Thousands Protest Health Bill At Capitol

"Chanting 'Kill the bill,' thousands of conservatives rallied at the Capitol on Thursday against the Democrats' health care overhaul plan, labeling it a government takeover of the nation's medical system," The Associated Press reports. "'This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen,' House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio told the crowd gathered on the lawn near the West Front of the Capitol. The protest attracted many of the so-called Tea Party demonstrators angry with increased spending and an expanded government role under the Obama administration" (Kellman, 11/5).

The Washington Post: "Dozens of Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), stood on the Capitol steps and pledged to do everything they could to defeat the health-care reform bill by Saturday, when House members plan to vote. 'You came! You came to your House!' said Bachmann, who organized the 'Hands Off Our Health Care!' rally in recent days with impassioned pleas on conservative talk radio and cable television shows" (Rucker, 11/5).

The New York Times: "A series of spot interviews suggests that the protesters have come to Washington from all across the country – Texas, Ohio, Oregon and the greater Washington area. It's a generally older crowd, many in their 50s and 60s, predominantly, white, and many self-identified as Christians. They are fiercely conservative and deeply skeptical of the government, many of them adamantly opposed to abortion rights" (Herszenhorn, 11/5).

ABC News: "Dozens of buses, organized by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity carried grassroots activists and concerned citizens from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and North Carolina. Organizers said activists became energized after Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey Tuesday. 'Speaker Pelosi did not get the message on Tuesday that people aren't happy with the way things are going,' Dave Schwartz, Maryland state director of Americans for Prosperity, told ABC News. 'We need to send her another message'" (Dwyer, 11/5).

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