By Julian Pecquet - 07/26/10 02:10 PM EDT
A conservative effort to repeal the healthcare reform law is raising the pressure on Democrats who voted against the law.
Heritage Action for America is accusing the three dozen “no” votes of being absent from the fight to repeal the law. The group last month launched its effort to get lawmakers to sign onto a discharge petition that would force a vote on repeal.
“In March, these Democrats stood on the side of the American people and voted against a big-government solution to our nation’s health care problems,” Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said in a statement. “Unfortunately, they have been absent from the fight to repeal this intolerable act. A serious repeal effort is gaining momentum in the House, and these Members need to be part of that effort.”
Needham adds that the 25 House Republicans who have yet to sign the petition “are implicitly supporting Obamacare.”
“I know their constituents, who will be attending town halls this August, are eager to hear where they stand on the repeal effort.”
The discharge petition, introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), has so far garnered 153 of the 218 signatures required to bring repeal to the floor.
Heritage Action has targeted 35 Democrats: the 34 who voted against the Senate bill in March and Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.), who was elected two months after the law was enacted. Critz, a former aide to Rep. John Murtha, defeated Republican businessman Tim Burns in the special election for Murtha’s seat following the long-serving Democrat’s death in February.
Heritage Action says Critz “campaigned, in part, on his opposition to Obamacare.”
In a statement following passage of healthcare reform, Critz said the bill “represents significant progress in reforming our broken healthcare system” but that “there were flaws that would’ve kept me from supporting it” — particularly the fact that it doesn’t repeal the Medicare physician payment formula.
“In Congress,” Critz said at the time, “I’ll work to fix this bill because this issue is too important.”