In the News

Johnson Visits Evangeline Parish

Allen Parish Today: Carissa Hebert

U.S. Representative Mike Johnson discussed freedom before constituents in Kinder a few days after the nation’s 246 birthday. He discussed the importance of protecting our nation’s foundation.

Johnson visited Kinder in a town hall meeting format and answered questions on healthcare, broadband, elderly issues like social security and funding, Biden’s administration and the Republican party.

Quoting former president Ronald Reagan, Johnson discussed how important it was to protect our freedoms as Americans (our individual, God-given liberties). He also warned residents our freedoms were in jeopardy based on politics in Washington as he admitted that freedom is not something passed on to our children but to be fought for, protected and handed on as Reagan said.

(Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”)

Citing American history, Johnson pointed out how America was created to give its citizens unalienable rights opposed to medieval and king leadership. He said today’s leaders are working to turn America into a European socialistic society. He said Republicans were working to stop some of the things government was doing now and pointed out some of the positive things that are being done in Washington.

“I can’t think of one thing they’ve done right,” he said as he discussed the Biden administration. Johnson believes the fall election will change things and how he hopes Biden begins working with the Republicans who in a position to take on some big leadership roles.

“I’m optimistic. I think it’s going to get a lot better.”

Johnson said Steve Scalise, United States Representative, is in a good position to become majority leader if the Republicans win the seats in Congress this fall. Johnson pointed out how he, Representative Clay Higgins, Senator John Kennedy and other Louisiana leaders are playing key roles in government policy.

When questioned about healthcare, Johnson pointed out COVID was a disaster but if there were any bright spots it was in expanding rural healthcare. Allen Parish Community Healthcare Hospital CEO Jacqueline Reviel had addressed Johnson about healthcare, investment for rural communities and rising issues like inflation and high gas prices, which was making it harder for patients who had economic issues.

Johnson said measures have been taken to allow nurse practitioners to provide more services. Specialists and physicians cannot reach every person and thus these types of changes are helping to expand rural healthcare. He also said bringing broadband services to the rural areas would help patients receive medical assistance through programs like Telehealth, Johnson said There are a lot of ideas on the table and Republicans worked on a 400-page policy manual. About a fourth of the book included ideas on healthcare innovations, and interested persons could go to his website.

He pointed out social security was a contract and not an entitlement. Pointing out it could not survive 10 more years, he said they could help it to survive a little longer if the retirement age was changed from 65 to 68. Pointing out projected cost and savings, he said just small changes could change the projected course of social security.

Pat Credeur with Louisiana Rural Water addressed the Safe Drinking Water Act for clean water. He wanted to make sure Washington was addressing the longevity of clean and safe drinking water supplies and thanked Johnson for his support. Johnson said monies for infrastructure will go a long ways to replace things like water lines that have been in the ground since the 1960s and 70s.

He quoted a recent case in West Virginia where EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) had mandated certain things done without monetary support. The court ruled against the EPA in that case as Johnson discussed accountability in instances like that particular case.

Kevin Tyler, school board president, questioned recent demands coming from USDA and threats to withhold federal lunch monies. Johnson said they were working to prevent it from happening.

He also heard from Rusty Reeves, who thanked Johnson and his staff for helping the village to work toward re-establishing a post office there. He pointed out a problem with insurance requirements for the post office’s move, and Johnson said they would assist the village.

Tony Hebert, president of the Allen Parish Police Jury, also thanked Johnson and his staff for their assistance. “It means a lot to us. If we can’t fix it; you do. If your staff can’t, they tell us they can’t. Thank you.”

Johnson added he believed because of the current events, more people were getting involved. He said it was important to vote and be represented as an American.