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Editorial: Stick With Steve Pearce In U.S. House District 2

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U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is a seasoned Beltway pragmatist who says he is running for re-election because this is a turning point for the nation.

Pearce, a Republican from Hobbs, is seeking a fifth term representing southern New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, a seat he won back after an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2008. Pearce held the District 2 seat from 2002-2008. He also served in the state House of Representatives.

A U.S. Air Force combat pilot who saw action in Vietnam, Pearce ran an oil-field servicing business in New Mexico’s Oil Patch before being elected to public office. He has business degrees from New Mexico State University and Eastern New Mexico University.

Pearce believes the nation is at a decision point and worries it may be going the way of failing European nations. A fighter for fiscal responsibility, he says it’s time for the United States to live within its means. He says rebuilding the economy has to start with manufacturing and believes in less restrictive government, lower taxes and regulations that are less punitive. Pearce says he fought his party’s leadership on the budget supercommittee that led to the possibility of sequestration at the end of this year if no federal budget agreement is reached.

He believes the Affordable Care Act was about taxes, not improving health, and should be repealed. “It didn’t hire doctors … It did hire IRS agents,” he said. He said the ACA is costing jobs, as companies lay people off to stay below the 50-employee cutoff.

A new plan “where people know what’s in it” would keep some popular reforms such as state exchanges and a provision that allows 26-year-olds to remain on their parents’ policies. But he would add tort reform, health savings accounts and insurance portability. To deal with a nationwide doctor shortage, especially in rural areas, Pearce would increase the importance of mid-level providers under a doctor’s oversight by modeling military triage practices.

Pearce has been battling the U.S. Forest Service over logging, forest management and fire suppression. He says the agency is “upside down” because logging has been virtually eliminated and the U.S. has to import timber from Canada. While he opposed endangered species listing of the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, Pearce helped broker a compromise to allow the lizard and the oil and gas industry to coexist under voluntary conservation agreements.

Washington needs Pearce’s pragmatism and common-sense approach at this critical time. The Journal endorses Steve Pearce for Congressional District 2.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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