DALLAS, Texas — It was a rainy Friday in early August, and a few hundred people were packing the Capitol to celebrate the completion of a bill to give lawmakers an opportunity to speak about the nation’s capital.
But the mood was tense.
Members of the crowd were holding signs that read, “No more privatizing our capital” and “No private profit in the capital.”
The crowd, many of them dressed in red shirts, black pants and scarves, chanted, “Shame!” and “The city is no longer for sale.”
The crowd began to form a line for the building, and the crowd grew louder as lawmakers sat down to speak.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a member of the House Freedom Caucus, introduced a bill that would have created a capital commission to oversee capital investments in the United States.
Meadows was flanked by members of the Republican National Committee and the National Rifle Association.
The crowd erupted in applause.
The bill has already passed the House and is expected to be considered by the Senate.
Speaker John Boehner, R -Ohio, a longtime champion of gun rights, told the crowd, “I don’t believe in the American people being sold a bill of goods.”
“We don’t want to hear the words, ‘The city should be sold,’ or ‘The government should be privatized,'” Meadows said.
“This is not the time to sell the nation.”
The bill would give lawmakers the power to approve capital investments, including investments in infrastructure, roads and schools, and would also allow them to review potential public investments to see if they meet safety standards.
A spokesman for the Republican-controlled House said the speaker was unaware of the demonstration.
But Meadows said he would not support a bill like the one that would allow lawmakers to sell off the city if he were president.
“This bill is the most expensive piece of legislation I have ever seen, and I think the people of this country want to see that the government should not be the source of that wealth,” Meadows said, adding that he believes that it is better for the people to sell property in the city.
“I have been to every major city in America, and they all sell property, and we don’t have a public park,” Meadows added.
“I think we should get rid of it.
I don’t think it is a good thing for the taxpayers of this nation.”
A member of a conservative advocacy group called the National Review told the Washington Examiner that he supports the legislation, but only if it is used for infrastructure, not to sell homes.
The National Review is a conservative magazine that supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law that set up the Affordable Health Care Act and the health care system.
The group’s website features a list of “America’s Best Places to Live.”
The group was formed by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart.