As voters continue to bring their health care concerns to town-hall meetings, many Blue Dog Democrats whose votes for or against health care reform are among the most coveted in the House shifted toward conference calls instead of public meetings to talk to their constituents.Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) was one of the few Blue Dogs to meet publicly with her constituents this weekend. On Saturday, she tried to to separate fact from fiction in Sharon, Pa., according to the Herald in Mercer County. Ive read the bill and it does not in any way promote euthanasia, she told them. It gives you the ability to sit down with your doctor and talk about end-of-life issues such as will-writing and hospice care, and the doctor will be reimbursed. Before, they werent reimbursed for that.Rep. Bart Gordon (Tenn.) originally planned only to host conference calls but ultimately scheduled two in-person appearances.However, other Blue Dogs are choosing to speak with constituents over the phone, including Reps. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.), Walt Minnick (Idaho), Glenn Nye (Va.) and Dennis Moore (Kan.). Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.) addressed 24 questions in a call-in on Thursday night, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. He also answered two written questions at the Henderson County Democratic Partys picnic on Saturday, the Times-News in Hendersonville noted.Some constituents didnt wait for their Representative to show up in person or on the phone. In Kentucky, some of Rep. Ben Chandlers (D) constituents brought their complaints to a dummy likeness of the Congressman at a town hall in Lexington, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. In California, almost 200 supporters and opponents of health care reform gathered outside the Modesto office of Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D) to demand a meeting with the lawmaker, the Modesto Bee reported.Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.) didnt plan to hold town halls following a Congressional delegation trip, according to the Oklahoman, but he has now scheduled three meetings for Tuesday.Some of Borens Blue Dog colleagues were scheduled to face their constituents on Monday, including Reps. Allen Boyd (Fla.), Christopher Carney (Pa.), Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Gene Taylor (Miss.).See the full list of Mondays town halls at Congress.org.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.