U.S. Rep. Westerman talks about trip to Israel, Obama’s deal with Iran

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 123 views 

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, is optimistic about Camden’s economic future and sustaining a veto of a disapproval resolution on the President’s Iran deal.

Appearing Sunday on Talk Business & Politics, which airs at 9 a.m. on KATV Ch. 7, Westerman discussed several domestic and international topics. With Congressional lines redrawn following the 2010 Census, the district Westerman represents include about half of the Fort Smith metro area, and includes Madison County in Northwest Arkansas.

Last week, economic officials in his district learned that they did not win the bid for a $30 billion military vehicle superproject at Lockheed Martin’s Camden facility. While disappointed, Westerman said he thinks Lockheed has made a long-term investment in the region.

“That would have been such a big thing for South Arkansas, for Camden and really all across the region. I talked to businesses down there that were actually a little bit concerned about being able to hold onto their employees with that many new jobs being created there in Camden, but that’s a good kind of problem to have,” he said.

“There’s a lot of space for another project to take place there,” he added.

Having just returned from a trip to Israel, Westerman said he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The congressman said it reinforced his opposition to the U.S.-Iran deal negotiated by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Westerman said everyday citizens he came in contact with made just as big of an impression as the government leaders with whom he spoke.

“They know that one nuclear explosion in Israel could wipe out most, if not all, of their population,” he said. “They’re prepared to defend themselves, but we don’t need to turn our back on our best ally at this crucial point in time.”

On a possible veto override of a resolution to disapprove of the President’s deal – a vote that is coming in mid-September – Westerman said he hopes enough Democrats will break ranks with their party leadership to sustain the vote.

“If there was ever a time to forget if you’re a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent, and just be an American, I think this is the time for it,” he said.

Westerman, who holds a masters in forestry, also discussed his legislation that has passed the U.S. House and is headed for the Senate dealing with forestry. The Resilient Federal Forests Act deals with forestry management.