CONGRESS | The acerbic wit of Rep. Pete Stark cannot be contained, even in an election season when critics have called into question his lack of comity. During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to discuss the potential tax ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision virtually upholding the Affordable Care Act, Stark zinged an opponent of the law.
“In the past, one or twice, you’ve indicated the only recourse you would have here is, if you didn’t like this program is to move to another country, and I wonder if you know of any other country you could move to that did not have universal health care paid by the taxpayers?” Stark asked Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, who said she was not aware of one, before he cut her off.
“If you can find one, I’ll probably take up a collection to get you a one-way ticket there.”
The quip will likely beg a response from Stark’s Democratic challenger Eric Swalwell, whose campaign and friendly media outlets have gone to great lengths featuring the 40-year congressman’s perceived rhetorical flubs.
However, congressional committee hearings are typically used by many legislators, including Stark, to grandstand, preen or fire off a wicked rejoinder. In fact, the tone of Stark’s comments sound less like provocation and more like political gloating over the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding Obamacare.