House Republicans were too busy "on a jihad" against Obamacare to care about keeping the government open, one House Democrat charged on Wednesday.
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) took to the floor as the House voted on a series of bills that would reopen select parts of the government -- the GOP's latest bid to mitigate blame for the current shutdown.
"The chairman of the committee says … that we should think of the impact on the parks before we vote against this bill," Miller said. "Did you think about these parks when you voted to shut down the government?"
The visibly frustrated congressman then began to shout at his Republican colleagues, who had taken to the floor earlier to lament the closure of parks, museums and cancer trials.
"He was prepared to sacrifice the local economy. He was prepared to sacrifice the towns around Yosemite when he was on a jihad against American citizens getting access to health care," Miller said.
He added that Republicans were willing to shut down the government over Obamacare, only to find out that "millions of Americans" tried to sign up for it when enrollment for the law's health care exchanges formally opened on Tuesday.
"So when you were on the jihad against Americans' access to health care, shutting down the parks wasn't a problem," Miller said. "Shutting down NIH wasn't a problem."
The California Democrat's comments irked Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who authored the bill that would restore funding to parks and museums.
"I am disgusted that the gentleman from California would actually use the word 'jihad' on the floor of the House," Simpson said. "We should all reject his comments, and he should be censored but I won't call for it."
The House was set to vote on five spending bills to fund the government programs that have garnered the most attention in the early days of the shutdown -- including veterans' benefits, museums and national parks, the National Guard and the National Institutes of Health.
The bills were expected to pass on a party-line vote, but are dead on arrival in the Senate, where Democrats have called on the House to pass a clean bill that would end the entire shutdown. The White House issued a veto threat on all of the limited appropriations bills, arguing that the entire government could just as easily be reopened.
"Instead of opening up a few government functions, the House of Representatives should re-open all of the government," the administration said in a statement. "The harmful impacts of a shutdown extend across government, affecting services that are critical to small businesses, women, children, seniors, and others across the nation."