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Barton holds phone conference

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House Call:

Rep. Barton encourages people to speak out

Congressman listens to ideas, tells people they will be turned into legislative action


ARLINGTON - Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis/Arlington, made a house call Monday, June 7 to close to 20,000 people in the 6th District.


The Congressman organized a telephone town hall meeting so he could hear directly from constituents about the things they would like addressed in Washington, DC.


The call gave him a chance to speak directly with about a dozen constituents and thousands more were encouraged to take part in the growing discussion at AmericaSpeakingOut.com.

The site was developed as part of an official effort to increase the dialogue between Americans and their Congress. It is giving Americans a new platform to share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda. Rep. Barton explained that Republicans plan to take the ideas submitted on AmericaSpeakingOut.com and turn them into legislative action.


During the hour long call several topics were addressed from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and energy independence to illegal immigration and health care. Another major topic on people’s minds: the economy and how skyrocketing federal spending will affect it in the future.


Janette kicked off the questioning by asking about the oil spill and the response of not only BP, but also the federal government.


The Congressman was sharp in his criticism of BP, but warned against punishing everyone because of one accident.


“This could have and should have been prevented. There were some early warning signs and questionable decision making by BP. I think we need to focus first on stopping the leak and cleaning up the environmental mess left behind. Then we need to have a thorough investigation. I want to sit down with the regulators and industry leaders to find out exactly what went wrong and do what we can to make sure it never happens again. But we can’t overreact and stop exploring and drilling in the Gulf for energy. It is one of the few places where there are significant enough reserves of energy to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We need to drill safely and in an environmentally responsible way,” said Rep. Barton.


Another caller asked the Congressman about immigration. Rep. Barton started by saying he was against amnesty for illegal aliens. He then emphasized that it was time for the country to enforce the laws already on the books, while at the same time coming up with a comprehensive new policy.


Mary R. was the next caller to question the Congressman. She wanted to know what could be done to repeal or replace the recently passed government takeover of health care because as she put it “from England to Canada, everywhere it has been tried – it has failed.”


Barton explained to Mary that he led the opposition to ObamaCare and voted against it every chance he got.


“It doesn’t solve our problems and to the credit of you and most of the rest of the American people – you get it. You aren’t buying what the President and Democrats are selling. There are already plans underway in Congress to repeal and replace this bill as soon as legislatively possible,” Barton told callers.


Harley M. asked about the economy and Barton’s take on the efforts of the Obama Administration’s attempts to create jobs with massive increases in federal spending.


“I don’t think that the so-called stimulus has done much stimulating. Most of the jobs created have been temporary jobs and a lot of those have been government jobs. I think we should stimulate the economy by cutting taxes, reducing spending and incentivizing businesses to stay in the United States. We need to work towards a culture of opportunity that keeps America growing and creates jobs that last,”said Barton.


Rolling right into one of the final questions of the night, Patty expressed her concern about abuses in the government welfare system and culture of dependence that it is creating.


Congressman Barton responded, “After years of reform and movement away from reliance on the government, we are re-creating a welfare system under President Obama. It is perpetuating dependence. I think it is shortsighted and wrong. We don’t need a welfare system, we need a work-fare system – one that teaches people the skills they need to get and keep a job.”


            If you have an idea you would like to share with Congressman Barton you can send it to the special email address he has set up in conjunction with America Speaking Out – white.board@mail.house.gov.

 You can also submit ideas and join the discussion with people from around the country by visiting AmericaSpeakingOut.com.



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