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The Battalion - U.S. Representative Shares Political Insight

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By Annabelle Hutchinson

Bill Flores, U.S. Representative for Texas' 17th Congressional District, led a town hall meeting Monday to address national issues such as the economy, energy and health care.

The Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at the Bush School was the last of three town hall meetings held by Flores across Texas. In the meetings, Flores updated constituents on the work he is doing in Washington and listened to their concerns about various national issues.

"This is what I have been trying to do in Congress," Flores said. "I have been trying to follow the constitution, put Americans back in control of their government, develop mainstream solutions, not Washington solutions, to build a strong economy, to help our job creators, to help balance
the budget."

Flores spoke directly to college students and gave statistics about the economy and unemployment and said college graduates have been particularly hurt by the
economy.

"In terms of jobs and the economy, we still have the worst unemployment crisis since the great depression," Flores said. "Half of recent college graduates
are jobless."

Flores spoke about his party's proposed solutions for the problems facing our country at the meeting and said he wanted to try to fix the fiscal debt.

"As with any business that is in trouble, there are two things you need to fix," Flores said. "You need to stop spending. You also need to grow your income."

Flores said the way to increase income is by growing the economy with more workers -- meaning more people receiving paychecks and paying taxes.

Flores said he supported the Keystone oil pipeline to help create jobs at American refineries and improve energy security and promote cheaper gas prices.

B. Dan Wood, political science professor, said he did not agree with what Flores has been doing in Washington and that Flores had a shameful record of simply going along with his party and being unwilling to compromise for the benefit of the nation.

"For the record, Bill Flores is a Tea Party, big business, elite sympathizer who has voted "no' on every effort of the Obama administration to create jobs for Americans, support small businesses and make the wealthy class pay their fair share in taxes," Wood said.

Flores also spoke on healthcare reform and said he doesn't support a government-run solution.

"Our goal in health care reform is to improve access to high quality health care and to lower cost," Flores said. "And we can't do that with a big government solution in my view."

Nicole Heath, a senior agricultural communications and journalism major, said it was significant that Flores came and held a town hall meeting on campus because it educates students.

"I think it is important that especially students in this area be aware of what is going on in D.C. and what's going on with our country," Heath said. "Bill does not always give the problem, but he gives solutions."


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