With calls and e-mails clogging congressional phone lines and inboxes, and protestors waving signs outside regional congressional offices as part of a broad backlash to Donald Trump and the Republican agenda, would a swing-state GOP congressman really hold a public town hall?
Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora said he would. Speaking to Colorado Independent editor Susan Greene in mid-January, Coffman said he was hoping to set up a town hall that could accommodate up to 300 people. At the time he said he was in the process of securing a “very large venue” and trying to “really get the word out for people to come.”
His statement came after video of him leaving a packed public constituent meeting at a library in Aurora a few minutes early, fleeing around 100 members of the public— plenty of them there to grill him about what will happen if he successfully repeals Obamacare.
This week, Coffman said he will be meeting with people in Colorado about the Affordable Care Act from Feb. 20 to Feb 24. He’s calling it a “listening tour,” and said he looks forward to “meeting with many healthcare providers and patients advocacy groups,” so he can “personally hear from them on how the ACA has affected the healthcare system, medical professionals, and most importantly, how it has affected patients access to medical care.”
That’s not a town hall.
But that’s also only the first phase of his outreach to the public in Colorado.
In March, Coffman “plans to hold several telephone town halls to hear directly from constituents regarding their concerns about the Affordable Care Act,” according to his office.
That doesn’t sound like a 300-person public town hall in a “very large venue,” either.
We reached out to Coffman’s spokesman and asked whether the congressman still plans to hold a public town hall.
We’ll update this when we hear back.
Photo by Daniel Oines for Creative Commons on Flickr.