November 7th, 2009
07:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Hundreds protest health bill amid looming vote

Before Saturday's event ended, Republican lawmakers tried to dramatize the size of the Democrats’ bill by unfurling all 1,900 pages--taped together--from the Capitol’s east front to the top of the House steps.

Before Saturday's event ended, Republican lawmakers tried to dramatize the size of the Democrats’ bill by unfurling all 1,900 pages–taped together–from the Capitol’s east front to the top of the House steps.

Washington (CNN) - Foes of the House Democrats' health care bill rallied outside the Capitol Saturday afternoon, hours before what many of them anticipate will be a setback for their position - approval of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bill.

"It may pass out of the House tonight. We do realize that," Jenny Beth Martin, event organizer for the Tea Party Patriots, said. "But there is the Senate still. And we are going to leave no stone unturned and fight the government taking over our health care."

Chanting "Kill the bill" and "Hell, no" throughout the nearly 90-minute rally, the few hundred attendees kept up their opposition despite having a much lower turnout than a similar rally held on Thursday.

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers spoke to the protesters and encouraged them to keep up the fight by speaking to wavering Democrats and their families, friends and neighbors about the legislation.

"We are here for one purpose: Kill the bill!" said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee.

"America doesn't need socialized medicine. We need jobs," Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Georgia, said.

"I diagnose [this bill] as a dead, rotting stinking fish that we will not eat," said Rep. Paul Broun, a Republican doctor from Georgia.

And in a fiery speech trying to convince the conservative "blue dog"

Democrats to vote against the bill, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, asked, "Are they a blue dog or a lap dog? We'll find out."

Earlier Saturday, President Barack Obama urged lawmakers in the House to pass the pending health care legislation.

"Millions of Americans are watching right now," the president toldreporters in a brief news conference in the White House Rose Garden. "Theirfamilies and businesses are counting on us. After all, this is why they sent us here: to finally confront the challenges that Washington had been putting off for decades. To make their lives better. To leave this country stronger than we found it."

Obama's comments came shortly after he had returned to the White House from Capitol Hill, where he met with the House Democratic leadership.

Filed under: GOP • Health care • Tea Party movement
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Paul Lewis

    If the GOP doesn't want Healthcare forget them and get her done.

    November 7, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. terry,va

    I bet you that less than 10 congress people have read the bill and understand it. If passed, it will have more surprises than the stimulus bill. We all know what a success that bill is....NOT!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. We Won Get Over It

    Gee first you said it was millions, you were proven wrong..

    Then it was 50 thousand, and you were proven wrong

    Now hundreds did all of ten people show up.

    November 7, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. annie against biased news

    Next time I vote I want the person I am voting for to take a hearing test. Either 98% of these low-life politicians are completely deaf or they just don't give a dam@ about the people who pay their salary.

    November 7, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. valwayne

    Elections have consequences and givng the Democrats Control of Congress and now the White House has led to 10.2% UNEMPLOYMENT and trillions upon trillions of debt. And tonight they are voting for the Government to take over our healthcare system which will give them control of every aspect of our lives from whether we smoke to whether we are too fat or too thin. It will also cost Trillion upon trillions more, and the cost and taxes will drive UNEMPLOYMENT even higher. The American people are opposed to this bill tonight, but they will ram it down our throats. We are powerless to prevent this until 2010. Every Democrats voting to cram this down our throat needs to be defeated!

    November 7, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. ran

    The Democrats need to pass single payer non-profit universal health care. Then let the Republicans, blue dogs and for profit health insurance companies continue their temper tantrums.

    This President and the Democrats need to stop trying to get help from the republicans and just get things done.

    Do health care now then on to energy and immigration. The hell with the Republicans.

    November 7, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. snowflake

    Gee! "Hell no?" Wonder if any of those GOP protestors are worried about "going to hell" themselves for cussing???!!!!!! I thought the Christian right didn't use profanity?????????????????

    November 7, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. blue j

    Hundreds of teabaggers in one place? sounds like a freaky party.

    November 7, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  9. demsrulz

    Its too bad the senate does not represent the citizens of this country in terms of population... If so the dems would have an even stronger majority and this thing would be done already... Keep up the great work democrats ! Never mind what the union for corporate america(repugs) want!

    November 7, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. independent

    Funny how life works. These people so against health insurance for all feel so secure in their jobs. I wonder how they will feel once they lose their job and so goes their insurance... Could they also send us taxpayers a check for their parents and grandparents medicare that WE pay for? You see, we would pull ourselves up by our bootstraps but healthcare execs and wallstreet have stolen are laces–

    November 7, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. marge

    I'm watching a report now about the horror of Islamists who feel compelled to terrorize Americans. I see no difference in these fools than I do in the teabaggers who demonize our president and those senators who stand on the steps of the Capitol and incite, with their lies, Americans to overthrow this administration. And yet no one in your newsroom is drawing this parallel. How can we (rightly) call extremist Muslims terrorists, while ignoring the terrorists in our own Congress and the hoards of frightened and ill-educated followers they incite?

    November 7, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. Bob

    Wow. Hundreds of protestors. The teabaggers are right! America is opposed to the health care bill! How could I have been so blind!

    November 7, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Republican Virginia Foxx of NC is 66 years old – she's on government-run health care.

    What a hypocrit she is – like the rest.

    They don't want to destroy the bill, they want to destroy our President and the little people in this country that have done without decent insurance for decades. (They sure have it tho).

    November 7, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  14. K

    Preston kathy glen beck told bill orielly if you can not pay for health insurance you you do not get health insurance beck said if your sick go to the er room what he did not say was you might get a bill for thousands of dollars i wonder what beck would do if he did not know how he can afford his next meal

    November 7, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. Veronica

    when they're done, can they pls make sure to recycle their prop?

    November 7, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. ib

    This bill should be DOA; if it passes the country will be DOA from all the debt that Obama and company are running up. This country is broke; we cannot afford to keep spending like this. WAKE UP PEOPLE

    November 7, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. GOP-NO

    Willing to bet Maddie will be a registered Democrat when she turns 18.

    November 7, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  18. Mark

    Democrats will cause America to collapse.

    November 7, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. Sherrie

    All I can say is Obama is pushing HIS agenda and not listening to the American taxpayers. I'm a registered Democrat and I can't wait to NOT LISTEN to the extreme left Democrats and Obama in 2010 and 2012. They might be speaking for their jobs.....but, I won't be listening! They deserve to be fired.

    November 7, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  20. Smalto

    Go Dem and pass the bill tonight, we poor people, middle class, and average are looking up to you to deliver. Rep are ridicule, and powerless. They only have the eyes to cry

    November 7, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  21. Libby

    Does anyone else think we Americans should vote on this? This is major legislation and I feel that we should have a say if we want our taxes increased because of health care reform.

    November 7, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  22. Obama fan...not!

    that would be thousands.....if accuracy matters to CNN

    November 7, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. Meka

    It's people like this . . . America has SERIOUS PROBLEMS!

    November 7, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. Larry

    If a minority of Americans don't like this bill ... IE the Tea Partiest

    Then Get Out Of Our Wonderful Country ...

    We don't need you ...

    November 7, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. Grant

    I wonder if the people protesting prospective health care bills are aware that the United States is the only industrialised western country that does not ensure all of its citizens have health care coverage. Think about it. By some estimates, 36 million Americans are uninsured. This is something Americans should be ashamed of. Speaking for Republicans (the party of NO), House Minority Leader John Boehner has said that with the US unemployment now at 10,2 percent, there was a need to defeat "this job-killing bill." The logic escapes me. If people are losing their jobs, they are also losing their health care. Most of them will have no "affordable options". The US system fails people who become unemployed. Obviously, "let the markets work" is a failure to when applied to health care, at least for tens of millions of Americans. The US spends far more on health care – both per person and as a share of national income than other industrialised western countries, yet with no improvement in the quality of care; the US lags behind western European country averages in key indicators like life expectancy and infant mortality. So, we clearly have a broken, expensive system that generates billions in profits for private insurance companies but at the cost of millions of uninsured Americans and growing personal bankruptcy for people facing huge medical bills. I wonder what these protesters would do if they suddenly lost their health care. Perhaps move to Canada?

    November 7, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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