Rep. Joe Kennedy III slams Paul Ryan, GOP for 'act of malice' Obamacare repeal

Rep. Joseph Kennedy III defended Planned Parenthood and slammed the GOP's American Health Care Act multiple times this week, over the course of a 27-hour committee hearing.

Kennedy, who has served as the representative for Massachusetts' 4th District for three terms, sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee -- a body that hotly debated the GOP's newly unveiled American Health Care Act, and eventually moved to pass AHCA legislation in a 31-23 vote.

Before the vote, though, the grandson of late Robert F. Kennedy made sure his concerns were heard when he called the Republican-crafted Obamacare replacement an "act of malice."

RELATED: Photos of Rep. Joe P. Kennedy III

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BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 20: Congressman Joe Kennedy III listens to a speaker beside a Forever stamp in commemoration of the centennial of President John F. Kennedy's birth at the JFK Library in Boston on Feb. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Joe Kennedy III waves during his address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
U.S. Congressional candidate for Massachusetts Joe Kennedy III addresses the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III (2nd L) sits at desk inside a full scale model of the U.S. Senate chamber during dedication ceremonies for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, Massachusetts March 30, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III joined protestors at a rally against the Trump administration at the Boston Irish Famine Memorial on February 21, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The protest, called 'We Will Persist,' was put on by Massachusetts workers, immigrants, and community activists. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 9: From left, Reps. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., confer after the 24-hour mark of a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building regarding the bill to repeal and replace the the Affordable Care Act, March 9, 2017.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Joe Kennedy III, candidate for United States Congress at a campaign event 'Women for Joe Reception' with Vicki Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA on October 18, 2012. (Photo by Rick Friedman/rickfriedman.com/Corbis via Getty Images)
BOSTON - JUNE 3: Congressman Joe P. Kennedy III reacts during a charity football game for Best Buddies International at Harvard Stadium in Boston on June 3, 2016. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Joe Kennedy III, candidate for United States Congress at a campaign event 'Women for Joe Reception' with Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA on October 18, 2012. (Photo by Rick Friedman/rickfriedman.com/Corbis via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: Misledis Jimenes, 5, center, of Boston, looks up at Congressman Joe Kennedy III, left, as she and two other children hand a box of letters from constituents to he and Senator Ed Markey, right, at the conclusion of a rally with workers and advocates at a Downtown Crossing event in Boston on Feb. 21, 2017 intended to, 'send a clear message to Washington' that Massachusetts will work to advance issues important to its residents. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: Congressman Joe Kennedy III speaks during a rally with workers and advocates at a Downtown Crossing event in Boston on Feb. 21, 2017 intended to, 'send a clear message to Washington' that Massachusetts will work to advance issues important to its residents. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 9: Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., kicks back as Reps. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., look on, after the 24-hour mark of a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building regarding the bill to repeal and replace the the Affordable Care Act, March 9, 2017. The markup has been underway since 10:30 a.m., Wednesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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"I was struck last night by a comment I heard made by Speaker Ryan, where he called this repeal bill, quote, an 'act of mercy,'" Kennedy started. "With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different scripture."

"The one that I read calls on us to feed the hungry, feed the naked, to shelter the homeless and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful, but how we care for the least among us," Kennedy continued.

"There is no mercy in a system that makes healthcare a luxury. There is no mercy in a country that turns its back on those in most need of protection -- the elderly, the poor, the sick and the suffering. There is no mercy in a cold shoulder to the mentally ill. There is no mercy in a policy that takes for granted the sweat, the tears and the sacrifice of working Americans that they shed every day so that they might care for their family's basic needs: food, shelter, health and hope for tomorrow. There is no mercy for the 2.6 million people who will lose their job if Obamacare is repealed. This is not an act of mercy. It's an act of malice.

Watch Rep. Kennedy's full remarks below:

The Democratic official also spoke during the hearing in strong support of an amendment on behalf of the seven Planned Parenthood clinics in Massachusetts that Kennedy says serve roughly 33,000 patients per year.

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan just gave a PowerPoint presentation with rolled up sleeves amid backlash over the GOP's Obamacare replacement

"Yesterday we spoke of mercy -- for the elderly, the poor, the sick and the suffering who this legislation clearly leaves behind. But this is about more than mercy, it is about common decency," Kennedy wrote in a statement released after the committee vote. "Because there is nothing more universally human than the stubborn truth that fortunes change. That no one among us is immune to illness or addiction or bad luck or real loss. So we fortify a system of shared protections that are deep and strong enough to catch any brother or sister who falls. Shame on those who take that protection for granted."

The AHCA has passed the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. It now moves to the House Budget Committee.

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