House Republican Leadership held a press conference this morning. See the video footage and excerpts of leader remarks below. See the entire transcript here.
House Republican Leader John Boehner:
...why do we have to have the government in charge of our healthcare? We don’t need this big bureaucracy here in Washington to control what kind of care doctors prescribe to their patients. We don’t need some health czar here in Washington making decisions about how states will implement the kind of health care reform that needs to happen in those states. And lastly, and almost as bad, is that this bill will kill about 5 million jobs in America. At a time when the American people are asking “where are the jobs,” this bill is estimated to cost our economy 4.7 million jobs. Listen, at a time when the American people are looking for employment, hoping to keep their job—the ‘stimulus’ bill isn’t working, they’ve brought along this health care bill that will cost 5 million jobs, and they’ve brought this cap and trade bill up last month that will cost us two and a half million jobs each year for the next ten years. This is not what the American people want.
House Republican Chairman Mike Pence:
House Republicans are determined to stand up and demand that this Congress focus on efforts to restore our nation’s economy. The recent national energy tax passed by Democrats on Capitol Hill and the plan for a government takeover of our health care system paid for with over a trillion dollars in tax increases would be a disaster for this economy and a disaster for working Americans. House Republicans are determined to step forward and demand that this Congress focus on putting this country back on its feet economically and take the time that we need to develop solutions in energy and in health care that would be responsible, but first and foremost do no harm to this already challenged economy.
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor:
This is it. The time is now. The public will see over the course of the next two weeks whether this House is serious about health care reform. What we’re seeing currently is a bipartisan majority has formed against the current proposal. There is no question we are at a crossroads as far as healthcare reform is concerned in this Congress. Either this bill fails or it will change dramatically. And if the bill fails, it will be because of disagreement among the Democrats as to the proper direction to head as far as health care reform is concerned. The disagreement on the other side of the aisle reflects the growing fear among Americans about the potential for a government take-over of our health care system. But, we are at a crossroads, this Administration, this President has no one else to blame. They have no straw man, they have no press conferences left. What they ought to be doing is coming to work with us to reflect a much more reasoned approach to try and accomplish healthcare reform for the American people.
Conference Vice-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers:
You know, we can pass health care reform without increasing taxes or costing jobs. Now, the health care bill currently before us – this version – has been called by many a ‘prescription for failure.’ A prescription for failure as it relates to actually controlling cost, actually making healthcare affordable. A prescription for failure in the impact that it’s going to have on our economy. Now you hear it from governors across the country who are saying ‘this bill is only going to increase costs.’ You hear it from the Mayo Clinic who said this bill misses the opportunity. Misses the opportunity to help create higher quality, affordable health plans. They said, in fact, it will do the opposite. CBO last week said that it would worsen our economic outlook by increasing deficits and driving our nation more deeply into debt.