Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, is feeling some political pressure as Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Since Obamacare and these issues have come up, the women are in my grill no matter where I go,” Brat told an audience Saturday at a meeting of conservative groups at Hanover Tavern.

“They come up — ‘When is your next town hall?’ And believe me, it’s not to give positive input.”

Brat, R-7th, asked the GOP-friendly audience to get organized.

“Help us write newspaper articles. We’re getting hammered,” he said.

Brat’s remarks were recorded and posted to a Facebook page called “7th District Town Hall Meeting.” The page says it is in support of Brat holding town hall meetings with his constituents and asks:

“The constituents of the 7th District in Virginia would like Congressman Dave Brat to answer our question — ‘When is the next Town Hall meeting?’”

Brat said Saturday that he was concerned the Senate wouldn’t pass a free market alternative to the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law that became a signature of the Obama administration.

“We need activists coming out on everything,” he said.

In a phone interview Monday, Brat said he thinks many of the people protesting the Trump administration are paid activists from outside their area of protest.

“I had one woman on my Facebook say she was going to get up in my grill,” he said. “There’s paid protesters ... paid activists on the far left, not my Democratic friends I go to church with.

“They’re being paid to go around and raise havoc.”

Brat’s comments on “paid activists” were met with surprise from some constituents on Monday.

Karen Conley of Henrico County said she recently called Brat’s office in support of the Affordable Care Act, which insures her family.

She said she’s encountered numerous other constituents of the 7th District concerned about representation, and groups of people are finding each other.

“Nobody is being paid or put up to this by an outside organization,” she said. “Everybody is putting in their time and effort because they’re dissatisfied with the representation. They feel dismissed, and that their concerns aren’t valid because they’re not being responded to.”

Brat said he expects to hold town halls after the first 100 days of the Trump administration. He explained some of his thoughts on the new administration’s policies in a Facebook post Monday:

“Over the past couple of weeks my office has been inundated with phone calls, and emails and comments on social media requesting a town hall meeting, and believe me, I fully intend to have plenty of town halls that are open and transparent as soon as our first 100 days agenda is implemented and we come up for a breath of air,” he wrote.

pwilson@timesdispatch.com(804) 649-6061

Twitter: @patrickmwilson

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