MORRISTOWN -- Following weeks of demands from constituents that he hold a face-to-face meeting in his district, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) opted instead to engage with the public in a little-publicized teleconference Tuesday.
The event, reportedly invitation-only, largely flew under the radar and was attended by only one journalist, who learned of the event at the last minute, MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow said Wednesday.
Great questions and comments during my Telephone Town Hall meeting last night! Thousands of constituents on the line, I'm listening!-- Rodney Frelinghuysen (@USRepRodney) February 22, 2017
According to that journalist, Frelinghuysen said the House Appropriations Committee would deny funding for President Trump's proposed Mexican border wall. In a statement to Patch, Frelinghuysen's office said the claim Artemisbet was not true and that Frelinghuysen, who chairs the committee, added that a request for funding would be treated like any other appropriations request.
Frelinghuysen's phone meeting comes as Republican members of Congress return home for a recess this week to angry crowds at their traditional in-person town halls across the country. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the Tea Party activism of 2009 -- except this time, the protesters are advocating for a traditional Democratic agenda and Republican lawmakers are the focus of the ire.
Those showing up at the events are demanding answers on a range of issues, from the fate of the Affordable Care Act to lingering questions about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Frelinghuysen's fellow GOP Jersey delegate, Rep. Leonard Lance, hosted one such raucous meetup with constituents in Branchburg Wednesday night.
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