181 protesters arrested after disrupting Graham-Cassidy bill hearing

Protesters in wheelchairs were removed from a hearing on the Republican health care bill Monday afternoon after disrupting the session with chants of “No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!”

The disruption prompted Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to adjourn the session until the protesters could be cleared out.

“If you want a hearing — if you want a hearing, you better shut up,” Hatch said.

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Capitol Police drag a blind protester out of a Senate Finance Committee hearing about the proposed Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Sept. 25, 2017, in Washington.

Capitol Police officers struggled to remove people, with some sliding out of their wheelchairs and onto the floor.

Eva Malecki, a spokesperson for Capitol Police, said in a statement 181 protesters were arrested Monday afternoon.

“Fifteen demonstrators were arrested and charged with disruption of Congress,” Malecki said, adding, “143 individuals were arrested after refusing to cease and desist with their unlawful demonstration activities in the hallway. Twenty-three individuals were charged with crowding, obstructing, or incommoding and resisting arrest.”

People from all over the country and all of walks of life lined up as early as 5 a.m. ET, to urge lawmakers to oppose the latest Republican health care bill, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill.

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Capitol Police remove a protester in a wheel chair from a Senate Finance Committee hearing about the proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Sept. 25, 2017, in Washington.

The chambers of Finance Committee is set to consider health care legislation proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

This is the one and only open hearing scheduled on the Graham-Cassidy bill, an unusual process that opponents of the bill, like…

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