What lawmakers are talking about over the Thanksgiving recess

November 25, 2013

Back home for the Thanksgiving holidays, lawmakers in both parties are eagerly seeking out stories from voters about the Affordable Care Act, hoping to compile examples of success and failure as key deadlines for the new law are fast approaching.

The task is especially critical for Democrats, who have fallen behind Republicans in shaping public opinion about the new law. On Monday Senate Democratic leaders began urging their colleagues to seek out people who are benefiting from the new law and to "aggressively publicize them so that people can see the law is delivering on its promise."

"We cannot let people forget the good that the ACA is already doing for millions of Americans," read a memo sent to Senate Democrats and obtained by The Washington Post. Instructions include using social media and other tools to reach out to supportive organizations and voters who can share early success stories. Those stories "will provide us with the ammunition we need to rebut Republican claims that the law isn’t working," the memo said.

Republicans in the House and Senate also continue seeking out examples of the law's stumbles. House Republicans are asking supporters to visit a special Web site to submit their concerns. Senate Republicans also are compiling tales of failure in English and in Spanish.

In a bid to change the subject and turn attention back on Republicans, House Democrats have been instructed to remind constituents that the Republican-controlled House has yet to take action on a new budget, immigration reform, and legislative proposals to provide more federal funding for infrastructure projects and early childhood education.

"There is so much work for Congress to do. But the GOP refuses to get serious and get to work for the American people.  Their 2014 legislative agenda says it all: Nothing.  A blank page," reads a House Democratic memo.

Below review documents prepared by House and Senate Republican and Democratic leadership and obtained by The Washington Post. The documents lay out for rank-and-file members what they should be saying and doing over the course of the Thanksgiving holiday regarding health-care reform, the economy and other subjects:

"House Republican Playbook"

House Democratic Talking Points for Nov. 2013

Senate Democratic Nov. 2013 Talking Points

Senate Republican Conference State Work Period November 2013

 

Share your thoughts on the documents above in the comments section below.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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