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Taxpayer Group Leads Call for Health Care Transparency Effort
For Immediate Release January 21, 2010
The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) spearheaded a diverse coalition of groups calling for passage of a health care transparency resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives. More than 30 groups signed on to an open letter supporting an effort to bring negotiations on health care legislation out into the open, allowing the American people to see what actions their elected representatives are taking on their behalf.
The letter, signed by such prominent groups as FreedomWorks, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, and the Sunlight Foundation, asks members to sign a discharge petition for H. Res. 847, a “Sunshine Resolution,” sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL). The resolution would call for Congress and the Obama Administration to conduct all negotiations on health care reform legislation “in full public view and not behind closed doors.”
“Our health care system affects too many lives and too many dollars to allow legislation reforming it to be designed in secret,” the letter states. “Should such a bill become law, it would alter the circumstances of tens of millions of families and businesses. Those Americans need full access to any meetings in which decisions will be made regarding final language and details about how each chamber will proceed to the legislation, whether between Members, their legislative staff, or outside interests.”
For a discharge petition to force a vote on the resolution, 218 Representatives would have to sign it. According to the House Clerk’s Web site, there were 154 signatures as of Jan. 20.
The letter urges representatives from both political parties to sign on to the discharge petition. “Signing this discharge petition will not be an act of politics, but one of principle,” the letter concludes. “It will demonstrate your belief in the values of transparency and openness in government that enjoy overwhelming support by the American people and have been touted by President Obama and Congressional leaders.”
NTU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: A copy of the letter and a list of signatories is available at www.ntu.org. The discharge petition and a list of representatives who have signed on is available here.