Republicans Threaten To Skip Healthcare Summit Unless Obama Starts From Scratch

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Republicans threaten to skip healthcare summit unless Obama starts from scratchOn Monday, leading House Republicans responded to President Obama’s proposal for a bipartisan summit on healthcare reform, stating that they may decline to participate if the administration uses the Democratic bills as a starting point.

In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) expressed concern over reports that the president plans to promote the same piece of legislation that the GOP has publicly condemned over the last few months.

"If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate," Boehner and Cantor wrote.

The two House leaders also openly questioned Obama’s sincerity regarding an open, bipartisan discussion concerning healthcare reform.

"’Bipartisanship’ is not writing proposals of your own behind closed doors, then unveiling them and demanding Republican support," they said. "Bipartisan ends require bipartisan means."

In response, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that the president is open to any "good ideas that stand up to objective scrutiny," but also stated that Obama has been clear about his support for the congressional bills created by Democrats.
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