US Senate candidate Rick Becker wants to change the spending habits of the US government.
“We are now so deeply in debt that we have not only damaged our future, we have damaged our children and our grandchildren’s future. We have lost leverage because of our debt to enemy nations. We have put ourselves at risk in so many ways because of this debt spending. We have caused inflation,” he said. “That’s why I’m in this race. We cannot fix the problem by sending back people who caused the problem. We need someone to stand up and say no.”
Becker, who is running as an independent, spoke Monday at a joint meeting of the Minot Rotary, Kiwanis and Sertoma clubs. The clubs also plan to host the other US Senate candidates, Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Katrina Christiansen, before the Nov. 8 election.
Becker, a plastic surgeon from Bismarck who has served in the North Dakota House of Representatives for the past 10 years, sought the state Republican Party’s endorsement, which went to Hoeven.
“I really stood for the North Dakota Republican Party platform,” he said. “My interest and my enthusiasm for those principles kind of put me in that independent Republican category. I sometimes find myself at odds with party leadership, but I don’t mind because I think it’s important to always put principle before party.
“I have always been about principles. I think that is what is important. That’s what I look for in any elected official,” he added.
Becker was critical of the votes of Sens. Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, R-ND, for the Democrats’ $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. He said the bill contributes to inflation. It had little to do with infrastructure and more to do with green energy and carbon credits, he said.
“I suspect that the strongest reason to vote for it is to send hundreds of billions of dollars to private companies to develop technologies to push carbon dioxide underground,” Becker said. “I’m good with the technology. I’m just against spending hundreds of billions of American taxpayer money on it.”
Becker said he would respect the debt ceiling and not continue to raise it. He would vote for a plan that reallocates spending to get a balanced federal budget. Several such plans have been introduced over the years, he said.
Becker also responded to questions on a variety of other issues.
– Abortion: Becker said he favors banning abortion and supports using programs in place to ensure childcare, education and other needs for families are met.
– Ukraine: Although he qualified that he could change his mind after seeing the intelligence, at this point he said, “I’m not so sure that we should have spent money there. I’m not so sure that as a nation we are heavily in debt, unable to completely take care of our own problems, (should be) sending over $60 billion to another country. “
– Immigration: The United States should build a southern border wall, but accept immigrants who understand the American dream and see a chance for their families, he said.
— Federal crop insurance: Becker said he doesn’t want to eliminate federal crop insurance, but would like to see private options. “It’s there and it’s going to continue to be there, but we shouldn’t be afraid to look at ways to make it better. There are some very simple things we can do to reduce abuse and increase efficiency,” he said.