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New GOP majority starts with assault on transparency

January 6, 2011 - Mike Maneval
The new Republican majority is seated, and in its first day of business, voted against informing the public and against allowing the voters to reach their own conclusions.

Both Republicans Tom Marino and Glenn "GT" Thompson, according to the House clerk's website, voted for secrecy in government-managed health insurance for their colleagues and, possibly, themselves.

Huffington Post reports a measure requiring members of the U.S. House to disclose if they've enrolled in the available federal health care plan failed, with not a single Republican member of the House voting in favor of the amendment. Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of New York's Long Island observed the bitter irony on Hardball with Chris Matthews of new representatives who've slammed the health care reform act of 2010 as a "government takeover" voting to allow themselves not only government-administered health insurance but government-administered insurance benefits secretively hidden from their constituents.

But the implications of this failure in transparency and accountability goes well beyond Republican desires to repeal what they call "ObamaCare." Many of these House members are critical of benefits - including health and retirement plans - paid to public-sector workers including teachers, firefighters and prison guards. Politicians whose public-policy vision is cutting working constituents' compensation owe those constituents a standard of forthright honesty in what tax-funded benefits they themselves accept.


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