NASHVILLE – Zach Wamp, Republican candidate for governor, today pledged to continue the fight against the proposed federal government takeover of healthcare insurance in Washington this week and vowed to work with the Tennessee General Assembly and other governors around the nation and to block its enactment here after he is elected as Tennessee’s next governor.
Wamp cited the 10th amendment to the Constitution and his fundamental belief in state sovereignty as guiding principals for his two-front battle against the costliest and most intrusive federal mandate in U.S. history.
“I will fight any mandate forced on us by the federal government that hurts our state’s economy and costs us more jobs, and the Pelosi healthcare bill will cost us thousands of jobs and threatens to bankrupt our state,” said Wamp. “State sovereignty gives us the right as Tennesseans to say no to Washington, and I will defend it with every ounce of my being.”
“Not only am I fighting and voting this week to prevent this unprecedented attempt by the federal government to takeover our healthcare, but I vow as Tennessee’s next governor to work with the state Legislature to block this crippling mandate if it’s forced upon the states despite objections from a bipartisan group of state leaders from across the country,” Wamp said.
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, who previously served as Tennessee governor, have been among the most vocal critics of the potentially devastating impact passage of the new federal mandate could have on Tennessee’s budget.
Wamp said he would rally the nation’s other Governors to help beat back unfunded federal mandates and to bring them together to help develop practical, common sense solutions to the rapidly rising costs of health care and health insurance faced by working families, small businesses and the states.
As a member of Congress, Wamp has seen firsthand the costly burden placed on state and local government agencies on the receiving end of federal mandates – mandates that tie the hands of local officials and tie up scarce resources.
To date, some 34 state legislatures across the U.S. have stood up for their rights provided under the 10th amendment and moved to preemptively block the healthcare insurance takeover measure being pushed by Democrats in Washington.
In neighboring Virginia, the Republican-ruled House of Delegates, with wide Democratic support, recently voted 80-17 for a bill aimed at blocking the impact of national healthcare reforms being pushed by President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has said he intends to sign it.
Similar bills are now moving through the Tennessee General Assembly.
Wamp said it is going to take strong conservative governors like himself in Tennessee and Bob McDonnell in Virginia to beat back any overreach by the federal government and to defend the rights and freedoms of every citizen.