By Molly K. Hooper - 10/29/09 11:31 PM EDT
House Republican leaders want their members to call the 1,990-page Democratic health measure “the Pelosi healthcare bill."
GOP lawmakers spoke of the tactic following a closed-door meeting with their leadership.
"Well, she introduced it!" Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) said, adding that he has opted to call the bill the "Pelosi takeover."
According to one lawmaker requesting anonymity, the GOP leaders want to label the bill after Pelosi because of the speaker's and Congress's low approval ratings.
One Democratic aide laughed that the Republicans, suffering from dismal poll numbers, are casting stones.
"The Republican brand is in the dumps, party approval is at an all-time low, Americans are leaving the GOP party in droves and [House Minority Leader] John Boehner [R-Ohio] is about as popular as a sun tan in the
desert," the aide said.
Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami told the Hill, "The American people want affordable health insurance, security and peace of mind. Democrats are working to provide leadership after years of missed and ignored opportunities by Republicans. Unfortunately, what they are getting from Republicans is no, no, no."
For her part, the speaker has referred to the new bill as “healthcare and health insurance reform.”
Republicans in both the 2006 and 2008 cycles sought to tie politically vulnerable Democrats to the more liberal Pelosi, an effort that some GOP officials said did not work