Congressman Interrupts Climate Hearing To Ask Whether EPA Chief Enrolled In Obamacare

CREDIT: AP Photo/David Goldman

Rep. Paul Broun

When the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology announced it would be holding a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s transparency and accountability, it seemed as though the event might be strictly political in nature. After all, seventeen out of twenty-two Republican members of the committee deny that climate change is occurring — how much could really get done?

That scenario played out a little unexpectedly at the hearing today, where the biggest “red meat question” asked to McCarthy was whether or not she has signed up for Obamacare.

The question was asked by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), following accusations that the EPA has been performing unethical human testing on the health effects of particulate matter. Looking visibly confused, McCarthy tried to respond that the accusations were false. But Broun interrupted, noting that he only had a few seconds left for his questioning.

Broun: Let me ask you one more question because my time’s running out. Are you signed up for Obamacare?

McCarthy: No I am not.

Broun: Why not?

McCarthy: Well because I’m lucky enough as a federal government [employee] that I have health care available to me which I’ve signed up for. In a few years, when that’s not the case, I’ll be happy to have other available health care opportunities…

Broun: Well the president says health care opportunities is much better than forcing most federal employees into Obamacare and obviously if you are not signing up you don’t think it is. Mr. Chairman I’ve run out of time, I yield back.

Video of the hearing can be found here.

The statement seemed to strike a chord with Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman, who later began his questioning by pointing out how much he “loved” that McCarthy felt she was “lucky enough” not to have to have Obamacare.

Stockman: I think though earlier you gave me my favorite tweet of the day which I’m going to send out, which is … “I’m lucky enough not to have to sign up for Obamacare.” That’s wonderful. I wish my constituents could say the same.

McCarthy: I actually think I was referring to, I’m lucky enough to have access to good health care which the Affordable Care Act will expand…

Stockman: I still will take your quote for the record. I wrote it down. It’s really good.

Stockman kept his word and tweeted about McCarthy’s comments on Obamacare after the hearing, misquoting her actual statement.

He did not tweet anything about EPA transparency or accountability.