Pompeo said that top-down direction of the economy from Washington hasn’t worked, citing high unemployment numbers specifically. He said that the good ideas he’s seen have come from governors. The requirements of states to have balanced budgets — a constraint not in effect at the federal level — is a factor, he said.
Pompeo said he’s been doing the things that he promised to do when he campaigned for office — working for small government and controlling regulation, mentioning the Environmental Protection Agency specifically.
Pompeo has been critical of President Barack Obama for his criticism of corporate jet owners not paying their fair share of taxes. Asked if Obama is getting the message, Pompeo said no, the president’s not getting the message. “I don’t think this president understands that just his rhetoric alone is doing tremendous damage to the aviation industry and its suppliers.”
On the tone in Washington, Pompeo said the dialogue in Washington has changed. In the past, he said the thought was: “Can we take this agency, and instead of growing it by eight percent, grow it by three. That talk is gone. It is now about does this agency have any usefulness? Is there a functionality that remains? Should we keep it, keep it at a smaller level, can we make it more efficient, or is it something that we ought to get rid of? We have truly changed the discourse. We are now talking, for the first time in a very long time, about the proper role of our federal government, and what Americans can afford.”
He said this change in attitude was not just his own, but that the large incoming class of new conservative representatives elected last year has shifted the conversation in this way.
Pompeo said it it is important for voters to elect people who are willing to be specific in their plans for shrinking government. Too often candidates run on a platform of smaller government, but won’t specify the methods they will use to cut government, he said, adding that changes in the role of the federal government will affect us all.
On Governor Brownback returning the grant for the formation of a Kansas health insurance exchange, Pompeo said that he voted to overturn Obamacare in its entirety, so he’s not in favor of spending money to implement it. He also said he’d like to see the returned money used for deficit reduction, and that he has introduced legislation that would require this.
Pompeo’s announcement was not unexpected — photos of organizational meetings for 2012 campaign volunteers have been spotted on Facebook and he’s been successful in fundraising — so the real news will be the announcement (or rumors) of opponents. The filing deadline is in June, with the primary election in August followed by the general election in November.