(CNSNews.com) – At an impromptu gathering of Tea Party activists on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Republican lawmakers lined up to condemn the Senate health care bill that could gain approval in the House by the end of this week -- maybe without an up-or-down vote.
Republican House members joined the chants of “Kill the Bill” and “U-S-A” as they rallied the small but enthusiastic crowd and encouraged the conservative activists to contact their representatives to tell them to oppose Democrats’ final push to make government-run health care the law of the land.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually said last week that we need to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it,” Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said at the rally. “I say, Mr. President, Madam Speaker, the American people know what’s in the bill. They just don’t want it.
“We know this health care bill forces Americans to buy health care insurance whether they want it or need it or not,” Pence said. “We know this health care bill cuts Medicare Advantage and will cause millions of Americans to lose the health care insurance that they have.
Several House Republicans addressed the crowd at the “Code Red” rally, where participants carried signs with slogans warning against rationed care and socialized medicine.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) echoed Pence’s remarks about the Senate bill funding abortions.
“It does fund abortion,” King said. “There’s no way of getting around it.”
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said the American people aren’t happy about how the Democrats have tried to push the more than 2,000-page legislation through using backroom deals and special procedures.
“Last year they thought that they could pass a bill without having to read it,” Price said. “This year they want us to pass a bill without having to vote on it.”
A woman who would only identify herself as “Jamie” said congressional arrogance is the main reason she came to the rally.
“I’m here, because I’m really concerned about how the legislative process is being bastardized to push this through,” she told CNSNews.com. “Whether you’re for it or against it, if they can bastardize our legislative process like this, what’s to stop them for anything? Why do we even have elected officials?”
Russ Cote of New Jersey said this is the third event he has attended to protest a proposed health care system that he said is unsustainable and unconstitutional.
“It’s simple economics,” Cote told CNSNews.com. “We’re going to go broke. We’re going to go broke fast.”
Cote said if the bill passed with a mandate requiring every American to buy health insurance, he would not comply.
“If there’s a mandate, I can tell you this -- my own form of political protest – I won’t do it and I’ll be a test case if I have to,” Cote said. “I wouldn’t pay the fine either. I’d make them throw me in jail.”
Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) were upbeat about the chances of defeating the health care bill.
“I want you to know that we are winning this debate,” Bachman said, likening the struggle to America’s pastime. “So here we are, we are at the bottom of the ninth; we’ve won every inning so far.”
“It is the American people who are going to kill this bill,” Blackburn said. “Our goal this week will be to kill this bill.”
“It’s not too late,” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) said as someone in the crowd shouted, “You tell the truth.”
“The American people can make a difference,” Wilson said.