By CHRIS EVERSOLE
Congressman Frank Lucas took questions for more than an hour Tuesday in a town-hall meeting at the Yukon Police Department.
The Republican, who represents the Yukon area and much of western Oklahoma, said that it was his 16th town hall of the year and that he intended to have one town hall in each of the 32 counties he represents during the year.
“The town halls give you a chance to look me in the eye, and they give me a chance to look you in the eye,” he said.
Lucas acknowledged that President Trump is different than any president in his lifetime and uses the “sledgehammer” approach on some issues, such as trade.
Trump’s ability to reach millions of people on Twitter gives him “the ability to bypass us all” in Congress, Lucas said.
The U.S. must address its trade imbalance with other nations, including China, he said.
“Trade has not been fair for 20, 30 or 40 years,” Lucas said. “We’ve being importing two to three times as much from China as we’re been exporting.”
On the other hand, Oklahoma’s farmers and rancher need trade.
“We have to sell to world markets,” he said.
He said he hopes Trump will be successful with a trade deal.
“China has used our dollars to build their economy,” he said. “If we don’t rebalance trade, they’ll end up owning everything.”
Lucas said he doubts that much would happen with gun control.
He said he worried about potential red-flag laws, which would permit police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who was considered dangerous to themselves or others.
“Red flag laws give someone a lot of power,” he said.
“The potential for abuse somewhere down the road is incredible.”