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(NECN: Washington, D.C.) - In his final words from the floor of the House before a vote on health care reform legislation, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) led a fiery round of rhetorical questions.
Raising his voice along the way, Rep. Boehner asked questions that eventually drew answers from both sides of the aisle, and the minority leader himself.
The congressional delegates were initially slow to pick up the trend, seemingly unsure if Rep. Boehner would continue with his line of rhetorical questioning. But both Democrats and Republicans got in the game once he took on the process by which the bill was written.
"Can you say it was done openly with transparency and accountability, without backroom deals and struck behind closed doors, hidden from the people?" Rep. Boehner asked passionately, refuting the string of "Yes!" answers he had received from the House Democrats. "Hell no you can't!"
He then moved on, keeping his voice raised as he asked the congressional delegates if they had even read the proposed legislation at hand.
"Have you read the bill? Have you read the reconciliation bill? Have you read the manager's assessment?" he asked. "Hell no you haven't."
The acting speaker then banged his gavel, saying calmly, "Both sides would do well to remember the dignity of the House."
Before closing out his address, Rep. Boehner addressed the fallout that would occur from a passage of the health care reform legislation, which he said would bring shame to the nation's forefathers.
"By our actions today, we disgrace their values. We break our ties to history in this chamber," Rep. Boehner said.
Update: Upon passing the measure by a 219-212 vote minutes later, House Democrats chanted "Yes we can." The House also passed the reconciliation of this bill shortly afterward.