Congressman Palazzo speaks at Poplarville Rotary

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

Congressman Steven Palazzo of Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District attended the Rotary Club of Poplarville meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss his legislative agenda.
Palazzo told attendees of the meeting held at Pearl River Community College that despite what they see in the national media, Congress is doing its job and passing legislation, unlike the Senate.
He named several legislative items, including the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act and the Financial Choice Act, which were passed in the House of Representatives, but failed to make it through the Senate.
“We’re doing things,” Palazzo said, adding that the House’s efforts are being overshadowed by other matters covered by the media such as the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Some legislation has made it to President Donald Trump’s desk, he said.
The president signed the Veterans Affairs Accountability act that allows the department to fire bad employees, Palazzo said.
The government needs more accountability in other federal departments like the Internal Revenue Service, he said.
The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 was also signed by Trump this year, Palazzo said, adding that he drafted the bill when he served on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Palazzo also discussed border security, saying it goes beyond building border wall to technology and boots on the ground.
“They can’t tell you what’s coming across our border,” he said. “It’s a safety issue for all Americans.”
The problem lies not with a “guy jumping the fence to pick some blueberries on the other side,” but with those trafficking in drugs, humans, guns and foreign nationals, Palazzo said.
While Palazzo spoke during the private meeting, protesters stood along Highway 11 holding signs that read “FIRE PALAZZO.”
“We have repeatedly asked him for a town hall meeting,” Debbie Craig, a leader of the Indivisible Resistance Group, said.
Craig said the group is dissatisfied with his leadership, calling Palazzo’s voting record the worst in Congress.
“He voted to end the Environmental Protection Agency,” she said. “That’s unacceptable to all Mississippians to say we don’t need checks and balances for environmental protection.”
Angela Frazier and Charlotte Pearson of were also protesting Palazzo Wednesday and said they too have had trouble communicating with Palazzo’s office.
“People see the ‘R’ after his name and vote for him without realizing his interest in this county,” Judy Weaver, a Pearl River County resident, said.
In response, Palazzo said he doesn’t plan to hold town hall meetings after what’s happened across the county.
“I don’t want to be a piñata for an hour and a half,” he said, adding that a public meeting of that fashion would involve people taking that opportunity to yell at him.
Palazzo also said that people “probably aren’t being honest,” when they say they can’t get through to his office. He continued by saying the accusations being made against him were “bogus.”
Newly elected State Representative Stacey Wilkes and four of the five Pearl River County Supervisors also attended the meeting.

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About Julia Arenstam

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