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GOP Keeps Up Attacks on Health Care Plans

Republican leaders on Thursday kept up their attacks on Democratic-led efforts to reform the health care system, accusing Democrats of trying to avoid public scrutiny of the legislation while promising a protracted Senate floor debate.

“I don’t know what’s going on in Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi’s [D-Calif.] office, I don’t know what’s going on over in Reid’s office under the direction of the president’s chief of staff,— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday in reference to closed-door meetings being held in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office to put together the final health care package.

Noting that debate on other big-ticket items over the last decade took up to eight weeks, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned that “we’re going to have a real Senate debate over efforts to restructure one-sixth of our economy … this needs to be handled in such a way as to reassure the American people. Only after that process, in my view, would the majority have any chance of selling this to a highly skeptical public.—

With Senate floor debate expected to begin in the next few weeks, Republicans’ vows to slow down the process of considering the legislation could drag the fight out for weeks, or even months. Democratic leaders in both chambers have suggested the session could drag on until late December.