Members of Congress took to Twitter en masse to react to President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night.
Though some of the attention was taken away by Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) outburst during the speech, in which he yelled at the president "you lie," the majority of the reactions were focused on the speech itself. Obama sought to reclaim the debate on healthcare reform and push for a healthcare plan through Congress.
The president took on specific issues such as the public option and malpractice insurance, but as he admitted, many specifics of the plan remain undefined.
So what did lawmakers think about the speech?
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said:
speech on health care, made a compelling case for action by reducing
costs, providing coverage, and ending insurance denials.
Rep. Gabrille Giffords (D-Ariz.) said:
As the President said, "We did not come here to fear the future, we came here to shape it." We must succeed.
President gave good sales pitch but I'm still not buying the ShamWow. Nothing new. Same government plan. Needlesslly partisan.
By attacking GOP
and being, frankly, misleading, President probably destroyed chance for
thoughtful bipartisan reform. He's not listening.
I've been working health care reform for years. We need to get it right. First time. Don't start by destroying American system.
Solution: go back
to drawing board NOW. Not radical surgery, tackle coverage first, then
affordability. don't move on till it's right.
Next year focus on responsibility/prevention and efficiency. Many great
local ideas to improve health care w/out govt.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) tweeted his reaction and about a mouse in his House office where he sleeps on a cot:
At its core, the
President's proposal is the same....a big federal government takeover
of health care. I can not and will not support it.
The federal government is not going to come up with the best solutions. It will be the states that will do the best job.
It is about control. The President wants Federal control and I want state control.
Uh oh! Even bigger trouble. Mouse in the house. Staff tells me they saw a mouse tonight in the office.
The cot isn't that far off the ground. Guess you get what you pay for. PETA, you have exactly one hour to get here and get it.
Otherwise, it is Decon and real mouse traps.
I have made two big decisions tonight. We are killing the health care bill and we we are killing the mouse in the office.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said and commented earlier on her midwestern manners:
Big olive branch to Republicans. Hope they realize the cost of doing
nothing is much higher than resonable measured reform.
No tweeting during President's speech. Don't want my mom to holler at me about bad manners.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said:
Obama that 80 percent of what he outlined in health reform we agree on
so why not pass that now: no preexisting discrmntn, etc?
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said after the address:
Happy to hear clear focus on cost. Inaction is unfair to consumers, makes business uncompetitive & will bankrupt our gov't.
Also glad he
called out "death panel" scare tactics. Whether malice or ignorance, it
disrespects families dealing w/ aging issues.
Appreciated Pres' bipartisan tone. Let's keep what works, fix what's broken. We agree on 80%.
Rep. Greg Walden (D-Ore.) said:
Quite a speech.
Look forward to reading the President's new plan. He would have to veto
the House bill under the terms he just outlined.
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) tweeted tonight:
The President did a very very good job, it was a great speech and he laid out a very good plan.
President walked by while I was waiting outside the Chamber. I told him he did very well and he gave me a hug.
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who turned down the chairmanship of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee today, tweeted after the speech:
Tonight, President Obama made a tremendous case for action on health care reform.
Anyone who doesn't understand the urgency of this crisis fails to recognize the needs of the American people.
The President made it clear tonight that the time to act is now -- and I, for one, am ready to join him in this fight.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said:
Pres. Obama explained his clear vision of health insurance reform. Time to get it done.
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said:
is a great speaker but pushes gov't control. I'd like to discuss with him my plan for and reach a better solution.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) reacted, saying:
It has been 42 days since the President invited "any" member of Congress to the WH to go over the bill line by line.
And I accepted.
The WH never
followed through with that concept, tonight the President seemed to
reprise that offer, saying he wanted to solict ideas D or R
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tweeted how all of us should end the night:
Obama did a great
job! Stuck up for the public option, told the fibbers that he was going
to "call them out", and addressed cost issues.
"I will not waste time with people who calculate that its better to kill a plan than to improve it" - Pres. Barak (sic) Obama.
Bullfeathers nr Capitol talking to Lois Quam re The Obama Speech. She
and Rick Jauert are swapping stories re SW Minnesota.