Congressman Southerland Hosts Town Hall Meeting

By: Sanika Dange Email
By: Sanika Dange Email
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Tensions ran high during Congressman Steve Southerland's Town Hall meeting in Panama City Monday.

Southerland spent a lot of time trying to explain his vote against restarting the government last week.

Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki moderated the town hall meeting, reading questions submitted by the audience: "This is a tough one. 'What is your suggestion to fix the healthcare situation and give specific alternatives to Obamacare.'"

To which Congressman Southerland said, "I would empower the best fundamentally sound economy in the world through free enterprise to do what Americans have done for 240 years."

An answer not everyone was pleased with.

Former Democratic Congressional Candidate Alvin Peters says, "We're here to make a point that Congressman Southerland was responsible for this shutdown, and it was an irresponsible act to take."

Jamie Shepard of the Bay County League of Women Voters adds, "Anytime that you'd become an ideologue, you shut out debate for all parties concerned. We don't have time for that in this country."

But Congressman Southerland remained firm his decision saying, "You know you sent me there to fight the implementation of this law."

Congressman Southerland also said he was happy with the turnout, despite being challenged by some in the audience: "I'm pleased that the American people are following the details of what's going on in DC. I didn't expect everyone who showed up to agree with me or to disagree with me but I think the energy in the room was a positive thing today, and I would take energy from Americans over apathy any day."

Southerland says he's optimistic that the House and Senate Budget Chairmen will work together and find a common ground before the next debt ceiling deadline in February.

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