On Wednesday we reported on the Town Hall meeting conducted by Forth District Congressman Mike Johnson. It was held at the library Tuesday afternoon. Today we report on some of the topics Johnson reported on and a couple of questions from the audience.
Johnson said one big issue right now is the border. Johnson said, “There is a lot of misunderstanding and controversy. Many people are trying to politicize that. In my opinion it is far beyond a humanitarian question. You’ve got to have a border, otherwise there is no national security. The border is fundamental to having a country.” The Congressman added, “If you send a message to the whole world to ‘come on in’ it’s crazy!”
The problems with our border situation outlined by Johnson are people flooding into the country for free health care and other benefits. Then there is the issue of sex traffickers and illegal narcotics coming across. Johnson said, “Our border patrol and customs agents are overwhelmed, they’re underfunded, yet they are doing a phenomenal job down there.”
On the subject of health care, Johnson said, “Obamacare is so widespread that we can’t uproot everything. Everyone knows major adjustments are needed, but we cannot agree.” He said changes need to be made in light of soaring health insurance premiums.
On the military, Johnson said, “We can project military superiority around the globe. We have given additional funding to build up the armed forces, but we need to fund the military at a higher level.”
And Congressman Johnson commented on America’s national debt. “It’s rising quickly up to $22.4 trillion. We cannot continue on this path without major reform,” said Johnson. He added, “There is an increasing number of people in Congress that advocate socialism. I respectfully say these people are crazy. Many millennials buy into the idea that everything is fee from the government, but there is no money tree!”
The Congressman took comments from the audience. First to speak was a veteran named Mike Johnson (no relation) who asked Representative Johnson to look into reports that the government is taking up to 35% of survivor benefit checks. Citizen Johnson wants Congress to pass a stand-alone bill to make survivor’s benefits tax free. Congressman Johnson said, “I will be trying to do something. I will take it under consideration.”
World War II veteran Bill Bacle asked Johnson about the Mueller Report and Fast and Furious. Johnson said he will get five minutes to question Mueller when he comes before the House Judiciary Committee. Johnson said, “I will try to pin him down on the origin of the investigation. I don’t anticipate he will be a cooperative witness. Members on both sides of the aisle have a lot of questions.”
State Representative Kenny Cox asked the Congressman about a bill to protect independent pharmacies against the costs of the drugs they dispense and the competition from drug chains. Johnson said, “Drugs are cheaper in Canada and Mexico because those governments regulate what they can charge.” As for change, Johnson said, “Big Pharma has the loudest lobby in Congress. I think an outcry from the people will be louder than the lobbyists. The drug companies know they will get their wings clipped, and it is coming.”
Congressman Johnson concluded his Town Hall in Coushatta with a thanks to the citizens, local law enforcement, clergy, and politicians who had turned out. He said America’s founding fathers envisioned members of Congress as staying very close to the people they represent. “I have a lot of area to cover to represent over 760,000 constituents. The 53 Town Halls I’ve held so far were held to give the people a chance to meet with him and express their opinions.”