U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci stopped through Portage County to visit with local officials in Randolph, Suffield and Brimfield townships Monday.
In addition to hearing concerns of local trustees, Renacci announced a new bill he plans to introduce this week, and spent about an hour during his Randolph stop answering questions from an audience of about 50 people at the Randolph Township Senior Center luncheon.
Renacci, a conservative, former businessman and certified public accountant, stressed that problems with the U.S. deficit and debt need to be solved.
"Our debt's too high and quite frankly, who's going to have to pay for that? Our children and grandchildren," he said.
Later this week, Renacci said he plans to submit a bill to Congress that would require the U.S. Treasury to annually produce a balance sheet, including government assets, to Congress and the public.
"I think it's probably one of the most important bill that we could ever drop and (former President Bill) Clinton was the one who started it, he just didn't finish it," Renacci said. "If you got a financial statement from the federal government right now, you would just see something that says we're $17 trillion in debt. If you included all the liabilities this country has, it'd be somewhere around $80 trillion."
Renacci said his bill, if it passes, should give a better look into government finances and help shine light on areas that need to be addressed.
Addressing a question on how he believes the U.S. can fix its budget, Renacci said the biggest areas to trim is in entitlement spending by making reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, lowering the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25, cutting and putting sunset clauses on regulations and simplifying the tax system to eliminate deductions and loopholes.
Renacci, a Republican, was elected the U.S. House of Representatives two and a half years ago. His 16th District included the southern portion of Portage County, as well all of Wayne County and portions of Cuyahoga, Stark, Summit and Medina counties.
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