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June 27-- - Congressman Rick W. Allen (R-GA-12) held a telephone town hall Monday night to answer questions from residents of Georgia's 12th District.

Congressman Allen gave an update on the Democrats’ spending bills for Fiscal Year 2020, President Trump signing critical disaster relief funding for rural Georgia into law, the House of Representatives’ efforts to provide more flexibility for individuals to save for retirement, immigration, the border crisis, and more.

For those who were unable to participate in the call, here are some of the highlights: 

Reggie from Baxley asked about generic drug pricing

Congressman Allen: “Just a little update on that-- on May 16 of 2018, President Trump and Secretary Azar outlined their drug pricing blueprint and their four strategies for reform... One is to improve competition, lower out-of -pocket cost, [and] enhance negotiations and incentives for lower list prices. The plan is going to make negotiation more effective than it is today in the retail drug program part D and bring negotiations to where it doesn’t exist in physician administered drugs part B. In part D we’ll be giving Medicare plans the same negotiating power that private sector plans already have and we know that this approach  works and the reason for the competition is there are drug companies that when they’re patented – that when they lose their patent rights, then we get these generic drugs and these companies that develop the generic drugs are being bought by big conglomerate pharmaceutical companies and then they raise the prices and what we got to do there is raise competition, make sure there is competition to keep those generic prices low. Again, the President and the Congress are working to get this done and I hope to see something done on this very shortly. Thank you, Reggie, for that question!”

Daniel from Reidsville asked about tariffs

Congressman Allen: “
Yes sir, you know I’m ready to get that done... And, I know you are too. Yes, it’s affected products all across the country. Every time I see the President we talk about it and he has provided some funding to the farming community because the Chinese target our farmers... it was inevitable [that] something had to be done about it. China was dumping and stealing our intellectual capital. It had gotten completely out of hand and the President promised he would take this on while he was running, and I’ll tell you promises made, promises kept. I had hoped [in] March we were going to get this thing done. It looks like it’s going to extend a while longer…I’m just hoping their leadership will wake up and say, ‘OK let’s do the fair thing. Let’s get these trade negotiations finalized.’ We had a deal and then the Chinese backed out of it and I don’t know why they did that, when they’re taking on additional pain. It’s unfortunate and difficult to deal with but something had to be done. I appreciate you hanging in there with us.”

Chris from Vidalia asked about illegal robocalls

Congressman Allen: “Y’all, I’ve heard quite a bit about unwanted phone calls…That’s why we just ran that poll question… You know I want to get a feel for the district. I am very supportive of this legislation. We’re going to do our best to stop it.” 

Wade from Dublin asked about cutting foreign aid spending

Congressman Allen:I mentioned earlier I had an amendment on the floor to cut 1% out of foreign spending last week, specifically $560 million.  I couldn’t get democratic support to get that amendment passed. I mean 1%, can you imagine? And yes, we need to help our local folks.

Ruth asked about enforcing the immigration laws 

Congressman Allen: “We have the first President that has demanded that we enforce those laws. When we began enforcing those laws, there was a lot of criticism about the way it is supposed to be handled. Our big problem is this: if someone touches our border, our land, the United States of America, illegally they automatically under the law have rights. And of course, there are lawyers that are coaching these people on what to say and they ask for asylum or either refugee status. They then have the right to appear before a judge and that judge will give them a court date. I will tell you, with the amount of illegal immigration we have sustained, I don’t know how long it will take to hear these cases. It’s a substantial amount of time. So, what do you do with the people after that? You basically release them into the country. We’re out of holding space for example. So you release these families into the country and you expect them to show up for their court date… But that’s what we’re up against. We have people, members of Congress, members of this body that want open borders. I’ll tell you this, in states like California and other states, they’re voting… It’s sad. It has to be stopped... The President is getting no support on this from the Democrats and it’s a sad state for our country.”

If you would like to sign up for the next telephone town hall, please sign up here. If you would like to learn more about the work Congressman Allen is doing in Washington and for the 12th District, please sign up for his weekly e-newsletter here.