Rep. Kay Granger, a Republican from Texas, says she will not hold a town hall in her district this summer because of heightened threats against lawmakers.
Granger, who represents Fort Worth, told the Star-Telegram that it is too dangerous for her to hold a town hall because there have been “so many threats.”
“I wish we could have a town hall meeting and engage with others,” said Granger, who chairs the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. “There are so many threats going on.”
As of June 30, lawmakers have received close to 1,000 threats so far in 2017. That’s already more than the total number of threats they received throughout all of 2016.
Just weeks ago, a gunman shot five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, during a GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA. Scalise remains in the hospital and has undergone multiple surgeries to treat the injuries he sustained from being shot.
Just this past Saturday, a man broke into Republican Senator Dean Heller’s home office in Las Vegas. A source claims the man left behind a threatening note. (Report: Threatening Note Left At Sen. Heller’s Office After Break-In)
Granger said that she doesn’t believe town halls will even be effective given the toxic political discourse she has faced recently.
“It’s a situation that’s not healthy,” she said of the town halls that often result in screaming matches. “I don’t see that it’s accomplishing anything.”
After she told the man she wasn’t going to be having a town hall, he asked why and she explained that people like him made her and her staff feel unsafe.
“Because of people like you,” she remembers telling him. “You’re screaming at me at a wedding. I said I’m not going to put my staff and myself in situations that really aren’t safe right now.”