Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A U.S. Congressman opens his door and his ears to the people.
Congressman Richard Hanna stopped in the Town of Chenango to hold an "Open Door" meeting.
Do you have a question, concern or issue that pertains to the federal government? Republican Richard Hanna says he wants to hear from you.
He's been holding his Open Door meetings all over the 24th Congressional District since he took office in January 2011. The goal is to help people in the district with their issues. Hanna says this is what makes his job fun.
"We're down here meeting people. We do this frequently. This is our second meeting here in the Town of Chenango," said Hanna. "The federal government is so big, difficult and hard to navigate. We try to tell people we work for them, that's why we are here. In the year I've been doing this, we've answered 57,000 emails and letters. We've closed out 1,300 case files: IRS, veterans, social security. We've had many meetings and we've tried to make it people friendly. This is all about trying to reconnect in the district," he continued.
Hanna's office makes calls to residents to urge them to come out to meet their Congressman. No appointment is necessary.
Two people stopped into the Chenango Town Hall to talk to Hanna on Thursday about various topics.
Hanna says the biggest concern he hears from people is the economy.
"We need to re-grow our economy and people talk about jobs. You know what? It's not just about jobs. It's about the quality of jobs. We can't just replace jobs with service jobs. We need science, technology, engineering, math. High paying, good middle class jobs that provide people with the standard of living this country has become accustomed to," said Hanna.
As the GOP caucuses are heating up, Action News asked Hanna if he had a favorite to lock down the GOP Presidential nomination He says he's looking for a candidate with more depth and experience in international affairs.
"It's crazy to watch isn't it? Watching those debates are like watching The Gong Show. I haven't come up with anybody yet and I am not sure that I will. Kind of disappointed. I looked at the quality of ideas coming out of these men and women and I am not particularly impressed. So I am still waiting," said Hanna.
Richard Hanna says he will run for re-election for his Congressional seat.
After the Open Door meeting, Hanna visited the Binghamton VA Outpatient Clinic. Hanna says he's continuing to push for services and benefits for the more than 70,000 veterans in and returning to the 24th Congressional district.
"We've had two un-funded wars. Afghanistan and Iraq. Two wars we shouldn't have had frankly. We've looking at a trillion dollars going out in the future to help these men and women with what they need. With injuries we've never seen in the history of the world. We need to support these people," said Hanna.
Hanna holds his Open Door meetings throughout the 24th Congressional district a couple times a month when he's not in Washington D.C. Hanna took office in January 2011, beating out Incumbent Democrat Michael Arcuri.
'We're the first office of the 95 new freshmen to have three bills passed by the House. We're the only freshmen by the 95 to have a bill signed by President in the Oval Office, so we're busy," said Hanna.