Congressman senses frustration at town hall meeting - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Congressman senses frustration at town hall meeting


Cornell (WQOW)- At times Wednesday, a town hall meeting looked like a stirred up hornet's nest.  In the middle of it was Congressman Sean Duffy.

The questions took a turn from being polite to one citizen getting fed up and angry with what he viewed as lawmakers not working for the American public.

"There is some frustration with how Congress works to put it gently and I'm a focal point that they can focus on," Duffy explains.

With a congressional approval rating of 18 percent, Congressman Duffy didn't expect a pat on the back at this town hall meeting in Cornell.  But he also didn't expect the following exchange.

"You voted just a few months to send another 37,000 National Guards to protect the women and children in Afghanistan when you don't even take care of them here in the United States," says one angry citizen, who cut the congressman off each time he tried to respond to the claim.

"A lot of them are angry and I'm their closest point to the federal government; more so than their senator.  They get to see me more.  They can talk to me more.  And yeah, you get people sometimes fired up.  But I think it's a good thing.  People are passionate about what's happening," Duffy says.

The congressman answered questions on a variety of subjects including social security, gun control, and why he voted against both the fiscal cliff deal, as well as aid for Sandy victims.

"I support getting dollars to help them out," Duffy says.  "My concern with the bill was that it wasn't paid for.  It's just being added on to the bill that we are going to pass to the next generation."

The congressman is promising one town hall per county every year.

"For me, it's a good way to listen to where people are at.  Where are there concerns?  What are the issues?  And I tell them what I'm seeing as well and for me, it makes me a better representative," states the congressman.

Congressman Duffy says he says he respects the efforts that went into the fiscal cliff agreement, which prevents tax increases for many Americans.  But says the country is on an unsustainable path.  He went on to say he voted against it because the bill did not include a serious plan to balance the budget or reduce the debt.

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