Cunningham hosts town hall event Saturday

VIDEO: Cunningham to host town hall event downtown

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - First District Congressman Joe Cunningham hosted a town hall event in downtown Charleston Saturday morning.

It took place at the Charleston County Public Library at 68 Calhoun St. from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

People came out to ask questions and voice their concerns. They had the opportunity to write their questions on paper. They were randomly selected for him to answer.

Cunningham spoke on various topics including his support of impeachment against President Donald Trump, environmental and healthcare concerns, off-shore drilling and more.

Nancy Gorlesky attended the town hall event.

“I was impressed, he answered several questions and I like Joe, I really do,” Gorlesky.

Others had different views including Judy Wilson who also attended the town hall.

“I wanted to hear what he had to say, and I would have to say I was really disappointed," Wilson said.

Saturday’s town hall event comes on the heels of Cunningham’s vote this week against a House War Powers Resolution seeking to limit President Donald Trump’s authorization to take military action against Iran. Cunningham also spoke about that decision at the town hall.

“The safety and security of American lives at home and abroad is my top priority in Congress," Cunningham said in a statement. He called Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike, “the architect of Iran’s deadly campaigns." But he added that Soleimani’s proxies are “still at large and continue to pose a serious threat to America and our allies.”

“I support the President’s decision to de-escalate tensions in the wake of Iran’s retaliatory attack Tuesday night," Cunningham said in a statement. “This is the right outcome for all parties involved, and as long as this posture continues, we should avoid sending the message that Congress is not behind the Commander-in-Chief as he tries to prevent further escalation with Iran. I also support the Administration’s commitment to work with our allies to ensure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and ceases its support of terrorist activities.”

The war powers resolution is not binding on Trump and would not require his signature. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nonetheless insists it “has real teeth” because “it is a statement of the Congress of the United States.”

The House has passed the measure, 224-194, with almost no Republican support.

Cunningham said both Congress and the American people “still need to hear more from the Administration about the intelligence that led to the operation against Soleimani and how recent actions fit into our broader strategy in the region.”

"The time is long overdue for Congress to hold a robust, public debate with regard to whether we need an updated [Authorization for Use of Military Force] tailored to the current global threat landscape,” he said.

On Thursday, Cunningham’s campaign said he ended the fourth quarter of 2019 with $2.1 million on hand for his re-election bid after bringing in a record $900,000 in the last three months of the year.

That brings the total raised to more than $2.8 million for his 2020 re-election bid for South Carolina’s First Congressional District, which is more than $500,000 more than Cunningham raised in his entire 2018 campaign, according to spokesman Tyler Jones.

“Keeping his promise to the Lowcountry, Cunningham continues to refuse any and all special interest PAC money,” Jones said.

“The politically easy decision would be to accept money from special interests and PACs, but Joe wasn’t sent to Congress to do what was easy - he was sent to Congress to do what’s best for the people back home,” Cunningham Campaign Manager Allie Watters said. “Joe has spent his first year in Congress putting the Lowcountry first and reaching across the aisle to solve problems, which is why voters are working so hard to keep Joe in office. From lowering prescription drug costs to protecting South Carolina’s coastline, Joe is keeping his promises and continuing to put Lowcountry over Party.”

Cunningham is also expected to attend Rep. Jim Clyburn’s “Turn It Blue BBQ” event Saturday afternoon.

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