Rice visits Joe’s Grill
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Republican U.S. Congress-man Tom Rice visited Darlington eatery Joe’s Grill the morning of Aug. 11 and discussed a wide variety of issues with about three-dozen of his 7th District constituents. For about an hour, citizens queried their rep about everything from veteran’s issues to crumbling national roads to the Iran nuclear deal.
Regarding that recent negotiation, which would lift economic sanctions and ostensibly oversee Iran’s development of nuclear energy but not nuclear weapons, Rice expressed skepticism.
“I struggle with a plan that legitimizes proliferation of nuclear weapons for a country that hates us, is destabilizing the entire area, and that our friends deathly fear,” said Rice, noting that Israeli officials dismiss the current deal as having insufficient oversight.
Asked about the poor state of South Carolina roads, Rice denounced Congress for choosing again this June to delay consideration of a long-term highway improvement bill. As a member of both the House Budget Committee and Transportation Committee, Rice said he is committed to finding a workable solution to our roads problem, even if that means raising taxes.
He has proposed raising the national gasoline tax by 10 cents, which he noted is a “user tax” and applies only to those purchasing fuel and using the roads. This tax hike would be offset somewhat by a $130 annual income tax decrease, and would ensure that gas tax revenues go toward the highway trust fund to repair a crucial component of our infrastructure.
Additionally, Rice expressed anger over the disorganization and delayed medical care at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He said that his district office staffers spend nearly half their time working to help veterans get the care and benefits they have earned. He suggested that if the VA can’t get back on track soon, other insurance and care solutions should be explored, freeing vets to see their preferred doctors rather than wait months for VA appointments.
To contact Rep. Tom Rice’s Pee Dee Regional Office, call (843) 679-9781 or visit 1831 West Evans Street, Suite 300, in Florence.