Darin LaHood confronted both criticism and questions at his firs - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Darin LaHood confronted both criticism and questions at his first town hall meeting

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Amidst backlash from protesters, some republican lawmakers around the nation have been shying away from town hall meetings. 

Wednesday night, Congressman Darin LaHood confronted both criticism and questions head on speaking to an auditorium full of concerned residents.

The auditorium at five points was filled to capacity. 

There were a couple questions that kept coming up, the Affordable Care Act and President Trumps taxes. 

"We need to change, revise and fix Obamacare. So, the fact are, if we do nothing with Obamacare, it's going to collapse. It will fail. In my district the number one complaint I get is premiums. The average premium has gone up 55% for the people in my district," says U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, Republican 18th district Illinois. 

He promised not to vote on any health care reform that didn't keep children on their parents' health insurance until age 25 or 26, while protecting those with pre-existing conditions.

Many citizens in the crowd asked about President Trump releasing his taxes. 

"I think he should release his taxes, I've said that publicly. He promised that in the election to release his taxes. I don't think our President should be treated any differently than any other President before us, on taxes," says Darin LaHood. 

LaHood said it was up to the President to release his taxes, since he promised to do so during the campaign. He announced he favors legislation that would require all presidential candidates to release their taxes.

Another topic that generated some passion in the audience was climate change and the research behind it. 

"I agree, the climate is changing. I believe that humans play a role in that, there's no doubt about that. The question is, at what level do they play a role? Is it 51% is it 35% what is that?" says Darin LaHood. 

The nation's debt was another common concern. 

With that, questions came up on how much time President Trump spends in Florida. 

LaHood's response, "I think more business should be done in the White House than in Florida."

He did send out a release afterward commenting on the crowd saying, “One of the most important parts of public service is listening to constituents and engaging in meaningful dialogue. Tonight’s town hall provided another avenue for constituents to engage in meaningful conversation to discuss issues facing our district, our state, and our nation. This event demonstrated once again the passion and engagement that Illinois’ 18th District is known for, and I look forward to continuing this conversation as we move forward.”

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