Fifth District U.S. Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) held a town hall meeting Friday in the City of Altus council chambers. Russell was welcomed by an introduction from Dr. Joe Leverett, commissioner of the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission.
Leverett highlighted retired Lt.Col. Russell’s 21-year career in the Army, during which he was deployed to assignments in the Artic, the desert, the Pacific, Europe and Continental U.S. duty stations. Operationally, he was deployed to Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. During Operating Iraqi Freedom, Russell commanded the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment and fought in Tikrit, Iraq. His unit played a key role in the capture of Saddam Hussein, which is documented in his book “We Got Him.”
“Thank you Altus for being here. The Altus Air Force Base is very important and the role they serve in training is critical,” Russell said. “Altus is also vital in the Oklahoma aerospace industry, from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to American Airlines, the air logistics command at Tinker (Air Force Base) and all the triad Oklahoma has. What Altus does impacts a lot of what we do in Oklahoma City and that is why it is vitally important to make our mission known. As you look at the list of base closures, Oklahoma has been very fortunate because our bases continue to grow.”
Russell explained when a president oversteps his or her boundaries, what steps and choices can be made in response to the executive order that violates the Constitution. The two options are either passing a veto on the piece of Legislation in the hope that each house will approve the item or, since each house has its own judiciary, it can seek subpoenas and file of lawsuits.
Russell described some of the issues Syrian immigrants might face coming into the United States, such as separating illegals, permanent residents, guest workers and refugees.
According to Russell, there is a limit on the number allowed into the U.S, and a very small amount of adjusting the president can do with that total. Russell also shared his personal travels to visit refugees, described what he said was “the real story” and said many just want to return to their homelands not far from where they have been displaced.
Russell’s committee assignments include House Committee on Education, the Workforce House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, vice chair of the Subcommittee on National Security and the House Armed Services Committee.
Russell is the founder and owner of a small rifle manufacturing business, Two River Arms. He and his wife Cindy reside in Choctaw with their five children.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.