The “House Call on Washington” press conference turned rally yesterday brought people from all over the country by the thousands to Washington to petition their representatives for redress of their grievances. Over 25,000 made it to the Capitol City on just a few days’ notice.
“It’s a beautiful, patriotic crowd that came out in the middle of a work week at great sacrifice for many of them from long distances,” nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin told HUMAN EVENTS. “These are the Patrick Henrys. These are the people who are going to keep the pressure on and I’m very, very honored to be with them.”
Dozens of folks at the front, left side of the stage area were holding up Levin’s best-selling book, Liberty and Tyranny.
“You know, I’m really blessed,” Levin added. “It’s a magnificent country. We have a little problem we’ve got to take care of right now, and I think we will.”
I spoke with Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight who had just spoken to the energized crowd.
“If you go out into this crowd and you interview these people you will find eloquent people, just as eloquent as the people behind this microphone, even more so, because these are the guys that are the backbone of America,” Voight said. “They pay their bills, they pay their taxes, they raise their kids, they have a moral center and they know what this nation is and I’m very moved to be here.”
Nell Paulus from Houston, Texas drove with her daughter Maria Paulus to pick up friends in Odell, Louisiana. They began their drive to Washington, D.C. on Monday morning.
“We’ve got to do something about what’s happening,” Nell said. “It’s everything.”
“They’re trying to take away our freedom,” Maria added.
Carol Lowry and Pam Haynes flew in from Kentucky first thing in the morning and flew back to Dry Ridge last night. When asked why they were here, they both said, “We’ve got to kill this bill.”
Becky Thompson and Gloria Johnson flew in from Iowa.
“We’re here to help kill the bill. There are 2,000 pages and 2,000 things wrong with it,” Thompson said.
“We don’t need more bureaucracy,” Johnson said. “Our health care does need improving but not this, not this.”
Jiff Milander drove in from South Dakota. Steve Sample flew in from Loveland, Colorado. The stories we the same over and over and over; average everyday Americans from as far away as California and Florida to New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, dropped everything and got to Washington, D.C. for the day to tell their representatives in one voice: kill the bill.
The crowd was there early and they were vocal in their “Kill the bill” chants. They sang patriotic songs in unison: God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner.
The entire Republican leadership and what appeared to be most if not all of the 177 Republican members of the House came to shake hands in the crowd or say a few words from the stage. No Democrat members were found at the stage or in the crowd.
“I am deeply moved to think that this number of Americans on such short notice took time to be in Washington suggests to me there are hundreds and thousands of Americans who are also making their importance felt today in district offices on telephone lines and by emails today,” said Mike Pence (R-Ind.) chairman of the House Republican Conference.
“This crowd is unbelievable,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and one of the logistics planners. “When we started planning this on Saturday and Sunday we had no idea how many people would show up and I was nervous. I thought it could have been one of these things that’s a good idea, bad execution. It was good idea, great execution because the people showed up. They really care and it’s awesome.”
“This is fantastic,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). “I mean, just a few day’s notice and these people dropped everything they’re doing to come bring this message up here. And typically we understand that the President is not going to come today and talk to Democrats. There was a chance he might have to hear from the people if he did that. He’s going to wait until [Friday] to come to the Capitol to twist arms.”
“It’s a tremendous crowd,” said Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee and one of the real champions in battling the government takeover of health care. “I was lucky enough to meet with people from my district and my state earlier and the commitment they made — they were on a bus last night to get here today, they’re back on the bus tonight. They’re intense, they’re passionate, they want their voices to be heard and I am so grateful they’re here.”
I asked why they told him they were here.
“They’re here because they want their country back,” Camp said. “They’re here because they care about freedom and liberty. They’re here because they want to stop the government takeover of health care. There were people of all ages and it was terrific.”
“I came outside down the steps to see the crowd,” said Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.). “This is more than we could have imagined. For these people to come down in the middle of the week on a work day on such short notice just shows how important this issue is to the people.”
After the speeches, the large crowd moved to the Canon, Rayburn and Longworth House office buildings. At one point the sheer mass of people at Canon caused a shutdown of entry into the building due to having reached building capacity.
Jon Voight and Mark Levin went along to the office buildings shaking hands and thanking people for making a stand against the government’s rapid move toward socialism.
Did Nancy Pelosi hear them? Probably not. She’s forcing a vote on the Obamacare bill this weekend, probably Saturday night.
Cartoon by Brett Noel