Congressman ends interview when asked about screening town hall attendees

When the reporter asked Monday why Blum was insisting on seeing identification papers of people attending a town hall meeting, Blum said he wanted attendees from his congressional district, adding, "We don't want people from Chicago there or Des Moines there or Minneapolis there". The interview took place at the Dubuque Dream Center, which helps poor children in the area.

An Iowa congressman walked out of a television interview on Monday, declining to explain why his staff is prescreening constituents who plan to attend his town hall meetings this week. Blum dismissively responded, "I don't represent all Iowans. They should go talk to their representatives at their town hall meetings", he told anchor Josh Scheinblum.

Q: Well I think some would make the case that you represent all Iowans. I represent the first district of Iowa.

Just five days following the House Republicans getting the votes to start the repeal-and-replace process for the Affordable Care Act, those elected officials who voted yes are returning to their home districts with constituents calling them liars, urging them to do their jobs and suggesting that they even go back to college.

"I'm done ... this is ridiculous", Blum said, ending the interview and accusing the reporter of trying to "badger" him.

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It was a rough start to a recess week for Blum, a second-term lawmaker representing a swing district that voted narrowly for President Donald Trump a year ago after supporting Barack Obama in 2012. They also bitched him out over the out-of-state donations in addition to his support of the ghoulish AHCA bill that just passed the House.

"Trumpcare, whatever you want to call it, is about the individual market only", Blum said, referring to the GOP proposal. Numerous questions came from people who did not support Blum's recent vote to repeal Obamacare.

"Would I take donations?"

We want people from the first district to be at our town halls, we don't want people from outside of the first district.

Monday's interview wasn't the only grilling Blum faced that day.

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"Congressman, come on, take a seat", Scheinblum replied, still seated.

And boom, it becomes an instant national story, a microcosm of how conservative Republicans, especially in swingy districts, are struggling to defend why they voted for a bill many of them despise. "And the answer is, 'Yes, '" Blum said to boos.

In the political tinderbox that is much of America right now, one impulsive comment or action - like walking out of a TV interview that hadn't even touched on health care - can light a fire that spreads across the nation.

"You voted for this bill in a rush".

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