INMAN -- First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp made a stop at the Inman Community Building on Wednesday as part of his Town Hall meetings.
The questions from the 75-plus attendees ranged from his thoughts on defunding Planned Parenthood to the possibility of Social Security running out. The comment that drew universal applause, however, centered on the perception that Huelskamp doesn't get along with Republican Party leadership.
“There are more things that I agree on with [Speaker of the House John Boehner] than not,” Huelskamp said in response to the ovation. “But what you're expected to do in Washington, and I think this is a sad tale in Washington, is that you're supposed to vote the way they tell you.”
Huelskamp related a conversation with Boehner, in which Huelskamp says he was asked why he voted against the Republican Party at times.
“I don't work for you,” Huelskamp said. “I don't work for you. I have to represent 700,000 Kansans, including the 75, 80 people in this room.”
On the topic of funding Planned Parenthood, Huelskamp was succinct.
“I don't think Planned Parenthood should get a dime of taxpayer money,” he said, which drew an 'Amen' from a number of members of the audience.
Another topic that generated a bit of discussion involved the funding of Veterans Affairs hospitals and medical centers and the scandals involving wait times.
Huelskamp said that if he thought throwing more money at the VA would help with those wait times, Congress would do that, but the fear is that more money would go towards bureaucrat bonuses.
“When this last scandal was over, it wasn't just in Phoenix, it was across the country, we had whistle blowers in facility after facility,” Huelskamp said. “Some of them came to me and outlined massive wait time scandals and some even worse things. And we determined, out of that massive scandal nationwide, only three bureaucrats lost their jobs. Only three. And we think 20 veterans might have died just because of what happened in Phoenix.”
The Inman stop was Huelskamp's 299thTown Hall Meeting. He also had stops planned Wednesday in Larned and Dodge City.