By Brian Bahouth
@NVGreenTimes

Reno – U.S. Senator from Nevada Dean Heller and Representative for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District Mark Amodei held a joint town hall meeting in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Monday April 17.  This gathering marks the first face-to-face, open to the public event either of the Republicans have held since President Trump has taken office, and on a Monday morning roughly 500 citizens filled the designated room to capacity.  Heller and Amodei stood on a riser at podiums with microphones, and oftentimes surly constituents asked questions and made statements from a lectern and microphone on the audience floor.  Interchange between the politicians and those who formally asked questions was at times heated, and members of the audience regularly jeered both men and occasionally chanted.

The meeting was ostensibly about health care and immigration, but the topics ranged widely.  What follows are audio clips from the meeting that include a single question and answer interchange.

The line outside the Reno/Sparks Convention Center was long – image – Brian Bahouth
Roughly 500 people gathered on a Monday morning to meet with Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei – image – Brian Bahouth

Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch

Annette Magnus asked Dean Heller about the choice not to give Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to be a Supreme Court Justice, an up or down vote … 1:38 …

Yucca Mountain

James Bukowski – image – Brian Bahouth

James Bukowski, a volunteer for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, asked Dean Heller if he can be counted on to oppose Yucca Mountain even though he takes campaign donations from people who support the nuclear repository being revived by the Trump Administration … 1:48 …

Congressman Mark Amodei represents Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District – image – Brian Bahouth

Cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

An unidentified woman asks the politicians if they support Trump Administration’s proposed budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 25 percent … 4:50 …

US Senator from Nevada Dean Heller – image – Brian Bahouth

Science

Anna Casaretto identified herself as an organizer of Reno’s upcoming March for Science … 2:57 …

Science and the Affordable Care Act

Susan Hastings made several comments about the importance of science and Senator Heller’s voting record in support of Trump policy initiatives.  The interchange concludes with the discussion of the Affordable Care Act and how it can be improved … 9:10 …

Divisiveness and Party Politics

Valerie asked Senator Heller about a divisive Ronald Regan quote he posted on his website on Easter morning … 5:18 …

Evasive answers and Dean Heller’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood

An unidentified woman told Dean Heller that she was having a difficult time listening to him not answer questions directly.  The woman engaged in a vigorous back and forth with Senator Heller about “high risk” health insurance pools … 4:32 …

Why so few town hall meetings with constituents

Carol asked both politicians if they have done something in Washington that makes them hesitant to hold face-to-face meetings … 5:52 …

Healthcare for millennials

Rosie, a student at the University of Nevada Reno asks if either representative knows the health care needs of “millennials”.  She said that if not for the Affordable Care Act, she would have died … 6:45 …

Planned Parenthood

Megan told a personal story about how Planned Parenthood helped her through a difficult time when she was younger.  She asked about efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and if they support those efforts and why … 5:39 …

 

Gun purchase background checks

A woman identified herself as Madeline, a student at the University of Nevada Reno, asked a gun control question … 1:19 …

 

Planned Parenthood does more than abortions

Donna West said Nevadans rely on Planned Parenthood for much more than abortion services … 2:45 …

 

Planned Parenthood and the Hyde Amendment

Sam Stein asked Senator Heller about his vote to cut funding for Planned Parenthood … 3:19 …

 

Single payer healthcare

Erica from Douglas County Nevada spoke in support of a single-payer health care system … 5:19 …

 

Immigration and I.C.E. …

Elvira spoke out against Trump Administration immigration enforcement policies … 11:39 …