While Congress will be in recess from April 10 to 21, Indiana 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, has chosen to conduct a Facebook “live” town hall meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday.
Bucshon will be in Washington, D.C., Friday. A news release from the Congressman’s office said the Facebook town hall is “open to all constituents” and will feature a live video stream of Bucshon responding to questions from Hoosiers.
The congressman is not trying to avoid angry constituents or possible protests by conducting a town hall via the Facebook Live app, said Nick McGee, the congressman’s press secretary. “He has done public events recently and he will continue to do so,” including public forums and office hours. “He hasn’t changed the way he represents his constituents.”
Bucshon did conduct an in-person town hall open to anyone in Posey County a few weeks ago, he said.
In recent months, Republican congressman who have conducted in-person town halls have faced the wrath of those who oppose the dismantling of former President Barack Obama’s initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act.
Friday’s Facebook town hall doesn’t preclude the congressman from having another town hall — including one in person — at a later time, McGee said.
Bucshon is in Washington, D.C. this week for votes on legislation and Friday was the day that “worked out best for the congressman,” he said. The office chose 5 p.m. Friday Eastern time because many people have completed their workday at that time.
Having a town hall when people are not at work “is one of the big things people always mention,” McGee said.
By using Facebook, “It also allows anyone in the district, no matter if they are in Vigo or Warrick counties, to participate. … I think it’s an opportunity to expand his reach,” McGee said.
The Facebook session will feature a live video feed of the congressman, who will take posted questions and answer them in real time. “We’ve seen congress members having tremendous success doing this,” McGee said.
He described use of Facebook live as “a new opportunity for him to reach constituents and another avenue to reach them.”
As far as conducting an in-person town hall, McGee said, “I’m actually not sure he is not. We’re still working out his schedule … This isn’t meant to be a replacement for anything.”
Friday was chosen because votes on legislation tend to happen earlier that day, he said. Monday through Thursday, votes occur throughout the day and a late vote might necessitate canceling a Facebook live session.
According to the news release, constituents can visit Bucshon’s Facebook page and submit questions in advance here: https://www.facebook.com/RepLarryBucshon/posts/1368481679878512<z14> or post questions live during the event on Friday.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at email@example.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.