“5 letters: starts with S, ends in S.”
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-O.K., sparked controversy during a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee Wednesday when he used the word “sucks” to describe coverage of the Affordable Care Act.
“Mr. Chairman, could I ask that the previous comment that was a word that I find offensive – five letters, starts with S, ends in S — be taken down?” a female congresswoman said.
“Just for the record I’d like to say that I’m personally offended by the word, and I’d certainly accept an apology,” she added.
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Mullin used the word to admonish Democrats for not working with Republicans to make reform to healthcare.
In response, an as-yet unidentified congresswoman on the committee said she was “personally offended” by the word.
“As a current employer, you ought pay those healthcare prices,” Mullin, who owns a plumbing business, said in reference to the Affordable Care Act. “My employees that I have currently — because I’m still an employer — the biggest complaint that they have about ACA is that their coverage sucks. It doesn’t cover anything. Their premiums are off the chart.”
Mullin implored his Democratic colleagues to help fix the problem.
“You want to talk about ACA prices? Let’s do something about it,” Mullin said, before directing a question to Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M. “We started talking about bipartisanship. The gentleman from New Mexico, what have you proposed that’s actually serious about a bipartisan approach?”
Lujan interrupted and asked Mullin to yield – a request Mullin declined, telling Lujan to “shut up.”
“You already had your time to talk,” he said. “I said I wasn’t going to yield to you. You can shut up now.”
Mullin’s response elicited an outcry from committee members, who loudly invoked procedural rules multiple times.
GOP @RepMullin says that ACA coverage “sucks” and that bipartisan health care talks aren’t working.
[Democrat @repbenraylujan tries to cut in]
Mullin: “I said I wasn’t going to yield, you can shut up now.”
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) March 27, 2019
After committee members then took issue with Mullin’s use of the word “sucks,” the Oklahoma Republican conceded the withdrawing his comment.
“The word ‘sucks’ is inappropriate in this committee in the context in which you used it,” a fellow lawmaker said.
The exchange comes in the wake of Trump’s administration’s siding with a district court ruling that found all of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
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