Failing to meet their own standards

FAILING TO MEET THEIR OWN STANDARDS…. The House Republican leadership “guaranteed” that they would offer an alternative health care reform bill. If my count is right, that was 134 days ago.

Asked about when Americans can expect to see the GOP plan, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it’s “pretty difficult” for Republicans to come up with a “solid plan,” because the minority caucus is “not quite sure how the majority intends to proceed.”

I’m not sure what that’s even supposed to mean. Republicans started putting together their health care reform proposal in June. They’ve had plenty of time to meet behind closed doors and craft the superior plan that will prove the seriousness with which the GOP takes this issue. What’s the holdup?

Boehner wants to know first how Democrats intend to proceed? Well, here’s a tip for the Minority Leader: Democrats will probably hold a vote on the reform bill they’ve spent the last year putting together. The question is, how does he intend to proceed?

Of course, when House Republicans live up to their word and present an alternative bill, the one thing we can count on is having plenty of time to read it before it reaches the floor for a vote. After all, if there’s one thing GOP lawmakers have been harping on for months, it’s the need for health care reform plans to be publicly available, for all the world to see, before lawmakers cast a vote. If there’s one thing Republicans would want to avoid hypocrisy on, this is the issue, right?

Republicans have been insisting for months that Democrats are shoving a secret bill down the throats of the American public. The health reform legislation “should be posted online for 72 hours so members and the American people get a chance to see what’s in these bills,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told Fox News. “But it seems to me that Democrat [sic] leaders want to rush these bills through Congress before anybody has a chance to read them.”

In fact, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) “has repeatedly pledged to Republicans that the health bill and any manager’s amendment would be posted online for at least 72 hours before the House votes,” and he promised again this week.

At a press conference this morning, a reporter turned the tables on Boehner and asked whether he’d post the GOP plan for 72 hours. Boehner declined to make such a pledge.

Boehner responded to the question by saying, “Uh, we’ll uh, we’ll have our ideas ready.”

Polls show widespread dissatisfaction with Republicans’ handling of the health care debate. Imagine that.