January 7, 2011
The 112th Congress convened on Wednesday with Republicans taking control of the House. As you can imagine, I expect a difficult year. Already, there are calls to repeal the health care and financial reform bills passed in the last Congress. Although I don’t believe these efforts will ultimately be successful, they offer telling evidence of the direction that House leadership wants to take our country.
Republicans have made much of the fact that our deficit is far too high. I agree, and we must find ways to bring it down. But so far, I have not seen meaningful evidence that Republicans are really serious about this beyond symbolic actions. If their attempt to repeal health care reform actually succeeds, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that this action would add $230 billion to the deficit in the first ten years and a staggering $1.2 trillion in the second decade. If you’d like to view their report, click here [PDF]. Republicans offer no real solution to this troubling math.
Repeal of health care reform is expected to pass in the House next week and will be sent to the Senate, where it faces a much more difficult path. In addition to exploding the deficit, a repeal of health care reform would mean that 32 million Americans will lose their health care and costs could rise for those who still have access to it.
We have so many important issues facing our country, including a still challenging job market and a difficult economy. The House should not be focused on past legislation, but should instead focus on creating jobs and stabilizing the economy.
I am honored to have the opportunity to represent you for another term and I will do my best to advocate on your behalf in the months ahead. Thank you for you interest in this newsletter.