Early in the 18-hour hearing, South Dakota’s lone Congresswoman, Kristi Noem, tweeted a picture of her fancy cowboy boots beneath her Ways and Means desk. I retweeted, asking what percentage of a monthly health insurance premium those boots could pay for. I received no reply, and Noem subsequently took her boots off Twitter.
As the hearing wore on, Rep. Noem posted a photo of her busy desk:
Banana, snack bar… Rep. Noem worked hard to keep up her calorie intake, even though she didn’t appear to need it. My quick scan of the C-SPAN video and transcript of the hearing indicates she did not speak once during the 18-hour hearing.
Coming up on midnight, Rep. Noem took another snack break:
She said the protein juice was “better than the 4 hour old pizza in the committee office.” I suggest that any declaration that a protein drink is better than pizza is as indicative of detachment from reality (though not as legally and constitutionally grave) as Donald Trump’s paranoid assertion that Barack Obama tapped his phone.
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas is pointing his thumb the other way. The Arkanses Republican tweeted this morning that the House health care bill—passed on party lines without amendment by Noem and her colleagues—won’t pass the Senate in its current form. He accused Noem and her House colleagues of acting “like Dems did on O’care,” rushing a bill with no budget estimate to satisfy an arbitrary deadline rather than provide “better, more affordable health care for Americans.”
Sarah Kliff of Vox agrees, writing that this week’s action shows Republicans “plan to move more quickly and less deliberatively than Democrats did in drafting the Affordable Care Act.”
But at least Rep. Noem is keeping her strength up.