Parades become backdrop for debate on GOP push on health care

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Critics of GOP plans in Congress to overhaul the Obama health law tried to put Republicans on the defensive on Tuesday at various parades around the nation marking Independence Day, as Republicans in Congress continue to look for a deal on a Senate health care bill, and opponents try their best to derail those legislative efforts.

“Health care is a human right!” shouted protesters who tried their best to interrupt remarks by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), at a July Fourth event in McAllen, Texas.

“Isn’t freedom wonderful?” Cruz asked as he tried to be heard over the shouts of critics.

At other Independence Day ceremonies and parades, health care was a hot topic, even for Republicans who aren’t on board with the GOP plan in the Senate, like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

“Both parties must work together to make health care better. It’s what we should have done from the beginning,” Collins said on Twitter.

Liberal groups tried to stir things up at a number of events, following certain GOP lawmakers to different parades, and raising their voices directly to members of Congress.

“How does it feel to get bird dogged at every 4th parade you & your entourage marched in?” one group in Nebraska tweeted at Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), a freshman GOP lawmaker.

If Bacon was worried, he wasn’t showing it on social media.

Congress is off the rest of this week; the Senate returns for votes next Monday, while the House is back on Tuesday.

There has been no public indication that GOP Senators are any closer to a deal on a Republican health care bill.

GOP leaders had hoped to vote on a plan last week, but that schedule was put on hold when it became obvious that Republicans could not muster a majority of votes.


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