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McConnell Says Mass. Race Is Referendum on Health Care

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday called the close Massachusetts Senate race a referendum on health care reform legislation, adding that the tight contest is politically toxic for Democrats regardless of who wins on Tuesday.During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,— McConnell declined to predict a winner in the neck-and-neck battle between Democrat Martha Coakley and GOP challenger Scott Brown. But he said the fact that Republicans are running so closely in “the most liberal state in America— is a direct result of the health care bill — and a boost to those trying to prevent its passage.“I think the politics are toxic for the Democrats either way,— McConnell said. “This arrogant attempt to have the government take over one-sixth of the economy on the heels of running banks, insurance companies, car companies, taking over the student loan business, doubling the national debt in five, tripling in 10. You’ve got … sort of widespread public revulsion.—McConnell added that he remains hopeful the Democratic-led effort to reform health care can be stopped even if Coakley pulls out a victory.“I’m still hoping that at some point some Democrat is going to say, ‘I don’t buy any longer this arrogant notion that we ought to ignore our constituents and pass it no matter what they think,’— McConnell said. “It’s perfectly clear that if it’s unpopular in Massachusetts, it’s unpopular everywhere.—The GOP leader also touched on President Barack Obama’s proposal to tax the nation’s largest financial firms in an attempt to recoup the money put into the Troubled Asset Relief Program to bail out those institutions.McConnell said Republicans will insist that all TARP funds be paid back with interest while also shutting down the program. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) will introduce an amendment to end TARP this week, which McConnell plans to support, he said.“We need to end TARP, because what’s going to happen here is that the government is going to use it as sort of a revolving fund to continue to spend,— McConnell said.

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