GOP turns up heat on Heck to state health care views

The Republican Party is pressuring Democratic congressional candidate Denny Heck to state his position on the Senate health care reform bill the House is preparing to vote on soon.

On Friday, the National Republican Congressional Committee put out a press release headlined, “Heck Runs from Democrats’ Health Care Agenda.”

“There’s no doubt that the issue will play a central role in Heck’s campaign. So why won’t he speak up?” the NRCC asked.

The Hill, an influential Capitol Hill newspaper, noted Friday that in its interview with him, “Denny Heck, the Democratic frontrunner to replace retiring Rep. Brian Baird, would only lay out a series of policy goals and declined to delve into the details of the Senate bill.”

Heck told The Hill what he told The Columbian last week: That doing nothing is not an option.

“I specifically favor those measures that will provide more people with affordable health care,” he told us in an interview. “I will freely admit I have not read the 2,000-page bill.”

The Hill noted that “hardly any Democrat running for Congress wants to talk about health care. “

David Castillo, one of Heck’s Republican opponents for the 3rd Congressional District seat, again called on Heck to state clearly whether or not he supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her effort to push through health care legislation.

State Sen. Craig Pridemore, the other leading Democratic candidate in the race to succeed Baird, has stated clearly his position that congressional Democrats should pass the bill using the budget reconciliation process — preferably with a public option.

Kathie Durbin

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