People are trying to make their voices heard
Here's a look at how it's going
Across the country, people are flooding auditoriums, high school theaters and anywhere else they can to give their members of Congress an earful.
The reason: to weigh in on President Donald Trump’s agenda, and the potential of the new Congress to reshape government.
’I want to thank you … but’
A Kentucky woman named Rose Mudd Perkins laced into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday, raising vanishing coal jobs, health care reform and poverty among other things. She ended with a crack about McConnell’s treatment of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She left, apparently, unsatisfied.
Perkins appeared on CNN the next day and continued to outline her frustration with politicians. She told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin about her personal struggles and the issues in her community and said she didn’t believe people’s voices were registering at the congressional level.
Immigrants and Muslim people concerned
One frequent topic of discussion at these town halls is the President’s words and actions with regard to immigrants and Muslim people. In at least one case, a Muslim immigrant raised his concerns with a senator.
“I’m a Muslim, who’s going to save me here?” asked Zalmay Niazy, who said he worked with the US armed forces in Afghanistan, at a town hall with Sen. Chuck Grassley.
Seen (and probably also heard)
People have come bearing signs. Some have a specific message or a warning, but many signs that dot the crowds just show a simple sign of agreement and disagreement so participants can indicate their feelings on different issues.
Lock down the vote
Angry constituents regularly pledged to bring down their members of Congress in upcoming elections – even years down the line.
Then there’s New Jersey
New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance, well, he had a time.
From women ‘in my grill’ to ‘having fun’
Rep. Dave Brat, a Virginia Republican, was recorded complaining about being confronted, saying at the time: “Since Obamacare and these issues have come up, the women are in my grill no matter where I go.”
He had long since come around by the time he had a town hall on Tuesday, when he said, “I like having debate, spirited conversation – if you can have a conversation.”
Asked on Tuesday about a tense event he held, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said people at his town hall “intended to bully and intimidate” him.
He had earlier in the month said the angry voices at his town hall were from paid protesters, but the protesters said they were real people, motivated to do this out of concern, not money.
Trump himself has repeatedly said protesters were paid and questionable.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer detailed this accusation in the briefing room.