Pence appears at Coral Springs church amid local protests

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - Vice President Mike Pence spent part of his weekend in the Sunshine State, and on Sunday morning, he attended a service at a church in Coral Springs.

The congregation at Church by the Glades gave the former Indiana governor a warm welcome before he spoke to them about several topics of national importance. “We’ve passed through a very difficult time, but I also think it’s been made difficult with the challenges we’ve faced at home and abroad by the struggles in our economy,” he said.

Outside the house of worship, dozens of protesters lined Lakeview Drive to express their disapproval of the vice president. “He’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said demonstrator Jian Sonabend. “He doesn’t care about people. He doesn’t care about unity. He doesn’t care about women.”

Church by the Glades Pastor David Hughes, however, said that Pence’s appearance was an honor regardless of political affiliation. “This wasn’t about politics as much as patriotism,” he said. “This is the sitting vice president of the United States, so for me, it’s not about red states or blue states, or elephant people or donkey people. For us, it’s about Jesus.”

Pence was on a tour this weekend to push the Republicans’ proposed health care bill. On Saturday, he appeared at a Palm Beach hotel to speak about the legislation to the Club for Growth.

“[The GOP bill] expands health savings accounts. It enacts the biggest reform in Medicaid since the creation of that program in 1965,” said Pence.

The American Health Care Act has been the target of Democratic and Republican scrutiny alike.

Lawmakers like U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the bill on Sunday talk shows. “I promise you, in a year, the insurance markets will still be unraveling,” said Paul. “The insurance companies will still be begging for more handouts.”

Pelosi claimed it strips $600 billion from middle working class families. “Robin Hood in reverse. Some people call it ‘Ryan Hood,’ but this is Trump,” she said.

The bill’s main backer, Speaker Paul Ryan, defended it before it comes up for a vote in the House this week. “I do believe that we can have in this country a health care system where everyone can get access to affordable health care coverage,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump wrapped up a light work weekend at his private Mar-a-Lago estate. He was spotted on the golf course on Saturday, as well as treating his supporters to a surprise meet-and-greet.

President Donald Trump with Valeria Bianca

Valeria Bianca was one of a handful who were scooped up off the side of the road to pose for pictures with the commander in chief. “I told him that I’ve been a supporter of his since the 1980s, from his real estate career, as a real estate magnate, to his tenure on ‘The Apprentice,'” she said.

The American Health Care Act will need 216 votes to pass when it comes up for a vote on Thursday.

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.