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Cory Booker and John Lewis's Livestream on Capitol Hill

This "Magical" Capitol Steps Moment Will Make You Feel Better About the World

As politicians continue to mull over the polarizing Senate healthcare bill, a profound Capitol Hill moment is uplifting those who have lost hope due to the current political climate. On June 26, Senator Cory Booker and Representative John Lewis sat down on the steps of the Capitol Building to discuss the healthcare proposal via Facebook livestream.

What started as a candid conversation among two political leaders, however, quickly turned into a beautiful public forum as hundreds of people joined in. Ben Wikler, a director at MoveOn, captured the start of the conversation, but then went about his evening. Shortly thereafter, he returned to find that a crowd had gathered. Not only that, but senators including Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Jeff Merkley stopped by, as well.

According to Wikler, the spontaneous gathering allowed people to share their stories and ask questions about the healthcare system. In a tweet, he said it felt "totally real. Organic, spontaneous. Senators kept drifting out. Passers-by kept wandering over and sitting down."

"We cannot as individual Americans allow our inability to do everything to undermine our determination to do something."

Ultimately, the impromptu meeting gave everyday people a welcoming setting to engage with politics in a tangible way and share their feelings about the proposal. The livestream lasted nearly four hours and is filled with appearances from entire families, teenagers, activists, and political leaders.

Though many moments are compelling, Booker's closing statement is really worth watching. He ended the gathering by saying: "This is one of those moments in American history that generations to come are going to look back and wonder, where were you? We cannot as individual Americans allow our inability to do everything to undermine our determination to do something — something in the cause of justice and something in the cause of our country." Watch his statement, about three hours and 36 minutes into the livestream, below.

Health care is a human right. So this week we face a defining moment: we are perhaps days away from a vote on a devastating health repeal bill in the United States Senate that threatens the health and financial security of millions of Americans. We must fight harder for the American people who will suffer, who will get sicker, who will lose loved ones if the Senate Republican plan goes through. Because right now, the fate of millions of Americans and future generations are at stake in this fight – a fight Americans cannot afford to lose. Congressman John Lewis said it well: “Affordable health care is the birthright of every American. At stake are not just the details of policy but the character of our country.” So John Lewis and I are going to sit down on the Capitol steps for a while to protest Senate Republican’s efforts to repeal health care and give voice to millions of Americans who believe that affordable health care is a human right. Watch, share & join us.

Posted by Cory Booker on Monday, June 26, 2017
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