Schumer: Obamacare Is Like ‘Green Eggs and Ham’

The Democratic senator thinks Ted Cruz misinterpreted the moral of the classic children’s story.

National Journal
Marina Koren
Sept. 25, 2013, 10:14 a.m.

In his 21-hour speech on the Sen­ate floor Tues­day, Ted Cruz presen­ted a num­ber of ar­gu­ments for de­fund­ing the Af­ford­able Care Act. He also, about five hours in­to his speech — which was not a fili­buster — cracked open a copy of Green Eggs and Ham to read to his two young daugh­ters, who were watch­ing at home.

Green Eggs and Ham was my fa­vor­ite book when I was a boy,” said the Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­or from Texas, who also claimed his fath­er had in­ven­ted Dr. Seuss’s icon­ic dish.

But Sen. Chuck Schu­mer, who ad­dressed the floor after Cruz fin­ished speak­ing Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, was be­fuddled by Cruz’s Seuss ref­er­ences. “Any­one who knows that book knows that the mor­al of that book is try something be­fore you con­demn it,” the New York Demo­crat said. “You might ac­tu­ally like it.”

Schu­mer drew a com­par­is­on between the book’s main char­ac­ter, Sam-I-Am, and Cruz. “The main char­ac­ter in Green Eggs and Ham res­isted eat­ing green eggs and ham. Maybe if he were a sen­at­or, he’d speak on the floor for 21 hours. But then when he tasted green eggs and ham, he ac­tu­ally liked it. Maybe, Sen. Cruz, as the pres­id­ent’s health care bill goes in­to ef­fect, you may ac­tu­ally find that you and your con­stitu­ents ac­tu­ally like it.”

The Sen­ate voted un­an­im­ously Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon to close the de­bate on the stop­gap spend­ing bill that would strip fund­ing for the Af­ford­able Care Act, or Obama­care, set­ting the stage for vot­ing to ap­prove its own ver­sion to send to the House.