- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 21, 2010

The GOP’s victory in Massachusetts this week is another clear message that Americans are dissatisfied with how Democrats are running the country, especially regarding health care reform, Sen. John Barrasso said Thursday morning.

“It’s time to take a step back and listen to the American people,” Mr. Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, told The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show. “They shouted in Massachusetts. … They want openness in government. They want transparency, and they’re not happy with what’s happening right now.”

He is not the first Capitol Hill Republican to say Scott Brown’s come-from-behind victory over Martha Coakley in the special election for the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy was more than just Democrats fielding a weak candidate.

“A shot was fired saying no more business as usual in Washington, D.C.,” Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said after Mr. Brown’s victory Tuesday.

Mr. Barrasso, a doctor, repeated McCain’s call for the Democrat-controlled Congress to end efforts to pass President Obama’s health care reform initiative.

“We all know we need to get the cost of health care under control,” said Mr. Barrasso, whose win eliminates the Senate Democrats’ 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority. “But not this massive takeover of health care by this government.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and other party leaders have vowed to continue their reform efforts but will wait for Mr. Brown to be seated.

Beyond the call for a more open process on Capitol Hill, Mr. Barrasso also used the Brown victory to repeat the Republican position that Mr. Obama’s health care reform efforts have been at the expense of fixing the economy.

“I want the president to succeed, but by listening to the American people and getting it right,” he said. “The president has neglected the economy. … We need to focus on the priorities of this nation, which are jobs, the economy, growth, opportunities for the future.”

Mr. Barrasso also said the Brown victory hurts Democrats in the 2012 elections because so many seats face challenges that they cannot move money to states with close contests.

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