As the U.S. Senate prepared to vote to move forward with repealing and replacing Obamacare today, protesters interrupted and loudly chanted, “Kill the bill, don’t kill us!”
This chanting interrupted the start of the roll call on Tuesday afternoon, and it lasted over two full minutes. Protesters eventually began to chant “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Although they were not visible on camera, the chants came from protesters in the Senate gallery. C-SPAN tweeted during this ordeal that they do not control the cameras in the Senate, explaining why no video of the protesters was available.
According to Benjy Sarlin of NBC News, protesters were led out of the Senate with plastic cuffs, all the while they continued to chant “Kill the bill!”
And according to Gabby Morrongiello of The New York Post, about 10 protesters in total were removed from the Senate. Reporters were told that this was a “crime scene” and that they were not allowed to take photos.
One reporter, Andrew Desiderio from The Daily Beast, said that he took video of the protesters, but Capitol Police made him delete it.
The Senate today was not actually voting to repeal and replace Obamacare. Rather, they were voting on a motion to proceed with the replacement process, and the next step is to work on amendments to the bill.
Republicans control the Senate 52 to 48, and with 50 votes required to proceed, no more than two Republicans could go against the motion. The vote is currently taking place on the Senate floor. So far, Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have both voted no, but it looks like Republicans will just barely have enough votes, meaning the efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare will continue.
Republicans hoped to have a very clear replacement proposed when this motion to proceed to took place, but they do not currently have one.