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Town halls: Huizenga supports Syrian airstrikes, Amash says House Speaker should be non-partisan

Posted at 11:39 PM, Apr 11, 2017

WEST MICHIGAN -- West Michigan congressmen Bill Huizenga and Justin Amash each hosted their own town hall meetings Tuesday night.

Rep. Huizenga spent nearly two hours taking questions from constituents. Much of the conversation revolved around health care reform and the airstrikes launched at Syria.

"And now I see [President Trump] does not go to Congress before he bombs Syria, after he said half a dozen times, 'Do not go into Syria, do not go into Syria,'" said one of Huizenga's constituents.

Huizenga says he supports the president's decision to retaliate for the gas attacks in Syria, saying the Assad regime has to go.

"Clearly what I saw was split," Huizenga said. "There were folks who were adamantly opposed; there were others who were very supportive. I just don't understand how defending the Assad regime using barrel bombs to gas kids is a position you want to hold."

Many people in the audience challenged Huizenga on health care reform, some expressing their enthusiasm for a single payer system. Huizenga says something like that wouldn't work.

Amash also fielded questions about health care reform and the Syrian airstrikes. Amash believes the Democrats should be involved in any sort of reform the House tackles next.

And as for action in Syria, Amash says Congress needs to be involved in authorizing military operations. "We don't want to be getting into situations where the president alone is putting us into conflicts," Amash said. "In matters of war, we need to have unity."

Meanwhile, Rep. Amash garnered national attention after he made a comment Monday when he hinted on how Congress might benefit from a Speaker of the House. "Speaker Ryan needs to change the direction of the House, or he needs to move into a more non-partisan process-oriented role or we'll move in a different direction," Amash told FOX 17 Tuesday at his town hall in Pennfield Township. "The issue is not about whether this Speaker should be the Speaker or not. It’s about how the Speaker's role should operate. And the Speaker should be a process person first, someone who cares about the institution and makes sure it runs properly and that the will of the American people is reflected in the legislation.”

Amash is hosting a third town hall Wednesday night in Byron Center at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center at 8500 Burlingame Ave SW. It starts at 5:30 p.m.