Engel decries travelling disruptive town hall audiences

New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel is open to criticism at his healthcare town hall meetings, but he would prefer if he heard civil arguments from constituents in his district.

"What I care about is the attempt to shout people down and to disrupt the meetings," Engel said on Fox News Saturday morning.

"I think you do have people who are going district-to-district who attempt to just shout people down and make it impossible to have a meeting," he added.

Democrats harshly criticized hostile town hall audiences this week, saying that Republicans and special interest groups incited "rabid right wing extremists" to disruopt town hall meetings with raucous protests. Some town halls have even turned violent.

Engel, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said "I just wished that calmer heads would prevail."

"There are legitimate concerns being voiced, there are also people like myself who who believe we need a healthcare reform and we need it soon," he added.

The Energy and Commerce Committee passed their version of the health insurance reform bill on July 31, just before the House broke for recess.