Senator Hears From Residents During Atoka Meeting - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Senator Hears From Residents During Atoka Meeting

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ATOKA, OK -- Senator Tom Coburn fielded some tough questions from Texoma residents during a town hall meeting.

After visiting Stigler and Hugo earlier in the day on Thursday, the senator took several questions from residents during a meeting held at the Kiamichi Technology Center. He also told voters why they should pay more for gas.

Coburn says he is against President Obama's health care laws, but isn't sure what can be done.

"For us to truly defund Obamacare, we'd have to have 67 votes in the U.S. Senate," says Coburn. "You are responsible for your health care, so is everybody and this very idea we think the government ought to be responsible. The thing that built this country is personal responsibility."

To a woman upset over EPA regulations, Coburn said he thinks government is too big. "I'll give you a great example, Lake Texoma. The Coast Guard thinks they ought to regulate boating on Lake Texoma because it's a navigable waterway. It's not connected to anything. It's between two states. And yet, they're claiming domination and we're trying to back them off," says Coburn.

"He just says this is what's happening at the fed level and this is what we need to do and he clarifies what the situation is," says Durant resident Dorothy Ratcliff.

"They need to pass a farm bill so we know what's gonna happen with crop insurance," says Mannsville resident Dan Childs, who asked Coburn about it.

"I think they'll probably make another attempt at that, we'll get to a conference and hopefully get it through," says Coburn.

Coburn says the costs of highways are growing and will be passed on to future generations, so he supports raising the tax on gasoline, but one woman in the audience says she doesn't like that because she drives a lot of miles.

"The highways you're going to be driving on are going to be getting worse and it is fair, users should pay for the roads," says Coburn. "As we've gotten much more efficient with our mileages, the actual amount of revenue that comes to the highway trust fund has decreased."

"He has a reputation for being a man of his word and of high integrity and I like that, I like that he's not movable," says Durant resident Debbie Mills.

Coburn says  he supports calling a national constitutional convention, an idea which is also supported by a state lawmaker.

"They want to see a balanced budget, Dr. Coburn talked about today about wanting to see term limits in Congress -- the things that people, that liberty-loving individuals would like to see, instead of waiting for Congress to do it," says State Senator Josh Brecheen.

Brecheen says 17 of 34 states support a constitutional convention and he wants Oklahoma to be the eighteenth. Coburn, a medical doctor from Muskogee, says he is sticking with an earlier pledge and won't run for a third term.