Tea Party Activists Rally In Washington Against Dem’s Health Reform Bill
Fox News: "Tea Party activists from across the country rallied outside Democratic congressional offices in Washington on Tuesday to protest the $875 billion health care bill and demand meetings with their respective members of Congress." A memo was circulated in advance by the House Democratic leadership offering tips for dealing with the activists (3/16).
The Hill: "Democrats dismissed turnout at Tuesday's 'Tea Party' rally on Capitol Hill against health reform legislation as evidence of withering momentum against the healthcare bill. Pointing to preliminary turnout numbers at today's rally on Congress, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) argued that the momentum behind the Tea Party movement had waned as lawmakers approach a final, decisive vote on health reform. The DNC said its own head count of today's rally estimated about 300 attendees, well below the 1-1.5 million a Tea Party organizing group, FreedomWorks, had estimated in attendance for its Sept. 12, 2009 rally on the Capitol. (Other media outlets had estimated between 60,000 to 75,000 in attendance for those rallies.)" FreedomWorks estimated the attendance today closer to 1,000 (O'Brien, 3/16).
Roll Call: Meanwhile, in other news, the House phone systems and Web sites are being inundated with constituent e-mails and phone calls regarding the pending health overhaul. "An employee who answers phones at the House Office of Telecommunications ... said the switchboard has been inundated 'in every way.'" A spokesman from the House Chief Administrator's Office said every House member's office was experiencing problems (Newhauser, 3/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.