Congressman Jason Smith meets with southeast Mo. restaurant owners

Congressman Jason Smith held a roundtable discussion with area restaurant owners on Monday, April 24.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 12:47 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Congressman Jason Smith stopped by Katy O’Ferrell’s on Monday, April 24.

“There are just not enough employees wanting to work.”

It’s just one of the concerns that restaurant owners discussed with Smith on Monday afternoon.

Smith spent his lunchtime with the group at Katy O’Ferrell’s Publick House in downtown Cape Girardeau.

Besides staffing, they brought up other concerns such as taxes, supply chain issues and employee training.

Smith will use the feedback from the roundtable discussion to help make policies in Washington,...
Smith will use the feedback from the roundtable discussion to help make policies in Washington, D.C.(KFVS)

Representative Smith said that the staff shortage is something that is not unique to Cape Girardeau.

“Everywhere I go, through our 20 counties, I hear about people having help wanted signs, having help wanted ads,” he said. “Just trying to find a workforce. You know, unemployment is low. There are a lot of folks that are just not working, who are able bodied health adults. We need to get them the work force training to get back to work or just to work.”

The group consisted of owners of local and franchise restaurants, city leaders and members of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce.

Congressman Smith is returning to D.C., where as chairman of the ways and means committee, he will oversee the writing the bill that controls the debt limit.

He said they are trimming money from various programs as they debate the spending cap.

“What we are doing is capping spending over the next 10 years,” he explained. “We will save over $3 trillion. Looking at fiscal year 2022 budget numbers and increasing it every year. We are also looking at pulling back 70 billion unobligated covid dollars that were in prior packages. We are looking at putting work requirements on able body healthy adults without children, that will save over $135 billion; and could also help address the labor shortage.”

Smith said another proposal is to limit the cost of presidential executive orders to be under $1 billion.