Shut down the U.S. Government and that will defund Obamacare. Do this and the Health Care Act will cease to exist. That is what the Republican fringe group, the Tea Party, believe will happen.
Florida senator Marco Rubio (R) said, “The way I see it is if we pass a budget that pays for everything except Obamacare, and the president says he’ll veto that, it is he who wants to shut down the government,” NPR reports.
According to KUTV, “Utah Senator Mike Lee has a plan to stop the Affordable Care Act, but it might shut down the Federal government.” Lee says, “he hopes to work with Republicans to defund the act by taking it completely out of the Federal budget. He says Democrats might refuse to agree to do it, but he wants to put them in a situation where they have to choose between Obamacare and keeping the government running.”
Senator Lee has a compatriot from Texas, Senator Ted Cruz (R), who said the same thing to the annual RedState Gathering in New Orleans, “a meeting of conservatives highly critical of many established Republican leaders as well as Democrats.” Speaking about defunding Obamacare to the group, he was able to get “spirited applause”. Cruz said, ”We have to stand up and win the argument.” But, at what cost?
Senator Lee has a compatriot from Texas. Senator Ted Cruz said the same thing to the annual RedState gathering in New Orleans, “a meeting of conservatives highly critical of many established Republican leaders as well as Democrats,” according to the Associated Press.
To add to the fray, and get the Tea Party really stirred up, the group Heritage Action, after polling its Republican constituency, reworded “defunding the government” to: “a temporary slowdown in non-essential federal government operations.” It gave Lee and Cruz some backbone to want to hold the US Government hostage one more time during this Obama presidency.
President Obama already told Democrats in late July, “We are not negotiating on the debt ceiling.” Didn’t the Tea Party do that once back in May of 2011? Weren’t the Republicans seen as some sort of hostage-takers? Senator Mitch McConnell was quoted on Tuesday as saying, “The problem is that the bill that would shut down the government wouldn’t shut down Obamacare.” he continued, “Most of it is permanent law and not affected by that.”
A good note with all of this Tea Party rhetoric is that it is causing a split in the Republican Party. Politicians like Mitch McConnell feel this will hurt their chances for re-election. According to KUTV, “Mitt Romney and other leading Republicans have said Lee’s plan won’t work because a shutdown would just make Americans mad at Republicans.”
Richard Andrew is a guest blogger for Ring of Fire.