Alabama Republican Mike Rogers got some harsh criticism Tuesday from a constituent who said the sequester cuts are hitting his customers and tanking his once thriving business.
“The House of Representatives has done more to hurt my business than anything government, state, local or federal, has ever done,” Auburn resident John Mullins told his Congressman at a town hall forum.
Mullins, a local business owner, complained his comic book store has seen a 20% drop in business following the automatic federal budget cuts known as the sequester.
"Every time ya'll do something and cut funding, it hurts my customers. They have less money to spend. When they have less money to spend, they spend less with me, which means I have less money. You're...destroying my business with the sequester," he said.
Mullins' remarks came after he shot down another constituent who was complaining about the "clearly illegal" actions taken by President Obama on an "almost weekly or monthly" basis. That inspired Mullins, a self-described Democrat, to speak out.
“You’re a crazy man. You are crazy,” he snapped at the fellow constituent. “The president is not some person trying to take your rights away.”
Watch the exchange from the Opelika-Auburn News.
“The economic impact of our economy on people’s lives is very direct and I understand people being emotional about it,” Rogers told reporters after the town hall had ended, adding that the latest budget cuts were not the only factor. “It’s not just the sequester.”
Mullins told the Huffington Post he received praise from his neighbors the day after the exchange, with many thanking him for standing up to the man calling for Obama's impeachment.
"I've even had Republican businessmen, who are diehard Republicans, tell me that I did the right thing in calling the guy out, because they say that's hurting the party with that craziness," he said. "So both sides have been thanking me, which really surprises me. Maybe that's a sign that people are getting tired of this and want people to work together."
Early reports predicted Alabama would feel a significant impact from the sequester, with one army report anticipating 22,000 civilian employees would be furloughed, resulting in a $1.9 billion economic hit to the state.