Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) spoke with constituents at a Facebook small business event in Boise.
Amber Labelle (left) and Soraya Mazloomi (right) were disappointed with Risch's remarks on health care.
- Idaho Sen. Jim Risch took heated questions about healthcare from constituents this morning at a Facebook small business event at the Zions Bank Building. The questions focused on his voting record—specifically his "yea" vote on the McConnell amendment to the American Health Care Act.
Responding to inquiries, Risch said many of the people in Congress working on the problem of healthcare are doing it "in good faith," but Democrats stalled Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.
"We have reached across the aisle, and they have absolutely refused to engage," he said.
Risch went on to say Democrats "refused to take input from us at all" during the passage of the ACA—a dubious statement. Hundreds of Republican amendments were made to the ACA, though PolitiFact noted those amendments were largely technical in nature, and Republican ideas did not meaningfully shape the final bill. Risch also said he is "on a free-market side" to healthcare solutions.
Soraya Mazloomi, who was in attendance at the event, said, "I think [Risch is] living in an alternate-fact universe," and Amber Labelle, who first posed questions to the senator, was frustrated with his response, saying she wanted Risch to have more face time with his constituents.
"I want my elected officials to be accessible," she said.
In a presser following the main Facebook event, Sen. Risch also said he will endorse Lt. Gov. Brad Little in the Idaho gubernatorial race. Others running for governor include businessman Tommy Ahlquist and Rep. Raul Labrador.
- The New York Times reports President Donald Trump threatened a government shutdown during a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, if Congress doesn't provide funds for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in its new budget. The statement appears to have widened the gulf between the president and his party, just as congressional Republicans push for conservative legislation, including an overhaul of the tax code. During his presidential campaign, Trump told voters Mexico would pay for his proposed wall.
At the Facebook event this morning, Sen. Risch said "shutting down the government is never a good thing."
- Idaho Rep. Heather Scott (R-Blanchard) defended a post she shared on social media last week in an interview with Bonner County Daily Bee published Wednesday. The post, which originated on "The Common Sense Show" by Dave Hodges, is about how the media has used terms like "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. In sharing the post on Facebook, Scott included a quote from the article:
"The way the media has set this up, the mention of white nationalist, which is no more than a Caucasian who is for the Constitution and making America great again, and confusing it with term, ‘white supremacist’ which is extreme racism. Therefore, if one is ‘guilty’ of being white, one is clearly racist. And if one is white AND loves America, they are a white supremacist capable of carrying out violent acts against nonwhites."
In a statement to Daily Bee
, Scott wrote, "I post many different items on my Facebook in an effort to educate and engage citizens of our district and our state."