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Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 19:50
In his second town hall meeting since winning a seat in Congress, Beto O'Rourke answered questions from a group of El Pasoans at Irvin High School this morning about several key domestic issues.
"I feel the need to be accountable to El Paso, to explain what it is I'm doing and voting on, and the legislation that we're proposing in Washington D.C.," said O’Rourke.
The first item on the agenda was veteran's affairs. O'Rourke insisted improving veteran services is one of his top priorities.
"Bottom line, we're not doing a good job today, in this country, or in this community, in honoring the service of our veterans," he said.
With forced budget cuts just a week away, federal spending cuts worried many El Pasoans who came to today's event.
"We're going to be off of work, we're going to lower our incomes, we're not going to be able to feed our families, and we're not going to be able to pay bills. we're not going to be able to take care of other communities," said Paul Ferris, President of the American Federation of Government Employees.
"Our highest priority right now is avoiding the sequester, making sure that we don't hurt jobs in El Paso, that we don't risk going into another recession," said O’Rourke.
Immigration reform was a popular topic. Members of American Families United, an organization that helps American citizens with their family members' immigration issues, came to express their views.
"We really don't want for US citizens to be forgotten in this upcoming immigration reform," said Edgar Falcon, a member of the organization.
"It's time to turn 100% of our focus, when it comes to immigration reform, on passing this legislation, and regularizing the people who work in our communities," said O’Rourke.
After the meeting at Irvin High School, Beto O'Rourke made his way to Casa Vida de Salud for his first quarterly town hall meeting for veterans.