As members of Congress return to their districts for the customary August recess, at least one California lawmaker received a hostile reception back home.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., appeared at a town hall in Chico, Calif., on Monday. While LaMalfa won reelection easily last year, he was met by critics of his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood, as well as his denial of man-made climate change.
The most heated moment, according to the Los Angeles Times, was when a man told LaMalfa, “May you die in pain.” The speaker appeared to be protesting LaMalfa’s vote to advance the American Health Care Act, which later sputtered in the Senate.
Other protesters called on LaMalfa to resign for supporting the health care bill, which would have rolled back numerous key Obamacare provisions, including Medicaid expansion in states like California. One LaMalfa critic channeled “The Wizard of Oz,” dressing up as the “Wicked Witch of the West Coast.”
Heather Calun dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West Coast in protest. She wants LaMalfa to resign over his vote to repeal Obamacare. pic.twitter.com/rBZXAnjd2l
— Phil Willon (@philwillon) August 7, 2017
But LaMalfa was unmoved, arguing that middle-class families in his Northern California district were being hurt by Obamacare.
“We really want to help middle-income Californians, middle-income Americans be able to afford health insurance as they see fit and not … a government mandate,” LaMalfa told a local TV station after the event.
And when the boos and jeers rained down on him during the town hall, LaMalfa didn’t back down.
“I have the mic, folks. Yep, boo away,” he taunted at one point.
Other lawmakers are facing similarly unfriendly crowds — if they host town halls at all. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., faced criticism over his support for President Trump’s penal immigration policies at a Monday event in his rural district.
While that town hall lacked the fireworks of LaMalfa’s, the county sheriff was forced to take over the microphone on at least one occasion to restore order. Yet Meadows, who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus, praised the crowd at the end for being “respectful — even vocal.”
“If you guys disagree, send me the information,” Meadows told protesters at one point, as a member of the crowd…