Senator Scott hosts town hall in North Charleston

Senator Scott hosts town hall in North Charleston

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - People want their voices heard and want to know their opinions matter.

That's why hundreds came out to Republican Senator Tim Scott's Town Hall. Many are not satisfied with the new presidential administration.

The town hall took place Saturday morning inside the Charleston County Council Chambers in North Charleston.

Hundreds of people wanted to give Senator Tim Scott a piece of their mind. A few hundred were able to come inside and there was an overflow room where people could watch the live stream.

Many were upset that they were shut out completely after the building reached capacity. 

Debbie Davis was inside and she says she's not proud of President Trump.

"I have to be honest a giant has been awoken because we as people have been sleeping for a long time." Davis said.

She's referring to the amount of people who came out to voice their concerns. Davis and the majority of those who came out are not happy with the leadership in the country.

Their hope is that Senator Scott will hear them and be a liaison to move the country in another direction though many disagree with him too.

"At this point in our country, we are as polarized and divided on many issues as we have been in our lifetime," Senator Scott said.

Constitutes demanded answers on the future of health care, specifically what will happen if the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare is repealed.

Eileen Dougherty is worried about the future of it.

"I'm here because I had a double lung transplant as a result of genetic disease I was born with and it's very important to me that the Affordable Care Act is replaced by something that is equally as good," Dougherty said.

Scott said it's not sustainable, but he uses it.

"I actually opted to make sure me and my staff went into Obamacare," Scott said.

Among those who came out, some were supportive of Senator Scott and President Donald Trump.

Trump Supporter Kimber Santorella was not expecting to see the amount of people who are not happy with the direction the country is going in.

"People are angry I was surprised and it's just confusing," Santorella said. "What Tim Scott had to say seemed to echo everything I believed."

Santorella says people should give President Trump a chance.

People questioned Scott about his decision to support Betsy Devos as the Secretary of the Education and President Trump's accountability.

Scott explained how he's always been a supporter of school choice, a component of Devos' platform. While many feel she is not qualified for the position because of her lack of involvement in public schools, Scott believes she is experienced for the job. 

People also asked about the role of the media. This coming after President Trump blocked some media outlets from attending a press briefing. 

"Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are absolutely necessary for this democracy to work, whether or not we agree or not what they say is irrelevant," Scott said.

Brad Sander also attended today's town hall.

"I hope that they hear us, you can get into who won, but I think it is important for the elected officials to come out to listen to us as it for constituents to listen to the senators to see what's actually driving them as well," Sander said.

Indivisible Charleston, a local chapter of a national organization working to prevent President Trump from enacting his agenda, released a statement after the town hall criticizing the format. 

In Senator Scott's Town Hall constituents were directed to submit written questions as they came in, instead of Scott selecting people for questions who have their hands raised. The questions were randomly selected and answered out loud. 

While there were several interjections from constituents, it was more structured and fewer outbursts that last week's town hall.

Indivisible Charleston's statement says in part:

"The manner in which this forum was conducted we believe was a clear violation of the Constitutional rights of those who were present at the event."

There were also no signs allowed inside and many hoped for a bigger venue to accommodate the crowd that was left out.

Scott says he will respond to the unanswered questions at a later time.

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