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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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