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Recess Town Hall Round-up!

by Countable | 6.2.17

Congress is on recess this week and some lawmakers have chosen to hold town halls to speak with constituents. Many have not, fearing confrontations with angry voters. Since the inauguration of President Donald Trump town halls have become raucous affairs, taxing lawmaker’s patience and diplomacy skills, and this week is no exception. Here’s a round-up of some of the notable moments.

Steve Knight (R-CA)
Like many Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of the Republican healthcare bill, Knight fielded many questions about health care. But there were other issues, too. Watch below (starting at 25:55) as a constituent questions Knight about protections for transgender and disabled students. Then stick around for healthcare kerfuffle:

Lou Correa (D-CA)
In Santa Ana, CA, a sanctuary city, Rep. Lou Correa held a public meeting specifically about immigration. He was confronted with angry constituents opposed to his policies.

Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
There is a lot of raw video of Lance’s town hall this week on Youtube, separated by topic. It’s worth watching them all if you’re a constituent. The clip below covers Medicaid, the president’s proposed budget for 2018, tax cuts for the rich and the social safety net. That’s a lot for 5 and a half minutes.

Here, a registered Republican constituent goes after Lance around the release of the president’s tax returns and the Russia investigation. The audience is not impressed by Lance’s lukewarm censoring of President Trump.

Mark Walker (R-NC)
Rep. Mark Walker defended the AHCA at this town hall, insisting he supported it because he had promised to end Obamacare. He also shot down single payer health care, pointing out that Democratic leadership doesn’t support it either. The audience seemed unimpressed.

Justin Amash (R-MI)
Rep. Justin Amash also dealt with a contentious town hall, though Amash did get some applause for his support of President Trump releasing his tax returns and for the independent investigation between the Trump campaign and Russia. Watch this summary from local news:

Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
No raw video footage is available of Sen. Bill Cassidy’s town hall this week in Louisiana, and characterizations of it vary. Politico reported that, despite audience members having to submit questions on cards and not being able to question Cassidy directly, the meeting was angry. Questions largely focused on health care

Some local news highlighted the over- capacity crowd gathered outside. Others interviewed attendees from inside who insisted that the gathering was more "respectful and peaceful" than they expected.

Were you at a town hall this week? Should all members of Congress have to hold them? Use the Take Action button to tell them what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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