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Simpson Votes Against Health Care Reconciliation in Budget Committee

Washington, March 15, 2010
“Unfortunately,” Congressman Simpson said, “the Budget Committee today started the health care reconciliation process with a partisan and largely ceremonial markup vote. This procedural maneuver will allow Democrats, now without enough votes to pass the bill in regular order, to pass it with only 50 votes in the Senate, rather than the 60 normally required for controversial pieces of legislation.”

Tonight Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson opposed the Democrats' health care reconciliation bill.  The House Budget Committee conducted a markup of the bill this evening. This reconciliation legislation has been described as a "Trojan horse" because every word in the bill will be erased after passage and replaced with the yet-unseen health care bill written behind closed doors by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi. The bill passed out of the Budget Committee, of which Simpson is a member, with only two Democrats joining the Republicans in opposition.

“Unfortunately,” Congressman Simpson said, “the Budget Committee today started the health care reconciliation process with a partisan and largely ceremonial markup vote. This procedural maneuver will allow Democrats, now without enough votes to pass the bill in regular order, to pass it with only 50 votes in the Senate, rather than the 60 normally required for controversial pieces of legislation.”

Simpson offered a Motion to Instruct to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to provide the total cost of the bill based off of this year's data, rather than the budget baseline from March 2009 as had been previously done. This would reveal the real cost of the bill to the American people. His motion also asked for a 72-hour waiting period for the bill to be posted online so it could be read by Americans and Members of Congress before a final vote. Additionally, the motion included instructions requiring a separate vote for each health care measure, thus rejecting the Democrats plan to pass the bill by using an obscure rule.”
 
“My motion would have simply shined more light on the costs and the details of the bill, something I had hoped both Democrats and Republicans would support.” Despite unanimous Republican support, the motion failed because it only garnered support from one Democrat on the Committee.

“I am disappointed that my motion failed. As it stands, the American people will not know the real cost of the bill, or even what is in it, until after it passes. This is simply not the way to pass major legislation, let alone a health care entitlement that constitutes a government takeover of 17 percent of the economy.  However, it now appears Congressional Democrats are planning to jam through this bill without the inclusion of a single minority opinion, and without the support of most Americans.”

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