U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop to Send Staffers to Office Hours

In a mass email sent out Friday morning, U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI8) announced office hours to be held later that day in Lake Orion, and another office hour to be held on Feb. 16 in East Lansing.

Before you start thinking he will actually meet face-to-face with constituents, though, take a look at the fine print.

And feel free to attend any of our upcoming mobile office hours to meet with a member of my staff in your neck of the woods:

Not quite the same thing, and still not the town hall that many have been demanding. Still, something is better than nothing. If you’re interested in going, the East Lansing event will be held from 10-11 a.m. at the East Lansing Public Library (Room 3), – 950 Abbot Road in East Lansing.

Speaking of town halls, Bishop continues to insist he will only hold tele-town talls, as he did earlier this week. Bishop claims it was a roaring success.

We are making a point to do more tele-townhalls. Why? During each one of these events, we call more than 30,000 people in our district. You heard that right, and no travel is required.

But those who took part had other things to say. Concerns and complaints include:

  • Calls weren’t received, or the call quality was too poor to participate in the tele-town hall
  • With 30,000 other people on the line, it was impossible to get a question through (compared to a town hall, where there might be just 100-200 people participating)
  • Suspicions that questions were pre-selected to be softballs that the representative could easily answer

Constituents are continuing to press for an actual, honest-to-gosh town hall, and they’re willing to make noise to do it. Already, their efforts have gotten mention on Chris Hayes’ “All In” show, and there’s talk about buying a billboard or using other media to keep the pressure up.

Bishop knows he’s under fire. Check out his pleas for understanding in the email below. He claims he really, REALLY cares about what constituents have to say. “Let’s work together,” he says. But how can there be any “together” when the guy doesn’t even want to see us?

The entire email from Bishop is below:

Friend,

The 115th Congress is off to a very busy start. Thank you for signing up for my once-monthly newsletter for the latest updates. I know there are many issues at the forefront of your mind, so I want to touch on a few in this month’s newsletter. For a list of some of the bills and letters I signed onto over the last month, please visit my “Good Policy” page.

Addressing America’s Health Care Crisis

I want to first touch on the issue of health care. I think we can agree Obamacare is not perfect.

We can acknowledge the fact it has helped many Americans – especially as far as kids staying on their parents plans until age 26, and people with pre-existing conditions. That’s why I just signed on to House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden’s new bill to ensure patients with pre-existing conditions keep these important protections. I want to continue helping folks in Michigan get and keep health care, regardless of how healthy or sick they may be.

But as someone who is on the exchange (yes, Congress is on it), I know it is hurting many of our families in the 8th District – and that’s ultimatelywhat the need to repeal and replace is all about. I hear from local residents every single day, ever since I got to Congress in 2015 and consistently still today. Several people even shared their personal stories during our last tele-townhall.

Because of the way Obamacare legislation was crafted, we cannot simply fix parts of it. Many of you have suggested doing that. Unfortunately, it was intentionally designed this way in 2010 – to keep future Congresses from altering it, despite the fact it was not done in a bipartisan fashion whatsoever.

People in our district have been punished with canceled policies, rising costs, poor coverage and a lack of choices. These problems will continue if we do not act. A non-partisan Gallup poll done in November showed 8 in 10 Americans now favor changing or repealing Obamacare altogether.

When a law has unintended consequences, we have an obligation to step in and make things right. Congress must take a collaborative and bipartisan approach to solving this problem. Having health care won’t do our neighbors any good if they can’t afford to use it.

So I want to hear from you – because the legislative process is just getting started, and my job is to get your input on how we can do this the right way: together.

Executive Order on Immigration

I also want to briefly touch on the recent Executive Order on immigration. There has been a lot of misinformation about this particular issue.

To give some context, I have spoken with FBI Director James Comey about this. As it pertains to the Syrian refugee vetting process, he told me it was “getting better, but not risk free.”

So, here is some clarity on the Executive Order:

  • This is a temporary pause on immigration – to ensure our families’ safety here at home.
  • The Executive Order includes 7 nations designated by theObama Administration as posing national security risks in the Visa Waiver Program.
  • For the next 90 days, people from these 7 nations will be temporarily suspended from entry into the U.S.
    • This does not apply to anyone with U.S. citizenship or a Green Card.
  • During this pause, DHS will perform a global review of the information each country provides when their citizens apply for U.S. visas or immigration benefits. DHS & interagency partners will also review screening procedures to ensure there are no future risks.

My full statement on this issue can be found here. America is a nation of immigrants. Our number one priority must be safety of Americans here at home; following through on that today requires stronger vetting and immigration policies.

Let’s Work Together

We might individually disagree on how to fix our issues, but my job is to hear you out. I’ve seen and heard what you’ve had to say at recent protests, and I welcome everyone’s input – I mean that.

We are making a point to do more tele-townhalls. Why? During each one of these events, we call more than 30,000 people in our district. You heard that right, and no travel is required.

As always, you can contact me by:

  • Calling the district office: 810-227-8600 – ask to join an upcoming tele-townhall!
  • Calling the D.C. office: 202-225-4872 – ask to join an upcoming tele-townhall!
  • Sending an email
  • Visiting my social media pages (links above)

And feel free to attend any of our upcoming mobile office hours to meet with a member of my staff in your neck of the woods:

  • Friday, February 3: 10AM-12PM @ Orion Township Hall (Board Room) – 2525 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion
  • Thursday, February 16:10AM-11AM @ East Lansing Public Library (Room 3) – 950 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI

I have never taken the responsibility of representing you lightly. Our nation has a lot of work to do and the American people have spoken, so we must urgently act on the issues we face. That will require looking at the issues from every possible angle. I look forward to hearing from you and sharing more updates soon.

In the meantime, my continuing best regards to you and your family.

Sincerely,


Mike Bishop
Member of Congress

 

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