A good friend of business, U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus who is retiring after 22 years in Congress at the end of this term, on Tuesday addressed members of the Business Council of Alabama’s Federal Affairs Committee.
Suzanne Respess, the Federal Affairs Committee co-chair, thanked Bachus for representing not only the Sixth Congressional District but all of Alabama business. “You (and your staff) will be missed,” Respess said.
Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, first was elected to Congress in 1994 and will have served 11 terms in January when a new Congress takes office.
The BCA urges Bachus to support during the remainder of this congressional term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank that helps finance foreign trade. Reauthorization is on the BCA’s 2014 federal legislative agenda.
“Thank you for allowing me to serve for 21 years, 22 when retire,” Bachus said. “I value the friendships we have made.”
Bachus spoke of freedoms, saying that every prosperous country in the history of the world has enjoyed economic freedom. “When you allow people to make their own choices, allow the market to work and competition with government as a referee, preventing illegal or unethical conduct, everyone prospers,” he said.
Bachus said he believes the federal government is beginning to be more centralized, more controlling, more limiting of property rights. “All of this has had severe economic consequences,” he said.
“Capitalism is a word that seems to be passing out of vogue,” he said. “Free markets and capitalistic systems are what bring prosperity.”
Bachus said that both Democratic and Republican administrations have sought centralization but the current administration seems to be more attuned to it in using executive orders and regulations instead of seeking congressional approval.
“We are dealing with dysfunction here,” Bachus said. “This is not the way it was almost 22 years ago when I came here.”