Republican congressional leaders are encouraging rank-and-file members to hold town halls during the week-long Presidents Day recess – urging them to be prepared.
"Be firm, be nice, be polite but understand this is part of what we deal with when we're making big changes," Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) told The Hill's Molly K. Hooper of his advice to colleagues.
GOP leaders held a number of briefings this week to help members understand the details of the party's direction on Obamacare, so that they can answer questions at home.
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said his advice for colleagues is, "Don't shy away from the public.” “Be prepared intellectually, knowledge-wise, be polite and don't fall for the bait if [protestors] try to get you in an uncomfortable situation."
Leaders also advised GOP members to take proper "security precautions," said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who warned those precautions can sometimes be too rigid.
Sanford plans to hold a town hall meeting on Saturday that is more "free form, free flow,” he said. “Other people have become quite regimented in their town hall meetings, but I think the more regimented you become the further away you get from real spirit of town halls."
Both sides could potentially face fired up Bernie Sanders supporters on matters such as President Trump's Supreme Court pick.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) said his colleagues can't hide from feisty meetings.
"If the Bernie people or whoever else wants to show up and want to holler that's wonderful,” he said.
“What is not OK is members of Congress who refuse to have those meetings. I understand they are tough … [but] it is your job, do them," Himes said, noting that he held more than a dozen town hall events at the height of the tea party protests in 2009.