The Town Hall Project, which was founded by a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer, is calling on citizens, to insist that Republican members of Congress should hold town hall meetings to discuss the merits of the healthcare bill Republicans are offering as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Republicans have recently faced raucous crowds at town hall events that fill venues to capacity. Republican members of the House and Senate have faced shouting and impassioned questions and remarks from members of the public at the events. Both President Trump and members of the administration have opined that the effort amounts to an "astroturf" movement rather than a true grassroots effort.

On its Twitter account, the group advises supporters of various public meetings offered by Republicans, especially. For example, it offers that Rep. John Katko (R-NY) is planning a town hall meeting to be held soon in Syracuse.

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, liberals, Democrats, and progressives have crowded town hall meetings to denounce Republicans or to gull Democrats into supporting progressive causes. For example, on March 9, two Republicans -- Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Diane Black of Tennessee -- fielded questions and rants from passionate members of the public during town hall events. Raucous protesters packed into a school auditorium in Salt Lake City, while hundreds more waited outside. Inside the auditorium, 1,000 people confronted Chaffetz and voiced their opposition to Trump.

"Folks -- I get one sentence into it, you say I'm not answering the question," Chaffetz said to repeated jeers. "I am answering the question, OK?" In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Congresswoman Black faced about 100 protesters at an "Ask Your Reps" event sponsored by the College Republicans at Middle Tennessee State University. Members of the public voiced opposition to repealing Obamacare. Black said that the individual mandate under Obamacare requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty. It still allowed millions, she said, including many young and healthy people, to go without coverage. "About 20 million people did actually come into the program who were uninsured," Black said. "You don't want to hurt one group of people to help the another. We can help both groups at the same time."

In its tweets, the Town Hall Project describes itself as a “progressive, volunteer-powered initiative working to identify and promote upcoming Congressional forums nationwide." Its headquarters happens to be located at the same address as an organization funded by billionaire George Soros. It was founded by former Clinton field organizer Jimmy Dahman. He told CNN recently that town hall events are "all organic and happening at the grassroots level." The Town Hall project has numerous links to labor unions and various progressive organizations, and has sought to emulate Tea Party actions.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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