Republican Town Hall Meetings Give Americans an Opportunity to Speak Out, Affect New Agenda

September 1st, 2010

More Highlights from GOP Events Back Home

Washington, D.C. – Across America, people are speaking out for a change of direction in Washington. House Republicans are answering this call by engaging the American people in the process to create a new policy agenda for Congress. The dialogue taking place at Republicans town hall meetings this summer will help set the priorities for this governing agenda. Below is another sample of local highlights from House Republican events. For photos from these and other ASO town halls and events click here.

Government spending, economy top issues during Neugebauer’s town hall meeting Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

In light of the increasing national deficit and the recession, voters in the Texas 19th Congressional District said federal government should be more efficient in spending their tax dollars.

On Thursday morning, U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, urged his constituents or his “bosses,” as he called them, to share their concerns at the Science Spectrum Omni Theater Exhibit Hall.

As soon as the floor opened to the public, lines 10 deep quickly formed at the two microphones. The session was the congressman’s seventh in a series of eight West Texas “America Speaking Out” town hall meetings conducted this month.

Border security, illegal aliens, Social Security, health care and the 2008 Farm Bill were some of the other popular issues — all of which could be drastically changed through budget cuts.

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Granger hosts town hall meeting Weatherford Democrat

Congresswoman Kay Granger has an idea to fight unemployment: Texans should get up every day and think of solutions for it.

“What I hear most often is “get people back at work” and “jobs, jobs, jobs,” the Republican representative for Texas’ 12th District said Saturday at an interactive town hall meeting for Parker County residents at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center. The meeting focused on job creation, federal government spending and reform with a host of ideas from the audience.

Washington fuels economic uncertainty with tax hikes, regulations and sky-rocketing debt, which hinders creating jobs, Granger said.

“Regulators are all over small banks and creating a terrible choke hold,” she said.

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Bonner: Healthcare a ‘challenge’ at best Brewton Standard

With topics including everything from the economy and joblessness to religion, U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner lead a town hall meeting in Brewton Wednesday.

During the meeting Bonner, R-Mobile, encouraged citizens to become involved in their government.

“People need to stand up and be heard,” Bonner said. “We have added two links to our Web site that give the people a chance to be heard.”

Bonner said the ideas generated at America Speaking Out and You Cut are taken seriously by lawmakers around the country.

“We take those comments and ideas seriously,” Bonner said. “We want to hear from the people when making decisions on issues important to you.”

Bonner also addressed the issue of health care reform calling it a “challenge” at best.

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U.S. Rep. Thompson holds town hall meeting The Progress

More than 20 residents gathered yesterday afternoon in Philipsburg for a town hall-style meeting with U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-5 of Howard. The top concerns on people’s minds were jobs, the national deficit and health care in the Moshannon Valley…

Before getting to questions and comments from citizens, he made a few brief remarks. Thompson first talked about one of the biggest concerns of everyone, the national debt. He said neither party has possession of the problem, but that it has escalated in the past 20 months to nearly $14 trillion of debt…

Thompson also said that another big concern for citizens is jobs. He noted that millions of dollars have been spent on job creation with little to show for it.

Thompson presented a new Web site, He said it is a bipartisan effort, approved by Congress, to get the opinions of ordinary citizens who can present ideas for America’s future. He said the Republican party has been taking that idea one step further and taking some of the suggestions and allowing Americans to vote on them.

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Congressman Wally Herger meets with Simpson students Red Bluff Daily News

Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA) hosted an America Speaking Out event at Simpson University with students returning for the new school year.

Herger met with the students for more than an hour, discussing what is happening in Washington and how they could affect change in our government.

The America Speaking Out program is designed to input the voice of the American public into a new governing agenda.

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Talking Solutions, House GOP Continues to Engage American People at Town Hall Events

August 31st, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Devoting this August work period to engaging the American people and discussing positive solutions, House Republicans continue to hold town halls and open forums across their districts. With Americans eager for a different approach to tackling our nation’s challenges, and these events will help forge a new policy agenda for Congress. Below are a sample of local highlights from House Republican events. For photos from these and other ASO town halls and events click here.

Citizens speak out at Goodlatte meeting Northern Virginia Daily

About 75 people turned out for U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s “America Speaking Out” town hall meeting Monday evening at the county government center.

The forum was part of a GOP effort in the House to learn what issues citizens would like to see…Congress address. Comments can also be submitted to

“We want to get as much input from as many of you as possible,” said Goodlatte, a Republican whose district stretches from Roanoke to Strasburg.

Before taking questions and remarks from the audience, Goodlatte said there are two issues of critical importance: the national debt and the health care reform bill.

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Schock stops at Five Points Washington Peoria Journal Star

He was asked questions ranging from his views on the future of the U.S. Postal Service to what he could do about drivers who have a handicapped parking sticker but don’t really need it.

And that was the purpose of the “America Speaking Out” town hall meeting hosted Saturday by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria.

About 400 people attended the banquet center at Five Points Washington for the 1 hour and 45-minute session, as Schock continued his summer tour of his 20-county district this month…

Schock received a standing ovation and at the end and was enveloped by supporters afterward. Some took cell phone photos to mark the occasion.

While much of the discussion focused on the rising national debt, and the stimulus package, health care and financial reform bills, there were occasional sidetracks.

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Barton Town Hall brings variety of topics, questions Corsicana Daily Sun

The deficit, healthcare, and a recent trip to Afghanistan were all topics of conversation Thursday as U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) held a Town Hall meeting at the Navarro County Courthouse.

The veteran congressman also touched on matters including border security, the economy, and the battles taking place in the Democratic-controlled Congress during Thursday’s event, fielding a number of questions from constituents in attendance.

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McCarthy visits Ridgecrest The Daily Independent

Rep. Kevin McCarthy visited Ridgecrest Monday with concerns about government debt – and a chance for Americans to make their voices heard.  Monday’s meeting was part of a series in the 22nd District to promote “,” a new Web site intended to be a bipartisan way for Americans to give ideas to the federal government.

McCarthy has been working with other House Republicans to build this site, which offers ideas submitted from citizens across the country. Users are encouraged to log in and vote for their favorite ideas or submit their own, which are forwarded to lawmakers. Five categories are currently offered: “American Prosperity,” “Fiscal Accountability,” “American Values,” “National Security,” and “Open Mic,” a free-form topic.

McCarthy encouraged everyone of any political persuasion to post ideas.“It’s not the power of the party, it’s the power of ideas,” he said.

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Lack of budget irks Jenkins St. Joseph News-Press

The refusal of U.S. House leadership to craft a federal budget insults Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins as a former state treasurer. Moreover, she says it insults her as a Kansan.

“Every Kansan knows, if you’ve a fiscal mess at home, what’s the first thing you do?” she said Monday. “You sit down at the kitchen table, you sharpen your pencil and you figure out a budget.”

In not putting together a spending plan — none of the 12 regular appropriations bills for fiscal 2011 has advanced through the legislative process — the House has deepened federal budget troubles, the lawmaker said.

“We’re in the biggest mess we’ve ever been in,” Ms. Jenkins said, “(and) this year, we’re not building a budget.”

The Republican freshman offered this view and others during a series of town-hall meetings in the northeastern portion of the Kansas 2nd District. She took questions from constituents in Atchison and Troy on Monday afternoon.

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More Highlights From House Republican Town Hall Events Across America

August 19th, 2010

Washington, D.C . – This summer, House Republicans are continuing an unprecedented engagement with the American people to involve them in the creation of a new governing agenda for the nation. With an innovative web forum at, through cutting-edge mobile applications, and at nation-wide town hall meetings, House Republicans are giving Americans a megaphone to make their priorities heard. Local highlights from some of these town halls can be found below. For photos from these and other ASO town halls and events click here.

Gingrey talks website, health care, immigration at town hall Rome News-Tribune

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, hosted a town hall meeting Wednesday in Cedartown, promoting a new political website and taking questions from the audience.

Gingrey invited attendees to go online and participate in the America Speaking Out project, which he said is seeking to collect questions and suggestions. The website, at, is a House Republican initiative.

“We are trying to get as many ideas as we can, not just from within my party, but from Democrats and independents too,” Gingrey said.

He said members of Congress should turn their attention to the issues that matter most to constituents, “so we can get this country back on the right track.”

Gingrey also took questions from the audience. One topic was the effects of recent health care reform legislation. Gingrey referred to it as “Obamacare,” saying, “It’s his legislation, so we can call it that.”

Small business owner Larry Ewers told Gingrey he is very worried about the impact of the Obama administration’s changes to health care.

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Citizens sound off at Jenkins town hall meeting Topeka Capital-Journal

Vince “The Trashman” Bateman isn’t bashful about sharing his views on politics and government, sounding off through letters to the editor, as well as by attending the occasional town hall meeting.

On Wednesday morning, Bateman, 41, was among about 30 people who showed up for an hourlong “America Speaking Out” gathering sponsored by Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

Bateman, of Topeka, who drives a trash truck for a living and works the overnight to early-morning shift, came to the meeting with a paycheck stub in hand so he could show Jenkins just how big a cut Uncle Sam is taking out of his wages.

A member of the tea party movement, Bateman said Washington’s spending has gotten out of control.

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McHenry airs tax, health care frustrations at Cleveland County town hall meeting Shelby Star

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry can’t sit still. He’s always moving.

The Cherryville congressman paced across Cleveland Community College’s Keeter Auditorium stage Tuesday night with the public on his mind. McHenry, a Republican, fielded questions during a well-attended town hall meeting.

“I’m listening to you all the time, and that’s what tonight is all about,” said McHenry.

Discussions ranged from the federal deficit to health care. McHenry touched on debt from a national to local level and massive, multi-billion-dollar stimulus plans.

Before hearing comments from the crowd, McHenry said government is making an “uncertain era” in America even worse by placing additional uncertainty into the mix.

And that’s seen, McHenry said, through the health care bill and certain taxes.

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Bartlett takes questions at town hall meeting The Herald-Mail

Facing questions about illegal immigration, Social Security and the 14th Amendment, U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett held a town hall meeting in Williamsport on Monday.

About 30 people, including some Bartlett staffers, were in the audience at the Community Building at Byron Memorial Park.

Bartlett, R-Md., is scheduled to hold two more town hall meetings this week — today in Cumberland and Wednesday in Frederick.

The calm, respectful tone was a sharp contrast to a local health care town hall meeting a year earlier, when more than 400 people crowded into a Hagerstown Community College auditorium, some shouting at U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin.

On Monday, people quietly asked Bartlett — who is seeking a 10th two-year term this year — about a range of issues.

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Thompson looks for ways to promote idea sharing St. Mary’s Daily Press

U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson (R-Howard) held a town hall meeting at the St. Marys Public Library, 127 Center St., from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday. A small gathering of area residents attended the event.

Before the meeting, Thompson also took the opportunity to visit with volunteers at the Christian Food Bank and he commented during the town hall meeting on how impressed he was with their operation of the organization…

Additionally, in an effort to further connect with individuals throughout the district, Thompson also discussed the America Speaking Out initiative.

“It actually was created and approved by both republicans and democrats in Washington. It is a republican website, but it had to be approved by both parties through committee. This is a great forum that allows the American people to weigh in [on important issues],” Thompson explained.

The Web site can be accessed at

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Photos of these and other events can be found on ASO’s Flickr page

America Speaking Out Introduces iPhone Mobile Application

August 18th, 2010

Avenues to Join Unprecedented ASO Dialogue Continue to Expand

Washington, D.C . – Continuing a ground-breaking, multi-faceted effort to directly engage the American people in the creation of a new policy agenda, America Speaking Out today launched a mobile application for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The brand new app, available now in the Apple App Store or on iTunes, provides users with the full experience and functionality of in a convenient, portable format. Today’s iPhone introduction follows the recent release of a mobile app for the Android. With people now able to join the dialogue of ideas through town hall meetings, an innovative website, and two of the hottest mobile platforms, House Republicans are following through on a commitment to give Americans a bigger voice in Washington.  


Noting the release of the new mobile app, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Chairman of America Speaking Out, offered the following comments:

“America Speaking Out has always represented a forward-looking way for Congress to operate. Continuing to integrate mobile apps into the project, we are setting a new bar for direct constituent engagement. Americans now have one more direct line to the ear of House Republicans.”


America Speaking Out Tour Continues with Republican Town Hall Events Across the Nation

August 18th, 2010

Washington, D.C . – While Democrats may be taking a recess, House Republicans are using this August to continue their engagement with the American people at town hall events. House Republicans are listening to the concerns of their constituents and talking about specific solutions that address the priorities of the American people. Below is a sample of local new highlights from Republican district events. For photos from these and other ASO town halls and events click here.

Congresswoman Blackburn listens to voters in Bartlett Commercial Appeal

With about 100 people crammed into a room at the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn spent 90 minutes addressing an array of concerns from constituents in the western part of her Seventh District.

Citizens expressed their fears with the federal government, their suspicions of the national health care reform bill and their frustrations in dealing with bureaucracy.

“I want government out of my hair,” said a balding Gene Bradberry of Bartlett. “I don’t have a whole lot left, so that shouldn’t be a real hard job.”

Blackburn listened to questions for the first hour, taking notes on the concerns. Gun rights, family values, immigration and more control of government spending were on the list.

“I’m fearful of the direction our country is heading in,” Phil Wulff of Bartlett said. “… It’s not the country (I) grew up in.”

The litany did not catch Blackburn off guard. She has heard similar thoughts in meetings across the district.

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Voters’ views on Congress sought by Conaway, GOP Abilene Reporter-News

Big Country Congressman Mike Conaway is taking part in the Republican Party’s latest effort in getting input from voters on how Congress can make the government better.

Conaway, a Republican from Midland, describes the America Speaking Out effort as Congress giving voters a “voice in creating a new agenda for Congress.”

Congressional Republicans have set up a website,, for anyone of any party affiliation — or none — to speak about issues that they believe are important…

Conaway told residents in Sweetwater that congressional Republicans want to hear what concerns people the most and then report back to voters later this month to see if “we’re hearing you correctly.”

Conaway said that at every town hall meeting he has attended, people bring up the same basic concerns. He addressed two of those concerns during his Sweetwater visit — job creation and government spending.

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Luetkemeyer speaks to residents at Callaway County town hall Fulton Sun

America is heading for a double-dip recession if Congress allows taxes to increase during the current economic downturn, Ninth District Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer warned Monday night in Fulton.

Meeting with Callaway County residents at one of his regular town hall meetings, Luetkemeyer said the biggest likely tax hike will be refusal by Democratic-controlled Congress to extend current tax cuts that are due to expire.

“This would amount to a huge tax increase. We don’t need tax hikes in the middle of a recession,” Luetkemeyer said.

Luetkemeyer said President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress are killing economic recovery by creating uncertainty through the threat of higher taxes and more government controls.

He said businesses don’t want to expand and add jobs because of the economic uncertainty.

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Neugebauer hears area’s concerns about medical care Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Residents at a Lubbock congressman’s town hall meeting Monday grumbled about spending levels but were most worried about access to medical care.

Speakers among about 60 attendees at the South Plains College Campus told Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer they worried regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had cut supplies of vital medicines for rural emergency rooms and enriched pharmaceutical companies.

Neugebauer sought recommendations for federal spending cuts to help pare down trillions of dollars in borrowing, and received a few. Attendees criticized programs by the U.S. Department of Education they felt best left to the states, without being specific, and bills that spent federal dollars to help a small number of people or a specific industry.

The congressman set a series of town hall meetings in the district in part to support bills making it more difficult for the federal government to borrow or raise taxes, and requiring regular reviews of federal agencies similar to Texas’s Sunset process.
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In Amherst, Goodlatte says national debt is No. 1 problem The News & Advance

Rep. Bob Goodlatte spoke to Amherst County business and civic leaders Tuesday about the national debt, health care and federal stimulus spending…

“If you are worried like I am about this debt, speak up,” he said, telling people to go to the website and put in their suggestions for ways to fix the budget.

“I really think that is the number one issue in Washington that is not being addressed in any significant way,” Goodlatte said.

“Instead, what we are doing is passing a new health care bill,” he said as the audience of about 20 people chuckled.

 Read More…

Barton using break to touch base with constituents Waxahachie Daily Light

Members of Congress are back home for a “district work period” and U.S. Rep. Joe Barton isn’t slowing down as he travels from one slated appearance to another, seeking to touch base with as many constituents as possible in his 6th District before due back in Washington, D.C., by Sept. 14.

Tuesday noon, he addressed members of the Waxahachie Lions Club before heading south to Centerville in Leon County for a town hall meeting (his fourth in recent days) and then a Republican Party reception over in Fairfield. Today and tomorrow, he has four more town hall meetings scheduled, including one at 7 p.m. today at Midlothian City Hall, 104 W. Ave. E, where he hopes to meet with Ellis County residents.

The nation’s economy and budget were among the topics touched on with the Lions by Barton, who said government has to rein in its borrowing and spending.

The nation’s Declaration of Independence may cite “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but “it doesn’t guarantee happiness,” he said, saying, “We can’t spend our way out of a recession. We can’t spend our way to happiness.”

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Photos of these and other events can be found on ASO’s Flickr page

House Republicans Continue to Listen to the American People, Discuss Solutions at Local Events

August 11th, 2010

Washington, D.C . – Despite an unexpected recall back to Washington to feed the spending addiction of Washington Democrats, House Republicans continue to engage the American people and listen to their concerns at town hall events. Republicans are eager to give Americans a voice in changing the direction of Washington, and these events will help shape a new governing agenda for Congress. A sample of local highlights from these events can be found below.

Burgess addresses residents’ concerns Denton Record-Chronicle

Taking a break from work in the nation’s capital, U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess returned to his District 26 home to hear from constituents at area town hall meetings this week.

About 200 people gathered Thursday at the Denton High School auditorium to hear Burgess, R-Lewisville, touch on a variety of topics including health care, immigration reform and Barnett Shale gas drilling.

“The winds of change were blowing two years ago, and they are blowing today,” Burgess said.

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Olson addresses community on local and national issues Deer Park Broadcaster

U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) made a stop at San Jacinto College’s central campus Thursday night to update area residents on issues at the national level, along with answering questions from constituents.

The first-term Republican has served as a congressman for District 22 during a time of economic woe which has affected his district directly. District 22 covers Brazoria, south Harris and Galveston counties.

Olson’s speech drew approximately 130 people to the 150 seat Monte Blue Music building to hear the congressman speak on issues such as energy, healthcare reform, the economy and in particular and the effects budget cuts are going to have on NASA. He also spoke to ongoing concerns about halted oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and its effect on the region.

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At town hall, Brady bashes government The Courier

Shouts of approval and applause greeted U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, as he berated the Obama administration and its actions on a number of topics during a town hall meeting Wednesday evening.

“You cannot listen enough in this job and one of the problems in Washington is people do not listen,” he said.

A full house attended the congressman’s town hall meeting inside the Crighton Theater, many hoping to get their questions answered by Brady.

“There are so many issues being crammed down our throats that it’s hard to pick just one,” John Hearn, of Conroe, said. “We the people are very angry and are extremely wary of this. … As a general rule Congress is to blame for this.”

Brady’s three main issues were unemployment and how the drilling moratorium affects it, government spending and the deficit, and the new health care bill.

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Wittman holds town hall Free Lance-Star

Rep. Rob Wittman (R–Montross) held a town hall meeting with veterans Tuesday night at the VFW hall on Princess Anne Street.

He answered questions on a wide range of topics, from the draw-down of forces in Iraq to CSX’s storage of hazardous materials train cars near Fredericksburg’s Mayfield neighborhood.

Here are some of his answers on those topics:

On whether the current draw-down of forces in Iraq is based on politics, or on advice from generals on the ground: “The key with withdrawal is the strategy behind it. We ought to be focused on giving credit to our men and women in uniform and their achievements there. I am confident that will happen,” and that strategy, not politics, will guide the withdrawal process.

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Photos of these and other events can be found on ASO’s Flickr page

POLITICO: A tale of two cities

August 5th, 2010

By: Rep. Kevin O. McCarthy

August 5, 2010

Observers of life in modern America discover it is truly a tale of two cities.

One American city has experienced revitalization; it is teeming with energy and growth. Money flows like water, since more can always be printed. With trillion-dollar budgets, a million dollars is a rounding error. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is doctrine. The bureaucrats running this city have designed a six-week, paid vacation for themselves every August.

The other American city is in crisis, choked with fear and uncertainty. Money is a precious commodity, and there is never quite enough. Tough financial decisions have to be made and, in some cases, families forgo necessities. The people live by a doctrine of hard work and sacrifice, and their limited vacation days are stockpiled in case of a family emergency. Unfortunately, the revitalization of one city has come at the expense of the other.

The first city is Washington, a city drunk with its own power. Life is good in the D.C. region; the unemployment rate is six percent, well below the national average. Of the 15 largest U.S. cities, Washington has lost the fewest number of jobs since the recession began in 2007. And thanks to President Barack Obama’s $862 billion economic stimulus, the federal government continues to add jobs.

The median household income for the region is $85,824, the highest in the United States. Federal bureaucrats have a nice place to live; Washington receives the highest amount of federal procurement dollars in the country, even when compared with entire states.

Washingtonians are brimming with optimism, as their quality of life has gone virtually unaffected during this recession. A recent survey showed that 74 percent of D.C. elites feel they have been less affected by the economic downturn than the rest of America. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Greater Washington residents have the second-best feeling of well-being in the nation. Happy times are here again — but only for this select group.

The second city is Main Street, USA — which is to say any other city across our country.

My hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., fits this description. Life is tougher in Bakersfield than in Washington. Our unemployment rate is 15.7 percent, almost three times that of D.C. The median household income is $47,716. And while some D.C. politicians feel obliged not to pay their taxes, the people of Bakersfield are increasingly concerned about the pending tax hikes scheduled for this January. For the average family, these hikes mean their tax burden is likely to increase by $1,637.

For Americans on Main Street, the picture is less optimistic than for the elites in Washington. Recent survey data show that 61 percent of the general U.S. population feels that the country is on the wrong track, compared with just 45 percent of those living in the Washington bubble.

Americans on Main Street are concerned about the economy: 65 percent of survey respondents were worried things are going to get worse, compared with only 46 percent of those in Washington who shared the same view.

Also telling was the statistic about ethics in government. something 64 percent of Americans considered very important, while only 49 percent of D.C. insiders shared the same level of concern.

This disparity has come at a great cost to cities like Bakersfield, as the nation’s leaders have repeatedly failed to prioritize job creation and economic recovery.

Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority found the economic crisis to be an opportunity to pass their wish list of programs designed to increase the size and power of the federal government. They did so in great haste, without regard for the constitutionality or the price tag.

Now, faced with record deficits and rising unemployment, the Democratic establishment has again chosen to pass over job creation in favor of raising taxes — a sure-fire way to further stifle economic growth.

The Obama tax hikes will cripple the hiring ability of small businesses, the economic engines of Main Street. According to the Small Business Administration, more than 50 percent of U.S. workers are now employed by small businesses — businesses that may suffer as their tax burden increases.

Tax hikes also impede start-up companies, which are responsible for creating 3 million new jobs every year. Statistically, potential entrepreneurs are up to 20 percent less likely to take the risk of starting a new business when the top tax rate reaches 39.6 percent, according to testimony given by economists before the Senate Committee on Finance.

Higher taxes on businesses will result in less employment, lower incomes, diminished innovation and reduced rates of economic growth for Main Street, while lining the coffers of the bureaucrats in Washington — the same bureaucrats who believe the economy is headed in the right direction and ethics in government is not a high priority.

We must end the exploitation of cities like Bakersfield for the profit of Washington and rewrite this tale of two cities to ensure a happy ending.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the chief deputy whip and chairman of the America Speaking Out project.


House Republicans Kick Off Town Halls to Listen, Engage, and Talk Solutions

August 4th, 2010

Washington, D.C . – Kicking off a summer that will be focused on giving the American people a voice in Washington’s agenda, House Republicans have begun to hold open forums across the nation. At these town halls and district events, Republicans will be listening the priorities of the American people and discussing specific solutions to address them. Below are a few local highlights from member events.

Congressman Pays A Visit To Big Spring NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING – West Texans had a chance to voice their opinions on Tuesday about the issues they feel that are affecting this country. Congressman Neugebauer visited Big Spring and had a town hall meeting to hear what people had to say.

“It’s very important I’m House Representative. They have chosen me, I’m the employee, they are the employer, I represent their values,” congressman Randy Neugebauer, said.

That’s why town hall meetings are being held across America. It’s all part of ‘America Speaking Out’ an effort to increase dialogue between Americans and Congress.

“People are tired of talk, they want work in government. That’s why they are going to choose working ones this November,” Neugebauer said.

Some of the hot topics issues discussed were Border Patrol, the Gulf Oil Spill and energy. Many residents were just glad that they were able to voice their opinion.

Read more…

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster draws 120 to forum in Shippensburg Chambersburg Public Opinion

SHIPPENSBURG — Hemin Lihony, a journalism student from northern Iraq, noticed two things about the people who came to U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster’s Citizens Dialogue at Shippensburg University on Tuesday — most in the audience were older and most who spoke were concerned about the economy.

“I had expected to hear: When will our troops come back from Iraq?” Lihony said. “But if I were an American I would be asking the same questions.”

Citizens posed many questions and offered some solutions to poor banking practices, immigration, Social Security and environmental problems.

The objective of the meeting was to draw people to the discussion on the GOP website

“We believe we can create an agenda on how Republicans and Congress can move forward,” said Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, who represents Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District, including Franklin County.

Read more…

Rehberg makes stop in Sidney Sidney Herald

During a stop in Sidney on his America Speaking Out tour, Congressman Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., addressed important issues from the public.

Rehberg has been on tour since Saturday holding listening sessions throughout the state in an effort to get feedback. In answering questions during the session Monday, Rehberg admitted Republicans did make mistakes within the last decade, which is why “we have to earn our way back into your trust.” He said overturning “Obamacare” is a priority for Republicans in the House of Representatives, but it’s incremental, since even if it was overturned in the House, President Obama could still veto it, and they would need a super majority to overcome it…

A question concerning growing America’s economy led Rehberg into discussing energy policies. He said companies leave the United States to do business and are punished for it, as opposed to figuring out why those companies are doing it, remove those reasons and giving “encouragement” and “incentives” to come back. “It won’t take long to figure it probably is taxation and regulation,” he said.

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Border security is discussed at town hall meeting The Spring Observer

Congressman Ted Poe (Dist. 2) encouraged the public to openly discuss their issues of concern during a town hall meeting.

The event, which commenced with the pledge of allegiance to the United States and Texas Flag, occurred on July 31 at the Brookside Funeral Home in Champions.

“We want Representative Poe to know that he is representing us very well and we are showing our support to him personally. We need him to know, from our perspective, that we appreciate what he’s doing for us.” Merrilyn Riggen said.

Government spending, the war in Iraq and deep water drilling are a few topics that were briefly covered. However, the primary focus remained on border security.

Read more…

Photos of these and other events can be found on ASO’s Flickr page

America Speaking Out Launches Android Mobile Application: Anytime, Anywhere, Americans Can Contribute to a New Policy Agenda

July 30th, 2010

Washington, D.C . – As House Republicans continue their ground-breaking effort to engage directly with the American people to develop a new governing agenda, America Speaking Out has launched a first-of-its-kind application for Android-based mobile devices. The new app, available under “America Speaking Out” in the Android market or by scanning the QR-code below, provides users with the full experience and functionality of in a convenient, portable format. Once installed, users can easily submit ideas, vote on and discuss other submissions, and share to popular social networks.

Noting the release of the new mobile app, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Chairman of America Speaking Out, offered the following comments:

“America Speaking Out thrives through direct engagement with the American people. With Americans increasingly communicating through mobile devices, this new app will allow us to reach people where they are. As we continue our national dialogue of ideas, this app will offer yet another way for Americans to have their voice heard.”

NOTE: Earlier this year, Pulitzer Prize winning website confirmed that “the House GOP dominates the Democrats on Twitter, YouTube, and other social media in Congress”.  So far, over half-a-million Americans have participated at, submitting over 12,000 new ideas and casting over 600,000 votes.


House GOP to Force Vote TODAY on Repealing ObamaCare’s Job-Killing Small Business Mandate: Americans Urged to Speak Out On Behalf of Small Business Owners at

July 30th, 2010

After hearing loud and clear from the American people that they reject the government takeover of health care, House Republicans plan to force a vote today on a measure to repeal ObamaCare’s job-killing small business mandate.  This idea, which has been posted on, would eliminate the burdensome, job-killing ‘1099 mandate’ in the health care law that requires employers and entrepreneurs to file a form for every total purchase of more than $600.  The proposal, to be offered by House Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI), will serve as the Republican motion-to-recommit on H.R. 5893.

Just as an up-or-down vote on the job-killing small business mandate will take place on the House floor, a separate debate on this idea is already underway at  The idea has been posted here, and Americans are urged to follow the link, read the idea, vote on it, start a discussion, and share their ideas.

Following is a complete summary of the motion to recommit to be offered by Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI):

The Camp Motion to Recommit would strike the underlying bill and replace it with language fixing two of the many flaws in the recently enacted health overhaul.  The Motion would repeal a burdensome, job-killing new reporting requirement on small businesses and would force those who receive erroneous overpayments of taxpayer-funded health insurance subsidies to pay back a larger share of those overpayments.  These two changes are discussed more fully below.

Relative to the current law, the Motion to Recommit would reduce the deficit by $7.7 billion from 2010-2020 ($16 billion in reduced spending; $8.3 billion in lower tax receipts).


The Motion to Recommit would repeal an onerous and job-killing reporting requirement contained in the Democrats’ health overhaul.

Beginning in 2012, small businesses will be required to file a 1099 form to the IRS for every business and individual to which they make total payments, for goods in services, of more than $600.  This reporting requirement will drive up costs for small businesses because the number of tax forms they will have to file could quintuple.  This added expense means employers will have less money to hire new workers and to retain existing ones.

The Internal Revenue Service’s own National Taxpayer Advocate highlighted several problems with this requirement in a recent report:

  • “[T]he new reporting burden, particularly as it falls on small businesses, may turn out to be disproportionate as compared with any resulting improvement in tax compliance.”
  • “[S]mall businesses may have to acquire new software or pay for additional accounting services, incurring additional costs.”
  • “In our view, it is highly likely that the IRS will improperly assess penalties that it must abate later, after great expenditure of taxpayer and IRS time and effort.”
  • “[S]mall businesses that lack the capacity to track customer purchases may lose customers, leaving the economy with more large national vendors and less local competition.”

The National Federation of Independent Business says this provision will have a “direct negative impact on small businesses.”  And this week, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants warned Congress this requirement “may prove to be so burdensome to small businesses that we believe it will significantly contribute to the hurdles to growth …. The AICPA strongly supports efforts to reduce the tax gap, but we believe the extraordinary burden in this instance far outweighs the potential benefit.”

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this provision will reduce revenues by $19.2 billion over the 2010-2020 period.


Beginning in 2014, the Democrats’ new health care law will provide taxpayer-funded subsidies to those under 400% of poverty who purchase coverage through the new Exchanges. The subsidy amount is based on prior year’s income.  However, income levels may increase significantly during the course of the year (spouse returns to work, new job, pay raise, etc.).  Moreover, the law allows individuals to allege their income has fallen in order to claim larger subsidies than their actual income would allow.  Therefore, it is important to verify that, at the end of the year, no one received a larger subsidy than they were entitled to under the law.

Unfortunately, the Democrats’ overhaul doesn’t go far enough in this area to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately.

Under the health care law, regardless of the amount of subsidy overpayment, most subsidy recipients whose actual incomes exceed their expected incomes only have to repay a small portion of the excess subsidy they received (maximum of $250 for singles and $400 for married couples with incomes under 400% of poverty).  Failing to properly reconcile subsidy eligibility with actual income earned would leave other taxpayers paying larger than appropriate subsidies to these individuals and families, including those who may have committed fraud by understating what their income would be.

To better protect taxpayers, the Motion to Recommit would raise the maximum subsidy repayment amounts to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that over the 2010-2020 period, this provision would reduce the deficit by $26.9 billion.