03.31.09

ENZI URGES SEBELIUS TO REJECT RECONCILIATION FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today urged Governor KathleenSebelius, nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, to reject the misuse of budgetreconciliation to enact health care reform.

“Misusing the budget process to write health care reform behind closed doors isunacceptable and betrays the promise of transparency, bipartisanship and a new tone inWashington,” Enzi said. “We need comprehensive, lasting reform, and that will only happenthrough bipartisan action. I hope that, if confirmed, Governor Sebelius will urge Democrats totake reconciliation off the table and commit to working in a bipartisan way.”

At today’s HELP Committee hearing to consider Governor Sebelius’ nomination to headHHS, Enzi urged Sebelius to press Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate to joinSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (DND),and President pro tempore Robert Byrd (D-WV) in their opposition to using reconciliation.

“Using reconciliation shuts out members of the minority party, but it will also shut outmany centrist Democrats,” Enzi said. “Chairman Baucus has said that health care reformthrough budget reconciliation would be ‘worse than the status quo,’ and Senator Byrd said itwould be ‘an outrage that must be resisted.’

“I hope that Governor Sebelius will join Senators Baucus, Conrad, and Byrd in theirefforts to prevent the use of reconciliation from derailing bipartisan action on health care reform.Enzi said he is confident that if Republicans and Democrats stay on a bipartisan track,Congress can build on shared commitments to reduce the number of uninsured, contain costs,improve quality, and make health care more accessible for everyone.

“There are going to be areas where we disagree, but I hope that by focusing on solutions,we can produce meaningful results for hard-working Americans,” Enzi said.

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