More than 4,000 participate in Bright’s telephone town hall

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, August 27, 2009

77 percent of callers to Rep. Bobby Bright’s telephone town hall meeting are opposed to the pending health care bill in Congress, according to the congressman’s office.

Bright hosted his sixth town hall by telephone for citizens in District 2. Callers were able to participate in a poll which asked if they were for or against the current health care reform proposal.

“I place a very high priority on listening to and communicating with my constituents,” Bright said. “I have heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from our previous telephone town halls because they are an effective way for me to communicate with so many folks in my district and to better understand their concerns and views.”

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Bright’s representatives said over 4,400 people stayed on the line for any part of the town hall. The call went out to approximately 40,000 households, which included hundreds of constituents who had specifically asked to participate.

The topic of the majority of callers? No surprise: health care.

“From the beginning, I have been opposed to the current health care legislation in Congress,” Bright said. “It is clear from this call, and from my many conversations with citizens across the Second District, that they are also opposed to the health care proposal. I will take those concerns back to Washington in September.”

Participants were given the chance to ask about any issue they chose. If listeners’ questions were not answered, they were able to leave a message for the Congressman or his staff.

In addition to health care concerns, Congressman Bright took questions on the “cap and trade” energy bill, veterans’ issues, the national debt and deficit, Social Security and Medicare, the Second Amendment, poverty, and immigration. 23 people were able to ask questions during the call, and 103 left voicemails for Congressman Bright at its conclusion.

Originally scheduled for an hour, the town hall lasted an additional 20 minutes due to the large call and question volume, said Bright’s office.

Although he won’t be visiting Greenville, Sen. Jeff Sessions has planned a town hall meeting for Wednesday, Sept. 2 in Andalusia at 2 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Kiwanis Club building at 20096 Kiwanis Dr., Highway 55/S. Bypass, in Andalusia.

The Senate will likely take up health care legislation upon its return to Washington following the August state work period. A number of proposals are under consideration in Congress, but a final bill has not been drafted.

In response to a wave of constituent inquiries about the various proposals, Sessions recently posted links on his Senate website to each of the major reform bills, as well as to a number of government agencies and independent organizations offering background information and analysis.

“It can be tough to track down the text of so many different proposals in Congress,” Boyd said. “Sen. Sessions has compiled that information in one place on his website to make it easier for constituents to find and read the bills.”

Sessions’ site can be found at