A senior House GOP aide reports to National Review Online on today’s conference meeting:
After paying tribute to Paula Nowakowski, Boehner talked about health care. He thanked Members for remaining active on this issue over the recess. He said: “The bottom line is this: I believe we can beat this bill. The American people are with us.” He urged Members to sign the discharge petition on Vern Buchanan’s resolution to open the health care negotiations up to the public, and to continue to engage their constituents on the issue over the coming weeks. He also talked about the need to build on the better solutions Republicans offered all last year to define “what we’re for” in addition to opposing the President’s agenda (our better solution on health care, which would lower premiums by up to 10 percent, is a good example). He said that this was discussed at the ELC [Elected Leadership Committee] retreat, and that the effort — whether it ends up being called a “contract” or an agenda or something else — would involve Members of the Conference and our candidates. Boehner told Members that he has asked Rep. Kevin McCarthy to head this effort, in conjunction w/ the NRCC.