DelBene does her best to avoid partisan politics at Town Hall
Like nearly everything else related to politics these days, the Town Hall meeting hosted by 1st District Congresswoman Susan DelBene at Glacier Peak High School earlier this month turned into a referendum on the policies and agenda of President Donald Trump.
The Democratic lawmaker did her best to sidestep controversial issues when she answered questions from more than 650 of her constituents who gathered in the high school gymnasium. But many of the issues were too difficult for DelBene to ignore.
“We need bipartisan legislation,” the congresswoman told the enthusiastic crowd, pledging to work with all members of Congress. “We need to have the chance to agree to disagree.”
Healthcare, and Trump’s failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, drew the biggest reaction of the night when DelBene said the voice of the people spoke more loudly than the Republican proposal that would have eliminated healthcare for 24 million Americans and given tax breaks to some of the country’s wealthiest individuals.
DelBene described the Republican plan as a “terrible bill.” She went on to say that the President needs to continue investing in research to find cures for cancer if he hopes to have any cooperation with Democrats in his quest for tax reform.
“We’ve fallen behind. We need to continue funding research and the American Cancer Society,” she told the audience. “Tax cuts for insurance companies will not help us reach our healthcare goals.”
The crowd applauded the congresswoman’s support for a public option that would establish a single-payer healthcare system, which she described as Medicare for All.
As a member of both the Budget Committee and Ways and Means, DelBene said she will have the opportunity to play a significant role in the oversight of any new legislation introduced by the Republicans in Congress. She also promised to work toward a bipartisan solution to healthcare.
The congresswoman also offered to assist a veteran at the high school who claimed to have $10,000 in medical bills that have not been covered by the Veterans Administration.
The question-and-answer session included concerns from local residents over proposed cuts to social programs in the president’s proposed budget and the crackdown on immigration.
DelBene emphasized the importance of public input by encouraging residents of her district to contact her office with questions or concerns about issues that could impact the quality of life. She said the current rate of phone calls and emails to her offices in Kirkland and Bothell have doubled since she took office four years ago.
“It (your input) really makes a difference,” she said.
A full recording of the Town Hall meeting is available at: https://www.facebook.com/RepDelBene/videos/1475330672517155/
Mill Creek Beacon columnist Bill Trueitt contributed to this report.