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House Democrats On The Record: Passing The Senate Health Care Bill Not An Option

Right Side News just recieved this press release from Republican Leader Press Office - Rep. John Boehner (R-Oh), H-204, The Capitol

Democratic Leaders Scramble On Health Care Reform, And Fellow Democrats Say NO!

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)

Following the Democrats' stunning defeat in the Senate special election in Massachusetts yesterday, House Democrats are scrambling to figure out another way to force a costly government takeover of health care on the American people.  The top House Democratic leaders seem comfortable with attempting to pass the Senate health care takeover bill in the House. However, numerous House Democratic members are already on the record saying the Senate bill is a nonstarter.  Will they flip-flop now and bow to their leaders, who are intent on defying the will of the American people?  Here's a sampling of what some House Democratic rank-and-file members said about the Senate bill prior to last night's developments in Massachusetts:



Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)

  • "Most analysts say the insurance tax would be passed on to consumers, and organized labor is strongly opposed, as are House Democrats, some of whom contend that the tax would violate Obama's campaign pledge not to tax the middle class.  'We did in our House bill something that protects middle-class Americans from having to pay more for health insurance and health insurance reform,' Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), a member of the House leadership, said yesterday.  'So far we want to stay to that principle.'" (Erica Werner, "AP Sources: Obama Backs High-End Health Plan Tax," Associated Press, 1/06/10)

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)

  • "'It's a tough sell for a lot of members,' Courtney told reporters before a meeting of the Democratic caucus. 'It's hard for me to image that they can convince the caucus to move on the Senate bill without some plan, an immediate, concurrent fix whether its a reconciliation bill or whatever.'"  (Jordan Fabian, "Rep. Courtney: Senate Bill Would be a 'Tough Sell' in the House," The Hill, 1/19/10)

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)

  • "As the co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, we have serious reservations about the abortion provision included in the U.S. Senate's health care bill,' said Congresswomen Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y.  'This provision is not only offensive to people who believe in choice, but it is also possibly unconstitutional.  As we have maintained throughout this process, health care reform should not be misused to take away access to health care.'" (John Nichols column, "Senate's Health Reform Abandons Half the Population," The Capital Times, 12/22/09)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

  • "Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., who has argued for using the conference process to strengthen the weak Senate measure -- by restoring a government-run public option as an alternative to profiteering by private insurers, among other initiatives -- expressed frustration with the latest development in the reform fight.  'I am disappointed that there will be no formal conference process by which various constituencies can impact the discussion,' said Grijalva.  'I have not been approached about my concerns with the Senate bill, and I will be raising those at the Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday.  I and other progressives saw a conference as a means to improve the bill and have a real debate, and now with this behind-the-scenes approach, we're concerned even more.'"  (John Nichols column, "End Run Around Health Reform Conference Committee Would be Mistake," The Capital Times, 1/07/10)

House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-CT)

  • "'I don't think you can find a member in here, prior to or after, who supports the Senate bill,' said Rep. John Larson, the fourth ranking Democrat in the House, after a meeting of the caucus tonight."  (Brian Beutler, "Determined or Delusional? House Leadership Sounds Optimistic on HCR," Talking Points Memo, 1/19/10)

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)

  • "'If it comes down to that Senate bill or nothing, I think we're going to end up with nothing, because I don't hear a lot of support on our side for that bill,' said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)."  (Brian Beutler, "Determined or Delusional? House Leadership Sounds Optimistic on HCR," Talking Points Memo, 1/19/10)

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY)

  • "Rep. Dan Maffei said Tuesday he opposes a proposed tax on high-cost insurance plans -- so called 'Cadillac' plans -- because it would unfairly hit middle-class workers and retirees." "Maffei, D-DeWitt, called the 'Cadillac tax' one of the 'most disturbing' aspects of the Senate health reform bill.  He discussed the issue in a talk to more than 100 retired members of United Auto Workers Local 624 at the union's office in East Syracuse.  Unions oppose the tax." (James T. Mulder, "Maffei: 'Cadillac Tax' on High-Cost Health Plans Would Hurt Central New York Workers," The Post Standard, 1/13/10)

Rep. Michael McMahon (D-NY)

  • "During a wide-ranging interview in his New Dorp district office, McMahon (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) said he would vote 'no' if the Senate's recently passed health care bill came before the House as is. 'The health care bill is one that I continue to see as troubling for New York because we are not being treated very fairly,' he said."  (Tom Wrobleski, "Health Care Still Top Issue as Congressman Begins Second Year," Staten Island Advance, 1/13/10)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

  • "But Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said: 'The view of many progressives is that the tax [on Cadillac plans] is unacceptable.  It would affect a lot of middle-income people.' Mr. Nadler said the politics of the tax should worry Democrats.  In effect, he said, 'the tax tells blue-collar workers that you should pay higher taxes and get lower benefits to help finance coverage for the uninsured.'" (Robert Pear and David M. Herszenhorn, "Labor Campaigns Against Tax on Health Plans," The New York Times,1/13/10)

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

  • "'It's time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board,' Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, said in a CNN commentary shortly before the bill passed week.  'The American people deserve at least that.'" (Jerry Zremsk, "Schumer Heals Splits on Health Bill," Buffalo News, 12/27/09)

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI)

  • "In an interview yesterday, Representative Bart Stupak, Democrat of Michigan, who opposes the Senate bill in part because of provisions related to insurance coverage of abortions, said, 'House members will not vote for the Senate bill.  There's no interest in that.'" (David M. Herszenhorn and Robert Pear, "Democrats May Seek to Push Health Bill Through House," The New York Times, 1/19/10)

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

  • "Congressman Weiner will oppose the final bill unless it represents a genuine improvement on the Senate bill." (Weiner campaign Web site, "A Message From Congressman Anthony Weiner" dated 1/12/10, countdowntohealthcare.com, accessed 1/19/10)

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

  • "Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., co-chairwoman of the House Progressive Caucus, has called the Senate bill a giveaway to private insurance companies.  'It does not have a public option to control costs,' she said in a news report.  'By providing low-cost competition, the public option would have forced insurers to rein in the spiraling costs of premiums.'" (David Hogberg, "Senate Set to Pass Medical Overhaul," Investor's Business Daily, 12/22/09)

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