McConnell On Fox Calls On Administration To Lift Federal Gag Order
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on the Fox News program Your World with Neil Cavuto' Thursday afternoon regarding the administration's gag order against private companies communicating with seniors about legislation before Congress. The following are excerpts from the interview:
On the Republican letter to HHS about the gag order: "I sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services signed by the Republican Leadership. They have 10 vacancies of people they are trying to get appointed to the administration. None of those people will get through the Senate easily until they lift the gag order. None of these people make it through the Senate without extensive debate until they lift the gag order and allow the First Amendment to function for everyone in this country, including people who just happen to be doing business with the federal government."
On cuts to Medicare: "I think the Democratic majority is undeterred by the facts. The facts are that they are trying to cut Medicare. They certainly are cutting Medicare Advantage as well they are going to have a $500 billion cut in Medicare over the next 10 years. They are acting like they are not. Nobody believes that the director of the CBO has illustrated what they are doing. It is astonishing."
On the Democrats' rush and spend mentality: "It is consistent with the way they have been operating. They voted down an amendment on a party-line vote that would have required the bill to be on the internet for 72 hours before everybody votes. They do not want anybody to read this. They want to jam it through, reorganize one sixth of the economy on a straight party-line vote before anybody figures out what they are doing."
"I am not afraid of that at all. We should do the right thing, not the wrong thing. We should not do it before anybody can read it. This whole idea is to deceive the American people, jam this through the congress, have it signed by the president, and call it a victory. If they do that, it will be the biggest issue in the 2010 election, I can assure you."
On what Americans want for health care reform: "We will say, on paper, there are 60 Democrats. That should be enough to pass it. There is a lot of anxiety on the Democratic side. People are very nervous about this. They are hearing from seniors, particularly seniors who are on the Medicare Advantage program. They are hearing from individuals who do not want their taxes raised. This is a very controversial proposal. It is not the way we should go to reform health care. We should be targeting job losses, equalizing the tax code to make all health insurance deductible for everyone, regardless of whether you work for a company that provides it, incentivizing well as programs."
On the importance of getting it right: "I want to go to a signing ceremony. This is about a very important issue. It is about getting it right. We have to target cost and access, which are the two biggest problems. We do not need the government taking over one sixth of our economy. It is an enormous percentage of our country."