Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R) adjourned a joint town hall meeting on Monday after protesters interrupted a state senator who was speaking about the state GOP's controversial budget plan.
The veteran congressman and state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R), who was speaking at the podium, sparred with a large crowd of protesters opposed to the budget plan, which would curtail some public employees' collective bargaining rights, Milwaukee-based WTMJ-TV reported.
After protesters, many of whom were carrying signs, shouted objections to Vukmir's comments, Sensenbrenner said, "Give her the respect to answer the question," then continued, "This meeting will be adjourned."
That caused the protesters, crowded in the room at the Wauwatosa library, to unleash a volley of jeers. The crowd broke into chants of "Shame, shame, shame!"
The heated debate over new GOP Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan has served as a symbol for the national debate over the federal deficit and debt.
Sensenbrenner's office released a statement to WTMJ, explaining that the meeting was adjourned because protesters were not being respectful of the speakers or of other patrons using the library.
"It is unfortunate that the same respect given at Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting in Brookfield Sunday evening wasn't experienced last night, and individuals who were patiently waiting to ask a question, receive help with casework or share their concern were unable to do so at the meeting," the statement says. "Congressman Sensenbrenner invites those individuals to call his office or send him and email [sic] and he will get a response to them. "