One of the House of Representatives’ most respected conservatives, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., tells Newsmax that the Democratic leadership is applying “incredible pressure” on House members to pass Obama’s healthcare reform bill through reconciliation.
He adds that though Rep. Eric Massa’s activities were “peculiar,” the efforts to remove him from Congress were emblematic of an administration that is stopping at nothing to pass the most radical healthcare legislation every proposed by the federal government.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, the Georgia Republican argues that if Democrats ram the bill through the House and fail to have the Senate pass it allowing for a filibuster process, the public outcry would be insurmountable for the Obama administration.
Kingston, a member of the Committee on Appropriations, is serving his ninth term in Congress. In 2005 National Journal rated him the most conservative member of the House.
He also complains that there is no end to the Democrats’ out-of-control spending and borrowing, some of which is “absolutely insane.”
Kingston was asked if he believes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that she has the votes to pass Obamacare through reconciliation.
“I think she may be right, but I also think there’ll be a public outcry, particularly among folks who stay in touch with politics and conservative issues,” he responds.
“I think we can still stop it, but there are all kinds of backroom deals going on, lots of arm-twisting.”
Democrat leaders are trying to “sweeten the pot” so they can get the 216 votes Pelosi needs to pass the bill, Kingston says. But he insists there will be a “backlash” if Democrats resort to reconciliation.
“If you look historically at how many times reconciliation has been used to pass bills, there actually has been 19 times in the past 20 or so years.
Twelve of those times were overwhelmingly majority or bipartisan — you have 60 votes or more, Democrats or Republicans.
“The times when you did not have an overwhelming bipartisan vote you still had a bipartisan vote, so there was a consensus. In this case, this is a highly partisan, very organized minority that has thrust upon the majority of the American people something that they don’t want.
“When reconciliation has been used before, the majority of the people wanted it. This is a situation where poll after poll, from the left or the right, shows from 52 to 53 percent and maybe as high as 60 percent of the people are against this plan. And yet the Democratic majority is still determined to do it.”
Former Rep. Massa, who recently resigned from the House amid sexual harassment allegations, asserted that the Democratic leadership has been putting undue pressure on members of Congress to get Obamacare passed.
“A lot of what Eric Massa has said has been a little peculiar, but I think he’s been right on that,” Kingston says.
“I think the pressure has been incredible. The members have been targeted by the Democratic liberal establishment. Obama put the word out . . .
“There’s pressure, there’s carrots, there’s sticks — anything they can do to get this bill across the finish line, that’s what Reid and Pelosi and Obama are willing to do.”
Kingston says there are steps that can be taken to deal with the healthcare issue without adding to the staggering national debt.
“One of the things you can do is to allow people in one state to buy healthcare from another state. That would give you more competitive choice.
“You can allow small businesses to combine together to get the economies of scale that large businesses get. That doesn’t need deficit spending.
“You can put in tort reform so that doctors don’t run up the costs practicing defensive medicine. That doesn’t cost us.
“But all those things are things the Democrats are against because what they really want is control of your life. They want to take choice away from you. The relationship between you and your doctor, they want to make that a relationship between you and the government.”
Kingston also says if the Democrats insist on using reconciliation to pass healthcare reform, “running roughshod not just over Republicans but really all over the American people,” that will hurt the relationship between Republicans and the White House and the Democratic leadership.
“And if we look at the situation with jobs and the economy, we need good bipartisan spirit.”
The federal government ran up the largest monthly deficit in history last month, $220 billion. Kingston acknowledges that Republicans did spend too much money during their 12 years as the majority, but says the
Democrats have put spending on “supercharge. If you take the cumulative total of the 12 years of Republican rule, the Democrat deficit in one year exceeded what we spent in deficit spending.”
Republicans ran up $1.2 trillion in deficit spending over those 12 years, he says, while Democrats ran up $1.4 trillion in just one year.
“And there’s no stop to it. If you look at this healthcare bill, if you look at the nationalization of student loans, which they’re talking about combining with this bill — they’re not going to stop. Everywhere we turn — the jobs bill, the spending, the bailout — there’s no end to it.”
And the deficit is all borrowed money, he stresses.
“We’re borrowing money for foreign aid. We borrow money so we can send it to other countries. That is absolutely insane, and the day of reckoning is coming.”
Kingston was asked if he agrees with the results of a recent Newsmax/Zogby poll that found that nearly half of Americans believe the nation is less safe against terrorism under President Obama.
“I certainly do. When you go around the world apologizing for being an American the way the president did, I think that sets a tone, ‘Hey I’m not George Bush and I’m not willing to fight and I actually do care what you say about me and I want you to like me.’
“And yet really what it’s all about in terms of national security is, ‘I don’t care if you like me or not as long as you respect me,’ and George Bush earned that respect.
“This is an administration that does not want to face terrorism face-on. They want to think of it in terms of a law enforcement act and not an act of war.”
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