POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Senator Romney Holds First Town Hall Since Taking Office

Jan 23, 2019, 1:04 AM | Updated: 1:19 am

FARMINGTON, Utah – Hundreds of people, many federal government workers, lined up to ask Senator Mitt Romney questions Tuesday night in his first town hall meeting.

On day 32 of the government shutdown, those in attendance were full of emotion.

“My sister has been out of work for more than a month, and she is afraid of losing her home,” Angela Urrea said. “People are suffering, and everyone is sick of this.”

Urrea told KSL 5 TV she wasn’t optimistic about the town hall.

“I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney. I am not a fan,” Urrea said. “But I was pleasantly surprised. He was reasonable, willing to listen and knowledgeable.”

As numerous people asked Sen. Romney if the end of the shutdown is in sight, he agreed with his constituents and said, “This shutdown is not the way to get things done.”

Some in the audience also asked the Senator to be more forceful in Washington.

One woman asked about Russian oil sanctions.

Others asked Romney about raising the bar in public education, media literacy, prescription drug abuse and illegal immigration.

The comments were mostly civil, however, the border wall and immigration reform brought out some comments that stirred booing from the crowd.

In response to immigration reform, Romney noted 660 miles of border fence already exists from the eras of previous presidents.

“I hope Senator Romney follows through with his opinion that the government should get back to work and then the negotiations should happen,” Richard Smykaa said. “I am all for that. Federal employees should not be held hostage while our leaders work out their differences.”

A handful of people in the crowd said they felt Sen. Romney wasn’t supporting the Republican Party by disagreeing with President Trump.

“When we have a deal that is good for Utah and good for the citizens of this country, then I will support the President,” Sen. Romney said from the podium.

Sen. Romney shook hands and visited people in two other rooms who had been listening to the question and answer session via a KSL livestream.

U.S. Senators will be allowed to vote on a bill that could end the shutdown, Thursday.

Related: Weber County Commissioners Discuss Financial Fears With Sen. Romney

KSL 5 TV Live

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Senator Romney Holds First Town Hall Since Taking Office