Those issues came up at U.S. Rep. Susan Wild’s town hall Wednesday evening before the long line of residents seeking to question their congresswoman asked her about the newly launched impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
That reflected what Wild said she’s heard from constituents in the 7th Congressional District during events since that probe was announced last week. Calls to her office have been overwhelmingly in favor of the impeachment inquiry, Wild says, estimating 85% have been in support.
But during her visits to local businesses and other spots in the district, which includes Lehigh, Northampton and part of southern Monroe counties, Wild says impeachment hasn’t been coming up in conversations. They want to talk about other things.
At her town hall on Muhlenberg College’s campus, the first reference to impeachment came in a question urging Wild to focus more on reforming education policies instead of focusing on impeachment, drawing a groan from the friendly crowd.
Later on, the issue came up more bluntly from those in support and in opposition. Wild declined to address the president’s state of mind from a pro-impeachment constituent who described Trump as “crazy.”
She had to quiet down audience members who shouted over an anti-impeachment questioner. Impeachment was not what she came to Congress to tackle, Wild said, describing the president’s phone call with the Ukrainian president as rising to a level that required Congress to act.
“The precedent we would set by ignoring this ... it’s unacceptable,” Wild told the crowd of roughly 250 people, adding that her goal is to see a thorough but fast investigation in which "the facts are laid out wherever they may lead.”
Wild emphasized several times that her primary focus is not on the impeachment probe, which will be handled by lawmakers who serve on other committees in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“My district is more interested in knowing about prescription drug prices and what we’re going to do about the price of insulin,” Wild said, drawing applause.
Wild was among a swell of House Democrats who came out last week in support of an impeachment inquiry amid the revelations of a whistleblower complaint describing efforts by the president to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden’s family.
The White House released notes from that phone call, and Trump has defended any wrongdoing in that conversation.
The 7th Congressional District is viewed as one of the most competitive congressional seats in the country. Voters in the district, which skew Democratic, favored Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race by only 1 percentage point. Wild won the district by 10 points in November.
Among those listening to Wild’s answers on impeachment was South Whitehall Township resident Glenn Hall, whose first question in a stack of cards written out before the event was on how she’d vote on articles of impeachment.
Hall, a Republican who did not support Wild in last year’s election, said he’s fine with Wild’s support for opening an impeachment inquiry. But he wouldn’t be supportive of her voting to impeach Trump because he doesn’t believe the president committed a crime.
“Let’s do it quickly" and move on, Hall said of the probe. “It’s sucking up all of the air.”