Talk of impeachment and health care dominated Monday's town hall meeting hosted by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, at the Mountain View Community Center.
Eshoo opened the event by talking about the inhumane conditions she saw on her July 13 visit to the Texas-Mexico border, where she toured detention centers in McAllen and Brownsville, Texas and met with immigrant families, border officials and humanitarian volunteers.
Before a crowd of roughly 200 people, Eshoo addressed a range of issues, from health care, immigration and 5G technology to gerrymandering, Russian propaganda and religious persecution in China.
A question from a Mountain View resident about her stance on impeachment launched a lively exchange between Eshoo and the audience. Eshoo said that she hasn’t called for impeaching the president yet despite her “strong emotions about Donald Trump.”
Hecklers from the audience responded: “Why not?” Eshoo, engaging with the crowd, asked who had actually read the Mueller report, and roughly 30 people raised their hands.
Eshoo explained her “measured” approach to impeachment proceedings.
“Our country and our democracy is practically under siege at this point, but my emotions cannot take me for a ride to impeachment,” Eshoo said, to applause.
The congresswoman then pivoted to the 2020 elections, marking them as an opportunity for a true indictment of Trump.
“The most important thing is to impeach him at the polls,” Eshoo said.
Mountain View resident Allyn Polk brought back the topic near the end of the meeting, asking Eshoo why she would not, at the minimum, support the opening of a judicial inquiry.
Two questions broached the topic of health care reform, the first by a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and Mountain View resident who asked why Eshoo had not come out in favor of the single-payer bill Medicare for All.
While Eshoo said, “I’m 5 billion percent with you,” she also spoke of the difficulties that come with dismantling the Affordable Care Act to start anew, and said that not all of her constituents want a change in their health care coverage.
Stan Simon of San Jose criticized the congresswoman’s record of financial campaign contributions.
“You have taken more money from Big Pharma than any other member of Congress, and you just said that you want a gradual move on health care,” Simon said. “45,000 people die a year due to lack of health care. Would gradual mean just 20,000 people die a year?”
“If you want to suggest that I’m bought and paid for, I’m going to fight against that,” Eshoo said. “Yes, I’ve received contributions, but I’ve never voted against the interests of my constituents.”