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Congressman Burchett holds town hall

Congressman Tim Burchett held a Town Hall meeting on Nov. 4 at the Claiborne County Courthouse.

Congressman Burchett opened by saying, “It’s a great honor to serve Claiborne County and I’m sorry I’m late. There’s no one to blame, just me.” He then proceeded to tell a story about NASCAR Day at the White House and meeting Roger Penske. All questions were fair game from that point.

There were many topics discussed including the Democrats push for impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. When asked about the issue Congressman Burchett had this to say, “The President has the right to ask questions if corruption is present.

“I have been in those meetings and Republicans have been very honorable, but this is not an opening hearing. When we ask questions, Schiff tends to shut it down and not allow our questions to be answered. It’s not been a fair process, we can’t even call our own witnesses. Schiff doesn’t allow us to. I hope these meetings will open up and become public.”

There was discussion about the Global Fund and the inability of the leaders in Washington to pass a budget. “We have not passed a budget in 20 years, and we must get together and pass one,” said Burchett.

Burchett then spoke about his time at the University of Tennessee, “It took me six years to get out of college. We need to get more students interested in the trades. Heck, I probably should have went to a trade school instead of college. Right now, there are great jobs in the trades and we need more participation in those fields.”

Another topic discussed was the Banking Bill for marijuana. An Army vet was concerned that the bill would offer a backdoor to legalization and Burchett offered this response, “Hemp is fine it doesn’t have THC. As far as voting, I’ll vote along the lines as you would. I wish they would stop the run around and just bring up a legalization vote; that’s what they really want.”

More topics included guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Diabetes and the cost of insulin and the Pro-Life stance.

Burchett added, “I once had a Catholic Priest tell me that I was halfway to being Catholic. He jokingly said I was pro-life but didn’t drink.”

When asked about the vaccine exemption issue he admitted this, “I don’t know the status of this issue, but I’ll speak with a few people and see what I can find out.”

Other topics included Red Flag laws and his response was, “Nothing is going to happen; Mrs. Pelosi is only focused on impeachment.”

Burchett was also asked about the group of Democrats referred to as “The Squad.”

He replied this way, “I get along with all of them even though I don’t agree with them at all. Instead of impeachment, there are so many good things that we should be talking about like the MCA trade agreement. Mexico wants to sign this, but the Democratic leadership does not want to give Trump a victory.”

There was some discussion on the National Debt, Foreign Aid, Syria, overuse of LED lighting on vehicles and charter governments.

Burchett spoke a little on the charter issue saying, “With a charter government, the devil is in the details. My advice is to get lawyers to go over it because you can get stuck with things you don’t really want. Once you’re in, it’s not easy to get out of.”

The ending topics included voter fraud, voter identification and the Public Education System — which got a lot of attention.

It was stated that drug babies are entering the school system right now, and there is not enough funding to assist teachers. Congressman Burchett offered this reply, “The drug situation is not nationwide, it’s a worldwide issue and it’s a question of economics.

“I really don’t know what the federal government can do about that. I proposed of doing away with the Department of Education. Not one person up there has taught a child to read. I think we should get rid of that department and give that money back to the states.”

There was a short discussion that Mayor Joe Brooks brought up about extending investment opportunities to local governments and the final discussion was on the second amendment. When asked how serious are legislators about protecting the Second Amendment Burchett said, “They are so serious that they have backed off almost completely. There are some arguments about mental health issues. There is something going on there.

“What has changed over the years? We are looking to find out, but I think there is a narcotic connection to it and I support trying to find a way to help those people. I think this is sadly just an election issue for some.”

Congressman Burchett wrapped the meeting up by telling a story about how he met the King of Jordan and told the King that the only royalty he came close to was meeting Dolly Parton. After a short hesitation the King laughed.”