For well over a month now Republican lawmakers have been trying—and failing—to explain to constituents why they support divisive, destructive, and widely unpopular policy proposals targeting some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
The latest confrontation happened on Saturday, when Texas congressman Pete Sessions tried to sell the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare—which would leave tens of millions without health care coverage—to a packed town hall in his 32nd district in suburban Dallas, near President George W. Bush's home.
While Sessions may have been “delighted” to see an estimated 2,000 people show up for the discussion—many of whom backed Hillary Clinton during the presidential election—his mood quickly soured as audience members began booing and shouting down his attempts to justify the abusive Republican plan known as the American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare:
According to Texas Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek, who live-tweeted the event, Sessions at one point lost his cool, telling constituents, "I know why you’re so frustrated. You don’t know how to listen.” As Svitek observed, “This, predictably, does not go over well.”
Sessions also tried to criticize a Congressional Budget Office report released last Monday warning that some 24 million people would be left without health care coverage by 2026 under Trumpcare, but audience members responded with chants of “Vote him out!”
Undaunted, Sessions doubled down on his commitment to (ironically) ignore his constituents’ wishes, saying, “We are going to make the changes, we are going to pass the bill and we are going to repeal Obamacare,” according to Svitek.
And things went downhill from there:
The mood was equally harsh on social media for the current chairman of the House Rules Committee, whose seat is vulnerable in 2018 midterm elections. Earlier this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it would go after Sessions in next year’s race, The Texas Tribune reported. While the Democrats will face a tough battle in ousting Sessions, the congressman certainly isn’t appearing to do his own campaign any favors.