American border control and the national health care bill became hot topics of discussion Tuesday at an Evans town hall meeting hosted by Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Broun.
More than two dozen area residents voiced their political concerns during the meeting at the Columbia County Library, where they were encouraged to publicly share their ideas on how to create a new agenda for Congress.
Columbia County District 4 Commission candidate David Payne said he was upset that President Barack Obama sided with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in condemning Arizona's immigration law.
"Our president of the United States needs to take up for our country," Payne said. "He doesn't need to side with someone in another country (who) is sneaking illegal immigrants into our country."
Several audience members also expressed discontent with government spending and a lack of fiscal accountability.
Others in the crowd of about 60 sought bill reform and wished to restore the original intent of the U.S. Constitution.
"I think our country really is at a turning point, and we need to see the Republican party stand up against all of these bills," said Robert Rahaim of Grovetown.
The meeting was part of the House Republican Conference's "America Speaking Out" program to seek public ideas and suggestions on how to better the political climate between citizens and Congress.
"For too long, the politicians in Washington, particularly the leadership, have been doing public policy behind closed doors (and) the American people have been shut out," Broun said when the meeting started. "We're trying to get American people engaged."
Rick Harper, an independent voter from Evans, said it's time that the government listens to concerns of the citizens.
"I appreciate (America) Speaking Out, but Americans have been speaking out for a long time even before Obama was in the public picture," he said. "Now, people are waking up."
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