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Angry Minnesotans challenge Erik Paulsen, Jason Lewis over health care vote

The two Republican congressmen voted in favor of the American Health Care Act.

Some of Erik Paulsen's and Jason Lewis' constituents are not happy. At all.

Hundreds of comments flooded both congressmen's Facebook pages, and large groups showed up outside each representative's office in response to their "yea" votes on the health care bill Thursday.

They were two of the 217 Republicans in the U.S. House to vote in favor of the American Health Care Act – pitched by supporters as a replacement for, and improvement over, the Affordable Care Act.

Paulsen, a Republican, serves Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, which covers the western Twin Cities region. Lewis, also a member of the GOP, represents the 2nd Congressional District, which goes from the bottom of the Twin Cities southeast toward the Wisconsin border.

Rep. Tom Emmer, Minnesota's one other GOP congressmen, also voted in support of the health care bill and got some blowback on Facebook.

But it's Paulsen and Lewis taking the most heat.

Protesting Paulsen

On Thursday, a statement defending the vote and calling Obamacare "no longer acceptable" was posted to Paulsen's Facebook. In about 22 hours it had nearly 1,900 comments – with the top ones threatening not to vote for him in 2018, and sharing how badly they or loved ones would be affected by the new health care law.

"I'm deeply disappointed in how you represented our district today. You chose your party over your constituents," wrote one commenter, in a reply that got more than 400 positive reactions.

Frustrated constituents are also telling his office in-person.

An effort spearheaded by Indivisible MN-03 – a group that was organized following the 2016 election by constituents who feel like he isn't representing his district or communicating enough with voters – organized two events.

The first was a noon rally at his Eden Prairie office, which the group says at least 125 people showed up to. They're also encouraging anyone who couldn't make it, but is still mad, to come by at 5:30 p.m. as well.

Check out some video from the scene here.

Paulsen by the way has held this seat since taking office in 2009. And in 2016 he won re-election by a sizable margin, with 56.7 percent of the vote.

A die-in at Lewis' office

In Burnsville, upset CD2 constituents staged a die-in outside Lewis' office.

"Here lies the ACA. Here lies Democracy. Here lies CD2 constituents with no healthcare. Here lies Lewis's 2nd term," the event description reads.

At least a few dozen people showed up, based on this tweet from a DFL employee.

Lewis is in his first term, and won over his DFL opponent by about 1.8 percent. That seat has been Republican since 2001.

This isn't the law yet

The American Health Care Act isn't law. In fact it's got a ways to go, and may get scuttled on the way.

The bill still has to be approved by the Senate – which the BBC says appears to be an uphill battle. And as the Washington Post reports, Senate Republicans could write their own version of the bill and approve it.

If that happens, the House and Senate have to come together, then agree on and pass an identical compromise bill. And that can be a difficult thing to make happen.

Only then would it get to President Donald Trump, where he could sign the bill to make it law.

If you want to see some of the arguments for and against the Health care bill the House passed, check out this previous story.

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