Politics

Republicans call on Americans to ‘rise up’ against Obama’s health-care bill

Jon Ward Contributor

House Minority Leader John Boehner called on Americans to “rise up” against President Obama’s health-care bill, and gave Democrats a first taste of the kind of TV ads the GOP plans to run against them if they vote for it.

“The American people have to rise up and make it clear to their Congress that they want no part of this,” said Boehner, an Ohio Republican, at a press conference where he and other Republicans unveiled the ad.

As he spoke, about 1,000 Tea Party activists spread out across Capitol Hill, looking to corner key House Democrats whose votes will decide whether Obama’s health-care reform bill passes or not.

The ad, which would run during the NCAA college basketball tournament nicknamed “March Madness,” would accuse Congress of perpetrating its own form of insanity in March. It would run only if the bill passes, said a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee.

It would label the vote as “corrupt” and the result of “bribery.” The intent is to give Democrats a taste of the kind of ads they would see over the next several months leading up to elections in November.

Because a vote will take place this weekend at the soonest, the ads would not go up until the basketball tournament’s second round, which begins March 25.

Republicans Monday increased their attacks on Democrats’ consideration of an arcane procedural move that might allow the House to pass the Senate health bill without actually voting on it.

The “Slaughter solution” would “deem” the Senate bill passed once the reconciliation “fix” was passed, but Republicans said the maneuver would be a vain attempt at avoiding responsibility for the bill.

“Anybody who thinks they can sneak this bill through, deem it, all these others tricks, there’s no way to hide from the biggest vote that most members of Congress will ever cast,” Boehner said.

Vincent Morris, a spokesman for House Rules Committee Chairman Louise Slaughter, New York Democrat, said the tactic has been used since 1933 and has been utilized over the years “far more often by Republicans than by Democrats.”

Morris provided more than 30 examples of “self-executing rules” being used during the past 20 years.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, took to the Senate floor to denounce the tactic, saying it has “never been tried on a bill of this scope.”

“Anybody who thinks this is a good strategy isn’t thinking clearly. They’re too close to the situation,” McConnell said.