LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Dozens of people packed into the Live Oak High School Cafeteria Tuesday night, many hungry to ask U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy questions. The meeting was supposed to be focused on flood relief, but it quickly turned political, overshadowed by recent events in Washington.
Cassidy touted the Trump administration and its work to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It was something met by both praise and disgust. "We will not only be repealing, but replacing Obamacare," Cassidy said.
Wendy Johnson attended the town hall and said with so many flood questions left unanswered, she was expecting a little more from the meeting.
"I fixed my home and I fixed my mother's home," Johnson said. "We are so devastated by every hurricane and now floods that are coming at us and I don't believe that these issues are being addressed at all."
Still others say their questions about the President were not acknowledged. "An effective town hall should take questions from people in the audience rather than having to submit a question which can be pre-screened by staff. I don't feel it was fair," Carol Dreher added.
Cassidy said his office has been swamped with calls lately, but encourages folks to continue to call back with their concerns.
"We had 400 people," Cassidy said. "I'll stay and answer questions now and we'll take those questions and try and answer them online."
The line of folks waiting to bring their concerns to the senator spilled outside, eventually ending in quite a heated exchange over how the town hall was handled. "You immediately divided the audience and said, 'Oh, well there are a lot of Trump supporters and there are a lot of anti-Trump people here,'" Dreher said. "By that one question, that wasn't fair. That was a cheap shot."
"I did not intend for it to be," Cassidy said. "I apologize because I truly didn't and we are Americans."
Cassidy said he cannot control the President, but rather it is his job to push policy that he believes in.