During a recent two day call-in event, Rutherford County residents told U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon they were concerned about the nation's dependence on foreign energy and frustrated by the nation's broken borders.
"I'm glad so many people took the time to call in and tell me their views on the important issues facing Congress," Gordon said. "Their advice helps me bring some of their common sense ideas to the debates in Washington.
He said the country's dependence on foreign energy poses a serious threat to national security.
"We need to find cheaper, more efficient domestic sources of energy that will allow us to become more energy independent and maintain our competitive position in the world," he said.
As the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Gordon has introduced bills that would increase the availability and affordability of alternative fuels, improve energy efficiency, and establish a program to bridge the gaps between laboratory research and commercial applications of new energy technology.
Gordon said improving border security is another way to strengthen national security.
"The 9/11 Commission pointed to our vast land borders as a potential way for terrorists to gain entry into our country," Gordon said. "Our wide open borders pose a serious security threat, as well as a way for smugglers to bring methamphetamine and other illegal drugs into our country."
The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that although the number of domestic meth labs has decreased due to laws restricting sales of pseudoephedrine, its availability has not declined because Mexican drug labs are making up the difference.
According to the DEA, the amount of meth seized at the U.S. and Mexico border increased by more than 75 percent between 2002 and 2004.
Many of the callers who spoke to Gordon asked for help cutting through government red tape at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or other federal agencies.
"It's a shame when our veterans have trouble getting proper health care for their service related injuries," Gordon said. "Sometimes, people just need a little help to get through the bureaucracy.