US Congressman Mac Thornberry (R - TX 13) was in Texoma today visiting with the people he represents and stopping by the Newschannel 6 studio to talk issues in Washington and here at home.
Congressman Thornberry said the feeling in Washington is one of the most unique he's ever experienced. He said, "It is intense. I don't remember any time when we've had this many serious issues right at the beginning of a session of Congress."
One of those issues began in the last Congress but is still the topic of heated debate today: Healthcare reform. Thornberry said, "The problems with implementing it are so great there's a chance of at least delaying it, slowing it down so that its not imposed this time next year which is when it's scheduled to take full effect."
While Congress's approval rating sits below 20% the President is well above 50%. Thornberry said the issue is so important to his party the approval ratings don't matter. He said, "Healthcare touches everybody, you can't worry about your approval ratings. This touches every man, woman and child in the country."
Another issue closer to home is the drought. I asked the veteran congressman if there was a possibility North Texas could see relief from the Federal Government. Thornberry said, "It's challenging, the Federal Government is set up to deal with quick disasters like the hurricane that's we just passed a bill for. These long protracted disasters like we've experienced for the last couple years, the federal programs are not so well geared to deal with."
Even if it were possible for Washington to intervene, Thornberry said we should be wary of too much government oversight. He praised law makers in Austin for their commitment to finding a solution, "Their focus on water is really smart for the state of Texas because water is going to be more and more valuable to all of us. My goal, frankly, is to keep the Federal Government out of that discussion. We don't want the Federal Government coming in and regulating our water."
Thornberry will visit several other cities and towns before returning to Washington next week.