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Town Hall meeting with Congressman Mike Johnson discusses hot button issues

Natchitoches Parish Journal

Congressman Mike Johnson, now in his third term of representing the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana, held a Town Hall meeting in Natchitoches on Nov. 29.

“What a joy it was to have so many constituents join us for the gathering and discussion,” Johnson posted on Facebook after the event. “Thank you to everyone who attended…I look forward to seeing you all again soon!”

He explained that there’s constant heated debate on Capitol Hill about the direction the country is going. Rather than a battle between Democrats and Republicans, Johnson said the battle is happening between two competing philosophies.

“We’re at a crossroads in our nation,” he explained. “We’re in uncharted waters- facing issues and circumstances we’ve never before faced in our 244 years as a nation and people are losing their bearings.”

Johnson’s side believes in individual freedom, limited government, peace through strength, and other foundation principles the country was built on.

The other side has a disdain for these principles, wants to uproot them, and has a goal to create a European style socialist country in the US.

Fifteen or twenty years ago Johnson said members of Congress were trying to achieve the same ends even if they had different ideas on how to get there, but now there’s a growing number of elected officials coming to Washington who are openly advocating for socialism.

“We need to hold fast to the principles that made us the greatest nation in the world,” he said. “We need to be able to sit down and have a dialogue so we can get the ball rolling on some of the issues we’re facing.”

One attendee at the town hall meeting expressed concern about election integrity. Johnson agreed that the integrity of a free and fair election is a critically important issue.

“What happened in 2020 in the election cycle was unlike anything that’s ever happened in history when the pandemic hit our shores,” he said. “It caused a great amount of confusion. There were allegations of fraud and none of it can be proven.”

However, there was good news. Johnson said he doesn’t think there will ever be a repeat of the 2020 election. Efforts have been made to make sure it won’t happen again because otherwise the people will begin to doubt the veracity of the vote.

“There’s been an awakening of an awareness that elections have consequences,” said Johnson, who feels that the only way to get back to really addressing the issues that matter is to put people into power that represent the ideals the country was founded on.

When asked to address the current energy situation in Louisiana Johnson said energy policy is a big deal. Under Trump, he said the state was a net exporter of energy for the first time in his lifetime. When Biden came into office, he did the exact opposite by putting a moratorium on drilling on federal lands and on the continental shelf. He also killed the Keystone pipeline.

The demand for fossil fuel is not going away and shutting down the lines in Louisiana is suicidal for the economy.

“It makes no sense,” Johnson said.

Another attendee spoke regarding the national debt, which is growing out of control almost exponentially and asked Johnson what’s being done to reign spending in.

Johnson said that under the modern monetary theory, the government can never spend too much money. This causes deep concerns for Johnson relating to a lack of opportunities for future generations and the death of social welfare programs.

“You cannot spend yourself into oblivion…just because you own the printing presses,” he explained.

One attendee stood up for the side of beliefs that Johnson was talking against. He claimed that hundreds of thousands of Americans died due to Trump’s lies about COVID. He brought up Trump’s attempt to steal a second term by falsely claiming election fraud and the fact that he committed treason by instructing the mob in Washington to storm the capitol building on the day Congress was set to certify election results.

Johnson countered some of these points, but overall expressed his appreciation for the open dialogue.

Other topics that were discussed included concerns over vaccine mandates, the infrastructure bill, and the Voting Rights Bill.