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In the Trump era, congressional town halls are packed with protesters

Town hall protests
Angry protesters packing congressional town halls 02:01

Protests are being heard in Congressional town halls across the country.

“Do your job! Do your job!” protesters shouted in Utah’s third district. GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz is not used to getting booed in his reliably red district. But on Thursday night, he knew what was coming -- because his GOP colleagues have faced similar anger in their districts.

At a town hall meeting in California’s fourth district, audience members shouted “boo!” at GOP Rep. Tom McClintock. In Colorado’s 6th district, Rep. Mike Coffman told his constituents “let’s not yell at each other.”

Colorado’s Rep. Mike Coffman at a town hall meeting. Courtesy of Sean Frame, El Dorado Progressive

“Putting the insurance companies back in charge is wrong,” an audience member told Rep. Justin Amash about the Republican push to repeal Obamacare.  

In Grand Rapids on Thursday night, Amash stood his ground. 

“We need to find ways to handle this issue not at the federal level,” Amash responded. 

But others, like Coffman, beat a hasty retreat. 

“He snuck out, and he snuck out early! He snuck out early,” a bystander said. 

Protesters outside a town hall meeting. CBS News

McClintock had to be escorted out by police. 

“This is what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” people shouted outside McClintock’s town hall. 

Most of the protesters are frustrated Democrats, taking a page from the Tea Party movement that sprung up to oppose Obamacare in 2009. 

In Florida this weekend, Gus Bilirakis was confronted by a pediatrician, who said Obamacare had helped his patients. 

Health care is not the only flashpoint. Chaffetz was also grilled about the president’s travel ban, and his conflicts of interest. 

The protests are already having an impact. Some Republicans are talking are repairing Obamacare rather than replacing and and President Trump said repeal and replace would happen almost immediately, now he says it could be 2018.

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