Politics

Alexander: Reconciliation would prompt ‘instant movement to repeal the law’

Jon Ward Contributor

Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who has become a leading voice for the GOP on health care, said Wednesday that if Democrats use a little-known procedure to pass health care reform it will spark an “instant movement to repeal the law.”

Alexander, in an interview on Fox News, said that this “movement” would “dominate every single congressional race in November.”

But an Alexander spokesman said the senator was not referring to any organized plan being hatched by the GOP to move for repeal in the Senate.

“There have been grassroots movements against this health care legislation since last summer,” said Nick Simpson, Alexander spokesman.

The senator made the comments less than an hour before President Obama made much-anticipated remarks on the way forward for health care. The White House and Congress agreed Wednesday to move ahead with reconciliation, a procedure that allows Senate Democrats to pass a bill with only 51 votes instead of the 60-vote majority usually required to overcome a filibuster.

Much of the president’s speech is aimed at demonstrating that he has done everything possible to incorporate Republican ideas into his proposal, which the White House wants passed before the end of the month.

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer on Wednesday posted a long list of measures that the administration says were Republican ideas incorporated into their plan.

But Alexander, like other Republicans, said the ideas cited by Pfeiffer and Democrats were tinkering with “a fundamentally flawed bill.”

“It’s like adding a rearview mirror or two to a car headed in the wrong direction,” Alexander said, even going so far as to add that the president’s plan is “not health care reform.”

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