Republicans will campaign this fall on repealing health-care bill, Sessions says

Photo of Jon Ward
Jon Ward
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Jon Ward

      Jon Ward covers the White House and national politics for The Daily Caller. He covered the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency and the first year of Barack Obama's presidency for The Washington Times. Prior to moving to national politics, Jon worked for the Times' city desk and bureaus in Virginia and Maryland, covering local news and politics, including the D.C. sniper shootings and subsequent trial, before moving to state politics in Maryland. He and his wife have two children and live on Capitol Hill. || <a href="">Email Jon</a>

Even before the health bill was voted on Sunday night, Republicans declared that they would make repeal of the bill a centerpiece of their strategy for this fall’s elections, and said they expect the vote to be a major fundraising boost.

“Do I think the this vote helped us with raising money? Yes I do,” said Pete Sessions, the Texas Republican who chairs the GOP’s congressional campaign arm, which has lagged behind its Democratic counterpart in cash raised, though it has recently begun to catch up.

Sessions, in an interview just off the House floor as lawmakers debated the health bill, outlined how he’s thinking about political strategy once the bill passes Sunday night.

Republicans will focus first on the way they feel Democrats abused the process by passing the bill without any Republican ideas or votes, in the face of public opposition to the plan. Their second step will be to focus on the longer-term impacts of the bill, primarily the cost of the bill (Republicans say Democrats’ claims of reducing the deficit through the bill are a mirage).

And thirdly, Republicans will run on repeal of the bill, or at least parts of it, Sessions said.

“I would be hard pressed to say repeal the whole thing,” he said, citing insurance reform and allowing children to stay on parents’ insurance up to age 26 as a “shared idea” between Republicans and Democrats. He distinguished that from ideas that were solely Republican ideas.

Implicit in making repeal a plank of the platform is the idea that Republicans will regain control of the House.

“We would link them together,” Sessions said.

However, when asked if House Republicans would be susceptible this fall to the charge that they voted to keep things like the much ballyhooed “Cornhusker kickback” and “Louisiana Purchase,” – special deals for specific states – by voting against the reconciliation bill that would take those provisions out, Sessions got testy.

“We’re not going to vote for the bill. We’re not going to vote for the bill!” Sessions said. “That’s up to them to do. They didn’t include our ideas. We’re not in there. No, they’re going to be personally responsible and accountable. But just wait until the Senate doesn’t take those issues out.”

The Daily Caller pressed Sessions for what the Republican counter argument will be.

“Real simple: first, the law was the law. If they ever get it done, fine, you can hold us accountable. But if they don’t ever get that done, that’s a big gamble,” Sessions said. “We know what the law is, and the law will be the Senate bill. And anybody who thinks anything different is just trying to deceive people right now.”

  • marvinlzinn

    This “health bill” is a complete lie. Forcing me to pay for something I never use and have no respect for is 100% wrong in ALL cases. ALL of us have a right to make our own choice. Mine is to get anyone to take my freedom of choice away to be put immediately out of office, and preferably out of this country forever!

  • tomdoff

    Thank ‘god’ Tucker had the foresight to start Daily Caller. Now that he has coalesced most of the demented-crazy ‘conservatives’ in one place, as soon as he holds the first National Convention of ‘Conservative’ DC Posters, if we drop a net over them, and seclude them…in, say, Guantanamo, since it won’t be being used anymore…the fate of our nation will be looking even higher. What a difference an administration makes!

  • tomdoff

    The National GOPER Corporation has already started the repeal ad campaign, with a full page ad in the AARP monthly magazine, and this scare campaign approach: ‘DONUT HOLES ARE GOOD FOR YOU! DON’T LET THOSE DAMN DEMS DEPRIVE YOU!’