March 20th, 2010
09:52 AM ET
13 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

“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. Tom in Va

    Is Boehner lying or simply not get it?

    Stop with the "ramming the billdown throats"-crap. We've been debating this for a YEAR.

    Stop with "The Amercian people don't want"-pitch. It's simply NOT true. Many who don't favor THIS bill don't because it's not liberal ENOUGH.

    Stop with the whaaa whaaa whaa "They are paying attention to us" -bull.... Pres Obama aksed again and again and again for GOP help. And what did he get? "No". THERE's the GOP version of "bi-partisanship".

    Stop with the scare tactics and fear mongering. We aren't buying. We REFUSE to accept and live in fear.

    The GOP platform in 2008 called for a massive overhaul of Healthcare (JUST likethe Dems' did as well).

    I guess the GOP was just kidding, huh?

    March 20, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. svscnn

    “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. "

    Saying something over and over again doesn't make it any truer. However, if you tell a lie long enough, you'll begin to believe it yourself. And deliver it better and better each time you tell it.

    March 20, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. MitchB

    After the bill passes, why don't Boner bring the GOP Health Bill to the floor, whereby they start fom scratch and do the right thing for his Americans(where ever there),Right!!!

    March 20, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. John

    I have to ask. When in the last one hundred years has the Republican party been on the right side of any bill that when passed proved to be good for this country? not once. nuff said

    March 20, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. hobart

    Just how many bald faced lies can the Party of No tell?! And this is supposedly the party of religious conservatives, who violate the 9th Commandment (bearing false witness) with reckless abandon.

    Republicans are the party that chose the partisan path on Health Care dedicating themselves to its defeat from day 1, calling it Obama's Waterloo. They've lied, obstructed, threatened the filibuster, threatened lawsuits, and incited violence ever since.

    The so-called "expensive path" is yet another Republican lie, given that the CBO, a non-partisan group, gave us all the numbers on how it saves money and reduces the deficit by far larger amounts than their own failed policies added to the deficit. Bush inherited a surplus, and left us on the brink of the next Great Depression, and Republicans did absolutely nothing to contribute to Obama's recovery since then, other than lie, obstruct and filibuster.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    March 20, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    I contributed earlier to this blog and hereby apologize for my spelling and grammer. Never the less, my comment stands. Judging the tone of the comments since added, seems as though many people feel the way as I do. Look at these comments, NOT ONE on the plus side for John Boehner. I suggest we partition the government to have this guy removed from office. It is our constitutional right. I suspect that he is a prime reason why this heath care bill is as horrible as it is.

    March 20, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. NC

    I think Rep. Boehner would make a great president of the United States......he cares about America and wants to get the economy back on for a Republican in 2010 and 2012.......lets get our current mistake out of the office of president of the U.S in 2012.........

    March 20, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. svscnn

    Rush Limbaugh, January 16, 2009:

    " 'I Hope Obama Fails.' Somebody's gotta say it. "

    That was the official death knell of Republican cooperation.

    March 20, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Rob M in NY

    This turkey needs to stop talking like he speaks for the American people... go get a tan. Real men and real Americans don't get Faux tans, NOR do they watch Faux News. Go DEMS!!!

    March 20, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. svscnn

    Someday, the current GOP leadership's descendants will look back in shame at these obstructions who sat so firmly on the wrong side of history.

    March 20, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. stevetall

    Quit whining, you little sissy.

    You are in a unique position to HELP improve the lives of American families (families filled with registered voters). Instead, you exemplify exactly what's wrong with the Republican party: Specifically, the unwillingness to work with the majority, and a lack of tolerance in general.

    March 20, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |

    I wish orange man will stop talking for me. I want this bill to pass so stop saying that the American people don't want this to pass. Oh. You want to talk about partisan well do you remember this quote: "this could be Presiedent Obama's waterloo" by Senator Dimwit. The republican party chose to follow rush limbaugh instead of working for average Americans.

    March 20, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Please share with us old Orange Oracle what does your crystal ball say about what the majority of America wants?

    Here is what mine says.

    Reds like to cite polls about the “majority” of Americans are now against health care reform and “That One” is ignoring the will of the people.

    Those of course would be the same type of polls that cons stated were having a “love fest” with the “socialist” in 2008 when you racists could not believe that a black man was polling better than your loser McCrypt, a small, angry bitter old man.

    Well, as you like to say, the only poll that mattered took place in November of 2008 and a majority of voters sent the “Kenyan born” candidate to run “your country” over the tiresome “let me exploit my time as a POW one more time” candidate.

    The resulting “polling” was a win of 53% to 46% for the “Kenyan“.

    A clear majority and with no Supreme Court anointing.

    President “Obozo” ran his campaign on health reform and was voted to the office to do just that. President Obama is now only completely his promise that the 53% majority voted for him to do.

    So, to now quote those same polls as being the foundation to make statements that President Obama is “ramming” health care down our throats is very hypocritical at least. Seems, now that the “liberal MSM’ are “polling” your way, the results are cast in stone.

    So, I say ignore these “con” polls put out by the “big business” communication corporations to con the people with lies, and stick to the 53% poll that voted a great man into office to fix your 8 year debacle of “Voodoo economics“ of running 2 wars and giving out tax cuts to the rich.

    You and your “big business” corporations will get another chance to buy the Presidency in 2012, the only “poll that counts”. This all due to the courtesy of the Red stacked Supreme Court decision to allow corporations which are now “the voice of people” to buy public office holders.

    March 20, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Frank the Tank

    Seriously, if you are going to write about how good the Democrats are and how good Obama is. USE PROPER ENGLISH! You make yourself look so ignorant!

    Dat Obama is doins so goods in washington, I hopes he comes bak a twice time for prez. Mahbe den peepz can stop h8n mahself for ben ignent

    Victor March 20th, 2010 11:20 am ET

    The republican party put my country in it knee by started two
    war and given two tax cut mostly to the riches people without
    paying for. I think that was the most etupid thing a country can
    do. Now they conplaining because democrat try to fix the
    problem. Distroy is cheap-Rebuilt is expensive.

    Republican are too greed and the follower are blind.

    March 20, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. walleye

    Today is the anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. This mornings Denver newspaper had an article that said we have spent $720 BILLION on this war. This was, in my opinion a war sold the the American people on LIES. No weapons were ever there or ever found. This was a Bush/Cheney war to line their pockets. Wouldn't this money have been better spent on OUR OWN CITIZENS. Its almost the amount the proposed Health Bill would cost. Anyone opposing this bill needs to stop listening to the Hannity/Limbaugh/Boehner LIES and do some research on their own.

    March 20, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Susan, AZ

    Yeah John, Republicans are always bipartison.
    now tell me a fairy tale.......

    March 20, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Steve Bivins

    Mr. Boehner let me get this correct you are going to say that you did not want people to have health insurance, you did not want pre existing conditions in the bill, you want to keep caps for medical expenses, you want people kicked off their insurance because all they did was get sick and you think that you think that you will be voted to the majority in November ...well good luck with that!!!!!!

    March 20, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. AP in Illinois

    Give me a freakin' break. I don't know how you people in the GOP can look at yourself in the mirror before you go to bed and not be ashamed of yourselves for the blatant hypocrisy and lies. John Boehner says the Democrats are being partisan implying that his party is the better!. The Democrats were forced to play that way because little Johnny GOP took his ball and went home! If we can't play my way we aren't going to play. If that isn't partisan I don't know what is.

    March 20, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Kat

    I agree with him. This is too much government. Start over on this massive Bill. Get it right. And for you who think we should lose our healthcare until it passes, my response is we work hard, PAY our Insurance and this is (for now) a free country. Get a job!

    March 20, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. David

    This man is nothing but the devil himself.

    March 20, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. ib

    I hope he is right. We both have our health problems and feel like we need helathcare reform but this bill scares us to death. Pathetic.

    March 20, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    Americans do not need the higher insurance rates that will come with ObamaCare. We do not need to go $3,500 more in debt for every man, woman and child in the country to support another ineffective federal government bureaucracy.

    Start over. Really. Don't settle for this lousy bill. It was created in desperation, it will be passed only with desperate moves and if it is passed Americans can say goodby to affordable health care insurance and quality care.

    We can do better than this. Even in Washington.

    March 20, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. ray

    this more said the other day that even if you put a gun to his head he wont close gitmo......................i wish, i wish how i wish someone could really put a gun to his haed and them wish and wish. these people on the right would never say yes to this president because he is black.

    March 20, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Rob Mulder

    Why are the republicans still reported on? They have put themselves on the sidelines. Whatever they think or feel at this time about the bill or the process is irreleant and not news. Far more important is if the dems can get to 216 votes or not and what the current tally is in that respect.

    Rob Mulder
    Raleigh, NC

    March 20, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Snarky from SC

    SC is on the verge of making a fool of itself–AGAIN. Now the Atty General is going to sue the feds if the health care bill passes. Well, bring it on McMasters! Isn't SC enough of a laughing stock yet??


    March 20, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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