On Wednesday morning, the House will vote on the Continuing Resolution (H.R. 933) to fund the government for the rest of this fiscal year. This is the last opportunity to defund Obamacare before the health exchanges are implemented on October 1. Conservative lawmakers, Jim Bridenstine (OK) and Tim Huelskamp (KS), submitted an amendment to the Rules Committee today to defund Obamacare. The amendment was rejected. As such, the CR will continue to fund Obamacare.
Bridenstine and Huelskamp circulated a letter asking colleagues to join them in the defund effort and to resurrect our most important policy issue, and frankly, our most potent political weapon in the field. The fight over Obamacare has been dormant ever since we won the 2010 elections. This letter was an effort to restart that discussion and call upon conservatives to stand firm one last time to block the worst piece of legislation in American history.
In the end, 30 members signed the letter:
I’m sure there are millions of Americans, many of whom can no longer afford their private health insurance, who sincerely appreciate this effort.
A number of good friends of the conservative movement are not on this list. The letter was circulated last Thursday, so there hasn’t been a lot of time for members to weight in. To those who didn’t get a chance to sign the letter but support the sentiment expressed in the letter, please let us know that you support the effort and vote down the CR.
To those who didn’t sign the letter because they feel committed to their agreement to vote for the CR as long as it contains the sequester cuts, please let us know your plan to push for defunding Obamacare in the future. Do you really think it will happen during the debt ceiling fight, which is perceived as more radioactive than a battle over the CR? Will you fight for defunding in the September CR, after passage of the Ryan budget? Or will you only vote for defunding Obamacare when it doesn’t have the force of law, while voting to fund it when a defund effort would actually force the issue?
Moreover, has leadership upheld their side of the bargain to push a path to a balanced budget when they forced you to vote for the Orwellian-named Violence Against Women Act? How is expanding an unconstitutional program a step towards a path to balance? These are all questions that your constituents are asking.
To those stalwarts who declined to sign the letter because you are tired of fighting losing battles with leadership, please reinvigorate your commitment to stand by your convictions. Obamacare is not the issue to go wobbly on. Remember, unlike with many other issues, there are millions of people who stand behind you. This is an issue we cannot let slide.
And to those who declined to sign because you honestly feel that Obamacare is here to stay; those of you who share the view of Jack Kingston that “Obamacare has been the law of the land, and it is getting implemented. We have to work in that context,” it might be time to retire. If we are going to operate under the assumption that Obamacare is here to stay, there is nothing to operate.
We cannot continue to operate under normal rules of engagement. We cannot let the Democrats score 5 touchdowns and congratulate ourselves when we score a field goal with 2 minutes left on the clock. Securing some random discretionary cuts that have already gone into effect, half of which are from the military, is meaningless if Obamacare is not disrupted this year.
Democrats are indefatigable in their pursuit of utopian socialism. Our guys must match and surpass their degree of courage, commitment, and passion to roll back the socialism and restore our Republican form of government. That road is not paved with the funding of Obamacare.