Gingrey invited attendees to go online and participate in the America Speaking Out project, which he said is seeking to collect questions and suggestions. The website, at www.americaspeakingout.com, is a House Republican initiative.
“We are trying to get as many ideas as we can, not just from within my party, but from Democrats and independents too,” Gingrey said.
He said members of Congress should turn their attention to the issues that matter most to constituents, “so we can get this country back on the right track.”
Gingrey also took questions from the audience. One topic was the effects of recent health care reform legislation. Gingrey referred to it as “Obamacare,” saying, “It’s his legislation, so we can call it that.”
Small business owner Larry Ewers told Gingrey he is very worried about the impact of the Obama administration’s changes to health care.
“My rates are going up by 27 percent,” Ewers said. “The dollar amount is more than my company’s profit last year.”
After Gingrey spoke favorably of a Congressional review of the 14th Amendment — which gives automatic citizenship at birth — Rick Sorrells said he would prefer Congress to go after employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
“The illegals were never an issue until the economy went bad,” Sorrells said. “The people who are employing them ought to get in trouble, not the illegals.”
Others expressed concerns about the economy, tax policy and abortion.
Gingrey plans another town hall in the area next week. He will be at the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce, 300 S. Wall St., Calhoun, at 2 p.m. Aug. 27.