Shamel: ‘Congress’ job is to provide checks and balances on the President’

by Roby Brock ( 466 views 

Fourth District Democratic Congressional nominee Hayden Shamel says if she’s elected she will more strongly oversee a U.S. President who she contends “defers to a foreign power.”

Shamel, who appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, said there is no doubt Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, is meddling in the 2018 elections, and should be held accountable.

Her comments come at the tail end of a week that saw President Donald Trump meet privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the aftermath of that meeting, Trump sided with Putin to deny Russian election interference before walking back his comments, and reportedly agreed to unspecified agreements that include nuclear arms control, military affairs, Syria, and Ukraine.

“I think I, like many Americans, am very, very concerned that we have a sitting American president who defers to a foreign power when we know that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia interfered in our elections,” she said. “Ultimately, what our priority needs to be is safeguarding the 2018 elections. You know, I’ll be on the ballot in November and so it’s personal to me that we make certain that we safeguard our democratic institutions and particularly our election process.”

When asked if she has seen enough evidence to support a broader investigation of the Trump administration or if she would support impeachment, if necessary, Shamel said, “I think Congress’ job is to provide checks and balances on the president and any time now would be good.”

Shamel, a Hot Springs resident who faces incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman and Libertarian Tom Canada this November, said Trump and Russia aren’t the dominant themes on the campaign trail. Voters she talks to are worried about the recent tariff and trade wars as well as health care, taxes and education. The Fourth District is heavily agricultural and recent tariffs enacted by the U.S. on countries like Canada and China have resulted in counter tariffs expected to dramatically affect agriculture and timber.

“I’m the daughter of a farmer, and what I’m seeing is that states like Arkansas — rural states that depend on a rich agricultural legacy — are being punished under some of the decisions of this administration,” she said. “It seems like the voices of rural communities, of rural states like Arkansas and rural America for that matter are being ignored, and it’s not just the farmers. You know, it’s the teachers, it’s the business owners, it’s the factory workers, and it’s the people who are working minimum wage jobs, working two and three jobs, their voices are also being ignored. So it’s time that we return to a focus on rural communities and doing all that we can and these tariffs just seem to be hurting states like Arkansas.”

Shamel shared additional thoughts on the GOP tax cuts and illegal immigration. Watch her full interview below.