INGLEWOOD — U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters saved the best for last at a town hall meeting she conducted May 13 at Inglewood High School.
An early critic of the new president, Waters told the crowded meeting: “Donald Trump, I’m coming for you. I’ve decided to take the gloves off, to put my career on the line.”
Waters mentioned the word “impeachment” and said she would do whatever it takes to remove Trump from the Oval Office.
Waters launched a full-scale verbal rebuke of President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, White House advisor Steve Bannon and former Exxon Mobil mogul and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. She called Bannon a “racist” and said that Sessions “is dangerous.”
She didn’t stop there.
Of course, any discussion about President Trump and his White House these days is usually tantamount to having a conversation about Russia, which Waters detailed.
“We already know Michael Flynn is in trouble,” Waters said. “Not only did he lie, but he has been going back and forth into Russia for quite some time. We know he got paid for so-called speaking engagements. We know he was sitting right next to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and on and on.”
The large crowd got raucous at times as several Trump supporters showed up to challenge Waters. Several were removed by law enforcement personnel acting as security at the meeting.
Things were on edge even before the town hall meeting began.
Standing in line waiting to walk into the Inglewood High School Auditorium turned out to be an ordeal as law enforcement personnel had to contend with antagonistic demonstrators.
Waters discussed pertinent information with her constituents about the possible elimination of the Affordable Care Act, housing and urban development, education and the so-called war on drugs that Attorney General Sessions recently declared. But all of that served as an appetizer to the main dish of Waters going in full attack mode on President Trump and the way he is running the country.
She referred to Trump and his alleged Kremlin Klan, a phrase she has coined for Trump, his cabinet members and other advisors within the White House administration.
Laying out a whole host of laundry items from President Trump’s proposed budget that could be detrimental to her constituents, Waters went down the list on education, housing and urban development, health concerns and environmental protection issues.
The ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, Waters brought two separate panels to discuss the impact of President’s Trump’s budget, particularly on health care and affordable housing, two critical components for those living in her 43rd Congressional District.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), known better as Obamacare, is under siege by the Republican Party, which has threatened to get rid of the health care insurance. Waters, stating numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office, said as many as 14 million people would lose health coverage in 2018 should the Senate go through with repealing the ACA. As many as 24 million Americans, in general terms, will be taken off the health insurance rolls in the next 10 years, she said.
A chorus of boos went up from the audience when Waters told them how much they would likely have to pay if Trumpcare becomes a reality and the so-called age tax is implemented.
“There’s something like the age tax, for people like me in my age, and some of you who are the same age,” Waters said. “Trumpacare forces people between the ages of 50 and 64 to pay premiums at least five times higher than what others pay for the same coverage.”
Waters didn’t stop there. She also spoke of the disastrous implications facing millennials as well, citing a 30 percent surcharge that Trumpcare would invoke on those allowing a lapse in coverage.
“This places a new burden on young adults, a population most likely to face a lapse in coverage when changing jobs or moving,” Waters said. “Why are they doing all of this? They’re trying to save money and keep the government from having to be involved with subsidies and access to health care. You know why? It creates a tax-break for the rich.”
As Water attempted to further explain the effects Trumpcare would have on residents, more hysteria from the crowd erupted as a couple more pro-Trump demonstrators tried to outtalk the congresswoman. That never materialized as the pro-Waters audience was successful in getting security to boot the instigators from the auditorium.
Waters talked back to the agitators.
“Why did you come here?” she asked. “This is our place. This is Inglewood.”
As she moved to the conclusion of her speech, a pop sound went off. There was an immediate silence as fears of gunshots being fired surged through the crowd.
Waters, as she has done throughout her career, kept things in perspective.
“All I have to say, I don’t know what that sound was. But whoever it is, if it is a shot, you better shoot straight,” she said.