UPI: Alexander says Dems on 'kamikaze mission'

Posted on March 4, 2010

U.S. Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander said Democrats trying to push through healthcare legislation are on a "political kamikaze mission."

As the White House and Democratic leaders pushed for the House votes needed to pass the Senate version of the healthcare bill, Alexander said: "I think it's a political kamikaze mission for the Democrats to insist on this. I believe that they jammed this through."

Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday, Alexander, R-Tenn., said Americans have expressed opposition to healthcare reform legislation through elections, town meetings and public opinion surveys. Opponents, he said, fear higher insurance premiums, tax increases and Medicare cuts as a result of legislation they believe would also increase the deficit.

Noting the lack of any GOP support for the bill, Alexander pointed to civil rights bills, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and noted no major social legislation has passed on a partisan vote.

The attempt to do so, Alexander said, "is the most brazen act of political arrogance that I can remember since the Watergate years -- not in terms of breaking the law, but in terms of thumbing your nose at the American people and saying, 'We know you don't want it, but we're going to give it to you anyway.'"

If the bill passes, he said: "There will be an instant spontaneous campaign to repeal it all across the country. It will define every Democratic congressional race in November and it will be a political wipe-out for the Democratic Party. It will be bad for the country, but it will change the leadership of the country."