By Pete Kasperowicz - 07/11/12 03:22 PM EDT
He noted that the 2010 law was criticized by Republicans for being too long, "which may explain the size of this bill," Green said, gesturing to his empty hand.
"My constituents want me to read this bill," he said, again looking at his empty hand. "This is the replacement bill, and they want me to be sure that I understand the replacement bill before I vote to repeal.
"So what I'd like to do now ... I want to read the replacement bill," he said mockingly. "I shall read the replacement bill ... let me just read half of it first. I shall now read one half of the replacement bill."
After a pause of a few seconds and laughter from Democrats sitting in the chamber, Green then said, "Now, I shall read the other half of the replacement bill."
To ward off complaints that he reads too fast, Green then paused again to read the entire non-existent bill again, and asked that the bill be placed in the Congressional Record.
"I'm going to ask that I be allowed to place the replacement bill in the record," he said to more laughter. "Thank you, Mr. Speaker."
After Green spoke, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) said Republicans are looking to replace the healthcare law with nothing more than chicken soup for sick people, displaying poster with a large can of Campbell's Soup.
Several Democrats complained in Tuesday debate that Republicans were once again trying to repeal the healthcare law without making any clear plans for replacing it. Republicans have said the law is leading to increasing healthcare costs and stifling job creation, and that the best way forward is to repeal the law and start over.
The House will resume debate on the repeal bill, H.R. 6079, in the early afternoon. The measure is expected to pass later in the day.