In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV Friday afternoon, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, slammed Nancy Pelosi for trying to “scheme and plot” to pass the most radical healthcare reform bill ever promulgated.
If she succeeds, he says, it would set a precedent that “has never happened in American history.”
With a vote planned for this Sunday, Boehner still believes the GOP can stop the Democrats’ healthcare plan, which he calls a “giant leap” toward socialized medicine.
Editor's Note: See the entire exclusive Newsmax.TV interview with House Minority Leader John Boehner below
Boehner, who was first elected in 1990, also tells Newsmax that the “deem and pass” tactic that will allow House members to vote on a rule rather than the legislation itself is still being considered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Boehner said the strategy was “one of the most outrageous things I have seen since I have been in Congress.”
Boehner warns that Democrats will continue to “march the liberal path” and won’t stop with healthcare, predicting new Democratic legislation to give amnesty for illegal aliens to help “skew” future elections in their favor.
On a positive note, Boehner insists that Republicans can win as many as 40 seats this coming November, enough to retake control of the House of Representatives.
Asked if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have enough votes to pass the healthcare reform bill, Boehner says: “This vote is going to be very tight, and it’s going to boil down to a handful of members.
“If the American people stay engaged in this fight with us, I think we can win. This is the crunch and we need every American to get in touch with their member of Congress and demand that they vote against a government takeover of our healthcare system . . .
“All our efforts at this point in time are aimed at keeping this bill from ever, ever becoming law.”
Boehner was asked if Pelosi has abandoned plans to use the “deem and pass” tactic allowing the House to pass the bill without actually voting on it.
“Oh no, I still think they’re trying to scheme and plot and try to find a way to move that bill through the House without a vote,” he responds.
“This is one of the most outrageous things I have seen since I have been in Congress. But there’s no way to hide your vote on this bill from the American people. The American people are going to know how members vote.
“And so she can try all the gimmicks she wants, but at the end of the day it’s the American people who are going to hold member of Congress accountable for their vote.”
Boehner says passing the healthcare bill on a 100 percent partisan basis has “never happened in American history. Never have we had a giant change in our government that was done on a party line vote.
“That’s why I still think there’s time to kill this. That’s why we need the American people to stay engaged in this fight, because we can win if the American people continue to join this fight with us. Republicans can’t win this fight, but the American people can.”
Boehner observes that the Democrats are intent on passing the healthcare bill even though it will cost them dearly in the upcoming election.
“For 50 years and maybe even longer the left has wanted a single-payer national healthcare system, a socialized medicine system. If you look at this bill, this is a giant leap toward that.
“They know if they are able to pass this they are going to cost themselves dozens and dozens of seats here in the U.S. Capitol. They’re willing to sacrifice their more moderate members so that they can plant this flag in their patch of liberalism. It’s an outrageous abuse by the leaders of their party, to sacrifice their own members for this.
“I’ve never seen Republicans put a bill on the floor of the House or Senate that they knew was going to cost some of their members an election in the following November.”
Boehner says that language barring the use of taxpayer money for elective abortions won’t be in the healthcare bill, because that language is not in the version passed by the Senate. If it is inserted by the House, the bill would have to go back to the Senate, where the Democrats no longer have a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority.
He also points out that there is a $10 billion appropriation for the IRS so the agency can hire up to 16,000 new agents to enforce provisions of the healthcare bill. They would check to make sure Americans bought health insurance or paid a fine if they didn’t, and check on employers to make sure they complied with the employer mandate or paid the $2,000 per person fine if they haven’t.
“I think the last thing the American people need or want are 16,000 new IRS agents mulling around in their lives,” Boehner says.
If Pelosi and the Democrats succeed in passing healthcare, “I have no doubts that they’re going to continue to march down the liberal path they set some 14 months ago,” Boehner tells Newsmax.
“Remember that not only was the president the most liberal member of the Senate, and all the staff tend to be left of him, but two-thirds of the Democrats in the House and the Senate are liberals like they are. They’re not going to change the path they’ve been on.
“So we’re going to continue to see immigration reform with a path toward legalization, dealing with issues like don’t ask, don’t tell, and things that really are out of the mainstream of American society. And at a time when Americans are asking where are the jobs, they continue to do things that will kill job growth in America.”
About immigration reform, Boehner says: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that if you provide a path toward citizenship for undocumented workers, you’re going to skew the election in a very big way, not only in the coming year or two but for a long, long time to come.
“I think they’re going to have a very difficult time, though, passing such a bill.”
Boehner says he encourages the people in the tea party movement to continue doing what they’ve been doing to thwart the Democratic agenda.
“We’re standing with the tea party people, and I think we need to listen to them, to work with them, and we need to walk amongst them and prove to them that we have earned their support.”
Pelosi promised “the most ethical Congress in history” when she became speaker, vowing to “drain the swamp” of “the culture of corruption.” Commenting on that, Boehner says:
“If you listen to what she said in ‘05 and ‘06 and then watch what she’s done, she’s basically tried to sweep it all under the carpet, avoided all accountability, and avoided confronting her members where serious charges have been leveled.
“I told my colleagues two and a half years ago when I became the Republican leader that I was going to hold our members to a higher standard, and I have.
“I think it’s time for Pelosi to do what she promised the voters of America she would do by holding her members to a higher standard. The American people should have every right to expect that Congress will uphold the highest ethical standards.”
Asked how many seats the GOP might gain in the November elections, Boehner says: “I think we have a real opportunity this fall. It’s a steep hill to climb to gain 40 seats for Republicans in this coming election, but I do think it’s possible.
“It’s our goal to retake our majority so that we can renew our effort to get to a smaller, less costly and more accountable federal government. I think that is what the American people are demanding of us and what Republicans have stood on for the last year and a half, and what we will do if we’re elected the majority here in Congress.”
He adds that if the Republicans do retake the House and he becomes speaker, “I think it’s time for real fiscal responsibility here in Washington. There’s been a lot of talk about it but really not enough action — frankly, not enough action from either party.
“So I think it’s time to look at everything in the budget and just ask the question, Is this proposed spending worth borrowing it from our kids and grandkids who are going to get stuck with the bill?
“And if that’s the question that gets asked over every line in the federal budget, we’ll probably spend a whole lot less money.”
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