Rothman is a member of the House of Representatives for New Jersey's 9th District, including Hudson, Bergen, and Passaic counties.
Upon entering Secaucus Town Hall on Tuesday, attendees were given forms that asked for their name, address, phone number, and had a space for them to ask any question. These forms were later handed to Rothman's team, who arranged them so that similar questions would be fielded at the same time.
When Rothman entered the room, he gave a brief biography about who he was and why he was there.
Rothman said that one of the reasons for holding the sessions is so citizens could learn to hold their political leaders accountable and to meet them face-to-face.
Every question answered
Although there were 18 people who went to the session, including Councilman Mike Gonnelli, who was the only member of the Secaucus council attending, Rothman still went through each question.
He also said that if anyone had a problem they felt he could help with, they should send correspondence to his team.
"Each communication gets a response, hopefully," said Rothman. "We're pretty good at it."
Health care woes
One topic that repeatedly entered into discussion was health care.
Rothman said that one of the problems with passing legislation toward a more universal method of health care is that "voters haven't decided that health care is a big enough problem in regards to elections."
Rothman said that politicians are trying to find a good pre-existing model for universal health care. Rothman said that the model not only exists, but can be found in Medicare.
Rothman said that there is a bill on the table in the House that, if enacted into law, will make sure anyone living in America has access to healthcare.
Although Rothman says he's never hidden his support for universal healthcare, he said he doesn't think this bill should be passed into law, since the language currently does not differentiate between citizens in America and illegal immigrants who may come here solely for the benefits.
The War in Iraq
Rothman stated that while he does not support of the War in Iraq, he supports the troops. However, he said that recently he has begun voting "no" on increasing the cost and/or putting more money into the war.
"I won't fund it," said Rothman simply.
Despite not wanting to put any more money into the war, Rothman said that he was in favor of bringing the armed forces home no matter what the expense.
"I'll support legislation that will bring our troops home at any cost," he said.
When a member of the audience asked if he felt President George W. Bush should be impeached, Rothman stated that he would not introduce such a motion, but would consider supporting it.
"I'm open if someone presents me with evidence that the president or vice president have committed treason, bribery, or a high crime and misdemeanor," said Rothman.
Also, regarding impeachment, Rothman said that during Pres. Bill Clinton's trials, it was "a very sad time for the country," and that the media explosion that would come from another impeachment would do nothing to benefit the way the world views America.
Questions of all kinds
Along with the hot button issues such as the War in Iraq and Medicare, some residents had localized problems. One woman asked if Rothman could help her specifically with the payment of her medications, while another asked for assistance in receiving her mail on time.
Resident Bob O'Brien asked Rothman if there was anything that could be done about a passport he had applied for three months ago.
Apparently, his question got results.
"Steve Rothman called first thing this morning," said O'Brien the morning after Rothman's visit. "They got back to me as promised on my cell and home phone."