Yesterday, the House Republican leadership shocked grassroots Americans across the country by announcing the House would be sending a Continuing Resolution (CR) to the Senate that defunds Obamacare for good.
While this victory is only a large step in the right direction – the bill still has to get through the Senate and be signed by President Obama – it is significant. And it’s all thanks to the grassroots Americans who convinced Republicans that they should finally take a strong stand against Obamacare.
To update activists on their success, Tea Party Patriots held a tele-town hall with over 60,000 activists last night. The full call can be heard below.
[ca_audio url_mp3="http://www.mediafire.com/?yytgdi86ledsitb" url_ogg="" skin="regular" align="none"]
The bill holds to 2013 spending levels (which violates sequestration by $21 billion), funds the government through December 15 of this year, and includes the Full Faith and Credit Act, which prevents a default if Congress breaches the debt ceiling this fall.
Representatives Tom Graves (R-GA) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) delved into a number of questions, including one on the union opposition to Obamacare. Jenny Beth explained how the unions are mostly upset that their so-called “Cadillac plans” are being hit with an extra tax. She also pointed out the kind of exemption the unions want was given to Congress.
As the Member who introduced the defunding CR, Graves explained it was really the grassroots pressure that made this bill’s consideration possible. He cautioned that Patriots should not celebrate prematurely, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) could easily strip the defunding language.
TPP New York State Coordinator Judy Pepenella asked how this plan differs from last week’s gimmick. Graves explained how House leadership’s bill last week included an Obamacare defunding clause that could easily be stripped out. The new plan was a bill that, if changed at all by the Senate, would come back to the House.
Graves also said pressure should focus on the House until it passes, for two reasons: Getting all Republicans on board will require a significant effort. Second, getting Democrats on board will be tough, but bipartisan votes are a preferred occurrence in Washington. He said the Senate will likely vote on September 28.
When asked about his thoughts on a potential government shutdown, Congressman Graves said the media is already blaming Republicans, but noted the House is the only “game in town” that is funding the government and protecting constituents from Obamacare. The real question falls on Senator Reid’s shoulders, as to whether he wants to bring the bill up or not, and the Congressman reminded listeners that the grassroots is very important to making sure the bill goes the way we want it to. He pointed out that Congress was expected to support going into Syria, but grassroots opposition stopped Congress. Now, we must do the same thing with Obamacare’s defunding.
Representative Meadows then spoke, highlighting the American people as the defining force in this fight. He said concerns by conservatives have been addressed by Leadership, so it looks like the bill has clear sailing in the House. The question now is based around whether Senator Reid will allow a vote.