House GOP’s ‘Better Ideas’ Remain Under Wraps
"House Republicans said the newly released Democratic health care reform bill would create an expensive government-run heath care system paid for by those who could least afford it, but they declined to say whether they would introduce a conference alternative," Roll Call reports. "We have better ideas, and we'll be talking about them over the next week," House Minority Leader John Boehner, said at a press conference Thursday, as he stood behind the Democrat's 1,990-page-thick block of legislation. Boehner would not say specifically when the GOP's ideas would be unveiled (Kucinich, 10/29).
House Republican leaders are also seeking to brand the Democratic legislation as the "Pelosi healthcare bill," The Hill reports. In a closed meeting between Republican legislators, the leadership said they wanted to use the label because of the speaker's low approval rating, a member of Congress who was not identified told The Hill (Hooper, 10/29).
That "Party of No" label may be sticking, Time magazine reports. Polls show decade-low approval ratings for the GOP, and some former Republican leaders have been suggesting that current leaders start working with Democrats. "And even a few of their own have begun to show impatience. 'Ronald Reagan always had a positive, forward-looking agenda, and I think that was a significant strategy that worked for the Republicans back then,' says Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican Representative from California. 'We've got some very tangible alternatives. I just think we should just be promoting them more. Too much politics, not enough policy'" (Newton-Small, 10/29).
One rebranding effort by Republicans includes closing the gap on social media use, which favored Democrats in the 2008 election, CBS News reports. House Republicans launched a new BlackBerry smart phone application Thursday. "The free application WhipCast, available today, provides instantaneous alerts, audio updates, video features and messages to users. Those interested in following the latest hot topic in Washington -- say, health care -- can access party talking points, polling information and policy discussions with the application. It also gives updates of the House floor schedule" (Condon, 10/29).