Emotions flare over health care, congressional divide during DeR - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Emotions flare over health care, congressional divide during DeRidder town hall

Source: Christian Piekos Source: Christian Piekos

Rep. Mike Johnson, who represents Louisiana's 4th District, hosted a town hall forum for his constituents in DeRidder Thursday. Attendees made sure to make their voices crystal clear.

The congressman began by highlighting Congress' first 175 days in office, but the conversation escalated when the topic of health care was raised. Although civility was maintained, some constituents stood and unequivocally stated their feelings.

"They can't provide for everyone, but it needs to be fair across the board," said Carol James King, a nurse and veteran who lives in DeRidder. "They need compassion, they need understanding and to put themselves in the place of those people...who are living paycheck to paycheck."

Johnson said he's frustrated Congress moves slowly to pass legislation, especially when his constituents voice their concerns to him directly.

"All of these problems are things we can solve," Johnson said. "I think there's a new generation of people who are coming to Washington to serve who have a zeal to make it faster."

Vic Warrick, pastor for Christway Church in DeRidder, said he too is fed up with the congressional rift. He said he's positive Johnson is working to bring Democrats and Republicans together.

"I think he's really making an effort to put it together and cross both lines," Warrick said.

Johnson seems to be leading the charge in his new freshman class. He created what he calls "A Commitment To Civility," a contract of sorts that a majority of his congressional class signed to maintain order when the House of Representatives becomes contentious.

"Even when we disagree, we can do it in an agreeable manner," Johnson said. "I'm grateful so many members of Congress have signed on and agreed to do that."

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