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Waco Tribune - Flores' tele-town hall covers wide array of issues

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WACO, April 19, 2017 | comments
By Kristen Hoppa

Sitting in front of a Facebook Live camera and behind a telephone, U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, hosted his second teleconference broadcast Wednesday at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, taking online and call-in questions from residents concerning a variety of issues.

“I feel like we had a good, quality conversation with constituents, some that like the direction Washington is going and some with concerns about the direction Washington is headed,” Flores said after the teleconference. “I felt like we got to take a large diversity of questions to address issues, and I felt like it was a good town hall.”

Instead of holding traditional in-person town hall meetings with constituents, Flores opted for an alternative format in a series of meetings this week called tele-town halls.


Constituents in McLennan, Falls, Freestone, Leon, Limestone, Milam and Robertson counties participated in Wednesday’s event. On Tuesday, he spoke with constituents in Bastrop, Brazos, Burleson, Lee and Travis counties.

Thursday event

Flores also will participate in a radio town hall meeting Thursday based out of Bryan.

“I expected at least one question about (hosting a tele-town hall), but my easy response was that I just look at how many people were on the call versus how many people would be out physically,” Flores said after the event. “We didn’t touch as many people tonight as we did last night. Last night was over 9,000, and tonight was the 4,000-plus range, but I thought we had a good quality of conversation.”

Flores presented poll questions during the event, including one specifically about the format of the town halls. 65 percent of respondents reported they prefer the tele-town hall event over traditional town hall meetings, Flores said.

Topics ranged from immigration and health care to climate change, poverty and governmental assistance. A caller from Leon County asked about Flores’ opinion on government assistance for the labor force.

“We need to come up with the ultimate solution to deal with poverty, and that will be to give people opportunities to have great jobs with great paychecks so they can house their families, they can feed their families, they can educate their families and they can be a part of a vibrant community and a vibrant middle class,” Flores said. “That is what we need to do, and that is the poverty approach that we are taking.”

Flores also fielded questions relating to President Donald Trump and the release of his tax information. Flores said there is no constitutional law that requires the president to release tax information.

Callers also questioned Flores about the future of the Affordable Care Act. He said he wants an infrastructure in place in which all citizens have access to high-quality health care but also will have a choice of their health care.

To watch the full video of Flores’ tele-town hall, visit his Facebook page at Flores.

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