Constituents have been confronting legislators over everything from the GOP’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare to the Trump White House.
Republican members of Congress aren’t exactly getting a warm welcome in their home districts during this week’s recess.
Angry constituents have confronted legislators at town halls across the country, upset over everything from the GOP’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Trump White House’s travel ban, alleged Russian interference in the U.S. elections and more. New York Rep. Tom Reed, for example, faced these questions in a series of town halls he held over the weekend.
The backlash is happening in some deep red places, stretching from Reed’s western New York district to Kentucky and Iowa. Some national Republicans — and President Trump in a Tuesday night tweet — have tried to dismiss the progressive activists helping to organize the protests.
However, their statements almost mirror the arguments Democrats made in 2009 to explain away backlash at town halls that summer over the health care law. How did that work out? Democrats got a “shellacking” at the ballot box in November 2010.
Here are snapshots of rowdy events that have happened in the past couple of days:
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell: The Senate majority leader didn’t have a formal town hall scheduled, but he got plenty of blowback at a $10 per plate luncheon on Tuesday, which was supposed to be a GOP-friendly event, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader:
“At one point, a frustrated audience member implored him: ‘Answer the question, Mitch!’ after he offered a curt answer to a woman asking about lost coal jobs in Eastern Kentucky.
“As he began leaving the event, escorted by state and local law enforcement, a few in the crowd booed. Someone shouted ‘Do your job.’ ”
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley: The Des Moines Register described the senator’s first town hall on Tuesday morning as “a raucous, sweaty tumult of cheering and jeering, interruptions and shouted questions.”
Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor: The freshman congressman — who sits in a swing district sure to be a top target in 2018 — had a crowd of about 800 at his first town hall on Monday with another 200 waiting outside unable to get in, according to the Virginian Pilot. Local station WAVY-TV 10 had this report.