Boustany hosts Town Hall meeting

CROWLEY - Everything from national security and immigration to farm bills and flood insurance was on the table when U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., M.D., hosted a Town Hall meeting here Monday afternoon.

Speaking at the LSU AgCenter, Boustany, R-La., also focused on his role as chairman of the House oversight committee that brought to light the scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service.

“Everything you’re hearing about now comes from an investigation I started two years ago,” the Lafayette Republican said. “This whole thing blew up when I started asking about waste in the IRS.”

Boustany warned that the public “hasn’t heard the last of it” and vowed to “get to the bottom of the corruption.”

Turning to local legislation, Boustany said he was “horribly disappointed” tyhat the House failed to pass a Farm Bill.

“I voted for it but there were some in the Louisiana Delegation who didn’t,” he said. “We hope to get something passed by Sept. 30.”

The Farm Bill is typically a 5-year measure, but Boustany explained “we’re currently operation on a one-year extension of the 2008 Bill” that expires on Sept. 30.

Returning to Washington, D.C., next week the congressman said he expects more action on immigration issues.

“I don’t want to see us go down that slippery slope of amnesty,” he said, explaining that some measures being talked would put current illegal immigrants “ahead of others that are in our country legally and waiting for citizenship.”

The need for more investment in vocational education and the impact of the pending Affordable Care Act also sparked some conversation during the question-and-answer period.

Boustany said an up-and-coming expansion of industry in the Lake Charles area will require “an extensive workforce, not just from Louisiana but from adjacent states.”

Told that ObamaCare will cost one local business between $25,000 and $50,000, Boustany said the problem is widespread.

“Every business I’m talking to is having to absorb costs like that,” he said.

Ideally, the congressman said he would like to see congress “settle down, pick the problems that are relevant to the economy and just get things done.”

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