Amid protest, Scalise says no town hall meeting until August

Published: Feb. 23, 2017 at 9:13 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - For the second day in a row, angry crowds gathered as a part of a nationwide pushback against Republican leaders.

Thursday afternoon, people marched up to Congressman Steve Scalise's Covington office demanding a town hall meeting with the representative.

The demonstration was much smaller than one yesterday at the town hall meeting with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy in Metairie, where the crowd was in the hundreds. Only about 25 people showed up to Scalise's office.

The group was greeted by a Scalise aid and a sign on the door saying that the congressman was not in his office.

The gatherings are a part of a national effort against Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate, and Scalise was very critical of the gatherings, calling them disruptive.

This afternoon after touring the NASA facility in Michoud that was recently damaged by the tornado in New Orleans East, Scalise said he will not host a town hall meeting during his current recess. Instead, he said his constituents can join him Friday during what he calls a tele-town hall, where people can call in and ask questions.

"What I found from my constituents after representing them a little over eight years is that they much prefer that approach," Scalise said. "Maybe somebody that wants to try to dominate and deny constituents that opportunity to have an interactive dialogue, they might not like that approach, but I'm going to continue to do town hall meetings in every way possible, and if people want to come to them, a lot of people that are complaining today have never attended a town hall meeting that I've held before. So I'm wondering where they've been these last eight years. I'm glad they're actually interested finally in coming to a town hall meeting, and they'll have more opportunities in the future.

Scalise promises not to screen the questions, but the people in today's crowd were demanding a face-to-face meeting.

"They say in this document that they're going to pass a law to replace Obamacare or replace the Affordable Care Act," said Lacombe resident Jim Harlan. "Let's not be pejorative about where it came from. They should be able to stand in front of their constituents and explain the details."

Scalise said that in the past, thousands of people have participated in his teleconference, and he said he plans to host a town hall in August.

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.