In a vote of 239-189 on Friday, the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for approximately three months beginning on October 1, 2013. However, it would defund the (un) Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The vote was along party lines with only two Democrats voting in favor of the CR and Republican Scott Rigell (VA) voting against it, claiming that CRs damage the economy and the military.
There is universal agreement that funding the federal government with Continuing Resolutions damages the economy and our nation’s military, yet they are now seen as acceptable if not inevitable,” Rigell wrote in a letter to House GOP leaders.
I agree with his assessment, and I favor defunding Obamacare, which Rigell seems to also favor.
He said that the CR was “a perfect legislative vehicle to advance our shared goal of returning to regular order.”
As for the Democrats, CNN reported:
In a display of the raw politics of the battle, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia called out Senate Democrats facing re-election next year by name, asking how Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Kay Hagan of North Carolina will vote on the House proposal. “It’s up to Senate Democrats to follow House Republicans and show some responsibility,” Cantor said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare.”
Well part of that is right, but if it takes the former to achieve the latter, then yes, we most certainly want it shutdown. Just keep in mind what is going on in the background and the motives of the House leadership that I pointed that out the other day.
So this leaves us with the Senate taking up the challenge to stand for the American people and see the defunding of Obamacare through men such as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
The Texas senator said on Thursday that he would do “everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare,” including attempting to filibuster any government funding bill that does not defund the health care law.
“Yes. And anything else. Any procedural means necessary. Listen, this is the most important fight in the country,” the Texas Republican said.
Cruz added, “Mike Lee and I and a great many others will fight with every ounce of breath we have to defund Obamacare.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-N) said Thursday, “Any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead. Dead.”
Reid pointed out that some Republican senators oppose the conservative efforts, led by Cruz and House Republicans, to make government funding contingent on defunding Obamacare. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., for instance, called the conservative plan the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard,” while Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., slammed the idea on Twitter. If enough Republicans join the Democratic majority in the Senate, they could break Cruz’s potential filibuster and pass a bill to keep the government open without defunding the health law.
The White House on Thursday released a formal veto threat against the House Republican bill, saying the administration opposes it “because it advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens our economy and the interests of the middle class. The Resolution would defund the Affordable Care Act, denying millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage.”
If Congress doesn’t pass a spending bill by Sept. 30, the government will partially shut down. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, confirmed Wednesday that the Republican-led House would use the government funding bill as a vehicle to defund Obamacare. Once that bill passes in the House, Boehner said Thursday, the bill will “move over to the Senate where it belongs.”
However, Reid should be able to remove the provision of the bill to defund Obamacare with a simple majority vote. The Senate leader said today that he’s disappointed Boehner is moving forward with the bill to defund Obama care, “with the full knowledge that it’s a futile effort.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) suspects that a handful of Democrats will join them, but can’t be sure. While he also agrees with others that the government being shutdown should be avoided, he places the threat of that on Barack Obama.
“It certainly is not a good idea to shut down the government to force the implementation of Obamacare,” he said. “This law is not worth causing a shutdown over.”
I disagree. It is more than worth shutting it down. After all, if you don’t deal with this trainwreck now, it will eventually be the very thing that causes government shutdown in the future. I’m with Cruz on this one. It is an issue worth standing for and worth bringing government to a halt if need be to deal with.
Republicans should learn from the past about government shutdown and stand on principles rather than worrying about public opinion. Remember what the results were when they did it during the Clinton era and act accordingly.
Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.