Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times

Protests To Continue Outside Lance's Office

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times — June 6, 2017

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD — Protests were set to resume Wednesday night (after press deadline) in front on Rep. Leonard Lance's (R-7th) on the proposed Republican health care bill to replace ObamaCare as well on proposed spending cuts on environmental programs.

India Hayes Lanier, an organizer with NJ Citizen Action, said the Wednesday protests were to resume on May 24. She said protests oppose the Republican efforts to replace and repeal the Affordability Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, with a new bill as approved along party lines in the House. NJ Citizens Action favors making changes to ACA rather then starting over with a new bill.

Ms. Larrier said changes proposed in the GOP plan to roll back Medicaid expansion"would leave hundreds of thousands of people at risk" of losing health insurance coverage in New Jersey.

"We would like to see the Affordable Care Act continued," Ms. Larrier said.

Regarding the May 16 protest, she said it was billed as a "Stakeholders for Truth" protest on investigating possible interference by Russia in last year's Presidential election and if there were any links between Russia and President Donald Trump and his administration. The protest was held prior to the Justice Department naming of former FBI director Robert S. Mueller IH as special counsel to conduct the probe. He served in under both the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. '

We are happy with anything that is going to get at the truth. That is paramount," Ms. Larrier told The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains–Fanwood Times regarding Mr. Mueller's appointment. She said Citizen Action favors anyone who is "not a Trump yes man...and not afraid to stand up to him." She said "(that) is what we had under (former FBI director) James Comey" who was fired by President Trump.

In a statement, Mr. Lance's Press Secretary John Byers said, "Congressman Lance believes Mr. Mueller is an excellent addition to the independent Department of Justice investigation which is already underway. Congressman Lance was the first lawmaker to suggest Attorney General (Jeff) Sessions recuse himself from that investigation to make sure it was completely independent and handled by career investigators at the DOJ (Department of Justice). Congressman Lance also supports the two bipartisan investigations in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Intelligence Committees."

Following his appointment on Wednesday, Mr. Lance said Mr. Mueller is "respected on both sides of the aisle, which should inspire bipartisan confidence in the ongoing investigation. There can no interruption in getting to the truth. The American people deserve answers on Russia as soon as a thorough investigation can be completed."

The May 16 protests included activists Westfield 2020, what Ms. Larrier described as a grassroots organization. Also involved were NJ 7 Forward and Indivisible Lambertville-New Hope, the latter defined as "an educational and advocacy organization concerned with issues facing the Affordable Care Act, environment, education, equality, and of causes specific to New Jersey and Pennsylvania."

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