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Town Hall Talk: Lawmakers Invoke Kennedy

By Sarah Lovenheim
At town hall forums on health-care reform yesterday, lawmakers remarked on the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and how his death might impact national debate. The Massachusetts senator dedicated his life to many issues, but especially health care, once calling it "the cause of my life."

In New Richmond, Wisc, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) called Kennedy's death "a huge loss, although not one that will have a practical effect on the health care debate," according to Wisconsin Radio Network's Jeff Petersen.

In Tilton, New Hampshire, Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) told a town hall audience at a Rotary Club that Congress wouldn't have gotten as far as it has on health-care reform "without Kennedy's passion and commitment" and asked the crowd for a moment of silence in honor of Kennedy "before answering questions" from the crowd.

Hodes said he will continue pushing health-care reform with "vigor," a word "he has always associated with the late Sen. Edward Kennedy," according to the Associated Press.

After meeting with constituents in Phoenix, Ariz., Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) remarked, "There's more interest and involvement in this issue than I've ever seen in many years on a domestic issue," according to Amanda Lee Myers of the Associated Press.

The Arizona senator has cancelled a town hall scheduled for Friday in Flagstaff, Ariz. to attend services on behalf of Kennedy, his longtime colleague.

Here's a rundown of some of today's town hall meetings (all times local):

Scottsville, Va. -- Rep. Tom Perriello meets with constituents at Victory Hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Across Arizona -- Rep. John Sullivan meets with constituents at Tulsa Metro Chamber in Tulsa, Ariz. at noon. At 7 p.m., he meets with local residents at Owasso Community Center in Cedar, Ariz.

Ardmore, Okla. -- Rep. Tom Cole meets with constituents at Ardmore Public Library at noon.

If you know of other town hall meetings happening nationwide, e-mail us at

By Washington Post editors  |  August 27, 2009; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: Momentum Builds for Temporary Kennedy Replacement


May God forgive Edward Kennedy for his crimes, mainly his crime of helping a U.S. hating Marxist like Obama become our president and his crime of supporting Obama's evil schemes to destroy our country, among them Obamacare and cap and trade.

And may God help us all defend our country and our future, and the future of our children and grandchildren, from Obama, his accomplices, and his schemes.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | August 27, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Though Kennedy will be missed, the beat goes on. The economy is already showing an early recovery from eight years of giving away taxpayer money in ways that harmed Americans. Obama is doing a wonderful job, working hard and setting a good example. We may see a more democratic United States, with health care for all, and opportunity to succeed for all.

Posted by: rjbunny | August 27, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

What does ObamaCare have to do with the kind of health care Kennedy received? The elite democrats proposing this legislation will find ways to isolate themselves from the inferior care and rationing they will inflict on the rest of us. And to the likes of McCain, no reaching across the aisle on this one!!!! The majority of people don't want another government program we can't afford.

Posted by: craig_h | August 30, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Antonio Sosa, hatred cloaked in religion? Both Senator Kennedy and President Obama devoted large parts of their lives helping others-rather Christ-like devotion, in my view. What have you done constructively lately to better mankind? I'll bet that you watch FOX for ideas!!

Posted by: questioner2 | August 31, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

What is that people do not understand about healthcare? obviously a lot. this corprate controled industry has dropped people, refused people and sent some to a horrble deaths since I was a kid in the 60's. My uncle was one of them. He had a good position with a business machine company as a executive. His doctor found a tumer in his brain. Completely operprable. His insurance carrier would not pay for the operation only for chemo which was very dangerous in the 80"s.
His primary doctor told him that it would not cure him immediately as an operation would. we found out later that the insurance company had a financil stake in the chemo company. My uncle died a horrable death at the hands of the healthcare in peace uncle pete

Posted by: mamonks | September 1, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Let that arch-leftist, treasonous, Move-On Dot.Com spend their money. No one believes a word that they say. No one believes a word that Obama or the DNC say either. People are catching on fast now that this man and his lapdogs lie and lie to us.

Posted by: walterndebby | September 2, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

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