Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) faced unending interruptions at a town hall meeting in Richmond on Tuesday night.
Before Brat could even speak, the crowd chanted “read our questions,” and repeatedly yelled out “you lie” as he tried to make his remarks.
“I’m trying to listen to the people on the key issues of our day” Brat yelled over the continuous heckling. “If we go this route it’s going to be very hard to have rational, civil discourse all night.”
“I’m trying my best here,” Brat said in a video of part of the town hall that was posted on YouTube.
When Brat tried to explain how the American Health Care Act passed by the House last week would cover pre-existing conditions, people booed and tried to shout him down.
Activists cheered when someone asked about Trump’s tax returns and about why the Congressional Budget Office had not scored the GOP health care bill before it was voted on.
Brat said he agreed a score was needed, but he was still jeered by people in the audience, some dressed in t-shirts that read “RESIST” and others showing support for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
The Associated Press reported the town hall this way:
“Critics of Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Brat and the House health care bill he voted for packed a raucous town hall meeting in his Virginia district Tuesday night, booing and shouting down the congressman from start to finish. Brat is the latest in a series of lawmakers across the country who have gotten an earful from constituents at town hall meetings since last week’s passage of the House health care bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.”
“Hundreds of people packed the suburban Richmond church for the meeting Brat co-hosted with a Republican state senator, and dozens of protesters lined up outside ahead of its start, many of them holding signs shaped like tombstones. Inside, opponents appeared to far outnumber supporters.”
Much of the town hall focused on the American Health Care Act, which passed last week on a 217-212 vote in the House, with Brat voting for it.
But Brat, like other members of the Freedom Caucus, opposed the first version of the act and only came on board this round after the MacArthur/Meadows amendment was added to allow states to obtain a waiver to avoid some Affordable Care Act regulations.
Brat was also asked about Trump firing FBI Director James Comey and whether he would push for a special prosecutor to investigate any ties the president might have with Russia.
Brat said he would not and added, “In this country you are innocent until there’s evidence.
“And this applies to all of you, right?” Brat said. “No one wants the federal government coming after you unless there is evidence and no one can stand up and give me the evidence.”