Democrats Facing Backlash for Hiding Talks on Pro-Abortion Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Facing Backlash for Hiding Talks on Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 5
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Congressional Democrats are facing a backlash after news broke yesterday that they intend to move forward with plans to ditch a formal conference committee. Today, CSPAN, the cable network that covers Congress, urged Democrats to open the process to public scrutiny.

The conference committee process is important because it will determine the wording of the final bill the House and Senate will consider and whether or not it will force taxpayers to fund hundreds of thousands of abortions.

As reported, House and Senate Democrats are expected to use a "ping-pong" strategy that has them informally working on a final bill that can get enough votes in each chamber instead of publicly hammering out the final bill.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid, CSPAN represents the views of most Americans who don’t want to see the process become a backroom deal behind closed doors.

C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb asked them to "open all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage."

"Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American," Lamb added.

The C-SPAN letter mentions that Obama and congressional leaders have "all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system."

Meanwhile, the Washington Times has issued an editorial that is getting passed around conservative political circles today calling Democrats on the carpet for hiding the conference committee process.

"It may be a new year, but congressional Democrats are planning the same old sorts of sleazy tactics in their bid to take over America’s health care system," the hard-hitting opinion column reads.

"By now it’s almost trite to complain that President Obama repeatedly has broken his campaign pledge to ‘broadcast [health care] negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are,’" the editorial says. "That doesn’t make the complaint invalid."

"For legislation that could so profoundly and personally affect the daily lives of every American, Congress and the White House should be more transparent and more accessible than ever before. Instead, the process has been secretive and sordid throughout," the Times adds.

If Democrats don’t make the process public, the Times says "Republicans should bring the whole Senate to a halt."

"Senate rules provide for so many procedural obstacles, if a determined minority wants to exercise them, that the entire body could be tied up in knots for weeks on end. In the name of open and accountable government, that’s what senators should do if the public interest continues to be trampled," the newspaper concludes.

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