Government

Lance to Hold Town Hall Meeting Feb. 22; Summit Activists Among Those Pressing Congressman on ACA Stance

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Members of NJ7 Forward after delivering a petition to Congressman Leonard Lance's office. Credits: NJ7 Forward
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FLEMINGTON, NJ - Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) has announced that he will hold a town hall meeting on February 22 at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.

An announcement from Lance's office noted that this will be Lance's 41st in-person town hall meeting, and that he is expected to discuss "the important issues facing Congress and the American people," will take questions, and "share his views on issues like strengthening the economy, tax reform, border security, international affairs and repealing and replacing Obamacare."

Members of Lance’s staff will be available to assist residents who are experiencing difficulties with federal agencies such as the IRS, Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, the State Department or any other federal agency.

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The announcement comes after several weekly 'rallies' were held at Lance's Westfield office organized by New Jersey Citizen Action which, according to their website, is "a statewide grassroots organization that fights for economic and social justice."

One of those events, a two-hour rally on January 25, drew an reported 100-plus area residents to a second installment 'Moral Wednesdays' which were designed to support the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Members of the Summit Municipal Democratic Committee were present at the rallies which, according to SMDC Chairwoman Susan Hairston, "are a great opportunity for concerned citizens to be heard in District 7. They have been a positive, affirming experience and I am confident that we are going to make a difference.”

Speaking at the rally, Ann Vardeman of New Jersey Citizen Action said, “We’re here to tell Leonard Lance that he can’t vote to take away health care for one million New Jerseyans.” 

Vardeman noted that Lance met with attendees at the prior week's rally, allowing several people who depend on the Affordable Care Act to tell him about its impact on their lives.

Lance has been consistent in supporting the repeal and replacement of the ACA, saying in an February 3, 2016, press release statement, "For my part I support replacing Obamacare with H.R. 2300, a sensible proposal that includes bolstering health savings accounts, incentives for states to control health care costs, allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, permitting small businesses to pool together to purchase coverage for their employees, creating state-based insurance pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions and medical malpractice reform.  This much-needed repeal and replacement bill will lower costs, increase quality of care, and put patients back in charge of their healthcare coverage.”

In a related activity, a group named NJ7 Forward -- whose stated mission is "representing concerned residents who live in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District" -- delivered a petition with more than 1.400 signatures asking Lance to schedule a town hall meeting soon so he can respond to constituents' concerns.

Prior to the announcement that a town hall meeting had been scheduled, Lance spokesperson John Byers told TAPinto Summit in an e-mail that Lance and his staff were planning the event, working through timing and logistical considerations. "Keep in mind that the Congressman has been working in Washington since the start of the year so we are looking at days when Congress is out of session and lawmakers are home in their districts working. The next such period is the week of the 20th. These events take serious planning. Centrally located in the district, venue big enough to fit several hundred people and, most importantly, security."  

Byers added that it is "important to note this will be Congressman Lance’s 41st in-person town hall meeting -- more than all other New Jersey Representatives and U.S. Senators combined. This is in addition to 45 telephone town hall meetings, plus he meets with constituents personally on a weekly basis."

The event is free and open to NJ-07 residents only.  To help ensure seating, RSVPs are requested via Lance’s website at lance.house.gov/townhallrsvp.

For more information, call Lance’s district office at 908-788-6900 (Flemington) or 908-518-7733 (Westfield).

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