Dem Congressman on ObamaCare delay: “I may as well retire”

posted at 10:12 am on January 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Give yourself a moment to think about what Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) tells his House colleagues, as reported by Politico, during the negotiations on ObamaCare.  Pomeroy, whose Senate colleague Byron Dorgan suddenly retired and left a safe seat ripe for a Republican takeover in November, tells his caucus that the long debate over ObamaCare has left him so vulnerable at home that he may as well join Dorgan for retirement — or more likely in both cases, a new career in Beltway lobbying.  But what does that really say about Pomeroy’s performance as a Representative for his constituents — and that of the other Representatives quoted in this article?

Democrats moved closer to a final deal on health care reform Thursday — and for some vulnerable members, the end can’t come soon enough.

In an emotional talk with other Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee this week, North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy said the protracted debate is hurting him so badly back home that he might as well retire if it drags on much longer.

A Democrat who attended the Ways and Means session said Pomeroy was “very angry” as he spoke about the delay. “Other folks were upset, but he was the maddest by far.”

“I believe Congress needs to resolve fairly quickly this protracted health care debate,” Pomeroy told POLITICO on Thursday. “We have a number of other issues that haven’t been able to get enough attention, because health care is taking up all the floor time, all of the attention. We need to move on.”

Pomeroy isn’t alone in this, although he’s the only one publicly acknowledging that his longtime sinecure in the House may be coming to an end.  John Boccieri (D-OH), Jason Altmire (D-PA), and Steve Dreihaus (D-OH) all say the same thing — that they need to get this off the table so that they can focus on economic policy and job creation.  They need to show their constituents that they’re paying attention to the real crisis in the US.

So what’s stopping them?  Even the White House hinted at back-burnering the ObamaCare debate for a “hard pivot” to the economy.  Instead, the Democrats continue to use all of their energy attempting to shove through Congress a bill so unpopular that almost every major pollster shows it under water, and has for months.  Meanwhile, the economy continues to bleed jobs, and the next item on the Democratic agenda is a cap-and-trade bill that will kill even more of them.

Pomeroy will get retired from the House, along with more than a few of his caucus colleagues, because they stopped listening to their constituents.  All they needed to do was to tell Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to get a clue as to what constitutes the real economic crisis in the country.  Instead of representing their constituents, they represented Pelosi and Obama — and the voters will replace them with candidates who understand their priorities better.

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