U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp was back in his home state Monday, hosting town hall meetings around the area. One of his stops was in Salina, where a crowd of about 50 people gathered to listen, and to ask questions.
Huelskamp began by talking about what he sees as the biggest issues in Washington DC. One of the biggest in his mind is the huge budget deficit.
The Congressman then took questions from the audience. The questions ranged from things like electing our president via popular vote instead of by electoral college, healthcare for citizens and veterans, to concerns about “out of control federal agencies”.
Huelskamp said that he is concerned that some federal agencies have too much power, agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency. He said “these agencies are good at telling me absolutely nothing when I ask them questions”. Ultimately, though, he blames congress for letting agencies get the power they have, saying “the power of the purse is with congress”. He believes these agencies can be controlled through their budgets, but most years congress doesn’t look at but about 20 percent of their budgets.
Huelskamp said that one of the most important things he has accomplished in Washington is being an ambassador for Kansas agriculture, and advocating for farmers. The biggest issue he would like to tackle is the budget deficit, saying that it is frustrating that he can’t get enough of his peers to bring the issue to the forefront so they can do something about it.
Huelskamp added that it’s also frustrating that so many lawmakers are “out of touch” with their constituents. He said that many lawmakers, from both parties, rarely leave Washington, and rarely host face-to-face town hall meetings. The Kansas Congressman said that he comes home nearly every weekend, and that every year he hosts at least one town hall meeting in every county in his district.