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Republican Leaders Urge President and Democrats to Forgo Backroom Deals in Health Care

January 27, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI), along with House Republican Leaders, Ranking Members of Energy & Commerce and Education & Labor, and Rep. Buchanan (R-FL) today sent a letter to President Obama asking that he ensure that any further health care negotiations be transparent and televised on C-SPAN as he promised, rather than conducted behind closed doors between Senate Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi, a select few other Democrats, and health care lobbyists.

President Obama repeatedly made a pledge to air the health care debate on C-SPAN for all Americans to see. Unfortunately, he has also repeatedly broken that pledge, turning the White House into a hub of backroom deals. If the deals cut at the White House and on Capitol Hill are signed into law, millions of seniors will see their Medicare benefits cuts, while countless other Americans will see their premiums increase, their taxes increase, and even lose their current health insurance,” said Camp. “By his own admission, the President has fallen short of his promise, I urge him and Democrat leaders to reevaluate and make all future negotiations on health care open to the public. It is what they have promised and what the American people deserve.”

The full text of the letter and signatories can be read here.


January 27, 2010 

Barack Obama 
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Mr. President,

During the campaign, you repeatedly promised to hold health care negotiations on C-SPAN.  Monday, however, in an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer you admitted that:

“There is a legislative process that is taking place in Congress and I am happy to own up to the fact that I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked.”

Republicans firmly support changing the way Congress works and giving the American people the access to the health care debate you promised and that they deserve.  Republicans have led a Congressional Transparency Initiative that includes a proposal to ensure major negotiations on bills are open to the public.  Unfortunately, members of your party have refused to join us in this effort.

In light of your admission, and ongoing secret health care negotiations among Democrats in Congress, we ask you to again make clear to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid that you will not sign a health care bill crafted in a backroom deal.


House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)
House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN)
House Republican Policy Committee Chair Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
House Republican Conference Vice Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
House Republican Conference Secretary John Carter (R-TX)
House Republican Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI)
Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX)
Education and Labor Ranking Member Joe Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)