Police Arrest 181 at Hearing on GOP Health Care Bill

Protesters chanting "No cuts for Medicaid, save our liberty!" were forcibly removed from the Senate Finance Committee room Monday as lawmakers attempted to convene a hearing into the Republican Graham Cassidy health care bill.

(Published Monday, Sept. 25, 2017)

U.S. Capitol Police arrested 181 people during demonstrations outside a hearing room where U.S. senators were discussing a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

The Graham-Cassidy Bill, considered by some Republicans as their last chance to make changes to health care law, appeared all but dead late Monday. But earlier in the day, protesters had to be cleared from the hearing room, chanting, "No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty!"

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he misspoke during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Trump said he does "accept" the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Trump also said he needed to clarify that he didn't see a reason why the meddling "wouldn't be Russia." Trump had said the opposite a day earlier, prompting bipartisan backlash.

(Published Tuesday, July 17, 2018)

Fifteen people were arrested and charged with disruption of Congress. The hearing resumed after an 18-minute delay.

Outside the hearing room, more protesters continued to chant and yell. Capitol Police arrested 166 people after they refused to clear the hallways.

Asked at the White House if Russia is still targeting the United States, President Donald Trump appeared to say “no.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later that Trump was saying “no” to answering questions.

(Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018)

Police said some demonstrators, as part of their protest activities, removed themselves from wheelchairs and mobility devices and got down on the floor. Police were later able to reunite the people with their devices.

The last-gasp Republican drive to tear down President Barack Obama's health care law essentially died Monday as Maine Sen. Susan Collins joined a small but decisive cluster of GOP senators in opposing the push.

Former President Barack Obama condemned the current state of American politics while not mentioning President Donald Trump by name during a speech to honor the late Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

(Published Tuesday, July 17, 2018)

The Maine moderate said in a statement that the legislation would make "devastating" cuts in the Medicaid program for poor and disabled people, drive up premiums for millions and weaken protections Obama's law gives people with pre-existing medical conditions. She said the legislation is "deeply flawed," despite eleventh-hour changes its sponsors have made in search of support.

The only way Republicans could resuscitate their push would be to change opposing senators' minds, which they've tried unsuccessfully to do for months. Collins told reporters that she made her decision despite a phone call from President Donald Trump, who's been futilely trying to press unhappy GOP senators to back the measure.

President Trump was asked if he held Russia accountable for a decline in relations with the U.S. He said there is blame on both sides.

(Published Monday, July 16, 2018)