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GOP Members of Congress Meet with Protests at Town Halls

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee faced tough questions at a town hall on issues ranging from health care reform to President Donald Trump's appointees
By The News · 21 of February 2017 19:00:35
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, Republican-Iowa, speaks during a veterans roundtable event at Maquoketa City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Maquoketa, Iowa. The City Council chambers, where the event was taking place, was at capacity while more than 100 people were unable to enter., U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, Republican-Iowa, speaks during a veterans roundtable event at Maquoketa City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in 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), photo: AP/Telegraph Herald/Nicki Kohl

FAIRVIEW, Tennessee – In her district on a congressional break, Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee faced tough questions at a town hall on issues ranging from health care reform to President Donald Trump’s appointees. Nearby, more than 100 protesters chanted loudly.

Tuesday’s town hall outside Nashville was among several protests against lawmakers returning to their home districts this week. Now many Republican lawmakers are opting against holding public town halls, instead conducting conference calls or meeting privately.

In Kentucky, nearly 1,000 jeered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In Iowa, contentious crowds lobbed questions at Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst. And protesters booed in Montana when Sen. Steve Daines canceled a speech to state lawmakers.

Elsewhere, a liberal group in Maine organized its own town halls against GOP Sen. Susan Collins.

JONATHAN MATTISE