Courtesy: Steven D. Martin / National Council of Churches
ATLANTA - Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, was arrested in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.
Warnock was among about a dozen other African-American clergy calling upon Congress to reject what they described as "the immoral budget proposed by the Trump administration" and "the unjust health care bill in the Senate."
The afternoon demonstration by the clergy members included a prayer circle and singing. It followed a day of lobbying by the clergy members.
A post on his Facebook page shows Rev. Warnock being placed in handcuffs by Capitol Police and escorted away.
Rev. Warnock released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“As a pastor, I believe that the national budget is not just a fiscal document, but a moral document. It reflects what we believe and who we are for one another. And if this mean spirited budget were an EKG, it would indicate that America has a heart condition. The government is taking student aid, job training and medicine from those who need it most in order to give a tax cut to those who need it least. We came to Washington as voices of healing and justice. America is better than this. That's our message. And when I consider those who will suffer, my getting arrested is a small price to pay.”
Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Rev. Barbara Williams Skinner, Rev. Leslie Copeland Tune, Bishop Frank Madison Reid, Rev. Cynthia Hale, Rev. Donald Gillett, Rev. Aundreia Alexander, and Rev. Willie Gable were also in attendance, but it was not immediately if they all were arrested. Video of the demonstration shows several individuals being led off in handcuffs.
The clergy members are using hashtag #BlackClergyUprising to raise better awareness for their cause.
Late Monday night, it was announced that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lacked the votes to push ahead on his plan as three Republican senators -- Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine -- opposed it.
McConnell said the Senate will vote "sometime in the near future" on repealing the Obama health care law.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican said "this has been a very, very challenging experience for all of us" after the collapse of the Senate GOP plan to rewrite much of the 2010 law.
McConnell said the GOP doesn't have 50 members to agree on a replacement. He made the comments after the weekly closed-door GOP lunch attended by Vice President Mike Pence.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said the GOP needs to find out "where the votes are."
A bipartisan group of 11 governors said Senate Republicans should abandon the effort to repeal the Obama health care law and replace it later.
In a statement on Tuesday, the governors, who hold considerable sway with their senators, said the latest approach pushed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would leave millions of Americans without insurance coverage.
The governors said the best step is a bipartisan approach and a fix to the unstable insurance markets.
Among the Republicans on the statement were Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Maryland's Larry Hogan, Massachusetts' Charlie Baker and Ohio's John Kasich. Also signing on was Independent Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska.
President Donald Trump said he is deeply "disappointed" by the collapse of the GOP effort to rewrite former President Barack Obama's health care law.
Trump told reporters during a lunch with service members Tuesday that Republicans have been talking for years about repealing and replacing "Obamacare," and is disappointed they couldn't deliver.
Trump said it's time to "Let Obamacare fail," and says that "I'm not going to own it."
He said letting Obamacare fail will encourage Democrats to come to the table and negotiate.
Trump also said he does not blame Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the decision by two more Republican senators to come out against the legislation, effectively killing the bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this article