U.S. Sen. Rand Paul visited Harlan County on Tuesday for a lunch town hall meeting as part of a series of town hall events in eastern Kentucky. The Harlan Center was filled with local residents ready to ask their questions and hear an update on what he is working on in the Senate.
After briefly discussing some issues facing our nation such as the debt, government spending and national security, Paul took questions from those in attendance.
One of the main topics was the War on Coal and the impact of the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on coal communities like Harlan and others throughout eastern Kentucky. Paul reiterated his actions in the Senate to defend Kentucky from the War on Coal, and denounced the president’s attempt to push his anti-coal agenda on Kentucky’s hard-working coal miners and families through executive action.
“The regulatory burden in our country is just too high, especially in places like eastern Kentucky where we are incredibly dependent on coal to provide jobs for our communities,” Paul said. “The president’s War on Coal has devastated Harlan and Appalachia, and I’ve fought back at every chance I’ve had against his EPA’s assault on Kentucky jobs.”
Paul also discussed his plan to help the struggling communities that have been devastated by the War on Coal through his Economic Freedom Zones proposal. Designating Harlan County as an Economic Freedom Zone would slash individual and corporate taxes to 5 percent for a 10-year period to stimulate economic growth for the community and give incentives for businesses to locate there and grow. Over 10 years, Paul’s Economic Freedom Zone plan is estimated to leave $139.4 million dollars in Harlan. Those are the tax dollars of the hard working Harlan community staying right where they were generated, and with the community.
Members of Paul’s official staff were also on site to assist those in attendance with any issues they were facing with federal agencies, such as Veterans Administration (VA), Social Security, IRS, passports, U.S. Department of Education and military records or medals.
Sen. Paul has been holding many town halls across Kentucky, and on Monday and Tuesday he had similar events in Boyd, Carter, Rowan, Morgan, Magoffin, Floyd, Breathitt and Whitley counties.