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Republicans Launch Health Care Protest on House Floor

House Republicans hijacked the House floor for three hours Tuesday, hammering on the costs of President Barack Obama’s health care plan as part of their strategy to fold the issue into the broader debate over the economy.One after the other, more than 100 House Republicans took to the podium to give one-minute speeches in protest of the Democratic health care plan that they said will drag the country further into debt. Each uttered the same question during their remarks: “Where are the jobs?— Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) kicked off the speeches at noon and tied the health care plan to the recently passed energy bill.“Most of my constituents are asking, Where are the jobs?’ And if you tax employment through this health care plan or you tax employment under this crazy national energy tax, you’re going to create less jobs in America at a time when we need jobs,— Boehner said. “We need our economy going again. We don’t need to be taxing employment because we’re going to get a lot less of it.—Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (Ga.) during their weekly conference meeting Tuesday morning encouraged Members to sign up to give a speech. After two hours of the protest, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took to the floor and chastised Republicans for omitting from their remarks the job losses incurred during the Bush administration. “You failed, we succeeded. As a matter of fact in the last three months [of] last year, the last year of the Bush administration, we lost 3 million jobs plus. During the last year of the Clinton administration, we gained 1.9 million jobs,— Hoyer said. “That’s a 5 million job turnaround by your economic program.“So keep talking,— he concluded. “America knows the difference.—