Republicans turned to Senate Conference Vice Chairman John Barrasso, a doctor, on Saturday to keep the heat on Senate Democrats to bring up a bill to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Wyoming Republican used the weekly GOP radio address to press for a vote on the health care repeal in the Senate. The House passed a bill to repeal the law earlier this week.
"Thanks to the vote in the House of Representatives, we are now one step closer to victory in the fight for a health care policy that puts Americans first — not Washington," Barrasso said. "Our job won't be done until we repeal and replace this bad law."
Barrasso, who led the GOP offensive against the law in the 111th Congress, said the measure hasn't delivered on its promises and should be overturned. He argued that it hasn't reduced health care costs or increased coverage and that it hurt small businesses. He also said unfair loopholes have been created in the law for allies of the administration.
"Interestingly, the only way to get out of this law is to have friends in high places — like in the president's own administration," Barrasso said.
Democrats have spent recent days arguing that the health care law should stand, telling stories about the people whom it has benefited. They have also argued that House Republicans are playing politics by forcing a vote on a repeal that won't go anywhere with a Democratic-controlled Senate and Obama in the White House.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed to force a vote on the Senate floor, even though Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he has no plans to take up the issue.
Meanwhile, Obama used his weekly radio address to talk about what his administration is doing to spur economic growth and open global markets. The president talked up his meetings this week with Chinese President Hu Jintao to export more goods to that country, trade deals with South Korea and his appointment of Jeff Immelt, General Electric Co.'s CEO, to head up our new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
"Leading the world in innovation. Opening new markets to American products. That's how we'll create jobs today. That's how we'll make America more competitive tomorrow. And that's how we'll win the future," Obama said.
One of the most important things the nation can do to compete in a global economy is by opening up more markets for U.S. goods, Obama said.
"We're living in a new and challenging time, in which technology has made competition easier and fiercer than ever before," Obama said. "Countries around the world are upping their game and giving their workers and companies every advantage possible. But that shouldn't discourage us. Because I know we can win that competition."
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.