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Prepared Remarks Of House Republican Leaders At A Press Conference - Participants: House Minority Leader John Boehner; House Republican Whip Eric Cantor; House Republican Confernce Chairman Mike Pence; Rep. Lynn Jenkins

Press Conference

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Location: Washington, DC

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REP. BOEHNER: Good morning everyone.

You know, when you look at the issues that are being considered here in Congress, they affect the American middle class in a big way. And it seems like the proposals that are coming out of the Democrat majority continue to stick it to the middle class each and every day. When you think about Speaker Pelosi's push for a national energy tax, it's the American people who drive cars or have the audacity to flip on a light switch who are going to pay this tax.

And then when you begin to look at the health care proposals which are starting to bounce around, President Obama says the problem with our health care system is we spend too much, and if you look at the proposals, clearly they're going to spend trillions of dollars of additional money that we don't have that we're going to have to borrow in order to finance their scheme. And it's also pretty clear from the CBO report on the Kennedy proposal that millions of Americans won't be able to keep their current insurance, and the President has said repeatedly that if you want to keep your own insurance you can, but if you look at the CBO score on just part of the Kennedy bill, it's clear that 23 million Americans are going to lose their coverage that they have now that they like as a result of being forced into a government- run system.

It's time to quit sticking it to the American middle class, and if you look at the Republican proposals, we believe we have better solutions: a better solution on energy, which will clearly bring more energy to the market, lower prices and cleaner air. And if you look at our solutions that will be coming out tomorrow on health care, it's pretty clear that we're going to take the current system and have it work much better to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable, high quality health insurance.

REP. CANTOR: In following up on the Leader's statements about Republican efforts to try and make sure we accomplish health care reform, I think the news yesterday from the CBO is the turning point in the heath care debate so that we will be able to put some reason back into the discussion here and be able to produce for the middle class families in this country. When CBO says, number one, we're going to be spending a trillion dollars - and that is a down payment on the cost of this health care reform - it is troubling when we're trying to save money that we would be calling for that kind of expenditure. Number two, when the CBO says that about a third of the uninsured is what will be insured under this bill, leaving two thirds uninsured still without coverage-certainly doesn't reach the mark that we're trying to accomplish. And lastly, and I think most important and significant in this debate, is when you have projections of some groups saying that a hundred million Americans will lose the plans they have. That is probably the most troubling aspect of the proposals that the Obama Administration is putting forward. That's why it's so important that when the Republican plan comes out tomorrow I think we will see a shift in this debate and a beginning of us coming together to ensure that we don't go the route of government and instead we focus on patients.

I'd also like to just speak briefly to the schedule today. As far as the war supplemental is concerned, we're looking to a very solid vote on our side of the aisle. And we've heard rumors, and I know Huffington Post and others reported, that the White House was reaching out to Members on our side of the aisle trying to offer a quid pro quo for their vote, insinuating somehow, the reports did at least, that the DCCC would go easy on our Members if they gave them their vote on this bill. I am hoping that is not occurring because that's illegal. And they ought to respond to that and put an end to it. We're talking about our troops here. Obviously there are very troubling aspects of the politicization of this bill, and I think we will see a vote that reflects that when it comes to the floor.

REP. JENKINS: Good morning.

I'm Lynn Jenkins from the great state of Kansas. As a mom of two kids at home and as a daughter with aging parents and as a CPA who has worked over the years with hundreds of small businesses, I'm most concerned with this majority proposal for a government takeover of the health care system. I look no further than across the border for an example. Just last week, I was having breakfast with a young lady here in the District who told me about her father who need heart surgery. He was scheduled for surgery four months after the diagnosis. When he went in to have the surgery, he was sent home and told to come back in a month. When that month was up he was sent home and told to come back the following month. Six months for this surgery. What was really sad is while the daughter was upset about this, her daddy just assumed this was normal. And you contrast that to my own daddy who had a similar surgery a few years ago. We waited three very long weeks for the similar surgery. I don't think waiting and having rationing of health care is the right direction to go.

That's why I'm pleased that I've been able to work with the Health Care Solutions Working Group that the Republicans put together on a viable alternative which will be unveiled tomorrow. I think you will see the Republican plan has more access, more availability, more affordability, more choices, more control. I think Americans deserve that.

REP. PENCE: The American people expect leaders here in Washington, D.C., to confront the challenges that we face at home and abroad by articulating and formulating solutions that reflect our ideals. The central ideal of the American people is freedom. The American people expect that this government will stand with those around the world who are standing for free and fair elections, for the freedom of speech and free and independent press. They expect this Congress to stand today for the resources for those who will defend freedom without piling on the backs of it excessive spending in the form of a global bailout.

And with regard to energy, with regard to health care, Republicans are bringing forward solutions that are built on protecting and strengthening the fundamental economic freedom of the American people. Our energy solution builds toward energy independence, creates jobs, achieves a cleaner environment without passing a national energy tax that will squelch the economic freedom of every American household and every American business.

And this week, Republicans in the wake of proposals for government option for health insurance, which as Ms. Jenkins said, would ultimately result in a government takeover of our health insurance industry in this country. Republicans will come forward with solutions that are built on strengthening the private health care system in this country, building solutions on the basis of freedom, articulating policies at home and abroad that embrace and celebrate freedom is what the American people expect from our national government, and Republicans will lead the way in providing that.


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