- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2010

Congressman Phil Gingrey, Georgia Republican, said Friday that health care reform is finished unless House lawmakers pass the legislation before Easter break because they will face strong opposition from home-state voters.

“If people go home for Easter break and they don’t pass anything, it’s going to be Katy bar the door,” he said on The Washington Times “America’s Morning News” radio show.

Mr. Gingrey, a physician and two-term congressman on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, cited a recent CNN poll that found 73 percent of Americans want Congress to either work on an entirely new bill or just stop working of health care reform.

He said 49 House Democrats are facing re-election this fall in districts that voted for Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, in the 2008 presidential race.

He also said President Obama’s reform effort, which he has pushed almost relentlessly in recent weeks, will lose momentum when he embarks March 18 on a official trip to Indonesia, Guam and Australia.

“He’s so heck bent and determined to run off to Indonesia, Guam and all of those places to improve our image across the world,” Mr. Gingrey said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters he thinks the House is on schedule to approve the landmark legislation by March 18, when the president leaves for an Asian trip, and he can sign it into law “shortly thereafter,” according to the Associated Press.

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