ALG Calls Upon Blue Dogs to “Stand Firm” Against Government-Run Health Care

July 14th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today praised 40 members of the House Blue Dog Democrats caucus for issuing a letter against proposed legislation that according to Wilson would “institute the single largest expansion of government into health care ever.”

According to the group’s website, the Blue Dog Democrats claim to be a “fiscal conservative” coalition in the House of Representatives, dedicated to “balancing the budget and ridding taxpayers of the burden the national debt places on them.”

“There may be hope for the Blue Dog Democrats yet, but they have to prove that they’re not just drawing straws to see who gets to vote against controversial proposals to provide cover for themselves on bills they already know are going to pass,” said Wilson.

According to The Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House bill will be unveiled today, “but added it will still need to be changed to win over skeptical voters in her own caucus. Committee action on the bill could kick off before week’s end, which would set up a vote by July 31 as promised.”

“So far, from ‘stimulus’ to cap-and-tax, Nancy Pelosi has not lost a single important vote all year. And the reason is because so-called ‘conservative’ Democrats always seem to come up just short of the votes needed to block the House Majority’s unabated spend-a-thon,” Wilson explained.  “And that could be because of a backroom deal between the Blue Dogs and the top dog.”

“The only way Blue Dogs will ever be able to prove they are actually in favor of fiscal sanity is to vote against the trillion dollar government-run health care plan now proposed.  It is not, nor will it ever be ‘deficit-neutral,’ and they know it,” Wilson added.

On Thursday Congressman Mike Ross (AR-CD4), chairman of the Blue Dog Health Care Task Force, stated that if the House Majority brings their bill to the floor as proposed, an “overwhelming majority” of his 52 member coalition would vote against it.

“We need to slow down and do it right,” Ross added.

In a letter sent by 40 members of the Blue Dog coalition in the House of Representatives, members demanded that any House proposal on health care be deficit-neutral, protect small businesses, and that the legislation “must be available to all Members and the public for a sufficient amount of time before we are asked to vote for it.”

The letter also required that “sufficient time” would be needed for “any amendments or changes to the bill” stating that “We need time to review it and discuss it with our constituents.  Too short of a review period is unacceptable and only undermines Congress’ ability to pass responsible health care reform that works for all Americans.”

A list of the 40 House members can be viewed here.

“The Blue Dog Democrats realize that there is blood in the water.  They are hearing from constituents angry over the $1.8 trillion deficit, the $13 trillion in committed bailouts, the failed, wasteful $787 billion ‘stimulus’, and the costly cap-and-tax.  So, the Dogs know that their political necks are on the line,” said Wilson.

“The American people do not want government-run socialized medicine.  Right now, the Blue Dogs have enough signatories to kill the legislation or, at the very least, slow it down.  And if they value their political survival, that’s exactly what they will do,” Wilson concluded.

Attachments:

Letter from 40 Blue Dog Democrats to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, July 9th, 2009.

List of 40 Blue Dog Democrats that signed the letter.

Interview Availability: Please contact Alex Rosenwald at (703)383-0880 or at arosenwald@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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