Q&A with U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna
Good afternoon, readers. U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna will begin answering your questions about his campaign for Congress at 12:30, but you can begin posting your questions now.
Monday June 16, 2014 12:28 syracuse.com
Richard Hanna: 
Good afternoon, everyone. I look forward to answering your questions today. Thank you!
Monday June 16, 2014 12:30 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Jane SimpsonJane Simpson: ] 
Where is Claudia Tenney lying? Didn't you vote to fund HHS and thereby provisions of Obamacare?
Monday June 16, 2014 12:32 Jane Simpson
Richard Hanna: 
Thanks, Jane for your question. No, I have never supported Obamacare. In fact, I voted almost 50 times to repeal, replace or defund it. And that is a matter of record.
Monday June 16, 2014 12:33 Richard Hanna
[Comment From A voterA voter: ] 
Claudia Tenney has said the reason you haven't debated is that you are scared. Why haven't you debated?
Monday June 16, 2014 12:34 A voter
Richard Hanna: 
I'm not interested in debating someone who is incapable of a forthright debate about the reality of my record. We have heard nothing but distortions about virtually everything I have done in one way or another. The media has said that Claudia is dishonest. The Daily Star has said she is an "inane name caller." A conservative radio show host has said what Claudia has said about my record is "factually false. It is literally false. It is false in letter and spirit." Other outlets have said the same. You can't debate someone who does not acknowledge the reality of your record.
Monday June 16, 2014 12:37 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Albert CroftAlbert Croft: ] 
Why are you a better candidate than Claudia Tenney to help New York's economy?
Monday June 16, 2014 12:38 Albert Croft
Richard Hanna: 
I have been in business for 35 years. I've never been in politics until this job. I built a business from nothing and employed hundreds in our community. I've watched New York state's steady decline and I've watched young people leave for opportunity other places. My concerns for NYS and its plight are the same for our country: too much government, too much bureaucracy, and the decline in appreciation for free enterprise. I have never had a job until I went to Congress. I've always signed my own paycheck....even when I didn't have the money to write one. In Congress, I have shown my abilities and I am Chairman of the Small Business Subcommitee on Contracting and Workforce. Also, I am Vice Chairman of Railroads on the Transportation Committee and I am on the FAA Committee to support the unmanned aerial test site at Griffiss International Airport. In addition, I am on the Committee of Pipelines and Hazardous Materials and work to support and get the Keystone XL Pipeline passed. Because of my education in economics and my lifelong interest in policy, I am on the Joint Economic Committee. I recently interviewed Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. It's worth noting also that I am the only member in the majority on the Transportation Committee from New York state. My experience in transportation and infrastructure work has made me a valuable member of that committee. Experience pays.
Monday June 16, 2014 12:46 Richard Hanna
[Comment From InterestedInterested: ] 
Isn't it up to the voters to decide who is honest?
Monday June 16, 2014 12:47 Interested
Richard Hanna: 
Yes, I agree.
Monday June 16, 2014 12:47 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Maggie CampbellMaggie Campbell: ] 
Good afternoon Mr. Hanna, what are you doing to clean up the VA and stand up for our veterans?
Monday June 16, 2014 12:48 Maggie Campbell
Richard Hanna: 
Immediately in hearing about the issues with the Phoenix VA we contacted and met with our local VA Clinic Administrator Cody and his staff. Certainly, we called for the resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki. While he is a decorated hero, clearly he wasn't capable of dealing with the massive VA bureaucracy. The circumstances that we learned about the VA are a national disgrace and embarrassment. The disservice to our veterans cannot be over estimated. Our office has responded to and helped thousands of veterans. It is the largest part of our caseload and one of the most satisfying ways in which we can help people through this office. As the son of a Marine combat veteran who fought in the Pacific, I consider this one of the most serious responsibilities of my job.
Monday June 16, 2014 12:53 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Elizabeth BrownElizabeth Brown: ] 
What do you think about the SAFE Act and Remington Arms' trouble with Governor Cuomo?
Monday June 16, 2014 12:54 Elizabeth Brown
Richard Hanna: 
I am unequivocally opposed to the SAFE Act. I find it disgraceful that our state can't pass a budget year in and year out on time, but can take away our personal rights in a matter of hours. However, I don't serve in the State Legislature. As a federal representative, I have earned an A rating with the National Rifle Association and am the NRA's endorsed candidate in this race. I also am endorsed by the United Mine Workers, the Remington Arms employees' union. I have worked closely with Remington to secure their future. The company will have been in New York for 200 years in 2016. My job is to keep them here for another 100 years and beyond. Personally, I am a gun owner and a member of the NRA.
Monday June 16, 2014 12:58 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Eric MurphyEric Murphy: ] 
Mr. Hanna, Where do you stand on getting the Keystone Pipeline up and running in the United States?
Monday June 16, 2014 12:59 Eric Murphy
Richard Hanna: 
I think one of the true embarrassments of President Obama's presidency is his failure to lead on Keystone. It is a complete and utter mystery why we are not building it and it has been over six years. I have supported moving Keystone forward at every opportunity and, as said previously, I am on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Committee and have pushed for its approval through my role on that committee.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:01 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Charlie D.Charlie D.: ] 
How do you plan on creating more job opportunities in the area for young adults and recent graduates?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:02 Charlie D.
Richard Hanna: 
As a person who's had hundreds of employees, there is nothing more important to the growth of any community than good middle class jobs. My office has been directly responsible for the unmanned aerial systems test site being located at Griffiss. It has the potential for hundreds of good paying jobs. WE have worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure a permit for the nanotechnology center, which also has the potential for hundreds of new good-paying jobs. We have worked to secure jobs at DFAS and most recently announced in the Southern Tier the growth of Lockheed Martin through a billion and a half dollar contract to build out helicopters. We also have worked with dozens of businesses to help with federal issues through the Small Business Administration and navigate federal bureaucracy.
As co-chairman of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Caucus, I have focused on the importance of higher education and the need and opportunity to make our country more competitive globally. I believe it is the best path to a more solid, successful middle class. And of fundamental importance to the success of our children and future generations.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:09 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Dave MarksDave Marks: ] 
Congressman, do you support term limits? If not, why not?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:09 Dave Marks
Richard Hanna: 
I do support term limits and have always supported them. The longer I'm in Congress, the more I believe in them. I support a bill to implement term limits.
After three years in Congress, my opinion on term limits has only hardened. The Founding Fathers never intended for members of the House to serve for very long. It was the idea of average people with a background and experience to go, impart their knowledge and wisdom and leave some day.
My age, experience and background in business, make me a true citizen legislator. This is not my career. I come home every weekend. I've hosted nearly 60 public meetings. I am committed to transparency: I am one of two members who every time I take a vote on a bill, I post an explanation online as to why I voted the way I did. You can find these explanations at hanna.house.gov. For those who choose to find the truth about my record, it's all there to read.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:15 Richard Hanna
Thanks for all of the great questions. Rep. Hanna will keep answering questions until 1:30, but we're going to close off new questions at this time.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:16 syracuse.com
[Comment From Clarice HutchinsClarice Hutchins: ] 
What are you doing about too much govt regulation in the economy?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:17 Clarice Hutchins
Richard Hanna: 
One good example of how I am pushing back against excessive federal regulation is the Environmental Protection Agency's extreme overreach to change the definition of a "navigable waterway" through the Clean Water Act to control virtually every drop of water that runs off your roof, lies in the ditch in front of your house or the puddle in your yard. It'll negatively impact our farmers, our builders and all homeowners for no good purpose -- other than government overreach and control of our lives. I have also supported a bill called the Reins Act, which forces government to understand the consequences of the laws it makes, how it impacts people and our economy before they're implemented. It seeks to pull back on pointless rules and regulations that cost more than they benefit.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:21 Richard Hanna
[Comment From SidSid: ] 
Because of your liberal voting record, Democrats have asked you to join their caucus. Would you ever consider switching parties?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:22 Sid
Richard Hanna: 
Thanks, Sid. The answer is no.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:22 Richard Hanna
[Comment From WesleyWesley: ] 
What do you think about the NSA scandal and government spying, do you support the Patriot Act?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:23 Wesley
Richard Hanna: 
I'm one of approximately 26 members who voted AGAINST renewing the Patriot Act and I have been consistent on this issue. My opinion on this was only made more firm through what we saw from the NSA spying. I do believe there are opportunities to have a secure society and that the Patriot Act desperately needs to be amended. I chose not to support it precisely because of the lone wolf provision, roving wire tap provision and business record issues.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:26 Richard Hanna
[Comment From Sophie AdamsSophie Adams: ] 
I have received conflicting information on your position on Obamacare. Where do you stand?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:27 Sophie Adams
Richard Hanna: 
I don't support Obamacare. Just check my record. Thanks, Sophie.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:27 Richard Hanna
[Comment From ChristinaChristina: ] 
How do you feel about Common Core?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:28 Christina
Richard Hanna: 
While it is clear that we need standards to make all of our states (and country as a whole) globally competitive, Common Core is fundamentally flawed. It failed to start from the ground up with participation from educators at the local level and throughout the education community. It is too prescriptive and in some ways ideologically driven. While I do support standards that allow us to advance our society and grow our middle class, you cannot do this without broad acceptance and input from parents, teachers and local communities.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:32 Richard Hanna
[Comment From MarcusMarcus: ] 
I am concerned about drones flying from griffiss in rome. What are the safeguards to protect my familys safety and privacy?
Monday June 16, 2014 1:33 Marcus
Richard Hanna: 
Those concerns are entirely legitimate and have been addressed in the legislation. All activity is subject to state, local and federal privacy laws. The purpose of these sites are to test the effectiveness and ability of drones to work in our national airspace, most of them having to do with agriculture, but I very much appreciate your concerns over privacy and share them. I'll continue to work to ensure the personal freedom and privacy of all Americans are protected.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:36 Richard Hanna
That's all we have time for, folks. Thank you, Rep. Richard Hanna, for joining us, and thank you, readers, for asking terrific questions.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:36 syracuse.com
Richard Hanna: 
Thanks to everyone. I ask that before you believe what is said you check my record. I am committed to transparency and as I mentioned previously, I have written more than 530 explanations of my votes. I am one of just two members of Congress who do this. Thanks to the Post-Standard for hosting this forum.
Monday June 16, 2014 1:38 Richard Hanna
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