Delaying Obamacare: A tele-town hall with Senator Cruz and Representative Bridenstine
Yesterday, Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin stood with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other opponents of Obamacare to call upon Congress and the President to delay implementation of the troubled law. Last night, Senator Cruz, Jenny Beth, and Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) spoke to nearly 50,000 Tea Party activists in a tele-town hall, explaining how to force Washington to give the American people the same relief from Obamacare the President unilaterally gave Congress and its staff.
The tele-town hall can be heard in full here, and is embedded below:
Senator Cruz started the conversation frankly, admitting right now he and his allies don’t have the votes necessary to delay Obamacare. He told listeners that he needs all of us to join over 150,000 Americans in urging Congress to delay implementation by signing up at www.dontfundit.com. He also urged everyone to call, e-mail, and otherwise tell their Members of Congress to support delaying Obamacare, and then tell 10 friends and family members to do the same.
The Senator reminded everyone that things are changing in Washington. Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) filibuster earlier this year and the gun debate that took place shortly after that totally reversed the Beltway’s course of action. Rather than ignore the will of the people, both President Obama (on drones) and Congress (on guns) listened to your loud, principled voices.
Representative Bridenstine opened his comments by addressing some of the falsehoods opponents of the delay effort have promoted:
First, they claim Obamacare is largely mandatory spending, and thus can’t be stopped with a Continuing Resolutions (CR). However, so-called “riders” have been attached to CRs for decades. It’s a common practice and can be used in this case.
Second, the narrative from many establishment Republicans, Democrats, and the media is that Senator Cruz and his allies are trying to shut down the government. This is demonstrably false – the goal is to fund the government except for Obamacare. Furthermore, even if the government shuts down, mandatory spending still continues.
The Congressman also noted that he would not normally support a CR of the kind that’s likely to be debated, but Obamacare is important enough to make it the issue to address. He advised the House to pass a CR and then leave Washington, putting significant pressure on President Obama and Senate Democrats to either go along with the House or be responsible for shutting down the government.
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin spoke on labor unions and businesses that have received special treatment and waivers from The Obama Administration. Even with those favors, three major unions have publically withdrawn their support of Obamacare. Incredibly, less than an hour after the tele-town hall ended, the Administration unilaterally exempted Members of Congress and their staffs from Obamacare, thus saving Members of Congress money while continuing to bill their health insurance costs to you the taxpayer.
Jenny Beth reminded everyone of Tea Party Patriots’ message to Washington and America: We want to fund the government, but Obamacare needs to be delayed. Anything to the contrary is demonstrably false.
Senator Cruz was asked about why Republicans are so afraid to stand with him. He explained that many of them fear being blamed for a government shutdown, as happened in 1995. However, he also explained that the “shutdown” is no such thing. It’s a partial shutdown, with many areas of the federal government funded by mandatory spending – as well as interest payments – exempt from being shut down. And while the 1995 shutdown was bad for the GOP, it was good for the country, as it helped lead the nation to lower spending for several subsequent years.
There are significant differences between now and then that should help with the success of our effort, the Senator pointed out:
First, today there are better communicators for the message.
Second, there is the ability to get hundreds of thousands of Americans behind the effort.
Congressman Bridenstine noted that even Democrats want the health care law overturned, as he sees every day in constituent communication.
Both Tea Party-minded Members gave some insights into how the GOP leadership works when it comes to prioritization of policy. Senator Cruz shared how a Senator wanted to force a CR stand-off with sequestration while ignoring the much bigger (and easier to gather support regarding) problem of Obamacare.
Congressman Bridenstine pointed out that the GOP keeps saying continuing the spending reductions in sequester is a major victory. He’s been in office for seven months, and this is at least the third time he has been told holding to the sequester will be a victory. He nailed his colleagues by pointing out Obamacare is far more important because once the subsidies start flowing in 2014, they are highly unlike to stop. Senator Cruz agreed, and noted that’s why it’s so important to get the facts right. For example, the goal is not to shut a government shutdown. The goal is to stand strong with the American people against a law from which many special interests have been exempted.
Jenny Beth Martin brought up $684 million in funding for Obamacare marketing included in the law. This is enough money to cover two presidential campaigns worth of advertising. It will have a tremendous ability to sway hearts and minds for elections. Senator Cruz urged listeners to call politically vulnerable Democrats as well as Republicans, to mobilize as large a coalition for delay as possible. Congressman Bridenstine explained that the goal should be to make it more politically dangerous to do the wrong thing.
The right thing is to delay Obamacare now, before its damage can’t be undone.