By Bob Cusack - 10/31/09 03:00 PM EDT
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is urging Americans to come to
Washington, D.C., next week to roam the halls of Congress and lobby
lawmakers against the House Democrats' healthcare reform plan.
The strategy aims at resurrecting the momentum Republicans enjoyed during the August recess, when many critics challenged their members of Congress on healthcare reform. Since then, Democrats have regained their footing and have captured some political momentum to pass a bill.
Bachmann told conservative commentator Sean Hannity, "The clock is ticking 11:59 ...I've never done this before but I am asking people to come to Washington, D.C., by the carload and next Thursday at noon I'll be at a press conference on the steps of the Capitol.
"I'd love to have every one of your viewers to join me so we can go up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, 'Don't take away my healthcare.'"
After Hannity opined that lawmakers would likely hide from the crowds, Bachmann responded, "It's not inevitable. This doesn't have to pass and I don't think it will pass if we can get people to literally, physically come to Washington, D.C., next week.
"We need to pay a House call on [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] and tell her what she can do with the Pelosi healthcare plan," Bachmann added.
The vocal Republican noted that many Blue Dogs -- a group of conservative Democrats -- are on the fence on how to vote.
"That's why this is such an exciting opportunity for us ...This is our liberty and tyranny moment. This is about patriotism and manning up."
She said the plan on Thursday afternoon will be to walk through the House office buildings to look for lawmakers: "We can walk through Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn [office buildings], walk through the Capitol ..."
The House is scheduled to start debate on the healthcare bill later this week, with a vote likely occurring within the next 10 days.