After a solid month of scandals and bad press, nearly all of the Republican representatives who voted to kill Obamacare are still refusing to hold town hall meetings with their voters.
House Republicans are hiding from their constituents again.
According to Town Hall Project, as of May 30, only 8 out of the 217 House Republican have scheduled town hall meetings during the current recess.
These Republicans exhibited similar cowardice before, with most of them refusing to hold town halls after the first health care repeal vote, too.
The public outrage against House Republicans for their votes to strip health insurance from millions of vulnerable people would surely lead to continued blowback from constituents. The recent CBO report — which the GOP deliberately sought to avoid by ramming the bill through before the report came out — detailed what a disaster the repeal plan would be. Even the GOP-controlled Senate is refusing to take it up.
And in addition to the turmoil surrounding their callous health care repeal, the past month has brought an endless stream of headaches for Republican representatives.
They had to deal with the fallout of Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, his boast to Russian officials that he was obstructing justice, and the subsequent appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), one of the top House officials whose job it would be to look into this, mysteriously announced his resignation.
The House GOP would also have to answer for their repeated votes to block the release of Trump’s tax returns.
And then there is the embarrassment of seating Montana Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte in their caucus after he made national news for physically assaulting a journalist.
While it is inexcusable for elected representatives to worm their way out of accountability from their constituents, it is not altogether unsurprising, given the receptions Republicans have been getting.
When Rep. James Comer of Kentucky held a town hall, he was confronted by a man on a $13,000-a-week treatment for a life-threatening immune disease, who would die if Obamacare is repealed.
And when Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho preposterously claimed that “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care,” at a town hall, his constituents shouted him down in fury.
If Republicans do not have the courage to explain their actions to the people they ostensibly represent, then they have no business representing them in the first place. America needs leadership which is unafraid of accountability.