Hern hosts virtual town hall with over 4,000 attendees
Washington DC, July 21, 2021 | Miranda Dabney
Yesterday, Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) hosted a virtual town hall with constituents across the 1st District. The call included 4,043 participants both online and by phone.
Rep. Hern discussed recent legislative initiatives, such as the Energy Poverty Prevention Act and Pro-Growth Budgeting Act he introduced in June, the Republican Study Committee Budget he wrote and introduced in May, and his recent trip to our Southern Border. Rep. Hern also took live questions from participants on the call.
Excerpts from the call are below.
Aleda from Bartlesville: What are the chances of creating a law that forces the federal government to balance the budget every year?
Rep. Hern: “First, I think we need term limits, which I am a huge supporter of. That will get people [in Congress] that know the most important thing in America is getting our fiscal house back in order and not just getting elected. It is sad to see what’s going on with [the Biden Administration’s] spending... this time next year, we will be $32 to $33 trillion in debt.”
Gloria from Sand Springs: I’ve seen information about different states sending forces to help with border patrol since the federal government seems unwilling to do that. I was wondering if Oklahoma was going to help?
Rep. Hern: “The states that are sending National Guardsmen down are [helping to] police the border, and a lot of states are helping Texas out with that… It’s pretty sad because Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, I believe Clause 4, says that Congress is responsible for the immigration and nationalization process of the United States, but there is a failure going on across the Southern Border. Texas is the most exposed [to the crisis] because it has the largest border territory. So, Governor Abbot is pleading with these other Republicans, and all 49 other states, to give him help because the traffic corridor for human trafficking and drug trafficking is I-35 that goes from the border up through San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Oklahoma City. From there, drugs and humans are trafficked around the world, which is why so you see so many traffickers caught in Oklahoma… I’m not sure what our state is going to do, that would be the Governor’s decision. There’s a joint agreement that all the states have to go help in times of disasters, like with Hurricane Katrina or fires… This is no different. If a governor reaches out, other governors have the option to activate their National Guard and send them to help.”
Curtis from Tulsa: I never seem to hear about pollution related to green products like wind turbines and batteries and things of that nature. Natural gas is one of the cleanest alternatives we have for energy, and I never hear that brought up in Congress. No one ever mentions the pollution related to wind and solar energy sources, especially the batteries and strip mining. I think an oil well pollutes a lot less than a strip mine.
Rep. Hern: “This is a great point that gets brought up a lot. I’m an all-of-the-above energy guy. We’ve had hydro for hundreds of years. I lived in Arkansas when I was younger, ten miles from a nuclear power plant and a dam right beside it. Solar panels have been around a while, windmills… The reality is that we can use all of these [energy sources] together. We don’t have to kill one industry for another, which is what my Democrat colleagues want to do. You just mentioned the natural gas, we have huge deposits of natural gas [in Oklahoma]. It’s very inexpensive energy, very clean energy. U.S. production of natural gas is some of the cleanest burning energy in the world. If this was truly about getting rid of CO2 emissions, the Democrats would let us drill for natural gas in Texas and North Dakota and get it over to China where they have the worst, nastiest burning natural gas in the world. But [the Democrats] won’t let us get it out of the ground and pipe it because they want to kill the fossil fuel industry. To your point about solar energy and blades on windmills, those are mined from minerals in the Congo. 90% of the minerals are mined there, and 90% are processed in China, so we have to take them from China. China controls the future of all the rare earth elements, or minerals, that we need to make the blades for windmills and the solar panels that the Democrats want to push. So, it’s sending jobs across the world, across oceans, and away from the United States of America. Even nuclear energy, one of the cleanest burning energies with zero CO2 emissions – they don’t want that. All [the Democrats] want to do is destroy natural gas production and oil production in the US.”
Mark from Tulsa: You hear a lot about people leaving the West Coast and the East Coast for new places, and Oklahoma seems like a great place [for people moving to escape high-tax states). Is anything being done to bring tourists, corporations, and people to Oklahoma?
Rep. Hern: One of the things we’re really pushing on has a lot to do with the things you hear being taught in some of these states, and about taxation in some of these states. A lot of people are leaving California and New York because they want freedom. They want their Second Amendment freedoms, the ability to practice free speech without being criticized the way they are in their home states. I use those states because they’re the most populous and the leaders of the House and Senate are from those states. Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are imposing New York and California values on the rest of the country. Meanwhile, their citizens are leaving and coming to places like Oklahoma and Florida where there are more freedoms. What we’re doing [in Oklahoma] is restoring our American values, and we’re going to continue to see people leave leftist states… And for all my Democrat friends on the call, and I know there are many, my family were Democrats just like most of Oklahoma was many years ago, but the Democrats in Washington, DC, don’t represent your values anymore. We’ve got to get back to the idea of making America a better place for all and not just for some. The traditional Democrats are being left behind because of people like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the socialist Democrats.”