West TN Congressman talks Obamacare, financial reform, federal attorneys

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Congressman David Kustoff spoke to WMC Action News 5 on Monday about replacing Obamacare, reforming the economy, and replacing federal attorneys.

Replacing Obamacare

Kustoff is a Republican Congressman representing West Tennessee. He said he does not agree with Congressmen Rand Paul and Tom Cotton who say the Republican plan to replace Obamacare needs to be changed.

He said he supports the bill as it is and thinks it could be passed as soon as Easter.

"We think everybody should have health care who wants heath care," Kustoff said.

Financial reforms

Kustoff serves on the House Financial Services Committee. There, he says he's trying to create legislation that will help West Tennessee grow.

One way he's doing that is by trying to roll back restrictions created by the Dodd-Frank Act.

"One thing I'm concerned about is pulling back some of the restrictions that Dodd-Frank legislation imposed that curtailed the ability of banks to loan money and the ability of individuals to borrow money," Kustoff said.

Kustoff said it's important to weaken the Dodd-Frank Act because there are parts of our community that need to borrow money.

"Anyone who's tried to borrow money in the last several years knows how difficult it is to borrow money. It's not the banks' fault. Frankly, it's the federal government's fault."

Dodd-Frank was signed into law in 2010 as a response to the financial crisis of 2008. The legislation added regulations to banks and mortgage companies to keep them from making speculative and risky investments, which experts say created the housing crisis and sent the world into a recession.

Kustoff said those regulations are stifling business and economic growth in West Tennessee.

"The fact of the matter is banks in our area were not the cause of the financial meltdown in 2007 and 2008. We have good, strong banks in Shelby County and in West Tennessee," Kustoff said. "The larger banks were the problems, and some of the other mortgage companies. But again, let's allow people to borrow money in a less restrictive way. Let's let the banks be able to loan the money. I think that coupled with tax reform--which we're looking at for later this year, the reduction of individual tax rates and corporate tax rates--those two things are going to be huge for West Tennessee."

Replacing federal attorneys

Kustoff is a former U.S. Attorney. He said it's completely normal for new presidents to replace a large number of attorneys appointed by previous presidents.

"The one thing we're told...is we serve at the pleasure of the President," Kustoff said. "So typically when a new president comes in, it's his choice to keep the U.S. Attorneys or dismiss them."

Kustoff said the change in the guard means a few things for West Tennessee.

"One thing is, we know we'll get a new U.S. Attorney. We'll also get a new Federal Marshal, and in addition, there are two federal judgeship that will come open."

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