SNELLVILLE -- If Rob Woodall were king, he would solve the national debt issue.
But as a member of Congress, the Lawrenceville Republican has to work with Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the White House, Woodall told a crowd of frustrated constituents during his final August town hall meeting Thursday.
Woodall took complaints from the political right and left during the Snellville session, but he said people should turn their frustration into a passion for a balanced budget amendment leaders will consider as part of the debt-ceiling compromise reached earlier this month.
"Vote me out of office if you want, but pass the balanced budget amendment," he said. "The balanced budget amendment is going to change the country."
Woodall defended his vote for the agreement.
"I'm opposed to compromise," he said, to jeers from the crowd. "I haven't compromised on anything all year. You compromise when you do something you don't want to do. I'm about reaching common ground.
"The Budget Control Act moved them in the right direction," he added. "The wonder is not that we only got a little (in cuts) through. The wonder is we got a little in the spring and a little more in the fall."
He attributed that first step to the people who have stood up in town hall meetings and rallies and asked the audience members to keep that passion to move it forward.
With the country borrowing billions to pay its bills, Claudette Forbes questioned why loopholes are still open to businesses and David Leandro said Obamacare will just expand the government more. People talked about worries over Social Security and national defense being hurt by cuts, and businesses moving jobs overseas.
"I'm this close to losing faith in Congress," Grayson man Terry Dempsey said.
"I think there are many people who feel people in the Congress and Senate are out of touch with reality," added Vic Moser. "We need some solutions. We have to live by a balanced budget. If we don't, we go bankrupt. Nobody thinks that in Washington, D.C."
In the fall, when a continuing resolution over discretionary spending expires, Woodall said he expects to see some government shutdowns, as leaders face off demanding more cuts.
"We have a hole in the bottom of the American spending bag. If you try to throw more money in today, it'll fall out the bottom," he said. "But these things aren't nothing. When you threaten someone's rent, it's not nothing. (But) everyday we wait makes this more expensive."
Thursday's town hall meeting was the last of five in three counties spread through Woodall's 7th District. Crowds have filled all of them, with many standing outside the Snellville City Hall room when it was filled to capacity.