Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Monday called the White House's decision to draft a health reform proposal ahead of the bipartisan summit on healthcare "disappointing."
McConnell did not say that the move would preclude GOP senators from attending the meeting at the White House Thursday, he said that the plan shows that Democrats continue to ignore the will of voters.
He said in a statement:
It’s disappointing that Democrats in Washington either aren't listening, or are completely ignoring what Americans across the country have been saying. Our constituents don't want yet another partisan, back-room bill that slashes Medicare for our seniors, raises a half-trillion dollars in new taxes, fines them if they don't buy the right insurance and further expands the role of government in their personal decisions.
The White House released its proposal Monday despite calls from Republicans that doing so would indicate that President Barack Obama and Democrats are not serious about listening to GOP healthcare reform ideas.
Republicans had hoped that Democrats would scratch their current bills and start over on health reform. The White House bill adopts much of the Senate's bill but adopts key provisions from the House bill as well.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also slammed the move.
"The president has crippled the credibility of this week’s summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected," he said in a statement.
Boehner also refused to say if House Republicans will boycott the summit but said it has "all the makings of a Democratic infomercial."