There wasn’t an empty seat in the house at the First Presbyterian Church in the Flourtown section of Springfield in Montgomery County for U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle’s town hall meeting. About 300 people turned out Sunday afternoon to discuss concerns related to President Trump and his administration.
The event was organized to provide updates on current events in Washington and across the 13th congressional district, which covers parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
Kristen Lewis from Blue Bell was one of the many people in attendance worried about the potential impact president Trump’s policies might have on the environment.
“What we’re seeing in the news right now concerns me because we have an administration that basically said that they’re here to burn the whole thing down,” said Lewis. “They want to take down the regulations that are keeping our environment safe, keeping our kids safe.”
Boyle, a Democrat, echoed Lewis’ concerns and highlighted the work he is doing to promote environmental protection. He is a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives.
He said there is a need to focus on job growth but that does not have to come at the cost of polluting the environment.
“We clearly need to promote our economy and do everything we can to support jobs but we have to remember that we have a constitutional right, in the [Pennsylvania] constitution at least, to clean air and clean water,” said Boyle.
Those in attendance also expressed a deep concern over the president and members of his administration’s potential relationship with Russia. When pressed on the possibility of impeachment Boyle said the “I” word people should be focused on right now is “investigation,” not impeachment.
“We need to have an investigation because we need to establish the credibility and the accepted facts on the ground,” said Boyle.
Boyle pointed out a majority vote is needed for an impeachment and said that would fall short. He drew parallels between the Trump and Richard Nixon. Boyle is calling for a nonpartisan independent investigation into the President’s administration.
“Remember in Watergate it was ultimately the senate republicans — that famous story — that took a ride up to the White House, led by Barry Goldwater,” said Boyle. “And said there isn’t the support in Congress. That point the tapes had come out and released and showed that obstruction of justice had happened.”
The audience was largely made up of Boyle’s supporters. He was impressed by the passion of those in attendance and says it was a more supportive crowd than he expected.
“I was surprised by the lack of pushback and the lack of support for Trump, that there weren’t more people from the other side that were disagreeing with me,” said Boyle.