Cops busted scores of protesters jeering the GOP’s health care bill on Tuesday, including a boisterous bunch in wheelchairs that interrupted a Senate hearing hollering, “No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!”
The raucous protests forced Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch to briefly end the hearing — just minutes after it began.
“If you want a hearing you better shut up,” Hatch retorted.
The protesters ignored Hatch and continued their demonstration. At one point, the co-sponsor of the health care legislation, Sen. Bill Cassidy could be seen face-palming while waiting for the protest to end.
McCain says he won’t vote for Graham-Cassidy health care proposal
Police rounded up 15 of those demonstrators, charging the group with disruption of congress.
Protestors removed from hearing on health care in Washington, D.C.
Officers then cracked down on another protest bubbling up outside the hearing room, arresting 143 more who refused to stop the demonstration.
That group faces charges of obstructing, while about two dozen of that number face additional charges of resisting arrest.
Police carried and dragged the protesters — some by their wheelchair handles — from the hearing room one by one. One man, who is blind and gripping his cane, was dragged by his arms. For those who slipped out of their wheelchairs, police said officers had to “reunite demonstrators with their mobility devices.”
Budget fixes needed if health care cuts take place: Cuomo
Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said officers arrested a total of 181 protesters.
Hatch started up the hearing again shortly after the protesters were removed.
The hearing comes as Senate Republicans tried but failed to pass legislation to repeal and replace “Obamacare.”
With News Wire Services
Send a Letter to the Editor