GOPer Faces Frustrated Crowd At Town Hall: ‘Lots Of Things To Be Upset About’

Tom Williams/CQPHO

Frustrated constituents at a town hall Monday morning pressed Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) to defend his stance on the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare and his vote for Betsy DeVos as secretary of education.

Attendees packed the event and questioned Moran on subjects from the town hall’s timing (it began at 7:30 a.m.) and whether the senator would ever break with his party over policy disagreements.

According to Kansas City Star reporter Bryan Lowry, Moran said he would not have voted for the House’s health care bill, and called for open Senate hearings on the legislation. Pressed by an audience member to commit to not voting for the bill without public hearings, however, Moran declined.

Moran faced questions on his decision to support DeVos’ nomination as Trump’s secretary of education barely a week before it came to the Senate floor, where his vote to confirm DeVos was one of several that likely decided her fate.

Attendees also pressed Moran on his support for Jeff Sessions as attorney general in light of new reports that Sessions neglected to disclose his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak while under oath.

The senator joked about the contentious atmosphere, according to Lowry, but appeared to acknowledge its causes.

“Americans should be upset,” he said. “Lots of things to be upset about.”

Update at 12:21 p.m.: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Moran received a standing ovation after asking why there were no women on the Republican committee to draft the Senate health care bill. Moran was in fact repeating an audience question, not asking the question himself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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