RIVERDALE -- Congressman Rob Bishop urged a group of local conservatives to maintain their passion for political involvement.
Rep. Bishop, R-Utah, spoke to an estimated 250 in attendance at a Weber County 9/12 Project meeting at Christian Heritage Elementary School on Thursday night about the balance and separation of state and federal powers before answering questions from the audience.
"I am very proud of your group," Bishop said. "I hope you keep up the anger, the anxiety, the efforts, the discussion. This is part of the salvation of this country's process."
Bishop said progressive politicians like President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have a worldview where they see consolidating power into federal hands as a way of accomplishing "marvelous things" without regard for individual rights, and he compared the recently passed health care bill with a millstone dragging the country down.
"They actually don't think they are stretching beyond recognition the Constitution. They think what they're doing is simply being empowered to do marvelous things," Bishop said. "That's where I cannot go along with that, because I want people who want to go back (to Washington D.C.) and say what we need to do is restore the balance of power amongst the federal government and states and amongst the three branches of government to ensure the rights of individuals."
The former Box Elder and Ben Lomond High School history teacher got an ovation from the group for saying he will work to change the health care bill passed by Democrats in Congress.
"Obama said the campaigning should be over on this health care bill," Bishop said. "I'm sorry. I'm not done on this health care bill. I'm committed to keep fighting this health care bill until we can repeal it and replace it with a lot of ideas that Speaker Pelosi would not allow to be discussed on the floor of the House."
Health care should be based on market forces, not government mandate, he said.
Bishop also was critical of an economic stimulus bill he said created a lot of federal government jobs but did nothing for the economy.
Steve Humphrey, legislative issues chairman of the Weber 9/12 Project, asked Bishop to make sure conservative voices are heard in Washington and to tell the Republican Party to act like Republicans.
"What we want you to know is, we're angry. We're angry at ourselves and we're angry at Congress," Humphrey said. "We have been asleep at the switch, allowing Democrats to come in with their liberal policies. We want to send a message to Congress that says you have got to change. We have got to change."
Matt Bell, chairman of the Weber County Republican Party, also gave training information for delegates going to the county and state conventions.
Clark Roberts, organizer of the Weber County 9/12 Project, said the group is open to all conservatives, not just Republicans.