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Oct 22, 2013 9:17 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Gov't shutdown takes center stage at Sen. McCain town hall

TUCSON- Fresh off more than two weeks of congressional chaos, Senator John McCain visited Tucson Tuesday morning to host a town hall.

It was McCain's third town hall in Tucson in recent months.

But unlike the one in August, which focused on immigration reform, and the one in September, which focused on the crisis in Syria, this town hall was much more low key.

About 50 people showed up for the meeting at the El Pueblo Activity Center on Tucson's South side. The senator opened up the town hall with a joke, saying: "It's great to be back in Arizona after doing the Lord's work in the City of Satan."

Constituents listened to McCain address two key topics, the Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown. "I'm frustrated that there is no talking," Tucsonan Artemisa Lopez says.

"I want to see them become not so into borrowing money that they can't pay back," Tucsonan Esteban Obregon says.

McCain expressed disappointment with the government shutdown and acknowledged the devastating impact it had right here in Arizona. He says 600,000 visitors were turned away from our national parks and the state loss $45 million in visitor spending.

Some constituents expressed fear the government will partially shut down again. "I have a grandfather who is on a fixed income and he could possibly lose that if it happens again in February," Obregon says.

But McCain told reporters he doesn't think another shutdown will happen. "I'm sure the American people will speak loudly and clearly and they won't do it," McCain says.

McCain says the shutdown won't stop him from trying to reform the Affordable Care Act and he says the GOP can make a positive comeback by working to get comprehensive immigration reform passed.

McCain also held a town hall up in Phoenix Tuesday afternoon. He told a radio station that he is considering running for a 6th term in 2016. That is the year he turns 80-years-old. He says he is getting support from businesses that are upset with the government shutdown.


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