In a press conference earlier today, House Democratic leaders unloaded on House Republicans for their hypocrisy on their effort to repeal health care reform. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was almost sneering when she made her remarks:
Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, addressing reporters at a news conference with other House Democratic leaders Tuesday, called the GOP move "disingenuous" and "nothing but political theater."
"It is a Kabuki dance," she said. "The fact of the matter is we're not going to repeal health care. It is not going to happen."
Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, cited projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office noting that the Democrats' overhaul will lower the federal deficit over the long term.
As a result, she argued, a GOP-led health care reform repeal would "do very serious violence to the national debt" -- undermining a central Republican pledge of fiscal responsibility.
The Republicans "will employ budget gimmicks" and "Enron-type accounting" to make the claim that a repeal of health care reform won't increase the debt, predicted Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland. "That kind of flim-flam" is what people came to expect of Republicans the last time they ran Congress, he said.
Of course it's theater. They've got to play to the base, after all and hold a symbolic vote on a symbolic bill which will never go anywhere. The repeal bill uses the term "job-killing" at least 5 times according to Dave Weigel, and of course, it's named the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act", after all.
That title and this little act of foot-stomping on the part of Republicans makes me want to tell them all that it's nap time in Washington, hand out their pacifiers and blankies and turn out the lights.
Who will win the framing war on this one? Will it be the GOP, with their "job-killing" frame, or the Dems with their "Enron-type accounting" frame? GOP has long held that the health reform law is a 'job-killing' bill, but never put any statistics up to support that.
Also, as DeLauro notes, somewhere between the campaign and the draft of this bill, the word "replace" was forgotten. Repeal, yes. Replace? Not so much.