GOP vows more of same healthcare hostility

Sept. 1, 2009 at 10:39 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Republicans will keep up the pressure on healthcare reform once the U.S. Congress returns to Washington next week, GOP leaders vow.

During the summer recess, lawmakers caught a sometimes loud earful from constituents during town halls in their home states, courtesy of opponents to healthcare reform.

Democrats may have thought August was rough, but Republicans plan to "keep the nightmare going through the fall," Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., told Politico in an interview published Tuesday.

Congressional Republicans used the August recess to have "as many town hall meetings as possible in order to educate the public (and) to keep this momentum up," Kingston said.

Once back in Washington, the Senate will work on its version of healthcare reform, while House Democrats try to reconcile three competing bills.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Republicans will return to Washington with home-state opposition to the Democratic plans, the Washington publication said.

"If (the Democrats) give us lemons, we want to make very loud lemonade," he said.

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said he thinks Americans are tiring of the loud rhetoric and verbal attacks that characterized the town halls.

"Republicans will keep trying," says Dean, "but I think we're done with this. The American people are pretty clear they want a civil debate. As soon as people get back to work in Washington, they are going to work on a bill."

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