A week after its passage, Democrats began launching what the Chicago Tribune referred to as “MediSCARE” attacks against Republicans. House Freshmen asked the President to stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs.
It’s one thing to disagree on the facts of proposals, however, demagogue attacks from the President’s own administration such as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusLeaked email: Podesta pushed Tom Steyer for Obama’s Cabinet Romney: Trump victory 'very possible' Fighting for assisted living facilities MORE, who claims seniors will “die sooner” under Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan appears on Hannity's show President Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency Senators move to protect 'Dreamers' MORE’s 2012 Budget are nothing more than scare tactics.
During the 2010 elections, Democrats and Republicans alike played politics over major issues like Medicare and Social Security. In my own race, the incumbent I ran against spent nearly $1 million falsely attacking my stance on Social Security. Members on both sides have similar examples. Both sides disagree on many issues – the true path toward finding a solution is by debating these issues based off of facts, just as the President suggested – not fear mongering.
Enough is enough. The American people are tired of this political bickering. Both parties must come to the table to have fact-based conversations that address our entitlements and how to save these programs. Our mission must be about the next generation, not the next election – this is something we cannot lose sight of.
On May 10, 41 of my freshman colleagues and I sent a letter to the President that states the new members of Congress are committed to having a fact-based conversation immediately over reforming spending on entitlement programs and addressing the debt crisis now before it is insurmountable. The letter calls on the President to join House freshmen efforts to stop the political rhetoric, work to advance America’s interests, and end this cycle of debt, deficits and indecision.
On May 11, my freshman colleagues and I held a press conference, reiterating our call on the President to stay committed to his words and work with us to find ways to save Medicare rather than allowing members of his own Administration to falsely demonize us.
At the press conference, my colleague, Congressman James Lankford who serves on the House Budget Committee reminded us all of the words the President spoke less than four months ago in his State of the Union address: “We need to deal with Medicare, Medicaid … the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit.” The President added “I am still willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs including ones that Republicans brought up last year.” As Congressman Lankford added, “This is a moment for us to be able to say, ‘Mr. President, you said these were serious ideas. You said this was a moment we need to have this discussion. We agree. Let’s get past all the attacks and get on to the serious business.’”
As the freshman class, we have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and fulfill the mandate set by the people to strengthen our country for future generations – not continue the petty politics we have seen in the past, which only creates an environment of stalemate.
We are bound together by the same common concerns over the future of our country and what we might leave our children and grandchildren with. Ultimately, history will judge us by the commitments we made and the promises we keep. The American are people waiting, Mr. President.