(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) says it's ironic that "the most transparent administration since the continent shifted" had to rely on deception to pass its signature piece of legislation.
"Well, I would hope my fellow citizens would keep this in mind and the next time anybody tries to sell them a, quote, 'comprehensive piece of legislation,' whether it's Dodd/Frank or whether it's the immigration bill the President so desperately wants. Comprehensive is Latin for 'there's lots of bad stuff in here,'" Gowdy told Fox News's Megyn Kelly Tuesday night.
"So keep that in mind the next time anybody tries to sell you on a big piece of legislation by calling it comprehensive."
Gowdy was commenting on remarks made by paid Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber.
In a newly surfaced video, the MIT economist is seen telling an academic conference last year that a "lack of transparency" and "the stupidity of the American voter" were critical in getting Obamacare to pass. Gruber told MSNBC on Tuesday said he spoke "inappropriately" and regrets having made the comments.
"I would say this to the professor: put down the cognac and the lost writings of J.D. Salinger; you want to see how stupid our fellow citizens are, take a look at last Tuesday night. Because they rejected you, this bill and this administration," Gowdy said.
"[I]t's really serious in a participatory democracy when you tell your fellow citizens that you are either not smart enough to understand the truth or we can't tell you the truth because you wouldn't go along with it. Well if you wouldn't go along with it, maybe you shouldn't pass the law."
'We need an open and transparent process'
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says Gruber was "accurate" when he said that a "lack of transparency" was critical in getting Obamacare to pass.
"It's accurate. But it's accurate in a way that hurts the American people. And this is exactly the kind of things we need to change in Washington," Lee told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday.
"It's one of the reasons why I'm so excited to have a Republican majority in the Senate next year...We, as Republicans, genuinely do agree that we need to change this. We need to change that dynamic. We need an open and transparent process."
Lee said the 'very first thing" that must change in the next Republican-led Congress "is we need to restore the trust of the American people by having an open process where members of both parties get to produce amendments and have those amendments debated, discussed and voted upon...When you do that, everyone is accountable to their own voters. Without that, no one is accountable."
Lee also said more congressional candidates need to run on a promise that they will vote against any legislation they haven't had time to read.
"That's what has to change," Lee said. "Voters in the state of Utah and across America are becoming very concerned about this issue. It's a nonpartisan issue. Relates to whether or not you are going to do your job and whether you're going to read legislation before you vote for it."