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Jim DeMint and Mike Needham on Defunding Obamacare

Aug 08, 2013

It should come as no surprise that the leftist media is deliberately twisting the conservative message about how to stop Obamacare. Conservatives do not want to shut down the government over Obamacare; the conservative plan is to fund the government while defunding Obamacare. Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint and Heritage Action CEO explain (sub. req'd):

Few Americans are clamoring to shut down the federal government, but polls indicate that a majority of Americans agree that ObamaCare will be a disaster for their family's health care and for the nation's economy. So why is President Obama threatening to shut down the government if Congress sends him a year-end spending bill to fully support government operations but without funding for his (unfair, unworkable and unaffordable) health-care law?
This question is not being addressed fairly by the media, so the American people are not being told the truth about the coming political showdown over ObamaCare. Here's what's really happening.

"Virtually all Republicans" were elected to Congress to stop Obamacare, and every one of them has voted to repeal it. However, Republican "grand speeches, votes and chest-pounding" hasn't gotten the job done. DeMint and Needham explain what really needs to happen:

ObamaCare can be stopped only if Congress denies funding for it in the next spending bill, which must be passed in September. That would immediately halt the implementation of ObamaCare and fulfill a defining GOP promise to the American people. Voting for a spending bill that excludes ObamaCare will take courage and integrity.
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There are some who argue that ObamaCare can't be defunded because most of its spending is deemed "mandatory." Their assertions are wrong. According to the Congressional Research Service, ObamaCare "administrative costs will have to be funded through the annual discretionary appropriations." Furthermore, annual appropriations bills routinely carry funding limitations to mandatory spending and often block a wide range of potential government activities. The Hyde Amendment to a 1976 appropriation bill, for example, blocked all taxpayer funding of abortion, and has every year since 1976. Congress can disallow funding for ObamaCare and effectively stop the implementation of the law.

Remember, Democrats and Mr. Obama will try to accuse Republicans of trying to shut down the government:

Yet doing that will require resolve. President Obama, along with all the Democrats, will accuse Republicans of trying to shut down the government by giving the president a spending bill that he must veto. But there is no "must" about it. If the president opts to shut down all of government instead of just ObamaCare, that will be his choice, not the wish of conservatives.

Again, political implications are NOT the most important thing. Dan Holler made this point recently as well:

The most important thing is to save American from Mr. Obama's destructive, unworkable, unaffordable healthcare law, as Needham and DeMint conclude:

Politicians who oppose ObamaCare should not vote to fund it. Those who want a socialized health-care system should vote to fund it. There is no middle ground and no place to hide.
Republicans could lose the national debate. But a failure of Republicans to show the courage of their convictions on such a fundamental issue will inspire no one and will further alienate the American people from their government. This carries far greater risks to the nation's future than the threat of a government shutdown or the risk of losing the next election.