Republican Congressman Steve King spoke to the thousands of “tea party” activists who rallied outside the U.S. Capitol yesterday to protest the health care reform plan Democrats are advancing.
“Look at this: as far as my eyes can see I can see Americans that came from every corner of this continent, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, the eastern seaboard, to the Midwest,” King said to open his minute-long speech. “You’re all here.”
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was the first to publicly call for the “tea party” rally during a television interview on FOX News and other Republicans in congress started emailing conservatives and other activists who are part of the “tea party” movement, asking them to come to the capitol yesterday. King, during his remarks to the crowd, said the idea for the rally came not from Bachman, but from a veteran from Sioux City, Iowa.
“I want to give credit to where the idea came from originally. It came out of the mouth of America’s most-decorated living hero, Colonel Bud Day, who has a Medal of Honor and 69 other medals and giving a speech in Iowa he said, ‘I think we can’t save our freedom unless we surround the capitol building until they give us back our freedom,’” King said. “That’s what I relayed to my friend Michelle Bachman as we walked down the steps and she said, ‘Why can’t we?’ Well, we can. We are. We’re here.”
King closed with references to several military battles.
“We own this hill. We’re the American people. You took this hill. Remember some of those other battles: Lexington and Concord, Breed’s Hill, Bunker Hill, Pork Chop Hill, Hamburger Hill. This hill is a lot easier hill to take. You’re on it,” King said, to cheers and laughter from the crowd standing on Capitol Hill in Washington. “And you know what? We’re not going to leave this hill until we kill this bill.”
The crowd chanted, “Kill the bill!” at various points in yesterday’s rally.
Democratic congressional leaders have scheduled a vote in the House on a health care reform bill. That vote is to take place tomorrow.