Town Hall Meeting Comes to Amarillo

Tina Berasley

Amarillo, Texas-The sometimes controversial town hall style meetings have been popping up in communities across the U.S. and today Congressman Mac Thornberry held one right here in Amarillo.

Newschannel10's Tina Berasley tells us what concerns were raised by people in our area.

About 500 people came to the Civic Center this morning to ask questions and challenge Congressman Thornberry to address some of the tougher issues facing Americans today.

The close to 30 questions asked in the town hall style meeting covered topics from tort reform, to stimulus funding, to the war in Afghanistan.

Ending her question, the mother of a soldier in Afghanistan said "I want a strong voice that says we either get it right or we get out because failure is not an option."

The question that came up most often was about President Obama's plan for health care reform.

Claudia Stravato, Executive director of Planned Parenthood asked what will happen to several programs aimed at helping the poor.

Thornberry fielded questions about medicare, competition in the private sector, and how the latest bill should deal with sick illegal immigrants.

Vernon Tisdell of Canyon says he agrees with legal immigration, but added "...illegal immigrants in my mind should be viewed as invaders, lets get them healthy enough to travel home."

The 2 and a half hour long meeting did not include much shouting or protests like other town hall meetings across the U.S., but Thornberry is impressed by what it did include.

"More people are paying attention and participating, writing me letters, ya know, than I've seen in a long long time, and I think that's good. Citizens being involved in their government is a good thing and that will help solve the problems our country faces."

Thornberry scheduled a second town hall meeting this afternoon in Wichita Falls.

The Congressman says he plans to continue holding these meetings from time to time as long as he is in office.