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. greenfish

    Given the diversity within the Democratic caucus, this is a bipartisan bill. The Democrats include progressives, pro-choice,pro-life, fiscal conservatives, whites, blacks, hispanics, secularists, Catholics, muslims, men, women, southerners, northerners, rustbelt, etc.

    March 20, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Gary

    Yes John, you're right. WE voted them into office to get this kind of thing done. Deal with it..

    March 20, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Leslie

    Boehner just nays and nays. He will say anything to undo progress for the American people. Just another arrogant, disrespectful "me me" right winger and wanker.

    March 20, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Marcus

    '“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. '

    Let's see, if I check the previous blogs on this Ticker, will those words be proven true or will they be proven as a pathetic excuse of a lie?
    Hmmm....
    The second of course!
    'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me' and I regret to admit that I believed in the WMD and links between Saddam and Al Qaeda ruse... So I was fooled twice.
    But not three times sir.

    March 20, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Stephen, Roswell GA

    Republicans are a fake. All they do is whine and grandstand and hope that they can fool American people once again this November. Presidend Obama has been a reasonable president willing to negotiate but Republicans are just pwer hungry monsters. They do not deserve to win again in November. Pass Healthcare bill and forget them

    March 20, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Seattle Sue

    It seems that it is the GOP that has chosen a partisan course. They have not worked with the Democrats very much. In fact they have bragged that they would not support anything the President supports. There was one bill that Republicans wrote but once President Obama expressed his support for it , the very same Republicans that sponsored the bill removed the bill. I have to suspect that race has a lot to do with this partisan on the Republican side.

    March 20, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. K(DC)

    Let me see if I have this right, I don't want to misquote anyone; Do nothing; Start over; we have a plan; The bill will bankrupt America; The People don't want this bill; The Democrats; will pay for this come November. I really understand you Boehner since I am one of those people the polling people keep missing, but according to the Repug I am still included in the Majority, now you have to give me a little time to sell you this bridge, I think I own. The Repugs could care less about the American People as long as they Defeat anything put forward by this President , no matter how many smoke and mirrors they put forward.

    March 20, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. D Mac

    This is the same guy that voted for George Bush's part
    D medicare !! voted to go to war in Iraq !! put this
    country in debt up to our arses. He's a piece of work !!

    March 20, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Karine

    Take all the pork and earmarks out of the bill , reduce the amount of irrelevant pages and perhaps some investigative journalism, which is so amiss right now , would get to the truth and facts of this bill.
    As it stands now , America is looking more like a third world country with a dictator as its leader.
    Health care reform is needed to benefit the people , the process should be transparent without back room deals and arm twisting.
    Americans should be outraged at what has been happening.

    March 20, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. David Chesser

    Way to go Congressman Boehner! I am not a Republican, but I agreed with EVERYTHING you said.

    I too think that the Democratic leadership have shown without question that their top priority is to effectuate their own agenda and not represent the American people. For proof of this, look at just how many congressman these past few days have signaled that they will vote in favor of this bill, yet represent a district whose outright MAJORITY is opposed to this bill? That IS NOT true representation and it is an insult to both democracy in this country and the fact that we live in a republic.

    March 20, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Marcus Tate

    ...And no surprise they've stooped to ramming it through on a weekend, when most people are off and not paying attention.

    They will pay in November for passing this.

    March 20, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. linda

    Boehner needs to check his facts and stop this deceitful ranting.

    The Republicans will be booted out in the mid-terms – Americans
    are too smart to put up with their obstructionist mantra and
    destruction of our country.

    Go Democrats! Support our President and get this reform that is long
    overdue done!

    How many people were supporting President Obama in Virginia
    on Friday? 8,000+ How many teabagger, lunatic fringe were there
    in opposition – this includes all the Boehners of the world? A
    pitiful handful.

    Americans want, and we need health care reform.

    Do a fact check – a correct one – CNN.

    March 20, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. D Mac

    Did tan man say "American People" again, John just
    talk to your District in Ohio, they are the only ones dumb
    enough to listen to you and Mitch, even the people in
    Kentucky are locked into basketball now..

    March 20, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Marcus Tate

    By the way – wasn't one of the first things Obama said about his healthcare bill that "People who already have health care will not be affected?" But he lied again. Now we are being told that those of us who have healthcare will be paying a 'cadillac tax' on it. Jeez, don't punish me for having a good job, being able to afford my own healthcare, and not waiting for a gubmint handout.

    March 20, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Reason

    Would the Republicans sit down and shut UP. You had your 8 years and you left the country with two wars, took the surplus away and created this deficit. You blew it. Now, like a good little boy...please sit down, be quiet, and the the grown ups clean up your mess.

    March 20, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. Brian

    The American people do want reform and they want this passed, despite the tea baggers and the propaganda wars. The CBO has said this bill will reduce the deficit, yet the GOP keeps harping on the cost. Let's get this thing passed – if we continue to do nothing (as the GOP has been successful at achieving every time the Dems want to pass a healthcare bill) things will only get worse, coverage worse and deficits much higher.

    March 20, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. reformer

    You're wrong Boehner! The people want health care reform. Its only because your party put a sinister spin on real reform that you can say we don't want this health care reform. Republicans can no longer expect a vote from this family (and I was once a staunch republican) due to its partisan and racist stances on almost all pressing problems the United States finds itself facing. Republicans are a disgrace to America!

    March 20, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Xavier

    It seems to me that the closer we get to the actual vote the weaker the republican party and its talking heads look. Boehner needs to realize that the GOP is out of touch with the lower and middle class. The GOP only cares about the top 2% of the country. Except for when they need our vote, they view the rest of us as a nuisance then must tolerate.

    March 20, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Independent One

    I must admit that I believe the Dems will do what is right for the American people on the health care bill

    March 20, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. Big John

    All of you who are against this plan should have your health care revoked until it's passed...then we'd see some action.
    AMERICA NEEDS HEALTH CARE FOR ALL!

    March 20, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. SuzyQ

    Lets see Mr Boehner, who wants no part of this bill, i believe it is you and your crony pals, not the american people, you won't let us speak. You and your Eric Cantor stand up there and tell lie after lie. What are you so afraid of if this bill passes, you try to play the abortion card, it doesn't wash, you try to play the cost card it doesn't wash.

    You can't come up with a good plan of your own, you also have had a year to do so, It will really be interesting to find out your motives in defeating this bill and yeah they will come out.

    Make sure when the bill passes you and your cronies are not out there taking all the praise like you have for the stimulus.

    March 20, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Jim

    We are eight months away from having the opportunity to show Obama others that there is a limit to how much they can rape the tax payer. If you have had enough, get out in November and vote, make sure these clowns pay for ignoring tax paying voters.

    March 20, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. T'SAH from Virginia

    “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."

    Talk about what DOES go into effect IMMEDIATELY!!! Say what DOES NOT go into effect!! Then, I will half open ONE of my ears!!!

    “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..."

    President Obama says over and over again – "I don't know how this would play out 'politically' but I know it's the right thing to do..."

    I think it's the other way around – YOU and the other RepubliCAN'Ts are NOT voting for it because YOU believe it would save YOUR job!!! Why are you worried about the President saving his job when you are preaching that it would cause him – and other Democrats – to LOSE their jobs!!! Come on now, the American people – yes the American people I KNOW – are smarter than that!!

    March 20, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Gregg

    Where was Boehner 9 years ago while Bush was squandering away the surplus that Clinton left him? all this talk about back room deals, the Repubs are very guilty of this, seems that bridge to nowhere was a backroom deal, Obama is trying to fix the mess that Repubs caused, also, if the GOP agrees with most of the reform bill, then why do they still want it defeated? Obama has been in office just over a year, and the GOP wants to blame this mess on him, when clearly it was there own party that caused it, i say to you Repubs, you had 8 years to make a difference, and only now do you come out and act like you care about Americans, you only care about the rich, middleclass Americans are doomed under Republican Leadership, all should vote yes for Healthcare reform, Repubs, the party of NO had there chance, and they ruined it, time for real Democracy under President Obama.........

    March 20, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. j

    HYPOCRITE! The Republicans put us in debt for nearly 2 trillion dollars with their tax cuts and deficit spending. The Republicans INCREASED the size of government under the Bush Administration.

    "Health care reform" will actually REDUCE the deficit about 200 billion or so in the first 10 years and over a TRILLION dollars over 20 years. The health care reform bill will make it possible for people with pre-existing conditions to get and keep their insurance.

    When the Republicans tell you they are fiscal conservatives, they are LYING! They were handed a budget SURPLUS by the Clinton administration and what did they do? They led us into the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    March 20, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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