MacIver News Service – Even as the final votes on the Senate health care plan drew near, opponents of what they dubbed “Obamacare,” are working on the next battle.
As the House neared a Sunday vote, tens of thousands of protesters from around the country swarmed Washington, DC for impromptu ‘Tea Parties’ on Saturday and Sunday.
“As far as I can see, there is a sea of people,” said Wisconsin resident Oriannah Paul on Saturday. “We’re hoping to send a very loud message to our Congresspeople that the people are angry, they don’t want this bill and they’ve had enough.”
Organizers estimated the Saturday crowd at more than 30,000. When Congressional Democrats signaled on Thursday that the vote would be held on Sunday, the rally was hastily organized. Paul said she was impressed with the turn out on such short notice.
“Seventeen buses came up from Georgia,” said Paul. “More than 100 people came from California.”
The group hoped to stay until the vote on Sunday, but may have to return before the final votes are cast.
“We’re going to be here for a while,” Paul said.
That sentiment was echoed by Tim Dake of Wisconsin’s Grandsons of Liberty who drove out to Washington D.C. yesterday and remained there late Sunday afternoon.
“We are going to stay here until the vote is taken,” said Dake on Sunday. “They think they have the votes to pass it, but it is going to be very close.”
Dake told MacIver News Service that the throngs of protesters reassembled today on the West Side of the Capitol.
“The buses have continued to keep coming throughout the night,” said Dake, who vowed to keep fighting the proposal even if it passes and becomes law.
“Even if they go ahead and shove this down our throats, the battle is not over,” said Dake. “There are still a number of things we can do.”
Dake points to attempts to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to nullify the federal mandates proscribed by the Senate bill.
“We shift from fighting this away game here at the Capitol to shifting to fight the home game in Wisconsin,” said Dake. “If we lose this battle here in Washington, then let’s really double down and fight hard in Wisconsin to protect ourselves at home.”
You can read more about SJR 62 here, in a column by Senator Joe Leibham, the author of the resolution.
We’ll have more coverage throughout the weekend.