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Perry speaks to 912 Patriots on House Freedom Caucus, new speaker
Republican Rep. Scott Perry addressed about 40 attendees of the York 912 Patriots' monthly meeting Thursday.
Perry, whose district includes all of York and Adams counties and parts of Cumberland and Dauphin counties, addressed topics such as the Affordable Care Act, term limits and his membership in the House Freedom Caucus.
The meeting was held at the Shiloh Fire station in West Manchester Township. For more information about the York 912 Patriots, go to york912patriots.net.
Here's a look at five topics Perry discussed:
Freedom Caucus: Perry said the caucus was borne out of another conservative committee that was infiltrated by the established GOP.
"We got together and said, 'Let's start our own program of real conservatives,'" Perry said.
Nine conservative members of the House formed the tea-party influenced caucus earlier this year.
In order for a representative to be accepted in the caucus, he or she must be vetted and voted in by the sitting members. The group has about 40 members, Perry said.
The caucus has come under fire, even from Republicans, for its perceived secretiveness, and it has been viewed as an obstructionist group. It doesn't keep a roster of members and won't say how many legislators are part of it
"We are not the 'hell no' people," he said. "We want it (the process) to be fair."
Paul Ryan: Perry said he supports Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the new speaker of the House.
"He's not maybe as conservative as you'd like him to be. He's probably not as conservative as I'd like him to be," Perry said. "It doesn't matter as long as he's fair.
Ryan was elected speaker on the heels the sudden resignation of former Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, from Congress in October.
"As long as the speaker is not imposing his political philosophy on the rest of the body, it can be fair. And that's what we're looking for," Perry said.
Presidential election: Perry declined to say who he's supporting for the Republican presidential nomination.
"I'm for the Republican nominee," he said. "The people should pick the candidate. I've got one vote. Why should I go throwing my weight around."
Later, Perry said GOP candidates Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina may be gaining appeal because they aren't politicians.
"I sense a general mistrust of elected officials, which is why the outsiders ... are doing so well," he said.
Affordable Care Act: Asked if it's possible to overturn the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, Perry said it seems unlikely.
"I still have high hopes," he said. "But every single day that goes by, it gets more and more difficult."
The needed votes may not be there and, since the system has been in place for more that five years, it might be too large to unravel.
Term limits: Perry said he goes back and forth on the issue of term limits. He's in favor of a politician self imposing a term limit. A large time frame, for example an elected official being limited to 15 years in office, might work.
"If you get a good person, you want to keep him, or her," Perry said.
Voters, however, make the ultimate decision of how long an elected official serves. Perry noted that in his roughly six years as a state representative, about 50 percent of the House turned over.
"I think the system works pretty well," he said. "If we use it correctly, I think it works."
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.