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View Full Version : Scores turned away from contentious Rep. Justin Amash town hall meeting




CaseyJones
01-18-2017, 07:40 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/01/dozens_turned_away_from_combat.html


A security guard pushes closed the front doors to the Gerald R. Ford Museum against the force of dozens of people trying to gain entry.

Inside, about 250 people in a packed auditorium jostle uncomfortably in their seats.

The celebrity who drew such a crowd to the museum on Tuesday evening, Jan. 17?

It was U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, there to hold his first town hall meeting of the year.

Momentarily leaving the crowded auditorium, Amash walks briskly past the row of large windows overlooking the Grand River, making a B-line toward the museum's main entrance.

"They say it's a fire code issue," Amash says, addressing the large group gathered tightly around the museum doors.

"Can you do it out here?" a voice shouts from the crowd.

Amash apologizes, urging those turned away to attend his next town hall meeting.

More than 15 minutes before Tuesday's scheduled start time of 5:30 p.m., museum staff began barring entry to the facility.

The security guard explained the auditorium's maximum capacity of 252 had already been met by those who arrived earlier.

According to staff from Amash's office, the museum auditorium is one of the largest venues they've used for the regular community forums, which never experienced space problems in the past.

What drew such large numbers to a routine town hall meeting?

Judging by the about 250 packing the auditorium, it was to aggressively question the Michigan Republican about his stance on issues ranging from the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to climate change to immigration.

"Do you or do you not support the immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act with or without a replacement?" one attendee asked.

When Amash answered, saying he expects the burden of replacing the federal law after repeal to fall to individual state governments, the crowd erupted with dissent.

His conversation with constituents broke down several times as individuals interrupted Amash to contest his statements.

A reference by the congressman to "Obamacare" derailed the event for several minutes while members of the audience insisted he use "Affordable Care Act" to reference the 2010 law.

At other moments, the room seemed filled not with opponents but supporters of the young congressman.

When the lawmaker said he believes the nation needs to move away from a "Team Democrat" versus "Team Republican" mentality, many in the audience responded with enthusiastic applause.

Even more applauded when he reminded the crowd that he did not vote for President-elect Donald Trump.

Many smiling faces crowded around Amash after the event concluded, and several prefaced their question with expressions of respect.

After spending about an hour talking and answering questions -- and with about a dozen hands still raised high in the air as the final question was asked -- the West Michigan congressman brought the event to a close.

Walking back out the museum's front doors, he stopped to chat with the dozen or so people who waited outside for that entire hour.

One of those waiting was Celia Said, of Ada, who stopped the congressman to ask his opinion about one of the first actions of the Republican-controlled Congress being an attempt to dismantle independent ethics oversight.

According to Said, the huge turnout at Tuesday's forum indicates the community's feelings about the actions of federal leaders and fears about the incoming presidential administration.

"I think it shows the people feel they are not being represented in D.C.," she said.

Amash, who easily won reelection to a fourth term in Congress in 2016, has long promised voters and constituents that he will advocate for their Constitutional rights.

The congressman has been critical of the current administration when he feels they run afoul of the nation's founding document, and has promised to do the same with the incoming administration under Trump's presidency.

Much like the incoming president, Amash frequently takes to Twitter to express his thoughts, including his many points of disagreements with Trump.

When asked by one attendee how he will work with the new president, he jokingly asked, "Have you seen my tweets?"

Peter Dimitriou said he attended Tuesday's meeting to voice his opinion and, hopefully, influence the decisions Amash makes on behalf of Michigan's 3rd congressional district.

"I want our country to be strong and I want Justin out of his bubble," Dimitriou said. "I want him to start dropping some of the ideological precepts he lives by to hear some of the real stories of his constituents."

dannno
01-18-2017, 09:21 AM
A reference by the congressman to "Obamacare" derailed the event for several minutes while members of the audience insisted he use "Affordable Care Act" to reference the 2010 law.

lol... did they even vote for him?