The Comal County Democrats thank Congressman Beto O’Rourke for speaking to us Sunday October 22nd at Krause’s Café. There were approximately 350 people in attendance as New Braunfels welcomed the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from El Paso, TX. Mr. O’Rourke announced his candidacy for U.S. Senator in March of 2017. He said he “wants to make a difference in the state that he holds dear.” The Congressman from the Chihuahuan Desert has been traveling across his home state to hear what Texans have to say and learn what they want in a leader.
After introducing himself, Mr. O’Rouke held a question and answer session. A member of the Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America asked questions about the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun safety. The group wanted to know and understand Mr. O’Rourke’s stance on background checks before purchasing firearm. He believes in universal background checks and protection on reciprocity laws. Mr. O’Rourke does not think we need automatic weapons as civilians in America.
Mr. O’Rourke’s answer to a question about Social Security involved the Windfall Elimination Provision which is designed to prevent people who didn't pay Social Security tax on the majority of their income from receiving disproportionately high Social Security payments. After speaking about social security for educators, Mr. O’Rourke then introduced to the crowd the Social Security 2100 Act. The Social Security 2100 Act “lifts the arbitrary ceiling by which people pay into social security.”
One question came from a senior at Canyon High School who asked Mr. O’Rourke about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan which President Trump announced that he would end in the coming months. Mr. O’Rourke mentioned the bipartisan DREAM ACT which he supports and would like to see passed for the DREAMers.
Topics on Infrastructure and a suggestion to build storm surge barriers in coastal cities were mentioned by Mr. O’Rourke. He wants to make a better plan to use infrastructure for the future.
Planned Parenthood was also addressed. According to Mr. O’Rourke, “Texas today leads the developed world of maternal mortality.” He stated that “¼ of planned parenthood clinics have shut down since 2011, women are not able to get cervical cancer screens” Planned family clinics provide life- saving care for those who are unable to afford healthcare. According to Mr. O’Rourke, “Texas leads the country in teen pregnancy and rise in abortions numbers.” Mr. O’Rourke supports the decision on making family clinics legal.
Foreign Policy was also addressed at the Meet and Greet. Mr. O’Rourke quoted General “Mad Dog" Mattis who said “We have two powers in the United States: 1) power of intimidation by military and armed forces and 2) power of inspiration, immigrants choose us for their future.”
Mr. O’Rourke went on to say “foreign aide comprises less than 1% of general aide of the federal budget.”
A question was asked by community members to Mr. O’Rourke about better care at the Department of Veteran Affairs whose mission is to care for and help veterans after they return home from deployment and when they leave the armed forces. The VA is to provide healthcare and burial services to veterans who have served our county. Mr. O’Rourke stated that he wrote a bill called Marine Combat which ensures $22billion dollars a year goes into a trust fund to which proceeds can only by paid out to the research to those conditions that are unique to service in combat for the care of those veterans prolonging the lives of those who have served for this country.
Mr. O'Rourke's views on single parent and small business health care has four steps that he would
like to take to improve Texas healthcare-
1) Stabilize the Affordable Care Act
2) Expand Medicaid
3) Introduce Medicare as an option on exchanges
4) Introduce Universal Health Care
Many topics were discussed at length at Krause’s Café which were informative and educational. Those in attendance were democrats from all around Comal County ranging from Canyon Lake, TX, New Braunfels, and surrounding areas. Some groups who attended the Meet and Greet were Democratic Women of Comal County (DWCC), NBTX Indivisible 21, Canyon Lake High School’s (YDSA) Young Democratic Socialists of America, Moms Demand Action on Gunsense in America (MDAGSA) and the Democrats of Comal County. It was a pleasure to meet Mr. O’Rourke and we support him in his efforts to help Texas be the best represented state in the United States Senate.