In A Conference Call Today, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Said Republicans Will Not Get A Seat At The Table In Health Care Overhaul. “HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin said in a conference call today that Republicans will not have a seat at the table when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid merges the HELP and Finance bills into a single piece of legislation. Harkin’s comment carries weight because, as chairman, Harkin will presumably be at the center of the negotiations to merge the bills.” (Chris Frates, “Harkin: No GOP Input In Merged Bill,” Politico, 10/1/09)
Harkin Cited The 2008 Election As A Mandate For Democrats To Enact Reform Without Republican Input. “‘No, this will be a proposal by the Democrats to bring a bill on the floor. And that’s what I have said before, that the people of this country — I keep saying — the people of this country pretty overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama last fall and to make changes,’ he said. ‘The people of this country overwhelmingly elected Democrats to the House and Senate,’ Harkin said, according to The Des Moines Register.” (Chris Frates, “Harkin: No GOP Input In Merged Bill,” Politico, 10/1/09)
Harkin Again Promised Government-Run Healthcare. “We will have a bill on the president’s desk before Christmas, a health-reform bill. It will have a lot of good stuff in it. It will have a lot of prevention and wellness programs in there that I’ve been fighting for,” Harkin told reporters in a morning conference call. “And it will have a public option.”
As Chairman of the HELP Committee, Harkin wields enormous influence in the Senate over the outcome of not only government-run health care, but also other issues including Card Check legislation and education.
Check back here soon for a report on Harkin and you can decide for yourself whether the good Senator from Iowa is fit to serve as Chairman of a U.S. Senate Committee, much less guide such important legislation.