On Monday night, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) sat down on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to host a sit-in to protest the health care bill the Senate is currently debating.
The Better Care Reconciliation Act was recently revealed after being kept tightly under wraps by Senate Republicans. On Monday the Congressional Budget Office announced that the bill not only will cut Medicaid but also will leave an additional 22 million Americans uninsured.
Booker livestreamed the three-and-a-half-hour event on Facebook, CNN reports. The discussion, which began as a talk between Booker and Lewis, gained a crowd of over 100, including a number of Democratic senators, such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Sens. Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Chris Murphy (Conn.).
“So John Lewis and I are going to sit down on the Capitol steps for a while to protest Senate [Republicans’] efforts to repeal health care and give voice to millions of Americans who believe that affordable health care is a human right,” Booker posted in the caption of the livestream.
“People create an otherness; they don’t see us as one nation under God, indivisible; they somehow think that if your children don’t get health care, it doesn’t bother me. That’s a delusion,” Booker added in the livestream.
Over 900,000 people have viewed Booker’s Facebook Live, not including those in the crowd who saw it in person. Technology changes the way Congress members reach their constituents, intensifying the influence of grassroots efforts like this one.
Booker and Lewis are encouraging Americans to speak up against the health care bill because their sit-in “means nothing if we don’t gain momentum,” Booker said.