By Joe Neel
Washington isn't a swamp. It's a schoolyard. And the House GOP leader is accusing another powerful Republican of cutting a deal with a schoolyard bully.
In this case, the bully is President Obama and the powerful Republican is Billy Tauzin, former chairman of one of the key House committees that oversees health care and now the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
"The simple truth is, two wrongs don't make a right," House GOP leader John Boehner writes in a scathing letter to Tauzin, obtained by NPR. "When a bully asks for your lunch money," Boehner continues, "you may have no choice but to fork it over."
"But cutting a deal with the bully is a different story, particularly if the 'deal' means helping him steal others' money as the price of protecting your own," Boehner writes.
And that was just how the letter opened. Full text here
Boehner was clearly apoplectic over PhRMA's $80 billion deal with the Obama administration and its support of Democrats' health reform effort. Why it took him so long to write about a deal reached months ago isn't clear.
PhRMA spokesman Ken Johnson tells The Hill that "everyone has an opinion and everyone has the right to an opinion.
"We remained convinced that we're doing the right thing for patients and for our country," Johnson continued. "We have been working for more than a year to advance comprehensive healthcare reform."
Meanwhile, another powerful Republican took a hit today...former House majority leader Dick Armey resigned his lobbying position with law firm DLA Piper, reportedly after the firm's drug company clients didn't like hearing that Armey was organizing many of the protests at recent town hall meetings.
categories: Health Overhaul