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Hultgren Gets Grilled By Residents at Batavia Town Hall

Concerned constituents challenge the freshman Congressman on taxes, insurance and more at the public event held Thursday night. Here’s what they said.

On a perfect summer evening, while dozens of residents strolled the Riverwalk or took in a band concert at the Peg Bond Center, about 30 people gathered in to hold U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren’s feet to the fire.

Hultgren held a town hall meeting on Thursday in the Batavia City Council chambers to update constituents on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. Though most of the audience members were friendly, they tossed some hard questions at the freshman Congressman.

And several of the residents pulled no punches.

“Really? Is that all you have to show for yourself?” demanded one man, after Hultgren cited voting for a bill that prevented Congress from voting on unpublished proposals as the highlight of his first term.

Several residents asked Hultgren whether he intends to support renewing temporary payroll tax cuts that are due to expire Jan. 1, 2013.

“I think it is absolutely the wrong time to raise taxes on anybody,” Hultgren said in his reply. “How can we raise taxes when we can’t even pass a budget?”

While the House of Representatives has passed federal budgets in 2010 and 2011, he noted, the Senate has not approved a budget bill in more than three years. He said he supported a bill to withhold Congressional paychecks until a budget goes through, but admitted that he doesn’t expect it to come to a vote.

Hultgren also told constituents that he would favor striking the Affordable Health Care Act, which many call “Obamacare,” even though he agrees that Congress should mandate coverage for pre-existing conditions and the ability for children to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26.

"We could delete the individual coverage requirement and leave the rest, but that would be legislating from the (Supreme Court) bench,” Hultgren said. “The way to legislate from the bench the least is to strike the whole thing and start again.”

Though he disagreed with one resident that the U.S. spends as much on its military as the rest of the world does combined, he did blame President George W. Bush as well as Pres. Barack Obama for the country’s $16 trillion deficit.

“Both parties failed (to control federal spending),” he said. “Now we have to work together to solve the problem.”

And he promised to fight for additional funding for .

were absolutely backward,” he said. “If we do basic research, we don’t know what we will find, but we do know we will find something. If we don’t do research, we know we won’t find anything.”

Still Have Something to Say?

If you missed the town hall, you can still reach Hultgren's staff for specific concerns during a mobile office hour session. The office hours will be held today, June 15, at the following locations and times:

Mobile Office Hours

Hinckley Village Hall (9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.)

720 James St., Hinckley

Big Rock Town Hall (10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.)

408 Rhodes St., Big Rock

Sugar Grove Village Hall (11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.)

10 S. Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove

Elburn Village Hall (12 noon to 12:45 p.m.)

301 E. North St., Elburn

Campton Hills Village Hall (1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.)

40W115 Campton Crossings Drive, Campton Hills

North Aurora Village Hall (2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

25 E. State St., North Aurora

Constituents seeking assistance during Mobile Office Hours will be asked to fill out a consent form, which allows staff to begin the process of resolving their concern, and should also bring any pertinent information related to their issue.

For more information, contact Hultgren’s Geneva office at 630-232-7104.

John R June 17, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I've got to take my hate off to Rep. Hultgren for holding these town hall meetings. I attended one of his town hall meetings last fall. He steps up and answers the questions and stands by his principles. He's respectful and courteous. At the end of it I had the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him. Although I did not support him on election day I find myself respecting him for his openness and honesty. He really did seem very genuine and sincere. Rice
Stephen Gibson June 19, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Fact Check -- the US spends more on defense than the next 15 countries spend combined. We spend more than twice as much as a percent of GDP than almost any other developed nation in the world -- except for several Arab nations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures) It's time for the rest of the world to step up and pay their fair share. Immediately after WWII, it made sense that we used our tremendous wartime capability to help protect the rest of the world. Today, many of our allies have comparable or even superior economies and should be shouldering a fairer share of the burden,
Jerry M. Estes June 28, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Asked you about H.R. 2885 at Town Hall in Batavia. I feel our 263,000 unemployed War Veterans should not have to compete with law breaking illegal alien's. H.R. 2885 would put at least 6,000,000 " Legal U. S. Citizens " back to work in their own Country and help these law breaaking illegal alien's self deport!

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