So what I think the American people are saying to us -- stop this job-killing health care bill; we know it will drive taxes up and that will not be good to help us get out of the recession; step back and terminate the spending spree.
DOWD: Well, do you think the Democrats, at this point, will push through that bill by any means necessary?
So is your expectation that you're going to try as you might to kill the bill but they will end up passing the bill by any means they can?
MCCONNELL: Well, it seems that they're certainly trying to do that. I mean, as everyone understands, if the House passes the Senate bill, it goes straight to the president for signatures. So all of this discussion about the second bill, the reconciliation bill, is really, kind of, irrelevant. If the House passes the Senate bill, it goes to the president for a signature.
That means that every single member of the House who voted for this will have voted for the kickback, the purchase, the gator-aid, all of that, and the Medicare cut.
DOWD: That's an interesting question. So how does -- if the House Democrats pass the Senate bill, it basically, at that point, can go to the president.
How -- what is the procedure, then, that would prevent that from happening?
The House Democrats, I guess, have to trust the Senate Democrats that they'll take it up again?
MCCONNELL: Yes, the House has to trust the Senate that we'll go back in and fix the most egregious political problems.
But let me tell you what won't be fixed. What won't be fixed is the half a trillion in Medicare cuts, a half a trillion in new taxes.
And also, you wanted to talk about the politics of this a minute ago. Let's turn to that. The argument, incredulously, that the Democratic leadership and the president seem to be making to the wavering Democrats is, the best way to deal with this politically is to pass it and get it behind us.
Well, look, the only way to guarantee that it's ahead of you is to pass it. That means that every election this fall will be a referendum on this bill.
DOWD: Well, yes, and I wanted to get to that. You're on record as saying that, if they pass this health care bill, that you and the rest of the Republicans are going to campaign on repealing it.
And will you message be, at that point, that we're going to take away health insurance from 30 million Americans that now have it, based on this bill?
MCCONNELL: Well, as you pointed out to Secretary Sebelius, the benefits don't kick in for four years. All the American people are going to be confronted with in the next four years are these massive cuts to Medicare, not to make Medicare more sustainable -- by the way, we all know Medicare, right now, is going broke in seven years, and they want to turn it into a piggy bank to start a whole new program for a different set of people.
The tax increases kick in immediately. So there's nothing -- just looking at the politics of it, there's nothing but pain here for the next four years. Why in the world would they conclude that that would be popular?
DOWD: Are you worried that what's going on out there in America is not necessarily anti-Democratic, even though they've suffered at the elections?
Your colleague, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, lost pretty dramatically in a primary, and lost primarily based upon her Washington experience.