Live: Town Hall with Congressman Phil Gingrey
Patch is live from Ben Robertson Community Center with Congressman Phil Gingrey.
7:04 p.m. Gingrey thanks audience and ends the meeting.
7 p.m. Dallas resident: "You had talked about the bipartisan working. They (Republicans) need to get a backbone, stand-up...Reagan's philosophy was, 'We win, you lose, that's it.'"
Applause from crowd.
6:57 p.m. Acworth resident asks about Kennesaw State University and if Gingrey knows anything about "the problems they're having."
Gingrey says he assumes she's talking about concerns about Timothy Chandler who was offered a provost position at the university last month. (Chandler generated controversy when an academic paper he wrote was viewed as "Marxist" and anti-American. He has since declined the position.)
"We love the university, but it needs to, I think, in its curriculum, reflect the values of the people in Georgia, in northwest Georgia...Thank goodness this professor, Dr. Chandler is it, is staying put."
6:49 p.m. Answer from Gingrey: "Where I am and what I'm doing and will continue to give 100 percent of my effort is to be your voice...I'm not part of the leadership, I'm not the Speaker of the House...but I am in my fifth term, I am on a strong committee. I have had a fairly strong, loud voice on a lot of important issues such as defunding and repealing and replacing ObamaCare...I will continue to be your voice, I will continue to listen to you, I will continue to respond to you..."
6:46 p.m. Question: "Aren't we missing the bigger argument right now of us living within the money that we bring in?
"How are you gonna take that fight to Washington D.C. to reduce the size and scope of government spending?"
6:36 p.m. Comment from audience member: What I'm concerned about is, I don't see a willingness to fight on the part of the Republican party...If the Tea Party ever develops the machinery to perform as an actual working party, it's the Republicans that will become the third party.
6:27 p.m. Gingrey: "We have got to address this (the deficit), and it has to be done now."
6:24 p.m. Marietta resident in regards to deficit: "I feel like that what we're doing is we're stepping over dollars to pick up dimes...I think it's gonna have to be 2012 when we have a Republican Senate and when we have a Republican in the White House, that's when it's gonna change."
6:18 p.m. Gingrey says he'd be "very, very reluctant" to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling.
6:14 p.m. Gingrey addresses illegal immigration and U.S. border security. He says a larger and larger percentage of people coming across the border are not coming for jobs anymore (because there are no longer many jobs) but for drug-related purposes.
6:10 p.m. Kennesaw resident: "Can we defund the U.N.?" Applause from crowd.
Gingrey: "I would say the answer is yes...whether we completely defund it is not a question I'm ready to answer right now."
6:07 p.m. Gingrey uses analogy to sum up energy issue: you don't quit a job until you have another one lined up. He says there are a total of 55 nuclear reactors in Japan which generate over half the country's energy. Since accident at Three Mile Island, U.S. has not started a new nuclear reactor.
6:02 p.m. Comment from James King of Dallas, Ga.: "Green energy, green energy, we don't have it. Let's drill some oil."
5:59 p.m. Gingrey, in response to question about recent military action against Libya: "As I understand it, the War Powers Act says in a situation where our country is not actually physically attacked on our own soil, the president can do essentially what President Obama did several days ago in regards to Libya.
"What is the endpoint? Is it regime change? If it turns out to be regime change, who in the world are we turning it over to?
5:54 p.m. A: "I think your question, the answer is yes, I think we can get on top of it, but we cannot kick the can down the road anymore. It's got to occur now. We've got to draw that line in the sand...I think it is impossible to do it in a partisan way."
5:51 p.m. Opens floor to public comments.
Q: "Do you really think we can get out of debt?"
5:50 p.m. Gingrey: following Japan fallout, don't abandon nuclear power as part of our future.
5:48 p.m. Gingrey: tomorrow is 1-year anniversary of ObamaCare. "We are working diligently to succeed in repeal and replace."
5:47 p.m. Gingrey's update from Washington:
Budget- Projected $1.65 trillion deficit for fiscal year 2012; over $14 trillion in total debt; government funded through April 8.
Rising Energy Prices- Gas prices have increased approximately 67 percent since Obama was sworn in as President; we need an "all of the above" approach to our energy needs.
5:44 p.m. Gingrey: "We have a lot of lot of ways of communicating with our constituency...but I really believe...that nothing really takes the place, nor should it ever, of a town hall meeting where we are face to face."
5:41 p.m. Kennesaw City Manager Steve Kennedy introduces Gingrey and welcomes him to the podium.
5:36 p.m. Janet Byington introduces Pastor Steven Lester of Gateway International Church of God, who leads the evening's invocation.
5:30 p.m. So far, about 30 community members and city officials have taken their seats in preparation for tonight's town hall with Rep. Phil Gingrey. Pamphlets of The Constitution of the United States have been passed out to accompany today's presentation, which should begin momentarily.
We're live from Ben Robertson Community Center for a town hall meeting with Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta). The Georgia Republican has served as the U.S. Representative for the state's 11th congressional district since 2003. Today, he asks constituents to share their thoughts and ideas for creating "a better Washington."
We encourage you to leave your questions and comments in our comment box below. Have a question for Rep. Gingrey? Let us know, and we'll ask him on your behalf. As a reminder, please refresh the page periodically to view our latest updates.