Unlike colleagues, Michigan congressman embraces town halls

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan congressman is embracing the town halls that many of his Republican counterparts have avoided as people lash out at President Donald Trump’s early actions and the planned repeal of the federal health care law.

“It’s my duty to be here,” Rep. Justin Amash, 36, said Thursday after taking pointed questions for 90 minutes during a raucous session inside a gymnasium in Battle Creek, 110 miles west of Detroit.

He will host another town hall on Saturday, his fourth in nearly six weeks, and promises more in the future.

The events are earning Amash, one of Trump’s most prominent GOP critics, some respect from angry Democrats who vehemently oppose many of the congressman’s stances but credit him for listening to his constituents rather than ducking them.

Others “don’t have the guts to come and take the heat like Justin Amash just did,” said Deborah Look, 60, a retired special education teacher from Battle Creek who participated in the town meeting. She said when Amash tweeted “Dude, just stop” last month after Trump’s criticism of legendary civil rights activist John Lewis, it “gave me hope.”

Known for libertarian views that put him at odds with the Republican establishment, the fourth-term congressman also has encountered criticism from Trump loyalists.

Reggie Dickson, 80, a retired principal from Battle Creek who voted for Trump to “drain the swamp” in Washington, said after the town hall that he likes Amash’s adherence to the Constitution but is…

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