Rep. Thomas Massie represents Kentucky CD 4 and Rep. Jim Bridenstine represents Oklahoma CD 1. Both of them are LLPH favorites. They wrote an op-ed about defunding Obamacare.
The lead Senate author of the Affordable Care Act, Democrat Max Baucus of Montana, has called it a “huge train wreck.” James Hoffa, president of the Teamsters Union, said “Obamacare” is destroying the 40-hour work week that has been the backbone of the American middle class. And President Obama’s delay of the “employer mandate” is a tacit admission that its implementation will be catastrophic to our economy. But Americans have known all along that the Affordable Care Act isn’t going to make health care more affordable. The Affordable Care Act is bad for America.
That’s why Republican senators and representatives were sent to Washington in 2010 with a mandate to stop Obamacare. First the new congressmen were told by Washington insiders to wait for the Supreme Court to rule it unconstitutional. Then they were told to wait for a new president to be elected. Meanwhile the House passed “feel good” Repeal-Obamacare legislation dozens of times and sent it to the Senate. All of these efforts failed.
If nothing else changes, Obamacare begins on Jan. 1. Sen. Mike Lee was right when he said, “We’ve got one last stop on the Obamacare expressway and that last stop is with the continuing resolution. We need to draw a line in the sand … and say we’re not going to fund this.” The “defund strategy” for stopping Obamacare is the only real strategy that has ever been viable in the House of Representatives, yet it’s never been tried.
We can hear the liberal media now: “Conservatives want to shut down the government!”
Let us be clear, not a single conservative senator or representative is threatening to “shut down the federal government.” In fact we’re proposing to pass a continuing resolution that funds everything except the unaffordable Affordable Care Act.
This legislative strategy has been employed successfully for nearly four decades. It simply prohibits expenditure of taxpayer funds for a specified purpose. For example, every year since 1976, Congress has enacted the Hyde Amendment, restricting federal funding for abortion coverage in the Medicaid entitlement.
Critics argue that the strategy won’t work because Obamacare is mostly “mandatory spending,” while a continuing resolution addresses only “discretionary spending.” The Hyde Amendment is a restriction on mandatory funding even though the amendment has been attached to discretionary appropriations legislation every year. This is a proven strategy with historical precedent.
The argument that “a government shutdown will not stop Obamacare” is a red herring. In fact, a government shutdown would not stop Obamacare. That is why we don’t want a government shutdown. The continuing resolution legislation we are promoting would fund the entire federal government but specifically prohibit any spending, mandatory or discretionary, on Obamacare.
After the House passes a bill that funds everything except Obamacare, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can decide to take up the legislation, or he can threaten to shut down the government. If the Senate passes the continuing resolution, it will then be the President’s decision whether to sign the legislation or shut down the government.
This strategy will work if Republicans in Congress stand strong. But some congressmen don’t want to try this strategy because they are afraid the liberal media will give them a black eye. And sadly some Republicans calculate that if Americans are made to suffer under Obamacare authored by Democrats, then more Republicans will be elected in 2014. Any congressman, Republican or Democrat, who votes for the next continuing resolution that funds Obamacare is, in essence, voting for Obamacare.
We voted against the last continuing resolution because our leadership wouldn’t allow our colleagues to even vote on an amendment that would have defunded Obamacare. We have 52 days until that continuing resolution expires. The next continuing resolution is our last chance and our best hope to stop the impending train wreck known as Obamacare.