Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Health Care Vote Prompts Slurs, Spitting from Protesters

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the U.S. Capitol and in congressional office buildings Saturday, shouting against proposed health care legislation.

Two African American congressmen, Andre Carson of Indiana and John Lewis from Georgia, were subjected to racial epithets from protesters as they left the Capitol after hearing President Barack Obama deliver a last-minute address promoting the health care bill.

Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, who is the highest-ranking African American official in Congress, told The Washington Post that he heard things from Saturday's demonstrators that he had not heard "since March 15, 1960" when he was - as he put it - "marching to get off the back of the bus."

Another black congressman, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, said he was spat on by protesters.

Barney Frank, a congressman from Massachusetts who is openly homosexual, was badgered with anti-gay remarks from the demonstrators.

A spokesman for Cleaver said the congressman is "disappointed that in the 21st century (the) national discourse has devolved to the point of name-calling and spitting."

Some information for this report was provided by AP.