Republican Senator Joni Ernst faced a loud crowd at the University of Iowa Friday afternoon as she took questions at a town-hall-style meeting.
Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were the hot topic. The audience cheered when Ernst said it’s unlikely the GOP’s latest proposal will pass.
“We do have two members that have stated firmly they will not be supporting. There are likely others that will not be supporting,” Ernst said, as the crowd applauded.
The event was punctuated with lots of shouting and booing. A group of protesters gathered outside. Ernst told reporters afterwards that she expected it to be worse.
“I that know that tensions are running high,” she said. “There’s a lot of passionate feelings in this area, but Iowa has once again proven that we can have civil discourse.”
Ernst visits each of Iowa’s 99 counties annually, but this was the first time since Ernst became a senator in 2015 that she held a public forum in the state’s most Democratic county. The latest data indicates there are more than twice as many registered Democratic voters as there are Republicans in the county.
(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric)