Republicans Want Democrats to Disavow Reconciliation Deal for Health Care Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Republicans Want Democrats to Disavow Reconciliation Deal for Health Care Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 12
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — House Republicans have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid asking them to disavow use of the reconciliation process to railroad the pro-abortion health care bill through Congress. The process has come up in advance of the White House health care summit.

As outlined today, Democrats appear ready to use the controversial process to slam the bill through without honoring the filibuster rights of Republicans or using it as a threat during the summit talks.

Responding to the concerns, House Republicans sent a letter seeking assurances that they are not planning to use the reconciliation process.

To ensure we can move forward in good faith, we ask that you publicly disavow these reports and assure the American people that Democratic leadership is not putting together any kind of backroom deal or plotting any kind of legislative trickery to pass it," wrote Minority Leader John Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor, and Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence.

"Your response will help clarify whether Democratic leadership is serious about genuine bipartisan negotiations and whether the proposed summit will be a truly open forum or merely an intramural exercise," they continued.

President Barack Obama planned the health care summit for February 25 but republicans say the summit is a ruse designed to make it appear Obama and Democrats want bipartisanship when they already plan to ram the health care bill through Congress with a party-line vote.

"The existence of any kind of backroom deal among the White House and Democratic leaders would certainly make a mockery of the president’s stated desire to have a ‘bipartisan’ and ‘transparent’ dialogue on this issue," the House GOP leaders wrote.

Conservative writer John McCormack of the Weekly Standard has been following the reconciliation process closely and he highlighted the letter asking Pelosi and Reid to confirm or deny the reports of backroom deals and reconciliation hijinks.

McCormack notes how liberals are urging Democrats to ramrod thee bill through anyway since Republicans are already going to run on the issue in the 2010 Congressional elections.

"Here’s the problem with this analysis," he says. "’The base’ was as excited as it was or is ever going to be about the health care bill in the Massachusetts special election. The stakes were extremely high, and the choice was binary. Defeat Scott Brown and health care passes; elect Scott Brown and it dies. As you may recall, Scott Brown won."

Essentially, McCormack argues that passing the bill will only motivate pro-life and conservative voters more than they are already outraged.

"If the Democrats don’t enact their $2.5 trillion, tax-raising, abortion-funding bill, voters aren’t going to turn out in November to kill something that is already dead," he said.

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