SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Congressman Buddy Carter’s held three town halls Thursday. The biggest and the loudest was the third at Bible Baptist Church in Savannah, with about 200 people in attendance.
This isn’t Savannah resident Cubby Plonchak’s first Carter Town Hall. She came with a question she said he had been asked before: “Are you listening to your constituents?”
Buddy Carter is one of few congressmen who holds town halls and while his constituents are grateful, they want their congressman to listen.
“Out of over an hour of questioning he didn’t have one question from a supporter,” said Savannah resident Jane Rago, “I think that very clearly says he’s not listening to his constituents.”
Carter’s response: “I am listening, that’s why I’m here.”
Many people came out to talk healthcare, like Savannah resident Cody Shelley.
“I’m really here to support our local turn out to be part of the show of force people that want to support healthcare reform and not repeal,” Shelley said. Most folks came to stand up for the Affordable Care Act.
“Premiums in the state of Georgia are going up 106%… people have lost choices, people have had increased in their premiums in their deductibles,” said Carter, “We’re offering a better way. We’ve offered the American Healthcare Act that’s going to bring us accessible, affordable, and patient-centered healthcare.”
Another hot topic: global warming.
“We’re living in a low coastal region where things like climate change actually matter because sea rise is happening whether we like to admit it or not,” said Savannah resident, Julie Sappington.
Carter said he believes in climate change, but questions it’s entirely manmade. When asked if he would reconsider his support of off-shore drilling, he repllied, “We have to have energy independence. He said we can’t rely on the Middle East for oil so “we have to keep an open mind”.
After this heated town hall, many walked away upset and some were kind of proud, like Savannah resident Tony Center.
“It’s very hostile crowd, it’s a very lively crowd,” Center said, “Congressman Carter handled himself very well even though he appears to be totally out of step with majority of the people here today.”
Carter told News Three, “Once you get past some of the big issues like healthcare like abortion those things are very divisive and it’s very aggravating and very disturbing to think that everyone thinks that we don’t work together in Congress actually we do.”
Other contentious issues brought up included abortion, taxes, and North Korea, but Congressman Carter says he is proud to represent the state where he grew up, and the opportunity to let people speak.