“Shame on you”: Congressman Barr faces tough questions at town hall

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- A raucous audience greeted congressman Andy Barr in Lexington Monday night. Just days before Congress’ deadline to prevent a federal government shut down, Barr hosted a town hall at Lafayette High School.

Along with shouting, constituents held up green signs when they agreed with Barr and red when they disagreed. Monday night, there were a lot of red signs.

As with other GOP town halls held since president Donald Trump took office, people in the audience raged against Barr as he tried to answer their questions. Many of those focused on health care.

“We’ve tried to put the government in charge of your healthcare and now we’re going to put patients and doctors and their families in charge,” Barr said to many “booos”.

Constituents like Danielle Goulding fought to stay cool through the tense heat. She says the Affordable Care Act saved her mom, a woman she says is fighting a metastatic melanoma.

“For Andy Barr to sit and say it is a disaster is very disingenuous,” Goulding said of the Affordable Care Act.

Goulding also says she worries about Barr’s responses to questions about taxes. She says tax money helped her become a college educated scientist from impoverished eastern Kentucky roots.

“We can’t all just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Some of us aren’t born with boots in the first place…Iwant to pay taxes. I’m happy to help people have boots that they can pull up,” Goulding said.

As for the raucous crowd, Barr says it did not surprise him.

“I was a little disappointed the crowd wasn’t more civil, but many were and I appreciate their attendance and even those who disagree with me, I appreciated their attendance and their participation in the democracy,” Barr said.

A few supporters did often show their green signs, and shared Barr’s views.

“It’s important to hear their concerns, but when you have huge groups of protesters coming in from all over the place to shout and scream at him, it’s not really a dialogue,” Adam Haley said.

The Reverend Nancy Jo Kemper was there. She was Barr’s opponent in 2016. Kemper asked the audience to quiet down, but she went on to tell Barr she was disappointed he had not reached out to her after the election to share ideas, as she says he promised he would. He responded, saying that invitation was very much still open to her, to which the crowd again “booed”.

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