Yesterday, Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) said of Congressional House rules “we make them up as we go along.” That statement certainly underlines the last 13 months of the health care debate. In Washington D.C. on Sunday night and under the cover of darkness, House Democrats, along with Leonard Boswell and Nancy Pelosi, passed a health care reform bill filled with kickbacks and back room deals. My friends, the process in Washington D.C. is broken. It is time for a new way forward.
Never before has our government been hijacked by such an out-of-touch group of people as we have serving us today. For example, in an effort to bolster support of the bill in a struggling economy, Nancy Pelosi said that this bill would create jobs, stimulate small business, and pave the way for economic recovery. Indeed, she is correct, as 16,500 IRS jobs are being created to collect newly-levied taxes upon the American people. Pelosi and Boswell are in fact creating jobs – government jobs. The losers in this health care debacle are those American firms that truly create wealth in this country.
When I have visited small and large businesses throughout this district, one thing is clear: there is fear in the marketplace. Businesses that have capital and can invest are waiting on the sidelines because entrepreneurs and business leaders have a growing lack of trust in what is happening in Washington. As regulation upon regulation is heaped upon them, as has been done with this health care bill, businesses become insecure about the future. We must restore faith to our firms. I want to put the trust back in the hands of business leaders who are responsible for making payroll every two weeks and not Washington politicians.
Throughout the debate on health care we were promised there would be transparency, that everyone would have time to read and understand the legislation before it was voted on. But there are multiple versions of the health care bill and no one seems to know which parts will be put in to law and what parts have to be taken out with a “fix-it” bill. The truth about this bill, which should be factual and obvious, is instead opaque and elusive. That promise of transparency was broken by the liberals in Washington and by my Congressman, Leonard Boswell.
Back room deals have dominated this health care debacle. The “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” and private rides on Air Force One at taxpayer expense were all used to convince representatives to abandon their constituent’s wishes and vote on a bill America doesn’t want and can’t afford. If the Government is going to return to the people then politicians in Washington must stop hiding behind expensive taxpayer funded kickbacks and shady deals. We need accountability and transparency in Washington, not Chicago-style politics.
My friends, it is time to send tough-minded people to Washington who will be honest with the American people. We Americans are a resilient people who demand honesty and integrity in our leaders. Tonight, as politicians back-slapped each other, leadership was lacking and the American people were failed. It is time for a new way forward.
Jim Gibbons is running for Congress in the Iowa 3rd Congressional District.
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