Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. returned to the Capitol Wednesday to save what once he famously described as a “big f***ing deal.”
Appearing with fellow Democrats and supporters of the 2010 health care law on the Capitol steps, the man from Delaware who spent virtually his entire adult life in the Senate or White House said “I ain’t going anywhere. This is not going to pass,” Biden said of the House Republican legislation to gut his former boss Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
The seventh anniversary of the signing of that legislation is Thursday, the day House Republicans have scheduled a vote on their own bill. On the day of the signing in 2010, Biden leaned into Obama in front of cameras and whispered the now-iconic “big” description of the law.
So Biden is personally invested in protecting the law, and he apparently has all congressional Democrats singing off the same hymnal.
“Keep the [Affordable Care Act] and put a dagger through the heard of Trumpcare,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said.
“If we can beat Trumpcare and prevent it from passing, it will be as our former vice president once said, a BFD,” the New Yorker said.
“No matter how you slice it, it would hurt Americans in all 50 states,” he continued. He then needled the current vice president, Mike Pence, who helped implement the 2010 health care law, including by expanding Medicaid, when he was governor of Indiana.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led the crowd in a “protect our care” chant. Among other Democratic officials present was Gov. Jerry Brown, from Pelosi’s home state of California.
Schumer said that that the uninsured have fallen by 35 percent in Indiana. He also said eliminating the expansion of Medicaid coverage would “devastate Hoosiers,” if the House GOP plan passes.
He also said that it’s not a health care bill but a tax reduction for the 1 percent.
That was echoed by some of Biden’s comments, that the tax transfer from poor and less off to the wealthy was “classic Republican politics.”
And Schumer warned Republicans that they were headed for a trap of their own making.
“House Republicans should wake up and not walk the plant,” Schumer said.
Ed Pesce and Rema Rahman contributed to this report.