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House GOP hits again on health care

From NBC's Luke Russert

House Republican Leaders today strived to portray Democrats as doing too much too soon with regard to health-care reform.

Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) mocked familiar themes from the Obama Campaign when he said at a news conference on Capitol Hill today, "We continue to wonder why it is the president and the speaker have taken the approach of now or never. This is not the type of change I think that people wanted and certainly the my way or the highway approach that is being followed is not offering the hope that people deserve."

Video: The Republicans are planning to mount a serious campaign to stop President Obama's proposed health care reform. Rachel Maddow is joined by former Democratic National Committee chairman, Howard Dean.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) alluded to the recent impasse Democrats have encountered in the House on health-care reform. "But now House Republicans and a handful of Democrats are on the verge of an historic victory for American taxpayers and for the American health care economy," he said. Pence then encouraged citizens to call their congressman and lend support against the Democratic legislation.

Striking a similar chord as to the last time he spoke on Capitol Hill, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) spoke about the burden he thought states would carry if Democratic health-care reform legislation were enacted.
"Obviously the House Leadership can pass this without a Republican vote," said Barbour, who is also chairman of the Republican Governors Association. "That they have had to slow down is because so many Democrats, including so many Democrat governors, know this is something that can't be rushed, because it's very dangerous in some of the forms it could be."

Barbour's presence raised a few eyebrows among the press corps. This is the second time he has appeared with the House GOP Leadership publicly in the past two months and his desire to be front and center could be a sign of higher ambition.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) continued to use states' rights to argue against reform. "This is going to have a dramatic impact on the states ability to do what its supposed to do," Boehner said, adding later, "The states are the pilot programs in our democracy. You can see what's working and what isn't working, and under the Democratic proposal, it's going to tie the hands of our governors and state legislators."

Boehner also countered a frequent Democratic argument that not passing health-care reform would hurt the economy. "The only stimulative effect of the Democrats' health-care plan is to stimulate the growth of government," Boehner said. "It's going to kill jobs in the private sector. There is no question about it."

*** UPDATE *** A House leadership aide notes: "Barbour's presence is a sign that the State Solutions project – which is designed to foster cooperation between Congressional Republicans and GOP governors -- is doing its job." The aide notes for context the Boehner-Tim Pawlenty health-care cost report from Monday. The aide added that Govs. Mike Rounds and Jim Douglas also attended the GOP conference about a month ago and Mitch Daniels has done the Republican weekly address at Boehner's invitation.