An Impeachment Atmosphere Sherrill Town Hall Without the Word


LIVINGSTON – So much for the divisive topic of impeaching Donald Trump. Mikie Sherrill stood before more than 400 people at an elementary school Thursday night and fielded questions for about an hour.

None of the questioners uttered the word, “impeachment.”

The congresswoman, who backed the House vote on impeachment, said afterwards that she thought people are now focusing more on the needs of New Jersey and where the country is headed going forward.

Still, this was a bit different than Sherrill’s last town hall two months ago in Hanover. The first questioner at that one criticized Sherrill’s pro-impeachment stance, provoking jeers and boos from the crowd. The congresswoman more than once had to ask the audience to simmer down.

A few days before this week’s town hall, New Jersey 11th For Change, a grassroots group that helped Sherrill win election in 2018, urged her supporters to attend the session to counteract any anti-impeachment sentiment.

As it turned out, there was no impeachment talk from anyone.

This gave the congresswoman a chance to talk about two House accomplishments that occurred after her last town hall.

One was eliminating the $10,000 cap on deducting state and local taxes from federal tax returns. This issue was a big part of the Democrats’ statewide success in 2018. The other was allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices in an effort to reduce the cost of prescriptions drugs.

While there seemed to be near universal support for these actions in the room, Sherrill acknowledged the political reality. These bills need Senate approval and there’s no guarantee that’s going to happen.

Undaunted, Sherrill said she’s committed this year to get an infrastructure bill passed that would fund a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The Senate, of course, would also need to go along with that.

The only controversial questions were two about abortion. Both came from a pro-life, or anti-abortion, perspective. The queries came days after the annual march for life in Washington, which was attended by Trump. He was the first president to do so.

Sherrill, who is pro-choice, stressed her support for Planned Parenthood. She contended that by promoting women’s health and contraception, Planned Parenthood works to prevent unwanted pregnancies that can lead to abortion.

Trump also is touting an Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal that was announced on Tuesday.

Asked her thoughts about that afterwards, Sherrill agreed with critics that the proposed agreement is one-sided. The Palestinians were not involved in drafting it.

Sherrill said a genuine peace agreement won’t come about until “both sides (are) at the table negotiating directly with each other.”

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