Amash talks Sessions, Great Lakes funding at town hall in Ionia

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash speaks at a town hall at Ionia Middle School (March 4, 2017)

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash once again answered questions from supporters and critics during his third town hall meeting in the span of a month.

Amash, R-Grand Rapids, held Saturday’s town hall at Ionia Middle School. He fielded questions on a number of issues, including healthcare and the ongoing controversy surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself Thursday from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. His recusal followed revelations he twice met with the Russian ambassador and didn’t say so when pressed by Congress.

Amash said he believes Sessions should be held accountable; however, a perjury charge would need to prove intent.

“We should find out why he said what he did. I find it hard to believe that the Attorney General could be asked questions like that and not be more specific in his answer. If the reality is that he was meeting with the Russians in his capacity as a senator then you would think he would volunteer that in his answer,” said Amash.

Another big topic that was covered was the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative following reports that President Donald Trump’s budget might include cutting funding to the GLRI. Approximately $300 million has been dedicated to the GLRI, which is aimed at restoring and maintaining the Great Lakes.

When asked if he supports protecting the Great Lakes, Amash said it’s more complicated than some think.

“We need to analyze what the cuts are that are being proposed and look at what President Obama proposed — why did he suggest the lower level than the current level and try to understand what is the best level of funding and what is proper EPA oversight versus state oversight,” Amash said.

Amash also discussed his support for school of choice, although he agreed public school funding is important but said it should fall on states.

Last month, Amash spoke one-on-one with 24 Hour News 8 before speaking to a packed house at a town hall meeting in Grand Rapids.

Amash, a Republican now in his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, told 24 Hour News 8 that it’s important to hear from the constituents in his district about what issues are important to them.