Signing Petition Would Force Lawmakers to Vote on Broadcasting Healthcare Debate
Washington- After days of mounting frustration stemming from Democrats’ shady closed-door negotiations on healthcare, Republicans filed a discharge petition on a bi-partisan bill in an attempt to force televised healthcare talks. Rather than hammering out details between the Senate and House versions of the healthcare bill before the watchful eye of the American public, Democrats have resorted to these backroom meetings in an attempt to skirt around the legislative process, causing public uproar. Now, Carol Shea-Porter is refusing to sign on to the petition, once again missing an opportunity to put her money where her mouth is.
“House Republicans will file a discharge petition Wednesday to try to force a vote on a bipartisan resolution that calls on Congressional leaders to publicly broadcast the final health care negotiations.
“Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) will file the petition for his nonbinding resolution, which calls for “any conference committee or other meetings held to determine the final content of sweeping national health care legislation be held in full public view and not behind closed doors.” The measure has 151 co-sponsors, including three Democrats: Reps. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Gene Taylor (Miss.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.).
“’The resolution bashes Democratic leaders over ‘a disturbing pattern of House leadership skirting open access by allowing small groups of conference committee members to meet privately.’ The push for open negotiations comes after C-SPAN asked to broadcast the final health care negotiations live and in their entirety. Democratic leaders have demurred.” (Jennifer Bendery, “GOP to File Discharge Petition to Broadcast Health Care Talks,” Roll Call, 1/12/2010)
After numerous promises from her party leaders to have the ‘most honest and open congress in history’, Shea-Porter's utter disregard for transparency should come as a shock to the New Hampshirites who voted her into office:
“‘Drain the swamp’ means to turn this Congress into the most honest and open Congress in history. That's my pledge — that is what I intend to do,’ Pelosi stated in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.” (Brian Williams, “Rep. Pelosi poised to make history,” NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, 11/08/2006)
“Carol Shea-Porter has the perfect opportunity to put her money where her mouth is by signing this commonsense measure to follow through on President Obama’s promise to televise healthcare negotiations for the public to view,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “It should be a no-brainer for Carol Shea-Porter to make good on Democrats’ pledges to provide the transparency New Hampshirites so desperately want. New Hampshirites have every right to be outraged that Carol Shea-Porter is once again allowing her party to rush their reckless healthcare agenda through Congress and behind closed doors.”