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Crowd confronts Reed in Tyrone ADVERTISEMENT

Crowd confronts Reed in Tyrone

TYRONE-A lively and often confrontational crowd of over 100 met with U.S. Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) in the Tyrone Firehouse last Saturday, April 1 for the latest in his series of regional town halls.
About half of the hour-long meeting focused on protection of the environment. Another 15 minutes was devoted to Reed's defense of cuts to Planned Parenthood. During the remainder of the time, Reed fielded questions on tax reform and President Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.
The first questioner pointed out the new administration's changes to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threatened the community because "clean water and soil are essential to health." She asked what Reed was going to do about it.
Reed responded that he does not want to eliminate the EPA but wants to "come at it from an angle of reasonableness." He advocated a "cost-benefit analysis" of environmental protective measures. He stated, "Fossil fuel is part of our energy portfolio. We want to be sure all energy forms are included."
The crowd clapped for audience members who challenged Reed's position saying, "Attention to climate change is critical to sustaining our way of life." "We don't need more fossil fuel." "We can't wait for renewable energy."
Reed said he agreed and is one of 18 Republicans who signed a resolution stating that climate change is real.
When an audience member called out, "You allowed coal miners to dump run off into the river," he defended the legislation saying that without the change, the coal mining industry was unable to function.
A woman retorted, "If you can only do business by polluting, do you have the right to be in business?"
Once again, Reed said he believed regulations must be "reasonable" and suggested the "truth is somewhere in between" the views of science and private sector business.
Then the discussion turned to Planned Parenthood. Reed said "We are a big supporter of federally qualified health care services...We do not support Planned Parenthood funding." He said, "This gets into the life issue. It gets into the abortion issue."
Many audience members loudly protested that abortion is legal and a woman's right. One accused the Republicans of giving "the right to life" to poor children while taking away the programs that support them. Another said the budget "substitutes cruelty for compassion," by cutting programs for children and the poor while increasing military funding.
Reed said he "does not take the issue lightly." He supports selling birth control over the counter and expanding sex education in schools.
Reed said the budget is "highlighting the priorities of where the administration is on the backdrop of the national debt crisis we are in..." He said, "The question is how do we prioritize our agenda...The president has made our men and women in the military the first priority." He added, "The pot is not endless."
Regarding President Trump's releasing his tax returns, Reed said, "We have stood on the side of privacy."
In response to an accusation by one woman that Trump is "tied up with Russia" and his tax returns would show that, Reed stated, "facts and evidence" should determine the future course of action.
The meeting closed with a man noting Reed is a close friend of Trump who is "making huge dollars" during his presidency "which is totally non-presidential." The questioner wanted to know if Reed could stand up to Trump in this regard. Reed said he could.

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