About a dozen protesters gathered in front of the East Market Street office of Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County Friday afternoon to protest the federal government shutdown.
Perry is one of a group of Republicans in the House of Representatives whose votes led to the shutdown. The group has refused to approve a new spending bill unless it defunds or dismantles the Affordable Care Act, which Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama have said is a non-starter for budget negotiations.
The protesters, part of a larger effort from the progressive group MoveOn.org, held signs bemoaning the tea party and carrying phrases about the group of Republicans holding the country hostage.
Dan Wagner, a 69-year-old retired real estate appraiser from Hellam Township, held a sign reading, "24 million hostages! Terrorists? No, the tea party."
"I'm very afraid of this method of getting someone's way," he said. "It's undermining our Democracy."
Wagner said the minor group of Republicans has held up the government, shut it down, and is using its leverage against the health care law.
There's danger in a minority coercing and holding ransom the country," he said. "What's to keep them from doing this about any other law they don't like? There are legal mechanisms to go about this. Get a majority and repeal it."
He said the shutdown is a last-ditch, strong-arm attempt to get rid of a law that was voted in through proper legal channels and the approval of Congress and the President.
Mary Toomey, an 84-year-old Mount Wolf resident, said Perry is "part of what's wrong in Washington."
"The health care bill was made a law," she said. "Are they just going to disregard the law?"
The office is located at 2209 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township, but Perry wasn't there.
Perry said he respects the Democratic process and all of his constituents' rights to express themselves, but he said he objected to the implication that he's "a terrorist." He said that sort of extreme language "lowers the bar of public discourse" and "I struggle to think of any right-wing group that acts that way."
He said he was in Washington today speaking to a Democratic colleague and continuing to try to negotiate a deal to end the shutdown.