Gibbs answered a handful of questions Monday afternoon — some posed by readers — relating to health care, North Korea and President Donald Trump.
Gibbs, 63, representing Ohio's 7th Congressional District, was first elected in November 2010. He holds a seat on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Q: In July, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act. A major part of the measure provides U.S. military troops with a 2.4-percent pay raise. Why is the act important?
A: It was a bipartisan bill and got a lot of Democrat votes. I think 300 or so in the House voted for it. The bill puts more resources into our military and national defense. Our military hasn't had raises in some time. They've been depleted here in the last 10 years.
Q: What approach should the U.S. take toward North Korea?
A: Sanctions and diplomacy; our tough talk is working. China has buckled down supplying or trading with North Korea on coal. (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un is a bully, and he only knows tough talk. If he fires on us, we need to take him out. We can't allow him to have an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) and warhead. We can't let this guy go completely rogue. He's dangerous.
Q: President Trump seems to be alienating and irritating some Republicans in Congress. Are you one of them?
A: I've met with President Trump several times. He wants people to have jobs and live comfortably. He's working toward that. He's plain spoken and doesn't hold back. I think he needs to get some more discipline in the White House. Things are getting more focused and disciplined there.
Q: Are you comfortable with President Trump's tone in office?
A: I don't think he should do the middle-of-the-night tweets. If he wants to focus on tax reform and health care, don't get sidetracked. Focus on what we need to do, not what the (political) left and the national media is talking about.
Q: What action are you taking to ensure the Rover Pipeline spill is being fully addressed in Perry Township to avoid another Flint, Mich.?
(For about a month, discolored water has been affecting about 100 households around Central Catholic High School. The issue originated in April, when Rover Pipeline drilling mud, which had later tested positive for low levels of diesel fuel, was dumped into the Beach Street Quarry, located near Canton's Sugar Creek wellfield near state Routes 21 and 212 — one of three sources feeding the city's water supply. The city, as a precautionary measure, has reduced the output from the well, channeling water from other wells in the system that has caused the discoloration.)
A: I'm not aware of that (specific) problem. I've heard about some wetland contamination (in other parts of Ohio), and the company (Rover) has been sanctioned and fined.
Q: When will the government start listening to what the people are saying, such as getting rid of Obamacare?
A: I voted for repeal (of Obamacare). It's a disaster. Some problems are coming to fruition. I met with a small business recently, and they went from 50 to 40 employees. Let the market work. If individuals want certain things, let them buy it. I'm on Obamacare, and my wife and I are required to have pregnancy insurance. I'm 63. It's up in the air, and I don't know what's going to happen.
Email your questions for Gibbs to [email protected] or reach Steven at 330-775-1134.
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