Booz­man talks to con­stituents on phone call

Sen­a­tor an­swers ques­tions about Trump, other is­sues

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - RYAN TARINELLI

Dur­ing a town-hall style meet­ing via tele­phone Mon­day evening, U.S. Sen. John Booz­man fielded ques­tions on health care, im­mi­gra­tion and vet­er­ans is­sues.

The state’s se­nior sen­a­tor spoke with con­stituents about Trump’ s im­mi­gra­tion agenda, Repub­li­cans’ plans to re­place the Af­ford­able Care

Booz­man Act and con­cerns about Amer­ica’s in­fra­struc­ture.

Booz­man said there needs to be ma­jor changes to the health care sys­tem, but also said he would keep in place cer­tain parts of the ex­ist­ing law, such as a ban on life­time caps.

Booz­man said that his ques­tions were not screened, and he spoke with con­stituents who crit­i­cized Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion agenda and his re­la­tion­ship with the press.

The sen­a­tor de­fended his stance on im­mi­gra­tion, say­ing that the U.S. needs a se­cure wall along it’s south­ern bor­der to con­trol il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and pro­tect the Amer­i­can worker.

The tone of the ques­tions was in con­trast to other town-hall style meet­ings held by GOP law­mak­ers.

Some meet­ings have spurred pas­sion­ate con­fronta­tions be­tween Repub­li­can law­mak­ers and con­stituents frus­trated by Trump’s plat­form. Other mem­bers of Congress have opted out of in-per­son events al­to­gether.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cot­ton held a meet­ing last week at a packed 2,200-seat high school the­ater in Spring­dale. The state’s ju­nior sen­a­tor

faced a crowd of hun­dreds who op­posed Trump’s early agenda.

The crowd booed when Cot­ton tried to ex­plains his po­si­tion on health care, and drowned him out when they were not sat­is­fied with his an­swers.

The event made na­tional head­lines af­ter con­tentious mo­ments be­tween Cot­ton and mem­bers of the crowd. Ozark In­di­vis­i­ble, part of a na­tional protest move­ment, helped or­ga­nize Cot­ton’s meet­ing.

Cot­ton plans to f ield ques­tions by tele­phone to­day at 5:40 p.m.

U. S. Rep. French Hill, along with Booz­man and

Cot­ton, was ab­sent from a town- hall style meet­ing at a Lit­tle Rock church Sun­day.

In west Lit­tle Rock, mem­bers of In­di­vis­i­ble Cen­tral Arkansas packed St. Michael’s Epis­co­pal Church and pasted photos of the three Arkansas law­mak­ers to mu­sic stands.

An or­ga­nizer re­port­edly asked the photos ques­tions

be­fore play­ing the sound ef­fect of crick­ets on her phone.

A spokesman for Cot­ton said he did not re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion to the event while the two other law­mak­ers did, ac­cord­ing to previous re­ports.

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