Rep. Scott Perry hosting town hall in Red Lion

David Weissman

While some of his Republican colleagues have avoided public town-hall meetings, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry will face his constituents Saturday in Red Lion.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County, holds a news conference to unveil bipartisan legislation to ensure that money in the federal Crime Victims Fund is only used to assist crime victims, rather than paying for unrelated federal projects, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at the York County Children's Advocacy Center, in York City. Amanda J. Cain photo

The town hall will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Red Lion Area Junior High School, where he will provide a legislative update and answer questions from residents, according to a news release from his office.

Brandy Brown, a spokeswoman for his office, said Red Lion Area Superintendent Scott Deisley will serve as moderator for questions.

The U.S. congressman representing all or parts of York, Adams, Cumberland and Dauphin counties has reserved 400 seats in the school's cafeteria and expects a full house, Brown said.

Attendees are required to RSVP at www.perry.house.gov/town-hall or call 202-225-5836 and must live in the 4th Congressional District. Valid photo IDs are required for attendance. Brown said her office has already taken 300 RSVPs.

Several Republicans in the federal Legislature have been avoiding public town halls in the past few months after some colleagues faced harsh criticism at their public meetings.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said he wouldn't participate in town-hall meetings because political activists would just crash them to create a media spectacle where people heckle and scream at him.

Rubio cited protest tips by the Indivisible movement, which has a local action group in Perry's district. The organization urges grassroots protest groups to get to town-hall meetings early, spread out, be persistent and applaud others' questions.

Alissa Packer, who is on the steering committee for the local Indivisible group, said members of the group have been frantically reserving their spots at the town hall.

Packer said she personally would like to avoid any yelling or name-calling, but she's not going to judge those that do because she understands there are issues at stake that seriously affect people's lives, and Perry needs to understand that they're angry.

She said she intended to speak with other leaders of the group to plan questions, but she knows many residents want Perry to respond to the Congressional Budget Office report on the House GOP health care plan.

The report predicted that 24 million people would lose coverage by 2026 under the plan. When the plan was released, Perry said in a statement that he supported repealing the Affordable Care Act, but he had concerns about the proposed replacement.

Packer said she understands the ACA isn't perfect, but she believes there is bipartisan support nationwide for repairing it, rather than repealing and replacing it.

Packer, a Camp Hill resident, said she appreciates that Perry is willing to hold a public town-hall meeting, and she hopes to encourage Republicans to move away from Trump's agenda and more toward the center of the political spectrum.

Perry last held a public town hall in July, though Brown noted that he doesn't hold them during campaign season to ensure separation of campaign and legislative duties.

He held a Facebook Live town-hall meeting in February, and Saturday's meeting also will be broadcast on Perry's Facebook page.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.