WASHINGTON — Fayetteville will be the first stop on a nine-city summer tour to "Defund Obamacare" that is being organized by Heritage Action for America.
The conservative political group is looking to rally public support for Congress to block any further spending on the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare. The town hall meetings will take place during August when Congress takes its summer recess.
"Four years ago, citizens crammed into town hall meetings all across the country to exercise their First Amendment rights. Although Congress is now doing fewer and fewer town hall meetings, the need for civic engagement has never been greater, so Heritage Action is stepping in to fill the void," said Michael Needham, the group’s CEO.
The town hall tour will open on Aug. 19 in Fayetteville, and end on Aug. 29 in Wilmington, Del.
Americans United for Change, a liberal advocacy group, plans to organize local opposition to the Heritage town hall event in Fayetteville.
"It would be our intent to identify individuals and activists to respond to that kick off event in Arkansas," said AUC President Brad Woodhouse.
In Congress, conservative lawmakers are threatening to oppose any budget that includes funding for Obamacare. The current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. Congress will look to pass a temporary measure to keep funds flowing to federal programs into the next fiscal year when they return from break in early September.
A dozen Senate Republicans signed a letter last week vowing to vote against any "continuing resolution" that includes any funding for Obamacare. In the House, about 60 conservatives have signed a similar letter.
Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, has not signed the House letter but is supportive of the effort.
"He generally prefers consulting with colleagues in person, rather than joining letters. But he strongly supports all efforts to defund, delay and ultimately repeal Obamacare, regardless the legislative approach," said spokeswoman Caroline Rabbitt.