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06 January 2010

Georgia Republicans Join C-SPAN's Call To Televise Health Care Talks

In a letter released Tuesday, C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb requested that congressional leaders allow cameras to televise the final negotiations on the health care reform bill.

Wednesday, several Georgia Republicans are echoing Lamb's request while also criticizing Democrats for apparently reneging on a campaign promise to have an open, honest and transparent government.

6th district Congressman Tom Price asked, "If the Democrats aren’t engaging in more nefarious backroom deal-making, why do they refuse to pull back the curtains and let the public see what’s going on? What are they doing that they don’t want us to see?"

"President Obama made a campaign promise that these deliberations would occur live on C-SPAN, not hidden away in a backroom. If the Democrats hope to retain even the slightest vestige of credibility, they would be wise to negotiate in the light of day. And when it comes to a health care bill this bad, a little sunlight could go a long way," Price continued.

3rd district Congressman Lynn Westmoreland was more blunt.

"No excuses. Put health talks on tv," read the news release from the Coweta County Republican's office.

Over in the Senate, Isakson deputy chief of staff Joan Kirchner said that Georgia's junior Senator was "very disappointed at the lack of transparency in the Senate as Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote the health care bill behind closed doors."

"Senator Isakson believes the American people want their legislative process to be more open and transparent," Kirchner said.

In an email response to questions regarding Senator Chambliss' stance on televising the final health care bill negotiations, Chambliss Communications Director Bronwyn Lance-Chester laid the ball squarely in the Democrats' court.

"That’s a decision the Democrats will have to make, as the health care negotiations are theirs alone," Lance-Chester stated. "But frankly, it’s no surprise that a bill that has thus far been written behind the American people’s backs will continue to be written that way."

Emails were sent to the six Democrats representing Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives; however, a response has yet to be received.