U.S. Capitol Police arrested 36 protesters who disrupted a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the GOP tax overhaul plan that would impact the Affordable Care Act.
The bill the panel was considering includes a provision which would repeal Obamacare's individual mandate, which would do away with the penalty Americans face for not having health insurance coverage. Protesters, including several people in wheelchairs, entered the committee hearing room and chanted “Shame on you!”
“If this bill is passed, people like me will die,” one protester said.
Protesters, some in wheelchairs, removed from Senate budget hearing while chanting "Shame on you!" and "Don't kill us, kill the bill." pic.twitter.com/EoeJtGC6Cu— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 28, 2017
“Don’t kill us, kill the bill,” others chanted.
Capitol Police then removed the protesters from the hearing, 36 of which were arrested and charged with disruption of Congress. Two of those were charged with resisting arrest.
Capitol Police arrested 36 protesters outside the Senate Budget Cmte hearing today where they voted the GOP tax bill to the Senate floor —> pic.twitter.com/Kl861fDNYZ— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) November 28, 2017
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., addressed the protests later in the hearing.
“I hate to see hearings disrupted by citizens. I hate that. I cringe when it happens. But what choice do they have? What choice do they have, when a finance committee refuses to allow a single hearing to hear from people about the rewriting of the American tax code for the first time in 32 years,” he said. “What choice do people have when the door is shut in their face. The stakes could not be higher. This is about every American family. This is about every American business. This is about the strength of the American economy.”
The Senate committee passed the legislation by a 12-11 margin on party lines.