PARRISH -- U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, took some time Saturday morning to chat with Parrish residents about the economy, jobs and spending.
A few dozen residents came out to the Parrish Community Center for the hour-long session in which Buchanan addressed many of their concerns and shared his views on the issues.
"The biggest challenge we have right now is what is going on financially in the country," Buchanan said. "We have been running about $1.3 trillion deficits the last four years."
Buchanan said his focus s on jobs, small businesses and getting the country's financial mess back in order.
After speaking for a few brief moments, Buchanan opened up the listening session to questions.
Catherine Clawson, 63, asked Buchanan what he intended to do about President Obama's health care plan, which she felt was going to hurt small businesses.
Buchanan stated he wanted to repeal it.
"It does nothing," Buchanan said. "What 'Obamacare' does is, it gives 30 to 50 million people free or highly subsidized health care."
A few young people were also in the audience. Mohammed Mudhafer, 28, a student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, raised his concerns about student loan rates.
Buchanan said he voted against raising the rates, and does not understand why China gets better rates than students.
"They need to get the best deal," Buchanan said. "I don't like the idea that the government is in the student loan business."
Jake King, 81, wanted to know where the congressman stood on term limits.
"What's wrong withlimiting? I think that would be a positive step to getting some new blood," King said. "We need some new blood."
Buchanan said he was not opposed but was concerned about what the limit would be.
"I think eight is too short but 12 (years) makes good sense," Buchanan said.
Before concluding, Buchanan stressed once again his concerns.
"We are spending our way into oblivion," Buchanan said. "I do not understand people in Washington, why they keep going down this path."
Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. Follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.