Hern hosts virtual town hall with nearly 7,000 attendees
Washington, DC, September 21, 2021 | Miranda Dabney
Yesterday, Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) hosted a virtual town hall with constituents from across the 1st District. The call included 6,855 participants both online and by phone.
Rep. Hern discussed recent issues including the crisis on the southern border, the impending depletion of the Social Security and Medicaid funds, and the fight against the Democrats’ $3.5T Budget Resolution. Rep. Hern also took live questions from participants on the call.
Excerpts from the call are below.
Angela in Tulsa: Back in the 90s Newt Gingrich did a contract with America where he very clearly spelled out certain goals that he had for the country. Do you anticipate that the Republicans could do the same thing, and maybe do things like balancing the budget or reinstating Trump's border policies, etc., and getting America back to work?
Rep. Hern: Last year, after talking to many hundreds of thousands of people across America through our offices, [we] came up with an idea of a commitment to America about getting people back to work [with] less dependency on the federal government… The fundamental [function] of the federal government is to protect us. What does that mean to protect us? That means protect us from bad actors abroad, it means protect our sovereignty like our southern border, it also means protect us from one another. The fundamental constitutional responsibility of the federal government is not to send out checks every month. It's to make sure we have a strong military presence that protects us from bad people around the world who want to take away your and my freedom and destroy the United States of America. It also means we have to protect our borders; with no borders you have no nation. And also to protect us from one another: protect our ability to own property and have individual freedoms and personal liberties. If you look at those three things: first thing, protect us from abroad. Look what President Biden has done. He's got every [American] ally now… totally disgusted with him. If you look at our southern border, it’s wide open. The third thing is to protect us from one another. You look at the Biden Administration, you look at Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and what the Democrats have done with this whole defund the police movement. That's why you see these Democrat-led cities and these Democrat states [in] total chaos. [The] burning of personal property, harming one another, and the reality is that's totally un-American [and] totally outside the responsibility of the federal government. We need to get back to our fundamentals… I assure you that if we take the House next fall… we all [must] work hard to make it happen. We will stop President Biden and we will stop the Democrats from having the kinds of votes that destroy our freedom as we know it.
Gary from Broken Arrow: I was just wondering what our strategy is on the southern border? It seems to me like nobody is focusing on what's going on [at] the southern border with all the unvaccinated immigrants coming across.
Rep. Hern: “I've been to the border; I was there under President Trump [and] I was there about three months ago… at this Del Rio Sector… [T]he sad thing about a lot of Biden's policies [is] we know what works. We know what works to get people back in jobs and making money and seeing growing wages to get our economy going again… You need to send a strong message, which is what the Supreme Court did just a few weeks ago [when they] said President Trump's Remain in Mexico rule was legal. [W]hat that basically says is if you come seeking asylum at the southern border you're going to go back to Mexico and you're going to wait there until the courts have time to see you and that could be a year or more instead of turning these folks loose in America and never knowing where they are… The President [came] out this past week and saying he's going to make businesses have vaccinated employees, yet he won't do anything to make sure tens of thousands of people coming across the southern border… it’s hypocrisy. [It’s a] sad day in America.”
Crystal from Broken Arrow: I’m on Social Security, and it’s not a big amount anymore these days. I’m really concerned about everything costing us [more] money. There are many people like myself who are retired that won’t be able to survive. What can be done about that?
Rep. Hern: I actually sit on the Social Security subcommittee on Ways and Means, and you are exactly right. The Democrats have not cared about it at all. They control the agendas for all the committees and for the floor of the House of Representatives, and we have not had one single hearing on how to save Social Security since I've been on Ways and Means since January of this year. I agree with you, it's terrible. [T]he Social Security trust fund administrators and the Medicare trust fund administrators just week before last come out with their annual updates: Medicare will be insolvent in four years and social security… in about 9 years from right now… When it stays insolvent, if we do nothing, if we absolutely do nothing right now, [in] each of those years, 2024 and 2030, Medicare and Social Security will have up to 25% cut across the board… The last time these were modified was 1983, now's the time, not to wait until the last minute and have folks like yourself that are shortchanged what is owed to you.