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Republican McConnell Calls for Votes to Repeal New Health-Care Overhaul

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans in Congress should “repeatedly” seek votes on “straight repeal” of Democrats’ health-care overhaul.

“We can’t expect the president to sign it,” he said in excerpts released by his office from a speech he will give to the Heritage Foundation today in Washington. “So we’ll also have to work, in the House, on denying funds for implementation, and, in the Senate, on votes against its most egregious provisions.”

Republicans won the House majority from Democrats and gained at least six seats in the Senate in the Nov. 2 midterm congressional elections. President Barack Obama said yesterday he takes the blame for the “shellacking” Democrats suffered and said he will work to find a new consensus with Republicans on boosting the economy and American businesses.

As speaker, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio will be able to hold votes on a health-care repeal. McConnell, as Senate minority leader, can offer amendments to legislation though he would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to force a vote.

McConnell of Kentucky also defended his prior statement that his top political priority was to deny Obama a second term in office. He said the only way to accomplish Republicans’ policy goals “is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things.”

“We can hope the president will start listening to the electorate after Tuesday’s election,” McConnell said. “But we can’t plan on it.”

“On health care, that means we can - and should - propose and vote on straight repeal, repeatedly,” the minority leader said.

McConnell said Republicans plan on “sticking ever more closely to the conservative principles that got us here.”

Republicans will “vote to freeze and cut discretionary spending,” he said, and “push to bring up and vote for House- passed spending rescission bills.”

To contact the reporter on this story: James Rowley in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva in Washington at

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