CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin shared a clip on her Twitter of on the House floor apparently singing, "Na, na, na [...] hey, hey, hey, goodbye" as the American Health Care Act vote was passed. With 217 "yes" votes in to pass the AHCA, Democrats can be seen loudly singing this song. A closer a look at the video shows them waving their hands at Republicans.
People on Twitter were obviously confused by this joyous display of singing on an occasion that has justifiably alarmed millions of Americans about their access to health care. However, some digging into history shows that this is not the first time a party decided to sing in the House.
In fact, the Republicans already sang the very same song back in 1993, according to Talking Points Memo, when Bill Clinton's tax bill passed that year. The song now carries political and historical significance — since, according to Josh Marshall, Clinton's tax bill "paved the way for budget balancing over the course of the decade and (more arguably) played a role in creating the prosperity of that decade. It also came little more than a year before Democratic majorities in both Houses were annihilated in the 1994 midterm."
Tom Namako at BuzzFeed News shared a clearer and longer clip of the Democrats singing. The implication of Democrats singing this song at that very moment — according to several people theorizing on Twitter — is that the Republican party will supposedly face defeat in the 2018 midterm elections.
Democrats singing "Hey hey hey goodbye" to Republicans on House floor. Points to anyone who gets the historical joke here.— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) May 4, 2017
By voting for a bill that will alienate millions of Americans and take away critical funding that would assist people with their pre-existing conditions, Republicans have undeniably made a choice that will create a chasm between their party and regular Americans. Some believe that Democrats singing that song is a way to probably taunt Republicans about that.
Natalie Andrews, Congress reporter at The Wall Street Journal, said that she spoke with Missouri congressman Emanuel Cleaver about the singing. According to Andrews, Cleaver said it was the singing was a "reference to 2018, and unplanned."
Asked some Democrats afterward why they were singing and who started it. @RepCleaver said it was a reference to 2018, and unplanned.— Natalie Andrews (@nataliewsj) May 4, 2017
In spite of all the theorizing about the song and the historical relevance it may carry, many people did not particularly enjoy the sight.
Sidenote: The Democrats singing afterward is tone-deaf. Millions will lose healthcare. That's the only thing that should matter.— Luke Epplin (@LukeEpplin) May 4, 2017
@RTMcFadyen Sadly, I think it was the Democrats singing it to signify that GOP will lose the house in 2018. Either way, inappropriate.— Geri Rodriguez (@GeriRodriguez) May 4, 2017
People are justifiably uncomfortable with seeing high-ranking politicians sing during such a tense and understandably terrifying moment in the country. That said, regardless of one's opinion in favor or against the singing, the bigger issue here is exactly how the American Health Care Act will harm women and vulnerable groups.