Saturday, July 28, 2012

Maffei: Buerkle, House GOP should focus on economy, not repealing 'Obamacare'

When the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on July 11, it marked the 33rd time House Republicans tried to eliminate all or parts of the 2010 health care law.

CBS reported shortly after the repeal vote that the House GOP has spent more than 80 hours, or two work weeks, trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The cost to run the House for two weeks, according to the CBS report, is $48 million.

That's time Dan Maffei, the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga Hill, in the 24th Congressional District, believes would be better spent on other issues, like jobs and the economy.

"I think (the CBS report) underestimates the cost because it adds up the financial cost of operating the House of Representatives for two weeks," Maffei said in an interview. "But the real cost is in what we're not doing in that time.

"We're not doing any kind of action that would help create jobs, or make sure that we're making a proper investment in infrastructure or help people afford higher education. We're not doing anything. This is one of the least productive Congresses ever... (CBS) estimated about $50 million. That's an important cost and it just shows how much is being wasted by doing the same thing over and over again. But the real cost is what Congress is not turning to. Ann Marie Buerkle is so obsessed with repealing the health care bill and making sure that she gets the spotlight on Fast and Furious that she's not paying attention to jobs issues in the district."

Maffei says instead of trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans should work with Democrats to improve the health care law.

"Maybe they might want to consider working with Democrats to improve the things that need to be improved and work together to both improve health care, but also get to the economy and the ever-important jobs creation agenda that they are not getting to in the meantime," he said.

As for his campaign, Maffei says volunteers are calling voters in the 24th Congressional District and their door-to-door efforts are underway. There was also good news for Maffei in the recent July quarterly campaign finance filings, as Maffei now has more cash on hand than Buerkle.

"I continue to be very happy with the level of support that we're getting, both in terms of financial backing of the campaign and particularly in terms of volunteers who are willing to go door-to-door to get our message out," Maffei said. "We will have the resources we need to compete with a sitting incumbent who is able to get PAC money, etcetera. In that sense, I'm proud of the job we've done because we don't have those kind of incumbent advantages."

Read the rest here.

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