JAMES SIMPSON: It is almost impossible to believe that a mere month into the new Congress, old guard Republicans led by House Speaker John Boehner are stampeding to violate key campaign pledges. We have seen the “resolute” House Republican leadership quail over the prospect of actually making a paltry $100 billion in promised spending cuts. We have seen tough talking Darrell Issa backing off desperately needed investigations of blatant Obama administration corruption and abuse of power. Now the leadership is putting up roadblocks to the only chance we may ever get to stop Obamacare.
The House is currently considering a Continuing Resolution to fund government programs for the rest of the year. A temporary CR was passed in the waning days of the 111th Congress that expires March 4th. Without a new CR the government will then shut down.
Representative Steve King (R-IA) offered an amendment to the CR that would entirely defund Obamacare. What better way to force Democrats to abide by the crystal clear will of the American people than to offer them the stark choice of passing the CR and defunding Obamacare in the process, or having the government shut down due to their arrogant stubbornness? And do most Americans care if the government shuts down for a while?
NO! We’d be relieved! Shut it down and keep it shut until the Democrats squeal “Uncle!”
So, Republicans should be all for King’s amendment, right?
Last night, the House Rules Committee headed by David Dreier of California, blocked the amendment, claiming that it violated House rules. This is absolutely false. As King stated in a Washington Times editorial today:
One of the tactics is to argue that my proposal violates the rules by legislating on an appropriations bill. It wasn’t a violation when Congress defunded the Vietnam War, and it’s not a violation now. The CR, the very bill that I seek to amend, has language in it that blocks the use of any funds to move detainees out of GuantanamoBay. By their definition, they’ve set a precedent and all I ask is to use the same tool to debate and vote on blocking the use of any funds to implement or enforce Obamacare.
Defunding Obamacare also would avoid $105.5 billion in Obamacare seed money slated for spending in 2011 that Nancy Pelosi slipped into the bill last year. So not only could Republicans keep their pledge to stop Obamacare, they would actually be doubling the budget cuts offered in the CR. Read more…