Blum meets with defiant, concerned crowd in Marshalltown - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Blum meets with defiant, concerned crowd in Marshalltown

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Congressman Rod Blum wrapped up his fourth and final town hall meeting in Marshalltown Thursday afternoon. Blum fielded questions on topics ranging from health care to concerns over Trump's recent firing of FBI Director James Comey. 

The crowd in Marshalltown was smaller than Blum's previous meetings in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, and Dubuque. 

Blum began the meeting by addressing the Marshalltown police officers who were serving as security. 

"I've always had a lot of respect for the thin blue line," said Blum. "After riding with the police departments in my district, my respect for them has even gone higher."

Blum made several remarks before opening up the meeting for discussion.

"You may not like President Trump, you probably don't." said Blum. "Most of the people in the crowd. But let's drain the swamp, can we agree on that? Let's drain the swamp. Let's drain the swamp of Washington D.C?" asked Blum. 

Blum addressing a need for term limits, and also a need to cut politician pay in Washington. 

"We can't lose our middle class in this country," said Blum. "They're the folks that go to work every day and pay the bills. So let's tie our pay to the pay of the average American."

In similar fashion to previous meetings, no questions were off the table.

"Why isn't he (Trump) being impeached?" asked one member of the crowd. 

"We're investigating the president and the emoluments clause," said Blum. "Along with the contracts of the Trump International hotels and foreign governments. Secondly, Russia. The Senate Intelligence Committee, House Intelligence Committee, and Justice Department. The three organizations are investigating if there's collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia."

Blum defended the integrity of the ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign. 

"I have been in classified briefings, and there hasn't been anything so far-anything-that has come up, to say there was collusion," said Blum. 

A topic of concern for many at Blum's previous meetings-Health care- made one last appearance in Marshalltown. The crowd asked for an explanation as to why Blum voted in favor to repeal and replace major provisions of the federal health care law known as Obamacare. 

"We have no insurers left in Iowa, so unless we fix Obamacare-If we just leave it the way it is, if you're in the individual market today you won't have insurance January 1st," said Blum. "You'll have no options in Iowa. So something needs to be done."

The crowd largely in disagreement with a sea of red cars to Blum's response on health care. 

"If you're on Medicaid today, nothing's going to change for you," said Blum. "If you're in the individual market today, nothing's going to change. Those are the facts."

Another concern raised by a small business owner positioned Blum to answer how the Republican-pushed tax reform would stand behind small businesses. 

"I'm a small business person as well," said Blum. "They're the engine of economic activity in our country. 70% of jobs are created by small businesses. And usually they're absolute cornerstones to success in small communities. I'm not necessarily an advocate for big businesses-they're doing fine. But it's the small businesses that are hurting that we need to be sure to help."

For the crowd, Trump was one topic they couldn't stay away from. 

"In light of the FBI Director being fired while investigating the President, while the Attorney General removed himself from the investigation-how can the American people have confidence that these four different investigations you talked about are going to be credible? asked one member of the crowd. "I would like you to stand with me and many of your colleagues and Americans want an independent investigation."

Blum remained defiant-disagreeing on opening an independent investigation. 

"I've heard zero evidence of collusion with Russia-zero evidence," Blum said. 

The crowd also addressed Blum's skepticism on climate change.

The conversation, getting heated at points, with the crowd yelling "You are not a scientist. Climate change is real."

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