Members of Congress spoke about the protesters as they warmed up for the game. “Nobody takes them seriously,” said Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., calling them “idiots.”
The purpose of the game is to raise money for charities, he pointed out, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and the Capitol Police Memorial Fund. This year it raised over $1.5 million with approximately 17,000 tickets sold.
Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., urged people to read the climate provisions of the bill Democrats released Wednesday, calling them the most important yet. The new bill came after Sen. Joe Manchin III struck a surprise deal with Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer to support elements he previously said he would oppose.
“I hope they take a look at it when they protest today, but thank goodness it’s a free country where we can protest,” Phillips said.
The annual baseball tradition has been around for more than a century, with members of Congress trading runs and mistakes. But there were no standout games for Democrats on Thursday night, as Republicans ruled them out altogether.