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"Payback Recess" began Friday, with demonstrations like this one outside the office of Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder, one of 217 GOP members who voted Thursday to take away Americans' healthcare. (Photo: @Indivisiblekan3)

After Trumpcare Vote, GOP Lawmakers to Face Angry Voters During 'Payback Recess'

"The overwhelming response we've seen from countless Americans ensures that many House Republicans will quickly regret their vote"

Deirdre Fulton

Enraged voters are eager to confront Republican lawmakers who voted Thursday to take away their healthcare, planning a mass show of resistance to Trumpcare at upcoming town hall meetings in home districts during what one group is calling "Payback Recess."

Following Thursday's House passage of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), progressive groups warned representatives: "See you at the ballot box."

Before that, they'll see them at hometown forums, where Republican members of Congress (MoCs) will be held to account for supporting Trumpcare—described by the Indivisible Guide as "a moral monstrosity."

Those of them who are daring to hold town halls in the first place, that is (which, according to the latest tally from the Town Hall Project, is just 10 members).

Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican who represents parts of upstate New York and voted in favor of Trumpcare on Thursday, will be one of the first to face the gauntlet; he has three town hall meetings scheduled for Saturday.

New Jersey Republican Tom MacArthur, who helped craft an amendment that gutted protections for pre-existing conditions, thus making Trumpcare more palatable to far-right represenatatives, is holding a town hall on Wednesday.

Two MoCs holding town halls next week—Rod Blum of Iowa and Don Bacon of Nevada—have also been identified as "among the most endangered Republicans up for re-election next year," according to Daily Kos.

Blum is also one of a handful of Republicans who switched their vote at the last minute from opposing the bill to supporting it, as are Tom Garrett and Dave Brat—both of Virginia and both holding town halls on Tuesday. 

Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), another Republican whose seat may now be up for grabs in 2018, has been invited to attend a constituent-led town hall in Irvine, California on Tuesday. She is unlikely to attend.

"Days after President Trump's inauguration," USA Today reported Friday, Walters "vowed to protect patients with pre-existing conditions in any plan to replace the Affordable Care Act." Yet in a statement following Thursday's vote, the paper noted, "she didn't mention pre-existing conditions."

Those too scared to meet constituents in the coming days won't be off the hook for long. On Friday, left-leaning groups Daily Kos, Swing Left, and ActBlue announced a "staggering 45,000 grassroots donations to the tune of more than $2 million raised for the eventual Democratic challengers to House Republicans who voted to repeal healthcare"—all of it pouring in overnight.

"The overwhelming response we've seen from countless Americans ensures that many House Republicans will quickly regret their vote, and sends a clear signal to those in both the House and Senate that supporting the AHCA and the Republican agenda comes with a political price," said Ethan Todras-Whitehill, executive director and co-founder of Swing Left.

On Friday, Payback Recess had already begun, with a protest outside the office of Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), another lawmaker identified as vulnerable in 2018.


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