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Political News and Commentary from the Right

CSPAN: Let’s make good on Obama’s call for transparency

by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)

Washington-Congressman John Boehner is strongly endorsing a request from the head of C-SPAN that the public have full access to health care negotiations as Democratic leaders continue to indicate they will shut the American people out and write a final bill behind closed doors.

“As House Republican Leader, I can confidently state that all House Republicans strongly endorse your proposal and stand ready to work with you to make it a reality,” Boehner wrote in response to a letter C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb sent to congressional leaders. “Hard-working families won’t stand for having the future of their health care decided behind closed doors. These secret deliberations are a breeding ground for more of the kickbacks, shady deals and special-interest provisions that have become business as usual in Washington. Too much is at stake to have a final bill built on payoffs and pork-barrel spending.”

President Obama repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that health care reform negotiations would be public and broadcast on C-SPAN.

Transparency issues continue to dog Washington Democrats, who have compiled a troubling track-record of jamming through massive bills that have not been properly scrutinized. Boehner’s letter highlights the GOP’s congressional transparency initiative, a series of reform measures that includes a resolution introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) requiring that these health care negotiations be made open to the public.

The letter to C-SPAN Chairman and CEO Brian Lamb is available here and follows:

January 5, 2010

Brian Lamb
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, C-SPAN
400 N. Capitol St. NW
Suite 650
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your recent letter requesting that the American people have full access to health care reform negotiations. As House Republican Leader, I can confidently state that all House Republicans strongly endorse your proposal and stand ready to work with you to make it a reality.

C-SPAN’s role in fostering government transparency is so significant that on several occasions during the last presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) pledged that health care reform negotiations would be broadcast on C-SPAN so the “American people will know what’s going on.”

Unfortunately, the President, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid now intend to shut out the American people at the most critical hour by skipping a bipartisan conference committee and hammering out a final health care bill in secret.

Of course, every issue of national import should be debated by the people’s elected representatives in full public view, but this is especially true with something as personal and important as health care. Clocking in at a combined 4,765 pages, the House and Senate health care bills propose drastic and expensive changes in the way Americans live. Dozens of differences between the two bills have been identified, including fundamental changes to the patient-doctor relationship.

Hard-working families won’t stand for having the future of their health care decided behind closed doors. These secret deliberations are a breeding ground for more of the kickbacks, shady deals and special-interest provisions that have become business as usual in Washington. Too much is at stake to have a final bill built on payoffs and pork-barrel spending.

As you know, congressional transparency has long been a concern of citizens and congressional observers, but never before has the need for reform been more apparent than in the past year under the Democratic majority. Republicans have listened to the American people and are committed to making Congress more accountable to the people it serves. In November, we proposed a congressional transparency initiative, a series of reform measures that includes a resolution introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) requiring that these health care negotiations be made open to the public. While you await a response from Speaker Pelosi, we will continue to call on her to allow a vote on Rep. Buchanan’s resolution.

Since the first New England town meetings of the colonial era, open government has been a hallmark of American democracy. Over the last 30 years, C-SPAN has helped continue and strengthen that tradition. The American people are well served by your continued vigilance in this matter.

Sincerely,

John Boehner
Member of Congress
Republican Leader, U.S. House of Representatives

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January 6, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. Do we need to petition Congress to broadcast health care reform negotiations on C-Span? Thanks to all who are pushing Congress to be transparent. The health care reform is personal to every American and has many of us stressed about the government take-over of our care.

    Comment by MyCountry2 | January 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. Barack Obama=Socialism enough said

    Comment by Amy Muennink | January 6, 2010 | Reply

  3. Here is a petition!
    http://www.letthecamerasin.com/?done=1

    Comment by MyCountry2 | January 6, 2010 | Reply


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