A discussion between Fox News host Sean Hannity and Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ) on employer contributions to congressional staff’s health care plans quickly devolved into a shouting match Thursday.
Pascrell argued that members of Congress don’t get a special subsidy, comparing the employer contribution to congressional staff’s health care plans to contributions given to employees of other companies and federal agencies. Salmon then said he had given up his employer contribution because he thinks Congress should “live under the same laws every American does.”
“I don’t have the federal plan,” Pascrell responded. “I have my own plan. So you don’t know what you are talking about.”
“You have a 72 percent subsidy that everybody watching this show does not have. That’s what the law says congressman,” Hannity said. “You’re getting special perks and special breaks for yourself, absolutely. So cut the crap and stop lying to the audience!”
“My problem is people that lie on this program,” he later added, calling Pascrell an “elitist.” “You’re not telling the truth, you’re lying to the American people.”
“Don’t you dare call me a liar,” Pascrell shot back.
Hannity then staked Congress’ “special subsidy” on a bet, proposing to give $10,000 to the New Jersey Democrat’s favorite charity if he was proven wrong. Pascrell refused.
“When you’re explaining, you’re losing,” Pascrell said. “You’re afraid [Obamacare’s] going to be successful.”