Congressman Souder Deserves Blame, Not Praise, for Health Care Vote

Phil Troyer for Congress, official campagin photo.

Press release from the Troyer for Congress campaign:

Congressman Souder Deserves Blame, Not Praise, for Health Care Vote

Reacting to the Senate’s party-line vote to begin debate on a health care bill, 3rd District Congressional candidate, Phil Troyer, stated it is time for Congressman Mark Souder to “stop patting his own back” regarding his opposition to Democrats’ health care reform proposals.

“In 2004, Republicans held a 30-vote majority in the House of Representatives,” noted Troyer. “After the 2008 elections, Democrats have an 80-vote majority. That reversal of power was more than just stunning; it was consequential. The health care reform bill passed the House by only five votes. Obviously, if Republicans had held on to power, this would be a much different debate.”

“As a result, Congressman Souder needs to stop patting his own back for opposing the Democrats’ health care bill,” continued Troyer. “All Republicans – save one – voted against the bill, so his vote did not take a lot of courage. The question we Republicans must ask is – how did we get to the point where Democrats have such an overwhelming majority in Congress that a governmental takeover our health care system is even possible?”

The answer, according to Troyer, is simple, “Congressional Republicans abandoned the principles espoused in the Contract with America that allowed them to take control of the House in 1994. Members of the Class of 1994, including Congressman Souder, promised to control federal spending. However, they did just the opposite – they actually increased federal spending.”

For example, in 2003, Republicans passed the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act which, according to current estimates, will cost $1.2 trillion over its first ten years. “Congressman Souder voted in favor of that legislation, which may actually cost more than the current reform bill being debated in the Senate,” noted Troyer. “The bill may have been based upon a laudable goal, but the problem was that Congress did not have the courage to pay for it. In fact, according to the former U.S. Comptroller General, it was the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s.”

Troyer also noted that less than a year ago, Congressman Souder was calling for more congressional involvement in health care. In a December 2008 interview with the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Congressman Souder called Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive health care reform its “second biggest failure.” In the same interview, Congressman Souder went on to claim, “We’ve been doing so much piecemeal stuff on health care that we haven’t tackled the bigger issues.”

“So which is it,” Troyer asked, “Does Congressman Souder believe the federal government should play a major role in our health care system or not? It appears Congressman Souder’s views vary based upon current political calculations rather than conservative principles – just as he now ignores our exploding federal debt in favor of pork barrel earmarks and bailouts in an attempt to prolong his tenure in office.”

“In 2010, Republican voters will have a choice,” noted Troyer. “They can continue supporting ‘pragmatic’ Republicans, like Congressman Souder, who have lost the support of the American electorate and caused the party to lose 55 seats during the past two elections or they can support a candidate who will put conservative principles ahead of politics. If I am elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, along with other principled conservatives, we can assure that votes such as the attempted governmental takeover of our health care system never see the light of day.”

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