Back home in their districts this week, Republican lawmakers are playing defense once again as constituents speak out against the GOP plan to end Medicare in order to reward Big Oil with tax breaks.
The Huffington Post – House Republicans Face Backlash At Home Over Medicare Vote
House Republicans returning to their districts on Monday faced harsh criticism for voting to turn Medicare, the federal health care program for retirees, into a voucher system. GOP lawmakers faced this same constituent ire mere weeks ago when they first voted to support House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan, which would lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthy while replacing Medicare with private-insurance subsidies for those under 55…[5/17]
Las Vegas Review-Journal – Heck town hall meeting sparks passions
…Heck repeatedly spoke over the vocal crowd just to get a word in.
Heck, who represents Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas and parts of Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County, reiterated his support of the Republican budget proposal even though members of the crowd opposed restructuring Medicare. [5/19]
The Columbian – Crowd pulls few punches at Herrera Beutler town hall
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler faced a boisterous, partisan crowd Tuesday evening at her first Vancouver town hall, where she fielded sometimes hostile questions about her vote to restructure Medicare… [5/16]
KSAZ (FOX 10) – Congressman Quayle Takes Heat for Medicare Decision
…Monday night at a town meeting in Anthem, it was Ben Quayle who got beat up a bit while meeting with his constituents.
Many people in the crowd were fired up about about his stance on the proposed changes to the Medicare system.
…Black: Medicare must change…
Nashville resident Catherine Hill said she wants her son, a resident of Gallatin with pre-existing health conditions, to have the same Medicare benefits she has. She is concerned about the level of trust she believes Black places in insurance companies…
Black was frequently interrupted during her presentation and her responses during the question-and-answer session that followed. Some challenged her attempted responses, particularly on matters of taxation…
“This is turning into a cantankerous meeting,” said Black…[5/18]
ThinkProgress – Rep. Webster Threatens To Kick Out Town Hall Constituent For Asking About Raising Corporate Taxes
The town hall backlash that began last month over the Republican plan to end Medicare and extend tax breaks for the wealthy is showing no signs of abating.
Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL) encountered many angry constituents Tuesday night during a town hall meeting outside Orlando. Attendees repeatedly admonished Webster for his support of the Ryan budget and pleaded with him to do more to ensure corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
One such constituent was Falcon Taylor. She asked why he was ruling out any tax increases, noting that previous Republican presidents had balanced budgets by raising taxes along with lowering spending. Webster responded that the problem was future generations would end up footing the bill. Taylor instead encouraged Webster to help close the nation’s budget deficit by raising taxes on corporations, many of whom are currently paying little to nothing in corporate income taxes. Moving in towards Taylor’s seat, Webster threatened to have her removed from the town hall, telling her “you’re making a choice of whether you want to stay or not.” [5/18]
WBPF (ABC 25) – Congressman’s Meeting Interrupted By Shouting
Another town hall meeting organized by U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, devolved into a shouting match Monday night…
"I didn’t agree with his explanation about Medicare. I’m very concerned about cutting Medicare and changing Medicare without looking at the revenue side," resident Dave King said. [5/17]
WPLG (Local 10) – Congressman’s Medicare Stance Draws Protests
U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-District 22, held a town hall meeting in Pompano Beach on Tuesday afternoon as demonstrators protested his stance on Medicare.
"Congressman West has voted for the Ryan budget plan that totally destroys Medicare," said protester Peter Becker. [5/17]
ThinkProgress – VIDEO: Town Hall Constituents To Rep. Allen West: ‘Hands Off Medicare!’
Ever since House Republicans proposed and passed their budget plan to effectively end Medicare and extend tax breaks for the wealthy, constituents have been voicing their displeasure at town halls across the country. That trend continued this week at a Pompano Beach, FL town hall held by Tea Party favorite Rep. Allen West (R-FL).
The Florida congressman was asked by a constituent why he, along with nearly all of his Republican colleagues, voted for the Medicare-ending House GOP budget. West sidestepped the question, insisting instead that he doesn’t “think it destroys Medicare.” This earned West a chorus of groans, followed by chants of “hands off Medicare! Hands off Medicare!” [5/19]
Duluth News Tribune – Sparks fly in Cravaack’s visit to Iron Range
…it was clear that most in the audience, a diverse mixture of active and retired union members, small-business owners, visible DFL supporters and people who were busy drawing on one or more of those entitlement programs, had come to ask more specific questions or simply raise their own talking points. It wasn’t far into Cravaack’s slide show presentation — he jokingly called it “death by PowerPoint” — that people began jumping in.
Many of Cravaack’s talking points were to illustrate portions of Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed 2012 plan, the official House Republican budget offering…
When Iron Range legislative legend Joe Begich delivered an impassioned monologue that derided several Republican proposals and prompted a series of shouted comments from the audience, Cravaack asked for civility to reign. [5/18]
Ocean City Today – Rep. Andy Harris takes Medicare budget debate to Berlin, Ocean City
…The auditorium was filled with senior citizens concerned about Medicare and, as with the numerous town hall meetings of 2009, the crowd reached pitched debate on health care issues. George Benton of West Ocean City was concerned about the costs for future generations and that costs could increase for existing beneficiaries within several years.
“The Paul Ryan bill will kill Medicare as we know it,” argued Benton. “These good people want their tax dollars to go toward their grandchildrens’ costs. We’ve been borrowing all this money from China to pay for the Iraq War and for Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy.” [5/13]
It’s time for Republicans to listen to their constituents—and work with Democrats to strengthen Medicare, not end it.