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Politics & Government

Chaffetz, Teng talk Issues at Hinckley Town Hall

Republican candidates for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District will not debate before next week’s primary. But Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Chia-Chi Teng answered questions from voters Monday in a forum hosted by the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Rep. Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, first took time to list some things that committee has accomplished.

“The reason you’ve heard about Fast and Furious, the EPA scandals, Benghazi, the IRS scandals and the problems with the Chemical Safety Board, the list goes on and on, is because of the work of our committee,” he said.

Chaffetz said he would support Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, saying anyone is a better choice than Democrat Hillary Clinton. But Chaffetz also said he would continue to be critical of Trump’s inflammatory comments, such as calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

“And I can promise you this,” Chaffetz said. “If I am fortunate enough to get reelected and be the chairman of the Oversight Committee, we are going to go after that administration just as hard as we would against the Clinton administration.”

When asked about the historically low approval ratings of each party’s presumptive nominee, Chia-Chi Teng pointed out that Congress’ approval rating is even lower, and has been for some time.

“If you want to have a balanced budget, if you want to control our federal spending, you need to pick the right person to go to congress who can stand up and fight for our conservative principals,” he said.

Teng teaches at BYU and immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan in the 1980’s. He criticized Chaffetz for voting for a trillion-dollar spending bill in Congress. Many of Teng’s ideas revolve around smaller government, including fewer tax burdens and regulations for small businesses.

“What we need to start thinking,” Teng said, “Is, ‘how do we get rid of those bad laws and ineffective regulations to actually allow our small businesses to compete and spend more time doing actual work instead of providing information back to the federal government.’”

The two candidates will compete in the closed Republican primary on June 28. 

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