GUEST COLUMN: Making a bad bill even worse

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By Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Monday regarding the reconciliation process on the Democrats’ health spending bill:

Last night marked a turning point in our politics and our nation.

On a Sunday night in March, with the nation howling in opposition, a bare majority of Democrats in the people’s house ignored the people to claim a win for their party.

And then they celebrated.  The American people watched all this in utter disbelief.

Here’s what Democrats voted for last night:  a vast expansion of the entitlement state that we can’t afford, massive cuts to Medicare, higher taxes, higher health care costs, worse care, taxpayer-funded abortions.

And don’t believe the spin: this wasn’t a party-line vote. Yes, not a single Republican voted for this bill. But, a whole lot of Democrats voted against it too.

The fact is, the so-called ‘Senate version of the health care bill’ that passed the House last night couldn’t even pass in the Senate today.


Because this bill is so deeply unpopular that the voters in the most liberal state in the country just elected a Republican to the Senate for the first time in nearly four decades in order to stop it.

Democrats want to pretend this didn’t happen. They want to pretend that New Jersey and Virginia and Massachusetts didn’t happen. They want to pretend that the views of the people who sent us here don’t matter.

They want to pretend we can afford a $2.5 trillion entitlement in the middle of a recession when we can’t meet the obligations we already have.

They want to pretend that future generations won’t have to bear the burden of their actions.

They want to pretend that our actions today won’t affect the American dream tomorrow.

Well, they’re living in a fantasy. And, today that fantasy becomes even more absurd.

As if the bill they voted on yesterday wasn’t bad enough, now they want to make it worse.  That’s what’s going on in the Senate this week.

Democrat leaders now want us to take the bill that passed the Senate in December and that the House voted on last night and make the tax hikes even higher, the Medicare cuts even deeper. And, they want us to endorse a raft of new sweetheart deals that were struck behind closed doors last week so this thing could limp over the finish line last night.

Americans said they didn’t want this bill. Democrats passed it anyway.

They said they didn’t like the deals and the giveaways. Democrats struck them anyway.

Now, they want to make this bill even worse. They want to add more deals on top of the other ones.

Well, I have message for our Democrat friends: Enough is enough

No more tax hikes.

No more Medicare cuts.

No more deal making.

No more backroom deals.

Democrats may have won their vote last night, but they lost the argument.

And they’ve lost the trust of the American people.

Americans know you don’t drive down the cost of health care by spending another $2.5 trillion on health care. They know we can help people with preexisting conditions without slashing Medicare to do it. They know we can do all these things without crippling the economy or forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions.

Americans see through all the false choices they’ve been handed by Democrats in Washington.

Democrat leaders may have gotten their votes. They may have gotten their win. But today is a new day.

Already, we’re seeing Democrats in the Senate distance themselves from this effort to make a bad bill worse. So, we already know that reconciliation is guaranteed to have bipartisan opposition.

Democrats were hoping that they could silence the voices of the American people last night. But, starting today, those voices are going to be heard. Senate Republicans are going to make sure those voices are heard.