Cleone Hermsen, of Carroll, Iowa, expresses her criticism while listening to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, during a veterans roundtable event at Maquoketa City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Iowa’s U.S. senators were met Tuesday with overflow crowds who pointedly questioned them about President Donald Trump’s actions during his first month in office and other issues. Although Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Ernst held meetings in small towns in northern and eastern Iowa, they drew big crowds. (Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP) (AP)

GOP members of Congress meet with protests at town halls

Jonathan Mattise
February 22, 2017 6:00AM (UTC)

FAIRVIEW, Tenn. (AP) — 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

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