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

Jill Schramm/MDN Rick Becker, an independent candidate for the US Senate, speaks at a meeting of joint service clubs in Minot on Monday.

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

“We are now so much in debt that we have not damaged our future, we have damaged the future of our children and grandchildren. We have lost leverage because of our debt to hostile nations. 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 solve the problem by bringing back the 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.

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A Bismarck plastic surgeon who has served in the North Dakota House of Representatives for the past 10 years, Becker had sought the state Republican Party’s endorsement, which went to Hoeven.

“I really stood for the platform of the North Dakota Republican Party,” he said. “My interest and enthusiasm for those principles put me into that independent Republican category. I sometimes feel that I am in conflict with the leadership of the party, but I don’t care because I think it is important to always put principle above the party.

“I have always been about principles. I think that’s what’s important. That’s what I look for in any elected official,” he said.

Becker criticized the votes of Sens. Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, R-ND, for the Democrats’ $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. He said the bill adds to inflation. It had less 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 raise hundreds of billions of dollars for private companies to develop technologies to push 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. Several such plans have been introduced over the years, he said.

Becker also answered questions on various other issues.

– Abortion: Becker said he is in favor of banning abortion and supports the use of programs in place to ensure that childcare, education and other needs of families are met.

— Ukraine: Although he qualified that he might change his mind after seeing the information, he said at this point, “I’m not so sure we had to spend money over there. I’m not so sure that we as a nation that is heavily in debt, not being able to fully take care of our own problems, (should be) sending over $60 billion to another country.”

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– Immigration: The United States should build a southern border wall but accept immigrants who understand the American dream and see opportunities for their families, he said.

– Federal crop insurance: Becker said he does not want to end 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 at ways to improve it. There are some really simple things we can do to reduce abuse and increase efficiency,” he said.

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