(Editor’s note: Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, issued the following statement on Monday after the Senate cleared a key hurdle toward passage of a bill that will expand government’s role in health care. Pence and other Republicans are urging senators to reconsider their support for the bill. Not a single Senate Republican supports the bill, and all but one Republican lawmaker -- Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana -- opposed the House health care bill.)
“The American people should be appalled. In the dead of the night, when families are immersed in travel and events around the Christmas holiday, Senate Democrats advanced their latest plan for a government takeover of health care. Government-run insurance and tax increases passed by cutting backroom deals for certain states and special interests is a disappointment to millions of Americans and betrayal of their trust.
“This is not the change the American people were promised, this is Washington at its worst. Horse trading in Congress is always distasteful but it is especially repugnant when legislators trade away our values. Reports suggest that one backroom deal was enough to win support for federal funding of abortion. It is incomprehensible to think that so-called pro-life Democrats in the Senate would abandon longstanding protections for pro-life taxpayers when pro-life Democrats in the House fought successfully to prevent federal funding of abortion in their bill.
“A 2,700 page, $2.5 trillion bill that will increase taxes, raise health care costs, mandate insurance and fund abortion coverage is not what American families want to wake up to on Christmas morning. This bill and this process are Washington at its worst and, on behalf of the American people, House Republicans will continue to oppose it.
“I urge every Senator to reconsider this misguided and partisan approach to legislation that will impact the lives of every American. And I especially urge those Senators with the privilege of representing the great state of Indiana, to give special consideration to Hoosier families and their values and reject this bill. The American people and the people of Indiana will remember which Senator stood for freedom and our values by opposing this legislation and which Senator followed the party line in support of a government takeover of health care."