March 23, 2010
Senator Judd Gregg, who will lead Republican efforts to block a bill revising health-care legislation, said he’s aiming to spark an election-year backlash against Democrats that will rival the town-hall meetings that almost sank the measure last year.
With the latest legislative fight expected to begin today, Gregg said Republicans will submit a host of amendments to the reconciliation bill, which the House approved on March 21 along with a broad health-care measure and sent to the Senate. Senate Democrats say they hope to finish this week.
Gregg has other ideas, saying his goal is to force changes in the reconciliation bill. That would require the House to vote again on the bill, perhaps after a two-week Easter recess beginning March 26, during which Democrats could get an earful from voters, keeping the issue alive during this year’s congressional elections.
“It will make last August look like a love fest,” Gregg, 63, said in an interview, referring to the town-hall meetings where constituents protested President Barack Obama’s plans for the biggest U.S. health overhaul in 45 years.