SILVER SPRING – Members of Congress representing Montgomery County appeared at a town hall meeting to express their concerns Sunday about President Donald J. Trump’s choices on various issues, from healthcare to Syrian refugees.
Senators Chris Van Hollen (D) and Ben Cardin (D) as well as Congressmen John Delaney (D-6), Jamie Raskin (D-8) and John Sarbanes (D-3) spoke on a number of topics before taking questions from constituents in the audience. They said they did not believe Trump’s decisions and remarks on current challenges facing the U.S. coincided with community interests.
The event took place at the Silver Spring Civic Center and Veterans Plaza. Eric Rasch, operations manager for the Civic Center, estimated about 800 people were inside the building, while another 800 people over time were present at Veterans Plaza.
The latter venue was added after the Civic Center tickets sold out, organizer Seth Grimes said.
Cardin said he would not let decisions made by the Trump administration affect what the U.S. stands for.
“We will not allow hate to be a ruling force in our nation and we will not turn back the clock on civil rights for all,” Cardin said. “Our mission for the next four years is to do all we can to keep our nation moving forward despite the ugliness that might be on the rise or the regressive plans set in motion by President Trump and Congressional Republicans. ‘American values’ still stands for what is good and right in the world.”
Cardin added that Trump’s policy banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and banning Syrian refugees made him feel ashamed.
Van Hollen seemed hopeful about what constituents and members of Congress could do in response to behaviors and statements made by the president. Regarding the promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act, he said any replacement healthcare proposed by the Trump administration and would have to be based on that selfsame legislation.
“We’ve set the standard that they’re going to have to live by,” Van Hollen said, regarding the Affordable Care Act.
This story will be updated in this week's edition of The Sentinel.