Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat from New York’s 21st district, met with his constituents through a telephone town hall Tuesday evening.
The Democratic Congressman’s district is about 16,500 square miles, one of the nation’s biggest, and Owens periodically holds meetings with constituents from across the region via phone. He began the forum with an update on his actions and activity in Washington.
There were a wide range of questions during the hour-long forum. Several individuals expressed concerns about the federal budget. Nanette in Plattsburgh wanted to know just how the Congressman would raise additional revenue.
In the wake of Veterans Day, some people focused on the military and veterans’ benefits. Joseph, a caller from Carthage, noted that the V.A. had yet to respond to his claim.
Some constituents brought up the Affordable Care Act, and politics in general. In the northwestern edge of the district, Nancy in Massena brought up an insurance issue that many people are worried about. She asked Congressman Owens what should be done about the millions of people who have had policies canceled. Meanwhile caller Tom noted he had been dropped, but had a positive experience using a state navigator.
The moderator asked participants to respond to two polls during the town hall. The first found that the most important issue to the callers was the economy, with reducing the debt and deficit and health care a secondary concern. The second poll asked callers what they feel is the most important issue for Congress to address over the next several months. 42 percent said the budget, followed by tax reform, the farm bill and immigration reform.