DeRIDDER, La. - U.S. Rep Mike Johnson hosted a Town Hall at the Beauregard Parish Police Jury in DeRidder, Louisiana, Oct. 4. He answered public questions from a full room of local residents, and spoke on variety of issues -- including the state of the U.S. economy, healthcare, education, tax reforms, rebuilding the military, infrastructure and political civility.
Johnson, who represents Louisiana's fourth congressional district, stressed the importance of having Town Hall meetings, and making sure he hears from all areas of his district equally.
"I promised on the campaign trail that the south of our district would be just as important as Shreveport and Bossier," he said. "These [Town Halls] have been really great experiences for us."
He also took time to address his legislative efforts in support the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, and praised the installation.
"The Joint Readiness Training Center [and Fort Polk] is just doing phenomenal work," Johnson said. "I spend a lot of time advocating for Fort Polk and our capabilities here, trying to get us new missions and maintaining the force that we have."
The congressman said he sees a lot of potential in Fort Polk and is confident in their capabilities to take on more missions.
"Every time there's an opportunity for us to go out and advocate, we basically lay out what Fort Polk's capabilities are and we ask for more," Johnson said. "It's well-received. It's just a matter of timing, function and budget. And we're just going to keep doing that."
He attributed Fort Polk Progress to being a key player in that effort.
"Fort Polk Progress does a great job," Johnson said. "When they come to the capitol, it's a show of force. It has the desired effect. People know Fort Polk, and they know its benefit."
Fort Polk Progress President Michael Reese expressed his appreciation to Johnson for his efforts promoting the installation in Congress.
"We appreciate Congressman Johnson for being such a great advocate," Reese said. "He has a great depth of understanding of the important mission at Fort Polk today, the investments of the local community, and the capacity of Fort Polk to accept future mission opportunities."
Johnson spoke of Fort Polk as an asset to the nation's military.
"It's an important installation to national security and for our economy," Johnson said. "[Fort Polk] is well-regarded, and I think we're positioned will as we're rebuilding the military."