Crowds pack Amash, Huizenga town hall meetings

Posted at 12:20 PM, Feb 25, 2017

WEST MICHIGAN — Michigan Congressmen Justin Amash and Bill Huizenga were met by a packed houses in Hastings and Baldwin, respectively, as the Republican representatives hosted separate, and at times raucous, town hall meetings Saturday.

Amash hosted a town hall meeting at the County Commission on Aging in Hastings. Amash was met by a large crowd that packed the room Saturday.

The room held about 200 people and beyond that dozens more were lined up outside hoping to get inside.

The proceedings were contentious and lasted several hours beyond the announced ending time of 11:30 a.m., marking Amash's fourth town hall of the year.

At the same time people lined up outside Baldwin High School in anticipation of Huizenga's first in-person town hall meeting of the year in Lake County. It was part of his tour across the 2nd District.

More than 200 people were on hand for Huizenga's town hall, which also was contentious at times.

Huizenga is one of a group of Republican leaders holding town hall-style events this weekend. Huizenga said he hoped to have productive dialogue with his constituents on the hot button issues of healthcare, immigration and the economy. Despite some heated moments at other town halls across the country, Huizenga said he was eager to do it.

"Hopefully we can witness a robust conversation about immigration, health care and a number of other issues that we are dealing with," Huizenga told FOX 17 ahead of the meeting.

"The economy is something I do a lot of work on with my financial services committee and I hope that it is respectful and productive and I would expect that it would be."

Huizenga was criticized earlier in the month for a telephone town hall after many people claimed they were unable to call in to participate. The Republican congressman also faced criticism for the location of Saturday's town hall, given the smaller population of the area compared to other parts of the district.

"We have done an annual snowmobile tour in the northern part of the district," Huizenga explained. "I had promised this to folks locally back in December and early January."

Huizenga says he'll host another town hall in the southern portion of the district in early March.