Teller residents express outrage over White House policies – Rick Langenberg

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townhall (3)A small, but vocal group of Teller residents didn’t mince words in voicing opposition last week against the White House administration and the federal government.

More specifically, they took aim at the proposed nuclear ban agreement with Iran, more friendly immigration policies and the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

And one citizen, a retired Air Force officer, got a strong ovation, when he expressed absolute disdain over the congressional approval policy and the inability of lawmakers to quash the defense plans of President Obama, and his controversial pact with Iran. “I am so angry,” said Steve Frick of Divide, who attended his first-ever political forum. “He is not telling the truth.”

Not surprisingly, these views were lauded by Colorado 5th District Congressman Doug Lamborn, who represents Teller and El Paso counties during a town hall meeting on Aug. 14 in Divide.

As he has in the past during forums in Teller, Lamborn, regarded as one of the most conservative GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives, touted his stand on key federal issues

“There is blood on their hands,” blasted Lamborn, when referring to Iran’s support of horrific terrorism acts. He maintained that “no deal,” is a better option than “a bad deal,” saying it’s time to go back to the negotiating tables. The 5th district congressman argued that the proposed concessions the United States will receive from the agreement aren’t sufficient. In turn, he said Iran will receive an infusion of more than $100 to $150 billion in financial benefits from the United States, as a result of the agreement and a deal to end certain economic sanctions.

Lamborn didn’t have to do too much arm-twisting from a staunch conservative Republican crowd. They joined the anti-Obama chorus in heavily criticizing the Iran nuclear deal. The pact will be voted by Congress and most likely will be rejected. However, the president can still pursue the agreement by vetoing such an anti-Iran deal resolution.

And most speakers at last week’s meeting admitted that the odds of overriding a presidential veto are extremely tough. “It feels like there aren’t enough votes (to override an Obama veto),” said Frick.

Lamborn, though, urged the group to continue the fight and contact U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner.

EPA and Illegal Immigration

As for other signature issues, Lamborn spared little praise for the Environmental Protection Agency. Like most lawmakers, he expressed outrage over the recent spill into the Animas River in southwest Colorado, outside the Gold King mine. This was prompted by an EPA recovery action, according to preliminary reports. He accused the EPA of continuing an ongoing campaign against the oil and mining industries.

As for one prime alternative for aging mining sites, Lamborn said he supported “Good Samaritan” legislation, allowing private entities to clean up certain areas without getting “nitpicked to death” by the EPA

Lamborn made it clear he isn’t a big fan of renewable energy quotas, comments that received much support from the crowd. “I don’t like their (the federal government) war on coal,” said Lamborn, who referred to this resource as something that made the country prosperous. “I have been fighting that since day one.”

The forum participants also grilled Lamborn about immigration. Several citizens heavily criticized White House plans for more lenient policies, and advocated a no nonsense stand. This has been a frequent theme at most forums Lamborn has conducted in Teller County.

The congressman full-heartedly agreed with the crowd. Moreover, he believes action should be taken against the city of San Francisco for serving as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. This soft stand he believes played a role in a heavily publicized cold-blooded murder of an innocent woman in a public area by an illegal immigrant in early July. The funeral of Kathryn “Kate” Steinle has reignited the fight over the immigration issue.

Lamborn said he doesn’t support amnesty of any kind for illegals, but was open to the idea of guest worker programs.
A few citizens commented on the heated presidential race, with a record amount of GOP candidates. On this subject Lamborn took the Fifth and refused to comment.

Surprisingly, the hysteria surrounding the bizarre candidacy of GOP frontrunner and billionaire Donald Trump, who has gained quite a reputation for name-calling in recent weeks, didn’t generate too many comments.

Last week’s meeting marked one of Lamborn’s first forums in Divide in some time.

Lamborn, elected in 2006, currently serves on the House Armed Services, Veteran Affairs and Natural Resources committees. He also took time to introduce several key local staff members, including Dale Anderson, who assists local veterans with problems they are currently experiencing with the government.