Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) were slammed during separate town hall meetings in California on Saturday as voters rounded on the proposed GOP health care bill, as well as the Trump administration’s assault on environmental protections, its treatment of immigrants and its links to Russia.
Some 500 people packed into a community center in Oceanside, California, to hear Issa speak. Scores more protested outside. Issa hosted two meetings to accommodate some of the crowd.
As the audience became increasingly angry, the nine-term congressman quipped: “I don’t mind that things are contentious. I just don’t want things to end like the play ‘Hamilton’”— but voters weren’t laughing.
At both meetings, voters voiced concerns about the elimination of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. When Issa refused to say “Affordable Care Act” because it’s “not affordable” he was met with a crescendo of jeers and chants of, “Do your job.”
Issa drew rare applause when he said that, unlike many of his fellow Republicans, he had called for an investigation into Russia’s interference into the presidential campaign, CBS 8-TV reported. He also vowed to oppose the defunding of the EPA.
Hunter, whose larger town hall in Ramona attracted some 1,000 protesters, was at times confrontational, singing a line from Queens’ “We Are the Champions,” the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
He said he would not support any investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, adding that the current U.S. intelligence community is packed with “seditious Obama folks” who “hate Donald Trump as much as you do” and are trying to sabotage the administration.
Hunter did try to assuage the angry crowd over Obamacare, saying he’s not “completely satisfied” with the proposed replacement, but he believes it will be less expensive and therefore more accessible.
“I don’t believe in guaranteed health care,” he said. “I believe in guaranteed access to health care that people can afford.”
The GOP officials were forced to hold town hall meetings after protesters gathered this week outside their respective offices demanding they appear in public.
California Democratic Reps. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) also held public meetings Saturday where they were pressed by voters to hold the Trump administration to account.