March 20th, 2010
09:52 AM ET
5 years ago

Boehner: Dems chose partisan and costly path

(CNN) - House Minority Leader John Boehner took aim at the Democrats' health care bill in the weekly GOP radio and Internet address Saturnday, saying,"Democrats in Washington chose a partisan path and a costly, big-government agenda. "

“It’s clear where the American people stand. They want no part of this bill, and they haven’t been shy about saying so. We’ve seen standing room only crowds at town hall meetings," Boehner said in the address. "Rallies in towns and cities around the country. And now, jammed phone lines on Capitol Hill. All of this coming from citizens yelling ‘stop’ at the top of their lungs."

“But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Leaders are too blinded by their ‘Washington knows best’ attitude, too out-of-touch with the concerns of working families, to listen," he also said.

Full transcript of the address after the jump

“Hello, I’m House Republican Leader John Boehner.

“I’m speaking to you from the Capitol, where in a matter of hours, the House of Representatives will vote on health care legislation sure to have a drastic effect on our economy and our lives.

“It was here fourteen months ago that President Obama took the oath of office with a promise to govern from the center. Republicans stood ready to work with our new president and find common ground to address the issues Americans care about.

“Unfortunately, President Obama and Democrats in Washington chose a partisan path and a costly, big-government agenda.

“The trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ isn’t working as struggling families continue to ask: ‘where are the jobs?’ And taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being spent so fast that two trillion dollars has been added to the national debt on President Obama’s watch.

“Now Democrats want the federal government to take over health care, which represents one-sixth of our economy.

“From the beginning, the one thing the American people wanted out of health care reform was lower costs. That’s why Republicans proposed a bill based on common-sense reforms that, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, would reduce premiums for families and small businesses by up to 10 percent. Our bill achieves these goals without cutting Medicare or raising taxes. All of the details are available at HealthCare.GOP.gov.

“The Democrats’ bill, which runs more than 2,300 pages, actually raises premiums and ushers in a massive expansion of government – with roughly 160 new boards, bureaus, and commissions.

“Instead of finding a responsible way to pay for all this, Democrats impose more than half-a-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts and more than half-a-trillion dollars in tax hikes.

“In fact, this bill requires 10 years of tax increases and 10 years of Medicare cuts just to pay for six years of supposed benefits, many of which don’t even go into effect until 2014. That’s not reform.

“It’s clear where the American people stand. They want no part of this bill, and they haven’t been shy about saying so. We’ve seen standing room only crowds at town hall meetings. Rallies in towns and cities around the country. And now, jammed phone lines on Capitol Hill. All of this coming from citizens yelling ‘stop’ at the top of their lungs.

“But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Leaders are too blinded by their ‘Washington knows best’ attitude, too out-of-touch with the concerns of working families, to listen.

“Instead of trying to do better, Democrats have packed this bill full of kickbacks, payoffs, and sweetheart deals in order to buy the support of lawmakers and Washington special interest groups.

“Democrats are so afraid of the public’s outrage that they have devised a strategy that would allow them to force this massive bill through Congress without even voting on it. It’s outrageous, and it’s an affront to the principles of representative democracy.

“We were elected to make tough choices, not run from them. And this vote is certainly one of the toughest.

“With that in mind, I asked Speaker Pelosi to have the final health care votes recorded by a ‘call of the roll.’ Under this procedure, each lawmaker will have to stand before the American people and announce his or her vote.

“The stakes are too high, and this bill is too controversial, for anything less than complete transparency and accountability. It’s time to stand up and be counted.

“Don’t let Democrats in Washington take this debate away from you. Don’t let them make this about arm-twisting and backroom deals.

“And don’t let President Obama get away with asking his fellow Democrats to vote for this bill to save his presidency.

“Because this vote isn’t about saving a presidency or a politician. It’s about doing the right thing for our kids and grandkids. It’s about ensuring that freedom and opportunity remain the birthright of our people. And it’s about listening to the hard-working taxpayers who sent us here.

“That’s why the only responsible course of action is to scrap this health care bill. Let’s start over with a clean sheet of paper. Let’s work together on a step-by-step approach focused on lowering costs for families and small businesses.

“Republicans can’t beat this bill, but the American people can. It’s not too late to make your voice heard.

“Thank you for listening.”


Filed under: Health care • John Boehner
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Rosa, b'ham al

    OH I see the GOP suddenly had a come to Jesus moment about cost when Obama got elected. Give me a break (rolling eyes in disbelief). Is anyone listening to this guy anymore?

    March 20, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. R

    This health care reform is a JOKE. If this passes, November will be very interesting.
    It will take 10 years of taxes to pay for 6 years of benefits, since the benefits won't actually kick in for another 4 years. So for the first 10 years, yes, this will be paid for. But after those ten years are up- we will be paying 10 years of taxes for 6 years of benefits, but we don't have 4 years of nothing to make up for it. THIS WILL TAKE UP 7% of GDP- SOMETHING WE CANNOT AFFORD.

    Health care is not a RIGHT. It is ridiculous that people believe the government should be funding this, especially people who aren't even paying taxes. Everyone wants something for nothing.

    Obama is a joke, I cannot wait for the next elections so we can get this crazy Democrats out of here.

    March 20, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Bill

    Is this guy drunk? He looks as if he is. This is just plain wrong what the rrepublicans are doing and all the lies and problems ther have stirred up. I am so ashame of them, only because I am one of them but don't know for how long. I just shake my head everytime they open their mouth and all those lies come tumbling out. I have to wonder if this is the only way to win a fight is to lie. They would have more respect by by accepting that we lost and help pass this bill. From the beginning they were out to get President Obama by any underhanded way. They are only leading us to distruction.

    March 20, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    "Republicans stood ready to work with our new president and find common ground to address the issues Americans care about."? OK, this from the party that heckled our President while he was addressing Congress with "Liar!" Now we know the Republican leadership started planning immediately after the election to regain power by blocking everything the new administration did, from judicial and bureaucratic appointments to legislation. And it may yet work, but at what cost to our country? Our President has been dealing with two wars and the biggest economic crisis in almost a century, both of which he inherited from the Republicans, while clearly all these so-called patriots care about is power.

    March 20, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Death Panel Sarah

    The thing is.....we ELECTED them to 'know best'!!!

    That is supposed to be their job!!!

    March 20, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Mike in Texas

    Kevin in Ohio..

    Can I repeal the Iraq war and the Prescription medicare plan that has wasted tons of tax payers dollars? Didn't think so.

    Why do you want Republicans back in? If they are so fiscally responsible why can't they ever create a surplus?

    Republicans tell grandma big bad Obama is going to cut their medicare when their budget plans calls for huge cuts in medicare and SS.

    March 20, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. tom

    United states is in a big mess right now. lets fix student loans, lets fix the auto industry, lets fix banks, lets fix healthcare... Its crazy to think but we should be keeping an eye on what China's doing. I say give it another 8 yrs and they will try to be the next super power since they will own alot of this country and they will have total control of resources we need such as metal. It is documented that at the rate they are building naval ships their navy will be over 3 times the size of ours in about 5 yrs. Kinda wonder why they need so many battleships and where they are intending on going with them..

    March 20, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Mr. Bonner continues to spread fear by using lies. The truth is that the GOP knows that if (when) this bill is passed the American people will love this when they see the real truth about the bill and how it helps everyone. That's the real fear of the GOP, the American people will find out for themselves that the GOP has been telling all these lies just to play politics and all they want is to defeat the President. The GOP did the same thing in 1964 & 1965 about Medicare. Check it out, the same lies, it will ruin the country, socialism, government take over of the medical profession, etc, etc, etc. The same lies and the same truth will come to the surface, the American people love Medicare and they will love this reform bill. Just ask any Tea Bagger who yells out, keep your government hands of my Medicare. Medicare is good and so is this bill. What will happen to the Tea Baggers once they find out they've been used by the GOP?
    Back to Mr. Bonner, I hope the fine people of OH have found out what a sleazebag and liar Mr. Bonner is and vote him out of office.

    March 20, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. ran

    Because Boehner and the Republicans chose fear/hate/obstructionism/purity and the Filibuster.

    Next we the people will choose true Democrats or Independents in 2010/2012 elections. We will not reward a single Republicans a win for their actions or better lack of action.

    March 20, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. elana

    I think someone needs to hand Mr. Boehner, a Webster's Dictionary and have him look up the word "partisan"!! The Republicans certainly have been "partisan" when it comes to healthcare reform! And while he's at it, perhaps Mr. Boehner could look up the word "NO"!!!

    PARTISAN!! NO!!! THE 2010 REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE GOP SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN ON CAPITAL HILL!!

    March 20, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. JR

    Thanks Boehner, to hear you criticizing "partisan" politics is the biggest laugh I've had all week.

    March 20, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Bob

    I am so tired of Bone-er and his painted on tan. He should have enough money from the insurance company pay off by now to just sit down and shut up.

    March 20, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Hwy91

    I think that Alcee Hastings got it right in the House Rules Committee meeting:

    "You all in the minority continue to say what the American people think," Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, said during a particularly spirited portion of the meeting.

    "You don't know what all of the American people think. And you certainly don't know what those in my constituency think."

    Exactly right, Rep. Hastings. The GOP does NOT know what the American people think – they know what they WANT them to think, but not everybody thinks like a Republican. Thank God.

    March 20, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Liberal wingnut

    Not even partisan they are fighting amongst their own party for this left wing radical bill.

    March 20, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. hampster

    If any member of congress is partisan it is Boehner. Listen to his speak straight from his master Rush. Boehner has no room to call any member of congress partisan. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.

    March 20, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Mark S.

    Boehner and the Republicans, once again, on the wrong side of history.

    March 20, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Robert in Texas

    I can understand the lock-step red army of the republican party taking their orders from their ranting red-faced crackpot leaders like RushLimbaugh, but the pro-life Democrats should not be taking their orders from a bunch of ancient out-of-touch catholic pedophile bishops. Since the professional republicans in Washngton do not care about the middle class or poor Americans or small businesses, the Democrats are the only hope to get health care for everyone.

    March 20, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Jane

    Senator, DON'T tell me where the American people stand! Obviously I don't and for you to imply I, an American, do is pretentious and obnoxious.

    March 20, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. TPM

    I've come to my own compromise on healthcare. For every dollar this bill forces me to pay in mandated fines for not buying government approved insurance, I will donate another dollar to the most obstructionist Republicans I can find.

    March 20, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. D. Bunker

    "“It’s clear where my campaign contributors stand. They want no part of this bill, and they haven’t been shy about saying so."

    There, Orange Dude, I fixed your mis-quote.

    March 20, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. flexx

    Mr Boehner! do us a favor! shut up!

    March 20, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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