United States Senator Deb Fischer faced a boisterous crowd which demonstrated disappointment with some of her positions during a listening session in Lincoln.
Fischer walked among the crowd of around 165 at the Jack J. Huck Continuing Education Center of Southeast Community College Thursday morning, patiently listening and answering questions even as some confronted her on Republican politics in Washington, with some pointed criticism of President Donald Trump.
Most of the questions centered on health care, challenging Fischer on the failed Senate health care plan
and asking why Republicans won’t work with Democrats on a fix to the flaws in the Affordable Care Act. Fischer replied Democrats haven’t been willing to work with Republicans on health care, sparking a smattering of boos from the crowd.
Fischer said she voted to move forward with the Republican plan so it could get to the floor for amendments.
Fischer stuck with her positions even as some in the crowd voice strong disagreement.
“We’re not always going to agree,” Fischer told Nebraska Radio Network afterward. “We’re not always going to agree, but I was glad we had a good turnout.”
Fischer pointed out a year ago, one of her listening sessions in Omaha attracted only eight residents. This year, around 150 showed up.
At one point, as Fischer walked to the back of the room a handful of those in the audience unfurled a banner in front of her that read, “Medicare for All,” and began
chanting, advocating expanding Medicare for everyone in the country. Others chanted for universal health care.
Fischer stood by as the group chanted.
“Anytime you have folks shout out or try to have a demonstration, I like that the crowd itself, here in Lincoln, you know they kind of shut them down,” Fischer said, adding it appeared the crowd wanted to hear the dialogue more than the chants.
Other issues cropped up as well, such as tax reform, trade policy, and the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an executive order by President Obama which gave legal status to children brought into the country illegally by their parents.
One woman told Fischer President Trump’s threats to end DACA and his statements in wake of the neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia scared her.
Fischer opened with brief remarks, then took questions during the hour-long meeting, also speaking with some afterward.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]