House Republicans are planning an interest-group strategy to try to stop a health care bill and will spend the next three weeks arguing that the Democrats’ measure will be a bad deal for small businesses, senior citizens, and women and children.
With Republican lawmakers vastly outnumbered in the chamber, party leaders say their best strategy is to sway the public against Democrats’ health care plans. The best way to do that, they say, is to synchronize their messaging to focus on specific groups that could suffer from effects of the bill.
“What we want to do in the coming weeks is have all 178 members redouble their efforts to take the case against a government takeover of health care to the four corners of this country,” House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence said in an interview. “When we speak more in concert, our message tends to break through more effectively.”
Time is running out for Republicans to derail the legislation as Democratic leaders in both chambers work to merge the three House bills and two Senate bills. While Republicans in the Senate hope to slow the debate and use amendments to alter the final bill, procedural rules in the House make Republicans there virtually irrelevant.