U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall gave an energized PowerPoint presentation Tuesday evening as he discussed national issues with more than 100 supporters at a town hall meeting in Norcross High School.
The Lawrenceville Republican answered questions about pending House legislation and spoke on issues such as the economy, taxes, Social Security, education, Obamacare, veterans' benefits and foreign affairs. He opened the meeting by recognizing veterans in the audience and then asked how many people leaned toward conservative views. More than 30 people raised their hands. Then he asked how many people leaned toward liberal views.
One woman raised her hand.
"You've very brave," he told the woman with a smile. "And I hope you keep your views."
The 7th District congressman said gerrymandered districts have polarized the electorate and shifted much of the national debate to the extreme sides of each party. He claimed that most Americans do not want to pin blame on what caused problems but seek solutions.
Woodall mostly followed GOP talking points by supporting veterans' benefits and speaking out against Obamacare and higher taxes. He claimed out of control spending is eroding our younger generation's faith in government and their future. He said most young people believe they have a greater chance of seeing a UFO than they do of seeing their Social Security benefits when they reach age 65.
"One of the worst things government can do is pull the rug out from under you," he said.
In foreign affairs, Woodall said we had to go into Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden and have stayed to keep an eye on Pakistan, which has the nuclear bomb. He called Afghan President Hamid Karzai "America's favorite dictator" but pointed out that his support is necessary to protect our greater interest in a volatile region of the world.
Woodall's presentation was punctuated with applause and a number of constituents carefully took notes as he spoke. Harmon Snipes and his wife Sue of Peachtree Corners have attended several of the town hall meetings to keep abreast of national affairs and credited Woodall's staff with helping Snipes with veterans' affairs benefits.
"He's real good about giving everyone an update about what's going on in Washington, especially with things like Obamacare and the FairTax legislation," said Snipes, who served for six years with the U.S. Army Special Forces in Thailand during the Vietnam conflict. "He's been popular in the district and has done a good job of coming out and talking to his constituents."
Woodall is running for his third term in November and is unopposed in the May 20 primary. But he predicted a vigorous campaign and high voter turnout.
"We're going to be talking about the economy, we're going to be talking about jobs and foreign affairs," he predicted. "This is a solutions oriented community and they are seeking solutions to our problems."