Kendall Kindred Kendall is the Editor and a Staff Writer at TFP.
Texas Congressman Pete Sessions has a long history of avoiding his constituents and their “uncomfortable” questions, so it was no surprise when, at the last minute, a public event where he was slated to speak was moved to an undisclosed, members-only location. Soon enough, Sessions was met with a group of energized protesters outside of the building. The protesters carried signs reading “Healthcare is a human right” and defiantly chanted “Don’t kill me, kill the bill.” They were frustrated, and rightfully so. Despite being a strong supporter of the disastrous Senate healthcare bill, Pete Sessions refused to hear any comments about it. Instead, he avoided the protesters completely and walked inside to give an hour-long speech in which he emphasized how necessary it is to get the bill passed quickly. After the meeting, he made a stealthy exit through the parking garage instead of facing the small group of concerned constituents. The Republican Congressman is a skilled deflector, constantly giving answers that don’t actually address the questions posed. At a town hall in March, Sessions was met with heated questions about the healthcare bill and responded with a gloriously unsatisfying string of non-answers before lashing out at attendees and stating that they “don’t know how to listen.” His inability to answer direct questions about the bill is endlessly frustrating, especially considering the fact that millions of Americans are at risk of losing their healthcare coverage if the new Senate bill passes. Pete Sessions doesn’t seem to grasp the gravity of this bill. He has stated on multiple occasions that “nobody will lose healthcare” under the bill when that simply is not true. According to the Congressional Budget Office report, an estimated 22 million Americans will lose their coverage. His lack of concern for public healthcare is not surprising. During his twenty years as a congressman, Sessions has voted against many beneficial public health bills, including voting No to expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), No on giving mental health full equity with physical health and voting to deny non-emergency treatment to people who lack Medicare co-pay. Those votes would be alarming on their own, but, combined with his cavalier attitude toward the fate of millions, it is clear that his constituents must carefully consider whether he is adequately representing them and their best interests. Sessions’ seat in Congress is up for grabs in 2018, and it’s about time someone takes his place.