Yesterday Congressman Dennis Moore held an invitation-only meeting at Johnson County Community College.
Apparently Dennis Moore feels the average citizen has little interest in what the government may do with health care in this country.
Today Moore addressed the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce at their luncheon. This was not a free event and was not open to the general public.
Listen to his presentation and question and answer session below. Each of the podcasts below is about 30 MB in size. Or read, a rough transcription of Congressman Moore’s comments and the questions and answers.
Moore’s presentation to the Chamber:
Questions and Answers:
Note that at about 19:32 and 20:22 in the Q&A session people attempted to ask questions from the floor, which was “against the rules” of the meeting. See the rough transcription below.
A number of protesters were present along the side walk near the DoubleTree hotel to “greet” Congressman Moore on his arrival and departure from the event.
I talked to several people who attended Congressman Moore’s talk. The one word I kept hearing about Moore was “contradictory.”
Moore claimed to be a “Blue Dog” and “fiscally conservative” and against rushed passing of the health care bill, but his votes on the rushed stimulus, which had a huge amount of “pork”, and on the rushed “Cap an Trade” bill were quite contradictory to what he was saying today.
“Sound bites” from Congressman Moore’s Remarks
[See approximate times (minutes:seconds) in the audio to listen to exact remarks]
“Blue Dog” I: 6:46, 10:53(3 times), 11:39, 14:18, 16:18; II: 10:22, 15:37
“moderate conservative Democrats who believe in fiscal responsibility” 11:00
“conservative on fiscal matters” 6:51
“fiscal responsibilities” 11:18
“try to get our nation to live within budget like most American Families do” 11:23
At meeting with President Bush last year:
* “bipartisan basis and try to get some things done” 12:12
* “I have 7 1/2 grand children, and we’ve mortgaged their future” 12:25
“we’ve got to start living within a budget like most American Families do” 12:41
“national debt right now is 11.7 trillion dollars” 13:19
5.6 trillion debt in Sept 1999 when Moore first took office 13:30
debt solution “should be totally bipartisan” 13:48
use “pay as you go” except during emergency like current economic crises 14:23
President Obama has committed to pay as you go 14:35
health care is way to important to rush through just to get it through [applause] 15:36
it was not realist for the health care bill to come out before the August recess 16:38
Moore hopes health care discussion can be “civil and respectful and not get as heated as some of the stuff you see on the streets right now” 17:00
clean energy and security act would supposedly generate millions of clean energy jobs 18:25
“we need to find more cost effective way to provide energy” 19:32
“we have technology available now and it’s being developed and refined that I think in 20 years we could have a whole generation of people including our children who have never put … a gas nozzle in their cars and paid $4/gallon for oil (meant gasoline?) 19:48
“I’ve taken some heat for my votes on this so called ‘cap and trade’ thing.” The estimated cost to an American family would be less than $140/year.
Rough Transcription of Questions and Answers
Q: What was your reason for voting for the health care reform bill? 1:06
A: “right thing to do”
“fiscally responsible solutions 1:51
Q: Should members of Congress be exempt from public health option? 2:25
A: Members of Congress should be willing to do the same thing they’re asking other people to do. [applause]
Q: Employee free choice act seeks to restrict private ballot union elections. Why did you sponsor and vote for this bill? 3:21
A: It’s not been an issue until this year. It looks like it’s going to move. I do have concerns about the card check provision. People should have a right to vote.
Q: List three provisions that must be in any health care reform bill to vote “yes”; list three things that in the bill you would vote “no”. 5:00
A: Want to see: 1. Do something to force people with resources to be covered who choose not to. 2. Pay as you go (pay go). 3. Universal coverage and choice of health care providers. Don’t want to see: 1. Opposite of the first three.
Q. Missouri Senator McCaskill said she would not vote for “Cap and Trade” since it’s not good for Missouri. Why do believe it is good for Kansas? 7:09
A: Hasn’t talked to McCaskill so he doesn’t now why she’s taking that stand. “We’ve got to move toward clean energy jobs. We’ve got to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” Moore sticks with his estimate that the cost would be $140/year per family.
Moore expects U.S. lead will convince India and China to reduce their pollution and follow our lead.
“We’re down to $3.57/gallon for gas right now.” 8:30
Q: Letter grade about well Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner have worked for compromise in the House? 9:30
A: “Dennis, you have the right to remain silent …” I am very disappointed in the lack of bipartisanship.
“Center Aisle caucus … 85% of what we do in Congress should not be about Republicans and Democrats” Moore said American people sick of partisanship. [Applause] 10:29
“I understand there are honest differences between the parties” but we should still be able to have civil discussions about those differences.
Q: What is your committee doing to resolve problem with banks being forced by regulators to reduce commercial loans? 11:28
A: I have heard that complaint. Banks are too concerned with regulators. He said he would talk to Chairman Barney Frank about that issue when he’s back in DC and whether banks are overregulated.
Q: How can tort reform not be included in any health care reform? [applause] 13:39
A: Historically handled by the states. There is some talk of some action. Research and discussion is needed.
Q: What is your plan to address $12 trillion national debt? $1 trillion deficit? Mandates for Medicare, Social Security, and prescription drugs? 15:05
A: “Pay as you go”. Moore claimed he promoted “pay go” under Republicans but they wouldn’t listen. Tax cuts passed in last 8 years contributed to deficit. We’ve got to find a way to be “revenue neutral”.
Q: Will there be a new multi-year transportation bill or simply extension of existing bill? 17:10
A: I don’t know the answer.
Q: When voting for a bill, how do you balance what you hear from constituents, other sources of information, and your own conscience? 17:42
A: “I want to do what is right.” We need to have civil discussions. What kind of world are we passing on to our children? We need to work together.
Q: Shout from floor: Congressman Moore. Please, Congressman Moore. Most of us in this room are your constituents. Many are business people who will be affected by what you’re doing. [Moderator: Interrupted, I'm sorry] I would like to ask about the consensus on the health care bill. How many would be opposed to this health care bill if you could vote on it today? Please stand up. [Applause to smattering of applause] 19:32
A: I’m not going to debate you. The bill in the house is a composite of three house committee bills. It’s not one bill ready to be voted on. It’s going to be changed dramatically. There’s not even a bill in the Senate yet that’s finished. …
Q: Shout from floor: Congressman. [Moderator: No sir, I'm sorry] What clause of the Constitution [sorry sir] gives you the right to even contemplate turning our Treasury into a colossal charity? [Congressman, thank you for your service.] [Applause] 20:22
- Moore talks about health care reform, Kansas City Star, Aug 28, 2009. See the Star’s video.
- Dennis Moore and the Hecklers (not his new singing group), KMBC’s Michael Mahoney 20 pounds of Headlines, Aug 28, 2009.