March 03, 2010
Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky Brushes Off White House Overture
McConnell Brushes Off White House Overture
In a reply to President Obama, the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, on Tuesday said that last week’s heath care summit “gave us an opportunity to show our constituents that there is a better way to proceed with the kind of reforms they truly want.”
Obama earlier in the day sent a letter to Congressional leaders in both parties saying that he was “exploring” ways to address four concerns raised by Republicans at last week’s forum.
But the main point of his message was that Democrats were prepared to push ahead with comprehensive legislation over the continuing objections of the Republicans.
Mr. McConnell in his reply said the forum was “productive” but also wrote, “It should be clear by now that most Americans oppose the massive health spending bills that Democrats in Washington have been attempting to push through Congress.”
The Republicans have insisted that the Democrats discard the bills adopted by the House and Senate late last year and instead start from scratch on a new proposal focused primarily on lowering health care costs.
McConnell expressed dismay that Mr. Obama seemed ready to move ahead, even if he incorporated some Republican suggestions.
“We were surprised and disappointed with your latest proposal to simply paper a few of these commonsense proposals over an unsalvageable bill,” he wrote to the president. “The American people are asking us for step-by-step reforms that target cost and expand access, not a couple of commonsense ideas layered over a rewrite of one-sixth of the economy, a massive expansion of the federal government’s role in their daily lives, and higher taxes and cuts to Medicare to pay for it.”
Here is McConnell's full letter:
It was with this in mind that we were surprised and disappointed with your latest proposal to simply paper a few of these commonsense proposals over an unsalvageable bill. The American people are asking us for step-by-step reforms that target cost and expand access, not a couple of commonsense ideas layered over a rewrite of one-sixth of the economy, a massive expansion of the federal government’s role in their daily lives, and higher taxes and cuts to Medicare to pay for it. The virtue of the ideas we all agreed upon at the summit is that they would lower costs and expand access without requiring these things. That’s the kind of reform Americans will support.
We respectfully encourage you to consider a new approach to reform, one that does not cut Medicare to fund a trillion dollar takeover of the health care system or impose job-killing taxes in the middle of a recession. We encourage you to join with Democrats and Republicans in Congress in listening to what the American people have been telling us for more than a year now. Americans are telling us quite plainly that in order to reform health care, we should scrap the bills they have already rejected and start over with commonsense, step-by-step reforms we can all agree on.
We would also ask you to encourage Democrats in Congress to scrap something else; namely, their last-ditch plan to jam some version of their original bill through Congress and past the American people by way of the highly partisan process known as Reconciliation. It should be clear by now how Americans feel about forcing massive policy changes through Congress with a back room deal. The fact that Democrats in Congress still seem intent on this approach suggests that they are completely out of step with the public. Now is not the time to repeat the same mistakes that brought us here. It’s time to listen to the people, and start over with reforms that lower costs.
Wild Thing's comment.......
Wild Thing's comment......
Mitch is a good man, he stood firm and kept his caucus unanimously opposed to Healthcare. With just a defection or two obama and Reid could have taken the ball and run with it and claimed a bi-partisan victory.
Posted by Wild Thing at March 3, 2010 05:45 AM
I just hope the Repubs remain united and do what they can to defeat this horrible obama health care plan. They know now the majority of Americans oppose the plan and the Repubs know how fragile their reelection chances will be if they don't oppose the plan.
Posted by: TomR at March 3, 2010 11:53 AM
Tom, fragile is right, I am glad they are aware we can vote them out big time and we are watching closely what they do.
Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2010 02:26 AM