Cleone Hermsen, of Carroll, Iowa, expresses her criticism while listening to U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, during a veterans roundtable event at Maquoketa City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, Maquoketa, Iowa. The City Council chambers, where the event was taking place, was at capacity while more than 100 people were unable to enter. (AP/Telegraph Herald/Nicki Kohl)

FAIRVIEW, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn returned to her district Tuesday in Tennessee and was greeted by tough questions on topics from health care reform to President Donald Trump’s cabinet appointees. She also was met with protests.

While 100 people crammed into her town hall gathering about 30 miles from Nashville, another 100 people outside chanted about immigrant rights, Planned Parenthood and other topics in protest against the congresswoman and the president.

Blackburn’s town hall was among several protests lobbed at GOP members of Congress returning home this week on break to their districts around the U.S. Now many Republican lawmakers are opting against holding public town halls, instead organizing conference calls or meeting privately.

The crowd inside Blackburn’s event held up signs that said “agree” and “disagree,” and at times yelled out “alternative facts” and “shame on you for lying” after Blackburn’s responses.

“I have always said, you may not agree with me, but you’re always going to know where I stand,” Blackburn told the protesters outside Fairview City Hall afterward. “Having a good, solid, respectful debate, that is something that serves our country well.”

A month into Trump’s presidency, protests continue over his immigration policies, Cabinet selections and the GOP’s push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, without all the specifics on how to replace it. At the town halls, protesters are probing their lawmakers to see if they will veer from some of Trump’s more controversial decisions, and if they will promise coverage for those currently served by the Affordable Care Act.

Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to address the town halls.

“The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!” he tweeted.

In two small Iowa towns, overflow crowds similarly lobbed questions Tuesday at Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst.

About 18,000 callers participated in a telephone town hall with suburban Chicago Rep. Peter Roskam, who has been criticized for canceling smaller in-person meetings and declining debates.

Protesters booed in Montana when Sen. Steve Daines canceled his speech to state lawmakers. And at a protest town hall in Allentown, Pennsylvania, home of Sen. Pat Toomey, the protest group called Tuesdays with Toomey hung an empty suit in place of the senator.

Similarly, a liberal group in Maine is holding its own town halls against GOP Sen. Susan Collins.

Also Tuesday, the most powerful member of the U.S. Senate faced jeers from nearly 1,000 as he arrived to address a group of local business leaders. In Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, they chanted as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell entered the American Legion Post 34 Fairgrounds in a black limousine.

McConnell said he was “proud” of the demonstrators for expressing their views but told the mostly friendly audience inside that the protesters “had their shot,” adding: “Winners make policy and the losers go home.”

Sandra Brown, 45, said politics shouldn’t matter as Congress moves to replace the health care law. She spoke at the Tennessee town hall about how the Affordable Care Act helped cover her pre-existing condition.

Blackburn said the plan for efforts to repeal and replace the law includes maintaining coverage of pre-existing conditions and young adults on their parents’ plans.

“Whatever they do, it needs to be affordable for everybody,” Brown said after the Tennessee town hall. “Because even the people that voted for a Republican, they’re not going to be very happy if they’ve been promised they’re going to repeal this Affordable Care Act and then they replace it with a garbage policy. They’re going to be affected as well.”

PHOTO: AP

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6 thoughts on “Republicans Meet Anger From Constituents At Town Halls

  1. All the things these people are fighting for existed (not all started) during Prez O’s run. Now that the orange fool is in office he’s planning to overturn things that have become a way of life for so many. Why wouldn’t they be upset? These people are who got these politicians elected so they better damn well listen to their concerns.
    The orange hitler is hell bent on being a dictator, he’s going to eventually loose the support of the GOP as well. His administration has become the providers of “alternative facts”, and he and his cabinet are a bunch of rich dummies.

  2. It looks like Chump’s voters are not so happy with his dumb ass!!!!
    They voted him in-THEY GET WHAT THEY DESERVE!!!!!!

    So much for making America great again–NOT!!!!!!!!!
    This country was never that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Let’s see if this anger turn into voting their dumbass out of office in 2018. I bet they will vote them right back into office. Therefore to hell with these fake Corp greed politicians. The country is going to hell in a hand basket.

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