Politics

During Congress' recess, some avoiding public town halls with constituents

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) is among state's Republican lawmakers who have dealt with protesters at field offices and town halls since Donald Trump's presidency began.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) is among state's Republican lawmakers who have dealt with protesters at field offices and town halls since Donald Trump's presidency began.
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This week marks the first extended recess for Congress since President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Called a "district work period," the break normally gives senators and representatives time to meet with constituents and listen to their concerns. But some aren’t hosting town hall meetings this time around. 

Recently, some Republican members have been greeted by angry protesters in their home districts. Many of the demonstrators are upset with President Trump’s policies, others have different concerns such as Planned Parenthood funding and Social Security.

Last week, a group converged on the Huntington Beach office of GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to ask him to schedule a town hall meeting. According to news reports, a door swung open, hitting a two-year-old. One of the congressman’s staffers then fell when trying to keep the door closed.

Demonstrations like these have caused some lawmakers to shy away from scheduling town halls.

Some constituents in the 49th Congressional District took out a full page ad in the San Diego Union Tribune paper last week inviting Rep. Darrell Issa to attend a town hall after frustration mounted when they were unable to meet with him, according to KPBS in San Diego

In the Los Angeles area, at least one Republican has bucked the trend and plans a town hall. That’s House member Steve Knight, whose district includes Palmdale. He’s hosting the public meeting after the recess, on March 4. A spokesman for his office said they'll announce the time and location soon. 

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Feb. 27. 

KQED in San Francisco has been tracking town halls in California. You can view its list online.