For four years, millions of Americans have worked to stop Obamacare from crushing the nation. On the Roll Call “GOPpers” blog, Matt Fuller criticizes Heritage Action for joining with Senator Cruz (R-TX) and his latest effort to delay Obamacare’s implementation via the Continuing Resolution:
As Heritage Action for America pushes lawmakers to kill any bill that funds Obamacare, the conservative group is running into a question it refuses to answer: If the government shuts down, what next?
In private meetings with Heritage Action representatives — namely, Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham, Chief Operating Officer Tim Chapman and Director of House Relations Erin Siefring — lawmakers say they have asked Heritage Action what its strategy would be if the government shut down.
And Heritage Action, they say, does not have an answer.
“There is no plan B, there is no ‘what if,’” said one Republican lawmaker who spoke to CQ Roll Call on the condition of anonymity. He said he had talked to a “handful” of members who met with Heritage Action and the outside conservative group had “no viable alternative” to the president caving in.
“That’s leaving us in the lurch. That’s not proper planning,” the lawmaker said, explaining that the president defunding his administration’s signature piece of legislation was not exactly a likely scenario.
The entire article centers around the concept that Heritage Action is putting lawmakers in a spot between a rock and a hard place – defund Obamacare or get a black mark in the record books.
Fuller’s premise is entirely off-base. To think of Heritage’s push as “Plan A” to repeal Obamacare ignores four-plus years of attempts to rid the country of the law. Consider:
1) In 2009, activists around the nation told Congress to not pass what was then an incomplete bill.
2) Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) won former health care giant Ted Kennedy’s seat – a seat Senator Kennedy held for over four decades until his death – on his opposition to Obamacare. Senator Brown was the critical filibuster vote many hoped would stop Obamacare in its tracks.
3) The 2010 elections focused on the then-new health care law.
4) The Supreme Court decision in 2012 was the next major fight.
5) Attempts to defund and repeal the law in past CRs and budget proposals took place throughout 2011 and 2012, and in individual legislation in the House.
6) The 2012 elections took place, which many establishment Republicans hoped would give the GOP enough political power to repeal and/or defund the law.
Fuller’s premise that this defunding effort is “Plan A” simply repeats the talking points of Republicans who don’t want to take tough votes. It also ignores the history of efforts to eliminate Obamacare. This isn’t Plan A; it’s Plan Z, because once the state exchanges start on October 1 and Medicaid expansion launches on January 1, Obamacare will be all but impossible to repeal.
And regarding the likelihood of the President defunding his signature health care law, it’s simple – the House should vote for a budget that does not fund Obamacare and go home. Simply go home and don’t look back. Force the President to tell America he wants to shut the government down over the health care law unions hate, businesses hate, Congress itself hates (for itself, not for the American people), and a law he acts on unilaterally and illegally.
This battle is winnable. Fuller should examine that before he starts bashing Heritage Action for forcing Congress to stand with the American people.