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Capitol Police arrest 40 during healthcare protests

Capitol Police arrest 40 during healthcare protests
© Greg Nash

U.S. Capitol Police arrested 40 demonstrators protesting Senate Republicans' ObamaCare repeal efforts on Wednesday.

Police said they responded to calls from several Senate-side offices about protest activity, warning demonstrators to cease and desist. Those who refused, according to police, were arrested and taken to Capitol Police headquarters for processing.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 19 men and 21 women had been arrested and charged with unlawful crowding, obstructing or incommoding.

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There have been multiple protests on Capitol Hill against the Better Care Reconciliation Act since Senate Republicans made their plan to overhaul the country's healthcare system public.

More than 100 protesters gathered in and around the offices of key lawmakers on Wednesday in an effort to pressure them to oppose the healthcare bill, according to Sinclair Broadcast Group

Photos and videos of the demonstrations posted on social media showed a series of sit-ins and protests in the offices of GOP Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' White House digs in as infrastructure talks stall White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure MORE (Ohio) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal Rising violent crime poses new challenge for White House MORE (Fla.), among others.

Rubio has said he is still reviewing the bill and hasn't yet decided how he will vote.

Portman has come out against the bill, while Toomey is said to be leaning toward a "yes" vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCan Manchin answer his predecessor's call on voting rights? Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' Democrats' narrow chance to retain control after 2022 MORE (R-Ky.) initially planned to schedule a vote on the healthcare bill as early as this week, but said Tuesday that he would postpone a vote until after lawmakers return from their July 4 recess.

McConnell and Senate GOP leaders need at least 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans to vote for the bill. At least nine Republicans so far have said they cannot vote for it in its current form, and several others have voiced misgivings about the legislation.