Stillwater News Press

June 29, 2013

Lucas schedules one-hour town hall meetings in area

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Congressman Frank Lucas wants to hear from his constituents during three town hall meetings in the area.

Lucas has scheduled one-hour town hall meetings at 10 a.m. Monday at Pawnee City Hall, 510 Illinois St., 9 a.m. Tuesday at Stillwater Community Center, 315 W. Eighth Ave., and 11 a.m. Tuesday at Cushing City Hall, 100 Judy Adams Blvd.

Lucas, who represents the Third Congressional District, will talk about issues in Washington, D.C., and take questions from the audience.

The failure of the House to pass the 2013 farm bill most likely will be a major point of discussion.

It was the first time in history a farm bill has been rejected on the House floor.

Food stamp and nutrition issues prompted a revolt by the Democrats, the Oklahoma Republican said. The bill featured $40 billion in cuts, including $2 billion a year to the food stamp program. It also eliminated direct payment programs to farmers in favor of crop insurance.

Republicans also bolted from the fold, Lucas said. Sixty-one Republicans voted against the farm bill even though they had voted for all the major food-stamp reforms.

The Republican change of heart was more amazing than the Democrats, said Lucas, who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The farm bill isn’t dead, Lucas said. He doesn’t know how long or crooked the trail to passage will be.

Immigration reform moved from the Senate to the House on Friday. Conservative Republicans hold the power in the House. Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole said it could be late 2013 or early 2014 before the outcome is known.

The bill that passed the Senate devotes $46 billion to border security improvements, including doubling of the border patrol stationed on the U.S.-Mexico border and completion of 700 miles of fencing. It also features a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the United States.