FORT MILL — U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney is running for re-election in the fall, but based on the rhetorical attacks he dished out at his town hall meeting Monday night, it sounds like he’s running for president – in 2012.
Mulvaney (R-Indian Land) never once mentioned Fort Mill Town Councilman Tom Adams, the Democrat he faces in November’s House District 5 election, but he did target another Democrat, President Barack Obama, early and often. If there was anyone in the audience in the Nation Ford High School auditorium who disagreed with Mulvaney, they kept it to themselves as the attacks all received the crowd’s approval.
Like in 2010, when Mulvaney first won the House seat and again two years ago when he easily won re-election, he focused on two things: federal spending and the Affordable Care Act. Mulvaney said he and fellow House Republicans would pursue Articles of Impeachment against Obama if they could, but lack the legal standing.
Although Mulvaney was often critical of the ACA, Obama’s signature legislative achievement, when an attendee suggested impeachment during the question and answer portion of the meeting, Mulvaney said he didn’t believe impeachment was an option.
“I don’t like what he’s done anymore than you do, but I cannot point to a law that the president has broken, saying ‘there is your high crime and misdemeanor’ or, to use to common parlance, ‘there’s your felony,’” Mulvaney said Monday night, explaining why impeachment proceedings are not likely.
“I don’t like what he’s doing, but that’s not the standard for impeaching a president, nor should it be.”
More likely, Mulvaney said, is House Republicans filing a lawsuit against Obama based on executive action he took regarding the ACA.
However, he said a lawsuit could be filed based on deadline extensions Obama granted for complying with the ACA.
The deadline to register for the ACA, often referred to as “Obamacare,” was originally scheduled for Jan. 1, but was extended for most Americans. Mulvaney would not provide any specifics about a possible lawsuit, but said he hopes the House will begin discussing it in the next three or four weeks.
While Mulvaney expressed his dissatisfaction with Obama, he was also critical of his own party when discussing the federal deficit.
“My biggest challenge, as what they call a ‘debt hawk’ or a ‘fiscal hawk,’ is convincing Republicans that the deficit is a problem,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney emphasized the need for both Republicans and Democrats to put an end to “wasteful government spending” and an administration willing to comb through every government program to look for savings.
Other federal regulations other than the ACA were also in the congressman’s cross-hairs. Mulvaney said he worries that regulations are creating an environment in which business owners, like one he talked to in Rock Hill recently, are not willing to grow their companies.
“I want to focus on reducing regulation and making it easier to hire people,” Mulvaney said. “I want to make it so that guy will think it’s worthwhile to hire another 10 people, and then 20 people, and then 100 people.”
Although Mulvaney spent the majority of the meeting discussing areas he felt needed improvement, he expressed his satisfaction with the announcements made earlier in the day of two Charlotte companies moving offices to Fort Mill. It is estimated that the companies will be bringing around 3,000 new jobs to a new office park that will be developed called Kingsley North.