Town hall meetings are underway across the country this week as members of Congress return to their districts during the congressional recess. Well, sort of—only 19 Republican members of Congress are holding town hall meetings during the recess, and notably none of them are located in Utah, where Rep. Jason Chaffetz was recently shouted down by protesters in an embarrassing viral incident. Some are holding tele-town halls, while others, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are holding “RSPV”-only ticketed events.
Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) argued that this is not, say, a mass act of political and moral cowardice—or tacit acknowledgment of the fact that Republicans’ recently-unveiled outline for an Affordable Care Act replacement is only defensible to industry interests—but rather simply a common-sense tactic to avoid “extremists, kooks, and radicals,” adding in a letter to constituents that “I have never seen so many more sore losers as there are today.”
As the lines of communication between elected officials and their constituents appear to erode somewhat, we want to hear from you. Are you going to a town hall meeting, or have you already attended one this week? (You can find meetings near you here.) Did you speak to your representative? What did you ask? Was the conversation productive? What was the atmosphere like? What did you learn from the experience?
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