Rep. Rangel: If Obama ‘Walked on Water,’ GOP Would Say He Can’t Swim

By Melanie Arter | July 17, 2013 | 12:52 PM EDT

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) (AP Photo)

( – Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday compared President Barack Obama to Jesus, saying House Republicans would scrutinize him if he “walked on water.”

“If the president actually walked on water, I’m certain that the speaker’s group would be saying that the president can’t swim and that we ought to take another look at him,” Rangel said during a hearing by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health on the delay of the employer mandate and reporting requirements under Obamacare.

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Rangel accused the GOP of not caring about the policy of the Affordable Care Act and caring about politics instead.

The full House will vote as early as Wednesday to delay the individual mandate – the part of Obamacare that requires Americans to buy health insurance by next year – and the employer mandate, which requires that employers with 50 or more employees offer health insurance.

Obama recently delayed the employer mandate – a move that House Speaker John Boehner said requires congressional authority and is unfair.

“There is no question that no one cares about what the policy is, and no one cares whether the president delayed anything. Actually, most anything that the president wants, the majority party in the House, they don’t want,” said Rangel.

He suggested that J. Mark Iwry, deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for retirement and health policy, who testified at Wednesday’s hearing, was the “wrong person” to answer questions before the subcommittee.

“You seem to be hesitating in a lot of the responses from the questions that are being asked of you, and it’s my observation is because they sent the wrong person here to answer. You’ve indicated – and your record shows – that you are involved in policy, and this committee needs someone that’s involved in politics,” Rangel said.

“Now it’s very unusual for me to remember any circumstance where a major piece of legislation is being opposed and suggested that it be repealed when they have a president of the sponsor of the legislation in office. And so I don’t think you have to be a politician to answer that if the Republicans were to repeal the Affordable Care Act, does it appear that the president of the United States would veto it,” Rangel said.

“If the repeal is passed by the House and Senate, which is almost politically impossible, does in your opinion, would not the president veto it?” Rangel asked Iwry.

“My understanding, Mr. Rangel, is that that is certainly the case,” Iwry replied.

“And everybody in the House of Representatives and the Senate, they know this, and so obviously, they don’t give a darn about your policy or the president’s policy. It’s here to embarrass the president or the administration as it relates to doing what they want done,” Rangel said.

“They not only want a delay, they want it out. There’ll be bills on the floor to delay and to repeal other parts of the bill,” he added.