FALCONER – About 40 people were at the Town of Ellicott Municipal Building in Falconer Thursday to attend a Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23).
Topics that were discussed included the Mexico-Canada trade agreement, clean and renewable energy initiatives and impeachment. The last topic created the most contentious back-and-forth between the Congressman and attendees, with some raising their voices at times and interrupting Reed as he explained why he doesn’t support the impeachment process against President Trump.
During the opening remarks of the meeting, Reed, a 5-term republican congressman from Corning- reiterated his views on the issue of impeaching president Trump.
“Right now the topic of the day is impeachment. Impeachment has taken up the airwaves and kind of taken up the oxygen in the room. As I have publicly stated and I will state here again, I do not support the impeachment process. I don’t support the inquiries,” Reed said. “When you look at impeachment, the lessons of President Clinton, the lessons of President Nixon, and when impeachment is employed historically we’re talking about the overturning a duly held election in America. Going down the path, in my opinion, is not warranted.”
Following his opening remarks, it was another 20 minutes or so before impeachment was brought up again. But once it was, the issue took up the vast remainder of the hour-long meeting with Reed and attendees trading remarks on the matter, often times talking over each other in the process.
Most of those in attendance appeared to disagree with Reed about the impeachment issue. But while Reed was unable to convince many in the room that Impeachment is unwarranted, there was some agreement when it came to U.S. troops in Syria, when Reed explained that he has always been against any president using military forces without first consulting with Congress and has pushed for that Congressional approval despite it not being a popular sentiment.
“I can tell you the conversations that are occurring on the floor of the house. ‘Tom, why do you keep advocating for a politically toxic vote that you would have to take if you’re going to put men and women into war zones?’ I said to them to their face, ‘If you’re telling me that we’re going to ask men and women of the military to risk their physical lives in terms of a mission that we’re asking them to do, I can risk my political life in regards to taking that vote up or down,” Reed said, followed by applause from those in attendance.
Following the meeting, we asked Reed for his reaction to the response he got from those in attendance as well as if there were any takeaways from the hour-long conversation.
“There’s a lot of passion out there in America today and obviously you saw some of that displayed today. But I think we had a good conversation on Syria and it was good to see people recognized where we are coming from,” Reed said. “But overall this is what it’s all about – just continuing to be accessible and they now know the people behind the voices and faces in the office so they can feel comfortable giving us a call.”
Meanwhile Reed was in Jamestown earlier in the day to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony that was held at the Chautauqua Center on Institute St.
Reed said the new medical center will improve the quality of health care in the Jamestown area.
“They’re having 200 patients a day coming through there and that integrated care model is something I’m a big fan. Where you have easy access to all the care, to get all the concerns when somebody walks into a doctor’s office or a provider’s office, one location to take care of all the problems to the best extent possible,” Reed said.
The new facility was made possible with federal and state grants that were secured, in part, through the work of Reed’s office along with that of Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
For more information, visit thechautauquacenter.org.