Maryland GOP Rep. Andy Harris was met with fierce opposition at his first face-to-face town hall meeting in his district since Trump took office, and faced an onslaught of jeers from a hostile liberal crowd.
The Hill reports that only minutes into his presentation, the conservative House Freedom Caucus member struggled to regain control of the 900-person crowd at Chesapeake College on Friday when booing and taunts erupted from the audience over a wide range of political issues including the health care reform, border security, defunding Planned Parenthood – all central to President Trump’s first months in office.
After Harris was interrupted several times by the angry crowd, he yelled: “If you take time doing this, it’s less time for questions.” When they failed to heed his advice, he began pushing back against the crowd, demanding they follow the rules of the facility and maintain order.
Audience members pressed Harris about his views on Trump administration policies and Russia’s role in US affairs. One of the questions asked: “Should Trump release his tax returns?” Harris replied, “Sure,” but with a caveat: “It was up to the voters of America to decide if that was important.”
In regards to Trump’s promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, Harris declared, “Most Americans actually want a secure border.” Several audience members chanted, “No wall,” and held up red sheets of paper to show disagreement. “You work for us,” one person yelled. “We want answers.”
“Don’t treat us like children,” another man shouted.
At one point, Harris asked the audience: “Are you all done?” In unison, the audience responded: “No!”
The only Republican member of Maryland’s congressional delegation remained steadfast on his policy stances, reiterating his firm positions regarding government and healthcare. He said, “We need to turn [healthcare] back to the states so the states make the decisions on what’s best for their patients,” to which booing emanating even louder from the audience.
Harris was one of many lawmakers who adamantly opposed the GOP’s Affordable Care Act replacement bill, which was pulled from the floor before last Friday’s vote because it was likely to fail.
In Harris’ final statement at the town-hall-style meeting, which reportedly lasted over an hour, he said the U.S. was a great country because people could agree to disagree without fear.
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