Chaldean Chamber luncheon focused on current political climate in the United States
By Ashourina Slewo
It’s the annual business luncheon but the focus this year was on the business of politics. On Friday, October 20, the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce hosted their 12th annual business luncheon at Sound Board in MotorCity Casino Hotel. Moderated by Fox 2 News legal analyst, Charlie Langton, guests were able to enjoy their lunch as they listened to congressional representatives discuss pertinent topics and answer relevant questions.
Congressional representatives on the panel included U.S. Representative, Michael Bishop, former Senator Sander Levin, and U.S. Representative, John Moolenaar. The first topic of discussion was the community members that are currently detained and at-risk of being deported.
Former Senator Levin, who has been working alongside the Chaldean Community Foundation in the fight to release the detained community members at-risk of deportation, expressed his support of the community as he has worked in and for the community for many years.
“Facing persecution, a huge number of people from all around the world came to this country for a better opportunity,” said Levin. “There are some in this country who are turning their backs on that, though and we need to stand together to make sure that never fails.”
In addition to discussing those at-risk of deportation and immigration, Langton prompted a discussion on the topic of healthcare and taxes. When asked about President Trump’s plans for healthcare reform and his progress thus far, Moolenaar stated that “It remains to be seen what happens, it is still very early. Some parts of Obamacare are popular with younger people, up to age 26, but most of us would like to see more patient centered approach that drives down costs in the healthcare system because Obamacare didn’t do anything to drive down costs.”
While Moolenaar believed more time to be the answer, Representative Bishop believed the discussion of healthcare needs to include more than just the lawmakers. “I think insurance companies have, in many cases, gotten a pass on a lot of these discussions and I think they need to be a part of the discussion,” said Bishop. “The problem that we have in this country is the cost. It’s not who’s going to pay for it, we all know that it’s easier to look to the government or the American families and say ‘you pay for it’. We control the costs and a part of that discussion has to come from the medical community.”
Following Langton’s questions, event goers were given the opportunity to ask their own questions.
While some people asked questions that served as follow-ups to the answers and comments of the congressional members, what seemed to dominate the conversation was the issue of bipartisanship and divisiveness in the current political climate, some even going as far as asking why the Democrats hate the president and persist in “tearing him down.”
The variety of congressional representatives allowed for a better understanding of both sides in today’s politics.
“It was great having a variety of congressional members present at the event discussing how to bring civility back into government,” said Martin Manna, Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce president. “I am thankful for the friendships we have forged with these specific congressional members as they have helped us with issues important to the community, specifically those at-risk of deportation.”