On Wednesday, Capitol Police arrested more than 150 protesters outside — and inside — the Capitol grounds. The crowd had gathered to oppose Trumpcare, as the GOP health “plan” has come to be known. They did it by crowding Republican Senate offices and even the hallways of the office buildings. According to The Hill, who posted live video of the protests, 155 were arrested, including four for resisting arrest. Charges for the others were described as “Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.”
The protests came as no surprise, after a very short week of very big developments.
Following Monday’s news that Senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran were joining Rand Paul and Susan Collins in Republican opposition to the GOP “healthcare” bill, it effectively killed its chances of passing even the procedural maneuver Mitch McConnell had planned to use to bypass the need for 60 votes to ram the bill through. And regardless of each senator’s reason for opposition, the political barometer inside the Republican Party hit the red pretty quickly.
Not only did the Senate Majority Leader have a public near-meltdown, but the president himself threw one of his almost-daily Twitter tantrums, seemingly unable to decide whether he wanted to “let Obamacare fail” or to demand that Republicans cave and simply repeal Obamacare in its entirety, without a replacement.
We presume he got wind of the CBO’s most recent scoring of a repeal-without-replacement, which has largely been recognized as a potential humanitarian crisis, due to the fact that it would immediately boot 32 million more Americans out of the system with no access to health care outside of emergency rooms. Coupled with those who already didn’t yet have insurance, that would be more than 1 in 5 Americans without health care.
By Wednesday, Trump was rounding the GOP up again for a lunch meeting that the New York Times called a “belated sales pitch” for the bill that collapsed on Monday, saying that “inaction” was “not an option.” But even that quickly dissolved into a sideshow, after Trump once again threatened a sitting senator over his lack of support for the bill.
Take heart, America: There seem to be a few Republicans left who won’t let this president destroy American health care in his vendetta against everything good accomplished by Barack Obama. And if even those Republicans falter, we still have protesters and allies willing to go to jail to protect their fellow Americans from the cruelty of Donald Trump.
Watch the protests below:
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images