A delegation of nine House Republicans will attend the bipartisan health care summit at the Blair House on Thursday, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Wednesday.
Boehner also announced the creation of a 17-Member “truth squad” that will stay behind to fact-check Democratic statements and promote Republican ideas while the summit takes place.
GOP Members who will attend the summit include: Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), Energy and Commerce ranking member Joe Barton (Texas), Education and Labor ranking member John Kline (Minn.), Budget ranking member Paul Ryan (Wis.), Ways and Means ranking member Dave Camp (Mich.) and Reps. Charles Boustany (La.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Peter Roskam (Ill.).
Roskam, Ryan and Blackburn were also selected by leadership to ask President Barack Obama questions during the president’s appearance at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore last month.
Boustany, a former heart surgeon, gave the Republican response to Obama’s speech on health care to a joint session of Congress last fall.
“We’ve assembled a team of individuals who understand this, because they’ve been listening to the people they were sent to Washington to represent,” Boehner said in a statement. “We’ll be ready to remind our Democratic colleagues of this and discuss the alternative, step-by-step approach Republicans have offered when we go to the White House summit on Thursday.”
Republicans named to the “truth squad” include: Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.), Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (Ga.) and Reps. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Kevin Brady (Texas), Ginny Brown-Waite (Fla), Paul Broun (Ga.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Bill Cassidy (La.), John Fleming (La.), Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), Tim Murphy (Pa.), Phil Roe (Tenn.), Mike Rogers (Mich.), John Shadegg (Ariz.) and recent party-switcher Parker Griffith (Ala.).
House Republicans had pressed the White House to allow them to bring a governor as one of their three guests to the summit, but the request was denied.
“Leader Boehner is disappointed the White House has not listened to the American people, who want Washington Democrats to scrap their job-killing health care bill and start over, and he is disappointed the White House has excluded our nation’s governors and state legislators from the summit,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.