Marsha Blackburn: Health Care Reform is a "Jobs Killer"

Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn on CBS' "Washington Unplugged" CBS

On CBSNews.com's "Washington Unplugged" on Tuesday, five-term Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn defended GOP efforts to repeal health care reform, calling it something "we have to do."

"Our constituents tell us this is a job killer," Blackburn told CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes. "They also want us to focus on reducing what the government spends - reducing the size of the federal government and putting the American people back to work."

House Republicans announced on Monday a vote to repeal health care reform legislation next Wednesday. While actual repeal is unlikely, the vote will show the GOP base that Republicans are at least trying to follow through on their campaign promises to repeal what they derisively call "Obamacare." (While the necessary votes may be there to pass a repeal in the House, the effort has almost no chance of getting through the Senate, which the Democrats still control.)

Blackburn dismissed the notion that voters might object to the elimination of some of health care reform's more popular provisions, among them the rule that young adults can stay on their parents' health care plans through age 26 and the expansion of drug coverage to millions of senior citizens.

"What they're doing is picking out a couple provisions where there was agreement on moving forward," Blackburn said. "What we're going to do is replace that bill with something that is going to be more focused on the doctor-patient relationship, more business-friendly for employers and employees."

"There is a different way to do this - a right way and a wrong way. We're going to go back and do it the right way," she added.

The Tennessee Republican also shrugged off questions as to the transparency of recent rule proposed by Republicans that will essentially give Republican Paul Ryan, the incoming House Budget Committee Chair, the ability to adopt a budget resolution and limits for appropriations bills that the House has neither seen nor debated.

"All we're saying is, let's move in and let's begin to put some caps in place so that we begin to cut back on that spending," Blackburn said, arguing that in fact "you're going to see greater transparency."

"You're going to see participation in the budget from the ground up from the first day up. You're going to see us hold hearings, oversight into what is going to take place and what is going to go into that budget," Blackburn continued. "And then you are going to see the budget committee work very diligently to put some caps in place and the appropriators to come in under those caps. It will be a very transparent open and teamwork process."

Blackburn went on to discuss the impending arrival of GOP newcomers to Congress and the tone she expected the House to take under the leadership of incoming House Speaker John Boehner.

"This is a very sobering time," Blackburn emphasized. "We have lots of constituents who are out of work - who are actively looking for jobs. They want us to get to work."

Blackburn said she expected the Republicans to focus on major budget cuts - and that even in areas like education and law enforcement, certain "redundancies" could be eliminated.

"There's a lot of, probably, waste as you look at the bureaucracy and the number of employees in the federal government - the number of duplications that you have in programs - redundancies - those are areas where you go first," Blackburn said. "You start where things are most obvious and you work through that."

"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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