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…And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

Here’s a roundup of news coverage from outlets around the country regarding the public’s outrage over the Republican budget:

Palm Beach Post: “West, like Republicans at home district meetings nationwide, draws hecklers on Medicare.” U.S. Rep. Allen West's first town hall meeting since voting for a controversial Medicare proposal saw three hecklers removed. … Inside the meeting, West was less than a minute into his remarks tonight when two or three men began shouting from the audience."How about our Medicare that you're stealing?" shouted one."How about allowing questions from the audience?" shouted another man, apparently dissatisfied with West's decision to answer written questions submitted by audience members before the meeting.

The Slatest: “Medicare Plan puts GOP on Defensive.” It looks like House Republicans are getting their own taste of what it’s like to try to explain nuanced healthcare policy to a fearful public.A growing number of the GOP lawmakers are being met with public anger and outbursts at town hall meetings over the party’s proposal to overhaul Medicare.Still, Republicans haven’t had an easy go of it since returning home last week for a two-week district work period, the first time many lawmakers have met face-to-face with large public groups since the GOP unveiled its sweeping budget proposal.

Huffington Post: “GOP Town Halls: Reps Forced To Screen Questions, Duck Out Of Meetings In Secret.” The wave of town hall protests targeting House Republicans, and aided by labor and progressive groups, is forcing lawmakers to put restrictions on the forum’s traditionally open structure. On Tuesday night, Rep. Allen West’s office (R-Fl.) reportedly screened questioners during his town hall event by requiring individuals to fill out index cards which were then vetted by his staff.

CBS News: “Angry voters crowd GOP town meetings.” The town meetings in this mostly rural district are normally intimate affairs. But this week, constituents from Twin Lakes to Kenosha are being turned away as capacity crowds inside come to praise or condemn the plan Ryan likes to call the "path to prosperity.""Your plan screws the next two generations," one constituent is heard telling Ryan.Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, is trying to convince mostly older audiences that Medicare for future generations should be replaced with subsidies that would partly pay for private insurance.

Washington Post: “More voters in GOP districts angry over Ryan’s Medicare proposal.” With more House GOPers catching an earful from constituents worried about Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposals, here’s something to keep an eye out for: Do voters agree with the Dem argument — strongly denied by Republicans — that Ryan’s plan would end Medicare? Those interviewed either explicitly agree that the GOP plan ends Medicare, or suggest that the plan transforms the program’s mission so fundamentally that it will no longer play its intended role.

CNN: “Crowd turns loud at town hall session for freshman GOP rep.”House Republicans back home for congressional recess have been getting some tough questions about plans to overhaul Medicare, but GOP freshman Daniel Webster's town hall meeting in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday was beyond tough - it turned into a chaotic scene. As one man held a sign saying "keep your hands off my Medicare," another woman screamed that the congressman voted to give corporations a tax cut "but take away Medicare for people like me."

KGO AM 810 via ABC Radio: “GOP Lawmakers Face Angry, Confused Constituents on Cuts.” The backlash that some Republican members of Congress are facing in town hall meetings over their 2012 budget proposal rings a familiar bell. As Republican members take to the road during their two-week break from Congress to try and sell the budget proposal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, they are facing similar questions, though the outcry thus far has not yet escalated to the level that their Democratic counterparts faced. Americans are particularly concerned, and somewhat confused, about the proposal to overhaul Medicare, a central feature of the Wisconsin Congressman's proposal.

The Nation: “As Congressional GOP Faces Voter Anger at Town Meetings, Senator Urges Hiding Out in DC.” Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, continues to be confronted with tough questions on his listening-session tour of southeastern Wisconsin communities. He’s been forced to move several of the events to bigger venues to accommodate the crowds—after things got tight and tense in places such at Milton, Wisconsin, where the crowd in a small venue was challenging him at every turn. … So what should Republicans do? Newly elected Illinois Senator Mark Kirk has an idea. Instead of hearing what the people have to say, the Republican senator is suggesting that members of Congress should hunker down in DC.

Think Progress: “Duffy Gets Huffy: Congressman Tells Voters Concerned With Ryan Budget To ‘Have Your Own Town Hall’. As ThinkProgress reported last week, GOP Rep. Sean Duffy (WI) was encountered angry opposition from his constituents at a town hall meeting last week in Wisconsin. Locals objected to Duffy advocating for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan that would effectively end Medicare while at the same time advocating for cutting taxes even more for the richest people. Now, more video has been posted on YouTube from the same town hall, revealing that Duffy faced even more opposition on the Ryan budget than previously thought.

FrumForum: “GOP Freshmen take heat for Ryan’s Medicare Plan.” During the two week recess in their home districts, Republican freshmen are getting challenged by constituents on their votes which would drastically change Medicare.

Penn. Ave: “Barletta town hall gets heated over Medicare.” Reminiscent of the August 2009 town halls when members of Congress faced angry constituents over health care reforms, a public forum in Carbon County with Rep. Lou Barletta Wednesday night provided a glimpse of the strong emotions stirred by a Republican plan to alter Medicare benefits.

The Hill: “Pa. GOPer takes sharp questions on Ryan budget vote.” First-term Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) has been the recipient of sharp questions from constituents this week about the House Republican budget and its proposed changes to Medicare.

Think Progress: “More Republican Congressmen Face Town Hall Backlash Over Tax Breaks For Wealthy And Medicare Privatization.” Earlier this week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) held town halls across his district to defend his budget’s plan to end Medicare and extend tax cuts for the wealthy. During a stop in Milton, WI Ryan’s constituents made their feelings apparent, booing down the seven-term congressman when he defended tax breaks for the rich, as ThinkProgress first reported.

ABC News: “Republican Lawmakers Face Angry, Confused Constituents on Medicare, Budget Cuts.” The backlash that some Republican members of Congress are facing in town hall meetings over their 2012 budget proposal rings a familiar bell.

Politico: “Freshman feel the heat back home.” Any lawmaker in a swing district can expect to take criticism from his right flank at a town hall meeting. But at an American Veterans outpost tucked deep in the Pocono Mountains this week, freshman Republican Rep. Lou Barletta took heat from every direction — from Democrats angry with the tax cuts in the GOP budget, to conservatives who thought he caved on the last continuing resolution vote, to a precocious 16-year-old critical of the lawmaker’s environmental record. First Barletta was told “not to be steadfast in Paul Ryan’s Republican plan,” to “bend a little, work and come together to pass something that’s agreeable to everybody.”

USA Today: “Republicans in Congress get earful on Medicare.” Some Republicans in Congress are getting an earful back home over their votes to dramatically revamp Medicare for seniors. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who proposed changing the federal entitlement into a voucher program, got booed at such a meeting in his district last week. Rep. Charlie Bass, R-N.H., who represents a district that voted for Democrats Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential contest and John Kerry in the 2004 race, was questioned about Medicare in his swing district.

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