On Wednesday, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) held a town hall meeting with constituents in Fort Wayne, Indiana — and according to KPC News, it did not go well for him, as attendees shouted him down on numerous issues.
Local citizens did not care for Banks’ proposal for deep 14 percent across-the-board discretionary spending cuts that exempted national defense. When asked about debt relief for student loans, he replied, “Why should anybody pay off student loans for someone else?” One man who said he was drowning in student debt replied furiously, “How am I supposed to survive? Why is defense spending not touched?”
On health care, Banks’ positions were similarly ill-received. He referred to Obamacare as a “disaster” and Medicare for All as “a dangerous proposal brought forth by the left,” which led the crowd to erupt in anger. “Every other developed country has some form of socialized medicine,” said constituent Marty Lemert.
The town hall also delved into the Russia investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller, who highlighted 10 potential episodes of obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. Banks refused to acknowledge this, saying he had read no examples of collusion or obstruction of justice in the report and challenging attendees, “Show me in the report where there’s an impeachable offense.” That caused the crowd to roar with anger again.
The audience audibly groaned when the time was up, with some complaining that they didn’t get to key issues or questions.
Banks is unlikely to face serious competition in a general election, as his northwest Indiana district is 18 percentage points more Republican than the nation as a whole. However, he is facing a primary challenge from Chris Magiera, a local gastroenterologist who has pledged to “cure” Washington.