When Al-Qaida terrorists knocked down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 Americans, Amy Kremer’s daughter didn’t know all that day whether her mother was one of the casualties.
Kremer, then a flight attendant with Delta, had flown to Grand Cayman on Sept. 10, then spent the night in a hospital after falling ill instead of flying back to Atlanta the same day as usual. Set to go home Sept. 11, Kremer was stuck when all air traffic was grounded after the terrorist attacks.
She was safe, but the experience brought home for her the importance of homeland security and the global fight against terrorism.
She thus supports efforts to annihilate Islamic State, thinks it was wrong to unfreeze $100 billion or more of foreign assets for terror sponsor Iran under its nuclear weapons deal, recognizes the importance of standing strong with Israel as the United States’ No. 1 ally in the Middle East, opposes admitting refugees from Syria and other countries where terrorists are active, and insists on tough immigration enforcement to stop terrorists from slipping into the United States.
Still, it was not Osama bin Laden but Barack Obama that compelled Kremer, a lifelong East Cobb resident, to become politically active. She was one of the founders of the modern Tea Party movement and spent the past eight years organizing rallies, campaigning for conservative candidates around the country, and fighting the Affordable Care Act with Rep. Tom Price and others.
Kremer, a Republican, said she never aspired to be in Congress even as others encouraged her to run, but then Price resigned the 6th District seat to lead the Trump administration’s ACA repeal efforts as health and human services secretary.
“I can’t go out and encourage others if I’m not willing to do it myself, so here I am,” she said in an interview.
Kremer, who was born at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, graduated from Lassiter High School and went to Auburn University, said she’s “a home-grown peach” who carries the 6th District’s values.
“I believe we’re a conservative district” that wants a small government living within its means, she said. “Washington should work for us, we the people. … We’ve gotten away from that.”
Kremer was an early supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign but said she is not 100 percent in agreement with the president and is not running to be a yes-woman in Washington. She said it’s disgraceful that the Republican-led Congress has failed to send Trump legislation to sign, but she opposed the failed Affordable Care Act repeal bill, which she joined other conservatives in labeling “Obamacare Lite.”
Repealing the ACA is not the only issue on Kremer’s agenda.
She wants to abolish the Department of Education and send its money to the states as block grants. She wants to cut regulations, especially at the Environmental Protection Agency, so that American businesses can compete fairly with foreign competitors. For economic and national security reasons, she sees the need to pay down the $20 trillion national debt and continue to reduce imports of oil. She wants to cut the income tax rates on individuals and corporations and insists on offsetting any new investments in infrastructure with spending cuts elsewhere.
“We need to live within our means,” she said.
She supports peace through a stronger military, with the hope that such strength will deter enemies.
“I’m a principled conservative, and you know where I stand,” Kremer said.
And she stands strongly against the ACA.
Kremer said Republicans were elected to repeal and replace Obamacare, but they are squandering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to effect change in Washington because they’re “afraid of their own shadow” and obsessed with re-election.
The repeal legislation must go through the normal legislative process, unlike the ACA and the failed Republican bill, she said.
The ACA replacement has to lower premiums, cut drug costs and allow the purchase of insurance policies across state lines to increase competition but remove the mandate to have health insurance.
“It’s about choice and free-market solutions,” Kremer said.