Owens: Push to repeal health care bill is misguided

The 112th Congress was seated this week and Republican John Boehner was elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, taking the gavel from Democrat Nancy Pelosi after fours years at the helm.

In all, 94 freshman representatives were sworn-in - 85 Republicans and nine Democrats. The GOP and the tea party rode a wave of voter anger all the way to Washington last year, taking back the house with a 242 to 193 majority.

North Country Congressman Bill Owens was among the many representatives up for re-election last fall - and he was among the lucky few Democrats who survived.

He defeated Matt Doheny enroute to his first full-term representing New York's 23rd Congressional District.

With Congress back in session, Owens expects the GOP majority to try and repeal health care reform. He says a resolution to do away with the massive bill is already on the table.

Owens says 2011 will also begin with a lot of discussion about whether or not the GOP will have legislation targeting spending cuts ready before the House's continuing resolution to fund the government expires March 4.

"There's going to be a couple of very, very significant issues which will be coming forward in the next couple of weeks," Owens said. "I think there's going to be a lot of tough rhetoric from my colleagues on the other side. And I think my colleagues on the other side will have to interact with one another to reach a consensus for where they're going."

Owens says some newly-elected representatives have been griping about legislation passed in December - including a measure to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and a full-on extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

But for Owens, who considers himself a centrist Democrat, last December showed signs of much-needed bipartisanship that he hopes will continue this year.

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