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As the House majority decides how it will proceed with health care legislation against bi-partisan opposition, I thought you might find these two quotes from the early days of our nation enlightening:
“If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the omnipotence of the majority.”
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.
“The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared.”
--Letter from Jefferson to Madison. March 15. 1789.
This weekend you are expected to cast career-defining and nation-changing votes on health care legislation. Those casting votes in favor of the abuse of power that is the “Slaughter Rule” will be voting for the widely unpopular Senate health care bill and all its bad policy and unsavory parts and will be voting to change the nation for the worse. We will do everything we can to make a vote supporting this perversion of our democracy and such bad policy a career ending vote.
The whip count makes it clear: those voting in the affirmative will only be Democrats voting against strong bi-partisan opposition, as many Democrats will be opposing either the abusive nature of this approach or the policy in the Senate bill.
Those members with any sense of history, no matter how much they support the underlying policies in the Senate bill, or the slight changes in the reconciliation bill, should object to the damage they are doing to our democracy by trying to pass major social change through a questionable loophole as conceived in the “Slaughter Rule.” Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) is right, “It would really call into question the credibility of the House.” If the actual legislation matched the lofty rhetoric supporters attach to it, such slight-of-hand wouldn’t be necessary. It doesn’t.
At a time of record deficits, when the government doesn’t have the money to pay for the entitlements it has already created, you are being asked to vote for a trillion dollar entitlement. No one is fooled by statistical gimmicks into thinking this new entitlement reduces the deficit. It has so many tax hikes and so much government encroachment that 16,000 new IRS agents will be hired and the IRS will spend $10 billion to make sure everyone buys the private health insurance the government says we have to have. No wonder big insurance loves this bill—the IRS is spending $10 billion to make sure we buy their product through the “individual mandate”, fundamentally changing the relationship between government, big business, and the individual for the worse.
There will be no hiding from this vote. I don’t need to tell you how closely your constituents are watching you and how well they understand the procedure. We’ve had almost 300,000 people sign our NoHealthCareReconciliation.com petition in the past week and are happy to share with you all the comments from your district. They passionately object to this bill and this process. That’s why they have put so much time and effort over the past year going to town hall meetings and rallies and calling and writing. They hope you’ve heard and understand why Congressional approval is historically low at just 19%.
I hope you will listen to your constituents instead of your leadership. On their behalf I urge you to vote against both the “rule” that would deem the Senate health care bill as passed and the associated reconciliation bill. We will double-weight both these votes when scoring your record on economic freedom—but your voters will all already be aware of your vote.
[Click here for the pdf version of this letter]