Rubio holds town hall at Firehouse Subs

Senator address challenges facing middle class

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:04:28 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 15 2013 08:54:34 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Sen. Marco Rubio held a town hall meeting at Firehouse Subs headquarters in Jacksonville on Tuesday to talk to managers about what he feels are the obstacles facing the middle class and the country's economic woes.

"I mean, I didn't go to Washington (D.C.) to be a part of business as usual," he said. "When are we going to start taking these issues seriously?"

The group listened as Rubio focused the conversation on the national debt, offering his ideas about how to fix the problem.

"On the spending front, I would like to see us pass a balanced budget amendment, and on the economic growth front, I'd like to see us simplify and reform our tax code, I'd like to see us simplify and get control of runaway regulations, I'd like to see us massively expand our energy sector even more," Rubio said.

Firehouse managers chimed in with suggestions, pointing out the Jacksonville-based restaurant employs people across the nation.

"He was very receptive to our feedback, our ideas on what we have to do to get this economic engine going," Firehouse CEO Don Fox said. "Firehouse subs is a big part of that."

Expanding the conversation, Rubio also took the opportunity to highlight an issue close to his heart -- immigration reform -- telling the group about possible plans for the future.

"Our hope is to modernize the legal immigration system to improve the ways those laws are enforced through border security, workplace enforcement and the tracking of tourist visas and vistors' visas when they come in to the country and when they leave," Rubio said.

He continued to push what he calls an agenda to "strengthen America's middle class."