The Washington Post

Report: 60 percent of House members not holding town halls this summer

(Jim Hudelson/The Times/AP)

This story has been updated.

Six in ten House members are not holding any town hall meetings during this summer’s five-week congressional recess, according to the nonpartisan activist organization No Labels.

The group surveyed 430 House offices and found that only 174 members plan to hold town halls with their constituents this summer, according to an entry posted on the No Labels Web site Monday afternoon. Nearly 68 percent of House Democrats and 51 percent of House Republicans have no town hall meetings scheduled, the group said.

However, staffers for several lawmakers took issue with the findings, saying they contained inaccuracies and may have undercounted the town halls.

According to No Labels, in seven states -- Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming -- not a single member of the House delegation is holding a town hall this summer. (Alaska, Delaware, Montana and Wyoming are all states represented by a single at-large House member.)

In another seven states -- Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Vermont – all members of the state’s House delegation are holding town halls. (South Dakota and Vermont are both at-large states, with only one representative each.)

More than three-quarters of the House Republican freshman class plans to hold town halls this summer: Of the 87 House GOP freshmen, 64 have town halls scheduled, while 23 do not.

Staffers for several lawmakers from both parties said, however, that the survey contained some inaccuracies and may have understated the number of events members are holding, as some lawmakers hold public meetings not specifically termed “town halls” while others have held town halls but were listed by No Labels as not having held any.

“I’m sure No Labels had the best intentions in trying to put this report together -- but it’s so riddled with errors, many of which even a simple Internet check would have caught, that the result is at best incredibly misleading,” said Ellis Brachman, spokesman for House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn).


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