When Congress takes a break, it’s customary for members of the House and Senate to return to their districts and use the time to meet with constituents. This is how they hear what’s on the minds of the people they represent back home.
That didn’t happen here in Texas’ 21st Congressional District. Instead, here’s a brief list of things that Representative Lamar Smith skipped out on during his time in Texas last week.
- Visit tornado victims in the district.
Hundreds of San Antonio residents in the 21st District had their homes damaged by storms last Sunday night. Although Rep. Smith’s affected constituents reside only minutes from his district office in San Antonio, he did not stop by to check in on them or extend concerns about their well-being.
- Meet with hundreds of constituents who showed up to see him.
All over the country members of Congress met with constituents at town hall events, but not here. Despite petitions, calls, and visits requesting his presence, Rep. Smith avoided our town hall that attracted an overflow crowd of 600 people.
— Alex Carvalho (@alexcarvalho) February 26, 2017
- Talk to voters concerned about health insurance.
Small business owner Eliot Kimber is among the people who wanted to find out about what Congress has planned for health care. Kimber says he got to start the consulting firm he runs today because the Affordable Care Act made it possible for him and his family to have coverage. He wanted to ask Smith how a plan to replace the law squares with ideas of helping businesses get ahead. Legislation expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives this week would leave hundreds of thousands of people like Kimber without affordable options.
- Answer his youngest constituents’ questions about their future.
Children in the district were among the many concerned citizens who made Valentines for Rep. Smith this month to ask that he start showing some love for our planet. Our congressman has been denying the scientific consensus that the Earth is heating up in ways that threaten this generation and future generations especially. Unsurprisingly, this question came up at the town hall, too:
— C Foote (@technolibrary) February 26, 2017
- Address real concerns about Russia, the travel ban, and where our country is headed.
These are serious times, and people in the district have serious questions for Rep. Smith about what’s happening. The congressman chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which means he is in a position to help influence what happens next. Wouldn’t it have been nice to get some answers to questions like these?