GUTHRIE — Third District U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, had a town hall meeting Thursday at Guthrie City Hall where he discussed a variety of issues ranging from the recent passage of the national health-care law to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the past two weeks, the congressman has spoken with constituents across his district in a series of town hall meetings while Congress is on its Easter recess.
“These (town hall meetings) are the best way for me to look you in the eye and you can look me in the eye,” Lucas said.
Lucas told the capacity audience that he voted against the health-care bill and criticized congressional Democrats for pushing their health-care agenda through using little-used reconciliation rules, which allows the majority party to pass a bill with just a simple majority.
“This vote wasn’t done in the classic civics textbook sort of way,” Lucas said.
All of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted against the health-care bill including the state’s lone Democrat Rep. Dan Boren of Muskogee.
Lucas praised Boren for his vote.
“I gained a lot of respect for Mr. Boren,” Lucas said. “He took the heat and held his ground.”
As of Wednesday, 19 Republican state attorneys general have announced they are filing federal lawsuits to try and overturn some or all of the new health-care laws including a controversial section that would require people to purchase health insurance or be fined.
“I’m not an attorney, but I know 16 or 17 states are suing the federal government,” Lucas said. “Is it (new law) constitutional? I don’t know. I think some attorney generals are going to find out. I think they are well within their rights. I don’t know whether they will succeed or not.”
The congressman said he expects a high turnover in Congress after the November elections and a possible Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.
“We can turn this around if we want to,” Lucas said of getting GOP control. “You are going to have to get the whole country fired up if you are going to make a difference.”
Lucas also cautioned that even if the GOP wins control of Congress again, victory could be short-lived.
“If we don’t get a grip on spending there will be another political slaughter in 2012,” he said.
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