Senator Bernie Sanders has expressed his dissatisfaction over Republicans skipping their town hall meetings, warning them that they must have the guts to face tough questions from their constituents. Speaking with CNN, the Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate told that people who don’t have the guts to face their own constituents don’t belong in Congress, Independent reports.
“If you don’t have the guts to face your constituents, then you shouldn’t be in the United States Congress.”
Bernie Sanders: "If you don’t have the guts to face your constituents, then you shouldn’t be" in Congress https://t.co/TySrkSyNcT
— CNN (@CNN) February 24, 2017
Sanders further expressed his dissatisfaction over the matter, pointing out that fear of protests should be no reason to skip on these meetings, and the lawmakers should instead opt to increase security during these meetings if necessary.
“And if you need police at the meetings, that’s fine, have police at the meetings, have security at the meetings. But don’t use that as an excuse to run away from your constituents after you support repealing the Affordable Care Act, throwing 20 million people off of health insurance, doing away with preexisting conditions.”
Sanders remained resolute on his belief that people who make and change rules and laws ought to have the guts to justify their decisions to their constituents.
“If you are going to do all those things, answer the questions that your constituents have.”
These comments from Sanders follow a recent revelation that during the first recess a large number of republican lawmakers (more than 200) skipped their respective town halls in their home states in order to avoid the wrath and questions from angry voters. Most of the questions the GOP lawmakers are trying to avoid concern Trump’s conflict of interest, his alleged ties to Russia, jobs, and healthcare.
Republicans who did attend their respective town hall meetings, including Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz, Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were widely criticized and scrutinized during their respective meetings. They were booed and shouted down at. Outside the town hall, they had to face thousands of angry protesters who had been denied entry into the venue.
President Donald Trump discounted these protesters as “thugs” and “liberal activists.” Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, had issued a statement regarding these protests, noting that these people were clearly upset about a few things, but also arguing that most of them had no idea why there were upset about them. He further added that the manner in which the protests were being carried out seemed suspiciously well organized, saying that the protests seemed to have a “bit of a professional, manufactured base” in them. Spicer added that President Trump’s new healthcare plan would give the voters the assurance they seek, and it will help them see that “help is on its way.”
But a backing from the president himself wasn’t enough to encourage the more than 200 GOP lawmakers who skipped on their town halls, fearing the wrath of angry voters. Surprisingly, during the first two months of the new congress, which consists of 292 Republican representatives, there have been only 88 in-person events with Republicans lawmakers. In contrast, in 2015, during the same period of time, 222 in-person town hall events with Republicans had been organized.
Sanders has been vocally criticizing Trump’s decisions and actions. Earlier this month, he called Trump a “fraud” for working with Wall Street to roll back some banking regulations that would help the rich become richer at the expense of the working class. He has also called Trump a “pathological liar.” Sanders, a presidential candidate himself, lost the democratic primary to Hillary Clinton, who eventually lost the presidential race to Donald Trump.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]