US Senate candidate wants balanced budget | News, Sports, Jobs

Jill Schramm/MDN Rick Becker, an independent candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks at a joint service club meeting Monday in Minot.

US Senate candidate Rick Becker wants to change the spending habits of the American government.

“We are now so deeply in debt that we have not only damaged our future, but damaged the future of our children and our grandchildren. We have lost leverage because of our debt to hostile states. We have put ourselves at risk in many ways because of this debt spending. We caused inflation.” he said. “That’s why I’m in this race. We cannot fix the problem by sending back the people who caused the problem. We need someone to stand up and say no.”

Becker, who is running as an independent candidate, spoke Monday at a joint meeting of the Minot Rotary, Kiwanis and Sertoma clubs. The clubs also plan to host other US Senate candidates, Republican John Hoven and Democrat Katrina Christiansen, ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

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A Bismarck plastic surgeon who has served in the North Dakota House of Representatives for the past 10 years, Becker sought the endorsement of the state Republican Party, which Hoven received.

“I really supported the platform of the North Dakota Republican Party.” he said. “My interest and my enthusiasm for those principles kind of put me in that independent Republican category. I sometimes disagree with the party leadership, but I don’t care because I think it’s important to always put principle before party.

“I’ve always been about principles. I think that is the important thing. That’s what I look for in any elected official.” he added.

Becker criticized the Democrats’ votes in favor of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by Senators Hoeven and Kevin Cramer. He said that the bill contributes to inflation. It had little to do with infrastructure but more to do with green energy and carbon credits, he said.

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“I suspect the strongest reason to vote for it is to direct hundreds of billions of dollars to private companies to develop technologies to pump carbon dioxide underground.” Becker said: “I’m good with technology. I’m just against spending hundreds of billions of US 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 redistributes spending to achieve a balanced federal budget. He said several such programs have been introduced over the years.

Becker also answered questions on a number of other issues.

– Abortion. Becker said she supports abortion bans and supports programs to ensure childcare, education and other needs are met for families.

– Ukraine. Although he qualified that he might change his mind after seeing the intelligence, at this point he said: “I’m not so sure we should spend money there. I’m not so sure that we as a nation are deeply in debt, unable to fully take care of our own problems, (have to) send over $60 billion to another country.”

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“Immigration. The United States should build a wall on the southern border, but welcome immigrants who understand the American dream and see opportunity 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 will continue to be there, but we shouldn’t be afraid to look for ways to make it better. There are some really simple things we can do to reduce abuse and increase efficiency.” he said.

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