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Rep. Scott Perry to host Facebook town hall meeting

Jason Addy
505-5437/@JasonAddyYD

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry will host an online town hall meeting Wednesday night, where his constituents will have the opportunity to ask their congressman about the issues that matter most to them.

From his office in Washington, D.C., Perry will broadcast live on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., as he fields questions posted on his public page.

Scott Perry conducts a  Facebook Live Town Hall last year. He is hosting another town hall meeting March 18.

Perry’s last Facebook Town Hall on Dec. 6 lasted just over 45 minutes and received nearly 2,000 views, with the congressman answering questions on a range of issues from accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs to York County’s air quality to how he would work with President Donald Trump.

Perry, R-York County, posted a reminder about the event to his page on Sunday, and it has since garnered almost 50 comments.

If those comments are anything to go by, Perry can expect to spend much of Wednesday's event answering for some of the controversial measures and actions taken by President Donald Trump in his first few weeks in office.

Several of those who commented on the post demanded a response from the congressman about the resignation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, and allegations of repeated contact between members of Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian intelligence officials.

Flynn stepped down on Monday night after reports from the New York Times and Washington Post revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with Russian officials during Trump’s transition to the White House.

National security adviser Flynn resigns amid Russia controversy

Some commenters asked Perry to explain what the future of public education will look like under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who faced strong opposition to her confirmation.

DeVos was confirmed last week after Pence cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

Senate confirms DeVos as education secretary

Others want Perry to convey his plans to replace the Affordable Care Act and how he will address funding for science-related fields and campaign finance reform.

Many of those who commented asked why Perry was not holding an in-person town-hall meeting.

In a written statement, Perry’s spokesman Bob Reilly said the congressman regularly holds town halls on Facebook and over the telephone, and he has hosted 18 in-person meetings in all four counties in his district since taking office in 2013.

Reilly said Perry has also met with hundreds of constituents individually in his first four years and will continue to do so.

"Paid protesters": While speaking with Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel on Tuesday, Perry said he had seen Facebook “ads for paid protesters” outside town halls recently held by Republicans, according to a tweet from Weigel.

Perry spoke to other members of Congress and saw news reports about “well-financed progressive groups, including Organizing for Action, MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress, organizing protest efforts in other parts of the country against Republican officials,” Reilly said, adding that the groups have used social media to spread their message.

However, Reilly did not confirm Perry’s statement that the advertisements for these organization’s protest efforts included offers for payment.

When asked if protesters must be paid in order to organize against Republican officials, Reilly said the congressman encourages his constituents to be “active participants in our democracy and to be heard.”

“In the last few weeks, many 4th District residents have called, written or visited our offices expressing their concerns about issues like health care and immigration — on all sides of the issues. That’s how democracy should work,” Reilly wrote in the statement. “These are local citizens taking time out of their days to be engaged in our political process. They don’t need outside influences to be heard.”