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July 31st, 2021

marshall town hall earlSen. Roger Marshall discusses issues facing Congress during a town hall meeting in Liberal Friday. L&T photo/Earl WattROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


Some big topics were discussed Friday morning in a town hall featuring U.S. Senator Dr. Roger Marshall at the Depot in Liberal.

Audience members brought up a variety of subjects, including security at the U.S./Mexico border. Marshall was asked if Congress was doing more to secure the border despite opposition from the White House.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of pushing it through,” he said. “It’s that our president has stopped it. He’s even stopped money that’s appropriated to do that.”

Marshall emphasized he is in favor of both securing the border and fixing what many consider a broken immigration system.

“I think we can do both, but you certainly cannot fix a broken immigration system without first securing the border,” he said. “Otherwise, we just repeat history, making the same mistakes. I’ve been to the border three times now.”

Marshall said a recent visit to border revealed finished and unfinished work, including walls and gates.

“The gate was just sitting there ready to be set, and there’s more fencing there beside it,” he said. “The big cranes and the big machinery was sitting there.”

Marshall said one foreman said contractors were being paid as much as $40,000 a day not to work.

“The federal government was paying a contractor that much money, and the products are sitting there,” he said. “The money we appropriated, this president stopped, and it’s very frustrating that’s the situation we’re in. I think this is a crisis created by this president, and even if you’re not concerned about 170,000 people being caught entering the country illegally, there’s twice that many who are crossing who we’re not catching.”

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Part of the border crisis is an issue Marshall said he could not have imagined was possible.

“The young adults they’re bringing across the border, they’re not their children, but they’re posing as their children,” he said. “It’s an ongoing problem.”

Marshall was later asked why Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, is not looking to help with the problem.

“Her party wants this crisis,” he said. “Look at their actions. They want this problem. She’s part of the party that wants this crisis. She doesn’t want to fix it.”

Attendee Kathleen Alonso accused Marshall of spreading this information to create division amongst Americans, and he said he was not, adding he used such information because it was the truth.

“I’m not going to give you a political no-speak answer,” he said. “I’m going to tell you what I think is the truth.”

Discussion later turned to voter integrity, and with last November’s presidential election still in question by many, Marshall said voter integrity is a concern of people across the country.

“My goal has always been to make it easier to vote, harder to cheat,” he said. “If you bring either of those concepts to me, I’m willing to listen to it with one exception. The Constitution clearly says the state legislature will determine the time, manner and place, just the opposite of what Speaker Pelosi’s still wanting to do. She wanted the federal government to take over the election process and tell Kansas we cannot use voter ID, to tell Kansas we had to do ballot harvesting and to use federal dollars to match campaign dollars six to one. Can you imagine six times more attack ads on TV, and the federal government’s paying for them?”

Marshall said audit processes are taking place at this time in several states, and he said he is happy some states have looked at their own voter integrity.

Reportedly, additional ballots were found in some states following the November election, and Marshall said there are ways for more votes to be cast than registered voters.

“That person may have died,” he said. “That person may have moved away, so there’s all these loose ballots out there the Democrats are paying to go grab them and bring them back.”

With the advancement of technology in today’s world, Marshall said fixing elections is likewise easier.

“When my people walk up to your door this past election season, I knew if you liked Coke or Pepsi,” he said. “I knew if you were pro-Biden or not. I knew if you were pro-Second Amendment. The technology is out there to share that information. I’m sure you could go to the county roll here to see who’s on the election rolls, who died and who’s moved from here.”

Marshall was again accused of spreading false information, this time with little proof of his statements.

“There’s a huge concern here and across the nation,” he said. “People are concerned about the integrity of elections. If you break it down election laws and break down the Constitution, I don’t know how you could accept that.”

The audience member continued to ask Marshall about the information, and the senator said the question was merely a rephrasing of the original question.

“These states broke their own election laws,” he said. “They broke their own constitution when it came to when the ballots would be accepted and when they would send them out. I think in the time of a disaster is especially when we need to bond more. It’s especially a time we need to follow the constitution. We should never let a disaster be a reason from breaking our own constitutional rights.”

Moving forward, Dr. Marshall said each state needs to look at its own election process.

“Our state representatives and our state senators say, ‘What does Kansas look like?’” he said.

Later, Marshall was asked about America’s energy situation, particularly the shutting down of the Keystone Pipeline project. He said this is part of a crisis created by Democrats.

“We’re importing more oil from Russia than Alaska right now,” he said. “They want this crisis. They want the price of gasoline to go up. You’re never going to be able to get electric cars, the price of operating them, down to what the cost is now from using American oil.”

While he agrees with Democratic lawmakers that America has environmental issues, Marshall said the disagreement comes from how to solve those issues.

“They want to solve it through federal government intervention, rules and regulations.,” he said. “I believe in American innovation technology can do more to drive down our environmental footprint than any legislation I can write. We should because it’s the right thing to do. Everywhere I go across the state of Kansas, it’s amazing what we’re doing from an environmental standpoint.”

Marshall said as close as Garden City, there is an effort that has resulted in 95 percent of that community’s water being recycled.

“We’re taking all the fat from the packing plants there and turning it into biodiesel, renewable diesel,” he said. “I think the environmental footprint of a biodiesel truck will be less than the cradle to the grave footprint of an electric car.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic not yet finished, unemployment has been a problem both statewide and nationwide, with many people making more money staying at home than working.

“This is not unique to Liberal,” Marshall said. “This is everywhere in the nation. We’re paying a family of four $108,000 each year to not work. Why would you go back to work? The solution is get rid of the policy. This is the crisis created by a socialist agenda. This is absolutely a crisis they’ve created. They want to force people to live off the government.”

Marshall said America’s economy needs to take a turn of 180 degrees from where it is now in terms of unemployment.

“I think a job is a great thing,” he said. “I think hard work is a great concept. We know it’s not right to stay home and not work. It leads to addictions and mental health problems.”

The lack of people coming back to work after COVID, Marshall said, has caused frustration amongst those who already part of the workforce.

“Our doctors are burned out,” he said. “Our nurses are burned out. Everyone who’s been working is burned out. I don’t want to take away the state unemployment, but there’s so many new jobs out there that are making $25, $30 an hour. I think work is a great thing. I think having a job is a great thing. It brings fulfillment, and it helps people out.”

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