November 5th, 2009
09:36 PM ET
2 years ago

Tea Party activists hit the Hill, arrested outside Pelosi's office

Tea Party activists hit the Hill, arrested outside Pelosi's office.
Tea Party activists hit the Hill, arrested outside Pelosi's office.

Washington (CNN) - GOP leaders and thousands of Tea Party movement protesters gathered on Capitol Hill Thursday to call House Democrats' health care reform bill a full-blown government takeover of the nation' health care system.

"My colleagues and I last week were wracking our brains trying to figure out what could we do, because quite simply Republicans don't have the votes to kill this bill," Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told the crowd. "Every lever of power is controlled by one party now in DC. We tried to figure out what we could do. We knew that we were limited. But what we knew was unlimited was the voice of persuasion of the American people, and that's why you are here today with your voice of persuasion.

"....Let me assure you your efforts to stop this bill are being heard loud and clear. And I will guarantee you that we are committed to making sure that not one Republican will vote for this bill."

Actor John Ratzenberger, known partly for his role as Cliff Clavin in the 1980s sitcom "Cheers," slammed the Democratic bill as a form of socialism.

"These are Woodstock Democrats," he said at the rally. "We have to remember where their philosophy comes from. It doesn't come from America. It comes from overseas. It comes from socialism. And socialism is a philosophy of failure."

Police later arrested 12 protesters outside Pelosi's office for unlawful entry or disorderly conduct, according to Capitol Hill police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider.

Democrats have rejected an alternative $60 billion House GOP reform plan as inadequate for meeting the goals of expanding health coverage to most of the nation's 46 million uninsured while bringing down costs and ending controversial industry practices such as denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.


Filed under: Capitol Hill • Extra • Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts • Tea Party movement
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Truly curious

    I'm truly curious.

    Is it NOT a violation of House Rules for one member of Congress to incite mob action against another Member?

    This is much worse than saying "LIAR" at a speech. This is something that could have gotten entirely out of hand and someone could have gotten hurt.

    I sincerely hope, in order to keep the US Congress from degrading into some kind of Taiwanese Parliament Brawl, that a motion of Censure be made against Rep Bachmann. Her behavior is appalling, and she demeans the office to which she was elected.

    November 5, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Pragmatic

    Health care has been on the table since the Truman Era ... the GOP had their chance in the last administration ,,, the only thing they did is pass an unfunded (add to the deficit) medicare program that was an early Christmas for Big Pharma ... like Scrooge ... they want people to die and thus decrease the surplus population ...

    November 5, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. RLG

    Thanks to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush, Palin, and the rest of the "Kill Healthcare" and "We Want Failure" crowd for another egregious display of exactly what is wrong with our country: corporate greed, rampant disinformation, petty politics, a spineless Democratic party and a hateful, elitist Republican party, all covered by an equally guilty and profit- driven mainstream and right wing media .

    Traitors and saboteurs, every last stinking one of them.

    November 5, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Mark

    It would be nice if before next years elections the laws were changed so that the only people who could vote were those who pay income tax. The folks who won't work and live off our tax money should not be allowed to vote.
    If someone is getting our tax money they should have to take a drug test weekly.

    November 5, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Gonzo in Houston

    Peaceful, public protest is a sign of a healthy society. I don't agree with the tea party gang, but I wouldn't want them censored. As to the ones arrested, well, there are well-defined lines you don't cross in a protest, and the DC cops are experts on them. Besides, getting arrested over your principles is considered a badge of honor by many.

    I wonder if any of these protesters were aware that 8 trillion of our 11 trillion debt was accumulated under Pres's Reagan (2), Bush 41 (1), and W (5), or that Clinton ran 6 budget surpluses.

    November 5, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. terry,va

    Pelosi is the one that ought to be arrested. She and her socialist buddies have stolen from several future generations.

    November 5, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Willy Brown

    Please democrats vote for health care so we can throw your donkey duffs to the curb in 2010 and the man child in 2012

    November 5, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. JMikey54

    These protesters are misguided and must not realize the suffering that so many Americans endure because of our failed medical system or they do not care.

    Pass health care reform with a public option this year.

    November 5, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. tee

    Bachmann says she and the repugs wracked their brains to come up with something to do....Bonner said last week they had a plan.....still nothing........maybe she ment to say we wacked our heads.

    November 5, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. PREDICTA

    It's a moot issue. Health care reform won't pass this year or next. Too many blue dog and moderate democrats are scared to death after Tuesdays results in NJ and VA. Funny how history repeats itself. 1993 saw NJ and VA replace dem govs with repubs by almost the identical margins; and then the voters put republicans back in power in 1994.
    Independents are always te deciding factor. 2-1 in VA and NJ for repubs.

    November 5, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. DJ

    Bunch of nerds trying to attack Pelosi at her office. These tea partiers are a swell lot. The majority of Americans want a public option and that does not make us leftists or radical. Get an education.

    November 5, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Russ

    We need Ted Turner to restore CNN's rightful place as an actual news company. There were pro public option protests all over the United States and yet CNN chose to only go with the anti american ones in DC. I call them anti american because these people are effectively saying, we don't care if 1 American dies every 12 minutes, we would rather have insurance companies make profits. I still believe the majority of these clowns are paid by corporations, though CNN will not do any journalism to find out. Disgraceful. Where is the news we can trust? Between 55 and 77 percent of the country want the public option, yet Erica Hill states that the public option is vastly unpopular. I want an apology.

    November 5, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Proud Member..Party of No

    I'm sure that the lunatic Pelosi had no idea what they were protesting. Absolutely clueless.

    November 5, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. kaleto

    Boy, the left-wingers sure do fear dissent. Guess they realize their hold on power is tenuous at best and they're going to lose a lot of seats come 2010.

    They're so smug, they think they can ram any legislation through without any bipartisanship. But like typical left-wingers, they're so stupid, they don't realize that kind of arrogance just pushes lots of people to oppose them.

    November 5, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. John

    Obama created or saved more education jobs in Illinois school districts than actually exist. This is possible because had it not been for the stimulus, parents would have had to quit their jobs to stay home and teach their children, therefore it is legitimately a job "saved".

    Thank you o'wise one.

    November 5, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. Bob in Pa

    Isn't it about time that Congress was restructured. The concept of the speaker is a bad design. The idea that one person, that represents just a portion of our population, has the power to stop certain items of the peoples interest or business from being brought to the floor for discussion is nothing short of a dictatorship. It is way too much power and it has corrupted way too many people.

    November 5, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    It is obscene what this administration and congress has done to the US Treasury and the future generations of Americans. I applaud these people for standing up and saying," Enough is enough!". I hope the politicians in Washington are listening because these are voices speaking for Americans across the nation.

    November 5, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. ib

    Someone needs to stop this bill. A disaster in the making for senior citizens and one more way for the gov. to controll our lives. After Tuesday you would think the demo's would wake up but guess not. Vote them out in 2010.

    November 5, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  19. Minnesotan

    No Michelle, see, at one point your party had every lever of power in their control and health care never made it on the radar screen.

    See, now the big boys are having to step up to the plate and actually govern rather than sit idly by and watch your inept GOP do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the people in this country to help them.

    And you know why that happened? It wasn't some huge conspiracy of communism, fascism, or marxism as you scare-mongers like to say... it was called an election. Wait your turn and see if we give your Party of No another chance in 2010. It doesn't look very good at this point for you....

    November 5, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  20. claude

    The base of the GOP are a bunch of uneducated idiots, and it is their own faults. They have let their party scale back on education and now they don't want universal health care. So they will be a bunch of sick idiots. Do they not realize that our tax dollars already pay for the uninsureds' health care. I say let the wing nuts have thier own country in the south like they wanted back in the 1800's. WE DON'T NEED THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  21. Patrick B

    If your State wishes to provide Government Health Care for all that is your State's right. However the Federal Government Does not have the right nor the power to mandate health care, those calling this reform need to look the word up. This is anything but reform. ...
    Is it too hard to understand that we want the laws that are on the books enforced before any new laws are added? Is it to hard to understand that the Federal Government has no power that is not spelled out in the Constitution, all other powers rest with the States.
    By all means if the state you live in wants to have health care for all so be it.

    November 5, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. vegage

    I had never seen something like this in this country, I am embarrassed that these people call them self patriotic and americans, they are just a bunch of angry people that do not even respect the speaker of the house of representatives of this great nation..

    November 5, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. E

    fools.
    How many of the people complaining about government care will happily suck all they can from medicare and social security?

    November 5, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Doloront

    Thousands? An acquaintance of mine went and said there were no more than 200 people.

    November 5, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. once upon a horse

    I wonder if the tea baggers know that they can march and shout and do all the things they are doing and Congress is STILL going to do whatever it is they plan to do regardless. And all the folks from Palin, to Bachmann to Limbaugh to Beck in the end will all have better health insurance than you do....Limbaugh and Beck because they can afford it... Bachmann because you pay for it.

    November 5, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
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