Democrats turn the tables on Republicans with “goodbye” taunt

After health care vote, Democrats say "goodbye" to Republicans
After health care vote, Democrats say "goodby... 02:02

This time, it was the Democrats' turn to tease their opponents after a tough vote.

After House Republicans narrowly passed a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday, Democrats broke out in a singsong chorus of taunts, suggesting their GOP colleagues who supported the bill had effectively sealed their fate.

"Na, na, na, na. Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye," they sang.

Trump health care victory 03:02

Democrats, who have been on the receiving end of health care criticism for seven years since the passage of Obamacare, sensed that the tables had finally turned. Republicans will have to answer for every word of the legislation, Democrats argued – and if the bill actually reaches President Trump's desk, some added, the GOP will own any broader problems in the health care market as well.

"You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, warned Republicans during a floor speech shortly before the bill passed. "You will glow in the dark on this one."

The scene on Thursday in the House recalled a similar episode from August 5, 1993, when the House passed then-President Bill Clinton's budget with just one vote to spare. The tie-breaking vote was cast by a Democratic congresswoman from Pennsylvania, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky.

Health care next steps 05:18

The district she represented, Time Magazine's Karen Tumulty points out, tilted more toward the GOP than any other district controlled by a Democrat. So when she delivered the crucial vote that pushed Clinton's budget over the finish line, Republicans smelled blood in the water.

"Bye bye, Margie!" They taunted her from the floor of the House.

Some back story: Margolies-Mezvinsky was initially opposed to the president's budget, but after a personal plea from Mr. Clinton, she told him she'd vote for it only if her support would decide the result. "I wasn't going to do it at 217. I wasn't going to do it at 219. Only at 218, or I was voting against it," she later explained.

In exchange for her support, the congresswoman persuaded President Clinton to attend a budget deficit conference in her Pennsylvania district, perhaps to soften voters' anger against her. But she still felt the vote put her political future in peril. "I think I'm falling on a political sword on this one," she told the president.

As Republicans predicted, Margolies-Mezvinsky did, in fact, lose her seat in the 1994 midterm elections that saw Republicans storm Congress to claim control of both houses for the first time in decades.

An interesting coda to this story: Margolies-Mezvinsky wasn't done with the Clintons yet. Her son Marc Mezvinsky met Chelsea Clinton at a Democratic Party retreat in 1993, and the two eventually married in 2010.