POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - It was standing room only at Congressman Gene Taylor's town hall meeting in Poplarville on Friday. The fourth district Democrat discussed everything from health care reform to partisan politics.
"Thank you all very, very much for coming out," said Congressman Taylor, as he opened the informal session at 10am Friday.
Pearl River Community College hosted the town hall meeting. Congressman Taylor fielded questions from the large crowd for 90 minutes.
A question about the insurance industry being exempt from anti trust laws prompted a Katrina observation.
"Since it was legal for the insurance companies to talk to each other, I am personally convinced that State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, did collaborate and basically say, 'Hey, if you don't pay claims, then the pressure won't be on me to pay claims and that guy won't have to pay claims either,'" said Congressman Taylor.
Although he voted against the pending health care bill, a question about college students and insurance coverage led to a comment about one portion of that bill.
"Again, one of the few good provisions in the bill would allow you and your parents, because it's a two way street, would allow your parents to keep you on their insurance policy until you're about 26 or 27 years old," he said.
One questioner said Congressman Taylor's opponent in the next election is calling the incumbent a "closet liberal."
"Can you explain to us what your political philosophy is and how you look at government?" said the audience member.
"I am pro gun, pro life, for a strong national defense, and above all, for a balanced budget. There's nothing liberal about that. So, if someone lied to you, then someone lied to you," the congressman replied.
In a discussion about a possible troop surge in Afghanistan, Congressman Taylor said none of his military leader friends has made an impassioned case for such a surge.
"I think the difference is, they saw a light at the end of the tunnel in Iraq. I'm not so sure they see one in Afghanistan," he said.
"Then bring the troops home!" said a man in the audience.
"I'm with you. Absolutely," said Congressman Taylor.