July 21st, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today called upon Congressman Bart Gordon, one of seven House Democrats that sits on the House Energy and Commerce committee who signed a Blue Dog Democrat coalition letter against proposed government-run health care legislation, to “hold his ground to help stop the nationalization of the health care system by Barack Obama.”
Today, a markup session of the House Energy and Commerce committee was canceled because of opposition by Blue Dog Democrats on the committee. They are expected to meet with Barack Obama today as he lobbies them to support the legislation.
“The seven Blue Dogs on the House Energy and Commerce committee, including Congressman Gordon, who promised to vote down any proposal that was not ‘deficit neutral’ now must make good on their promise, and not give into the thuggish threats of Barack Obama,” said Wilson.
“In fact, the proposal is not ‘deficit neutral,’ it does not pay for itself, and as the years go by, tens of millions of Americans will be added to the rolls of the so-called ‘public’ option, further sinking the nation into insurmountable debt,” said Wilson, adding, “And Congressman Gordon knows it.”
Last week, the director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Douglas Elmendorf, delivered devastating testimony that the government-run health care proposal will not include “the fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”
“On the contrary,” Elmendorf said, “the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care.” Elmendorf testified that the cost curve of government spending on health care is being raised above its current levels instead of cut.
“Congressman Gordon can help to stop this legislation in committee before it is too late,” Wilson said, adding, “He knows that the government will be forced to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades to pay for this abomination.”
In the letter sent by 40 members of the Blue Dog coalition in the House of Representatives on July 9th, including Congressman Gordon, members demanded that any House proposal on health care be deficit-neutral, protect small businesses, and that the legislation “must be available to all Members and the public for a sufficient amount of time before we are asked to vote for it.”
A list of the 40 House members can be viewed here in full. The other six members that signed the letter and sit on the Energy and Commerce committee are Congressmen Bart Gordon (TN-CD6), Mike Ross (AR-CD4), Jim Matheson (UT-CD2), Charlie Melancon (LA-CD3), John Barrow (GA-CD12), Baron Hill (IN-CD9), and Zack Space (OH-CD18).
“This is where the rubber meets the road for Blue Dog Democrats, and for any member of Congress that presumes to be a ‘moderate,’” said Wilson, adding, “If Congressman Gordon votes to create this gargantuan entitlement, which professes to cover ‘all Americans’ with health care, he will never again be taken seriously when it comes to fiscal and entitlement reform.”
According to the group’s website, the Blue Dog Democrats claim to be a “fiscal conservative” coalition in the House of Representatives, dedicated to “balancing the budget and ridding taxpayers of the burden the national debt places on them.”
According to The Hill, Congressman Ross, the Chairman of the Blue Dog Health Care Task Force, claims to have 10 House members on Energy and Commerce committee that will block the bill if his group’s draft amendments are not accepted.
“Last time I checked, it took seven Democrats to stop a bill in Energy and Commerce,” Ross said.
“The Blue Dogs, including Congressman Gordon, are the ones making a lot of noise against this radical, government-run health care proposal, but they need to go further,” Wilson said. “This is not about passing cosmetic amendments. This is about stopping the socialization of one-sixth of the American economy and the creation of an unsustainable entitlement.”
“Congressman Gordon has set the standards by which he will be judged: He signed this letter and if he now votes for this monstrosity he will be digging his own political grave,” Wilson concluded.