The “One Issue” Harry Reid Shutdown: Saving the Obamacare Exemption for D.C. Ruling Class
Barack Obama and Harry Reid refuse to fund the Government for only ONE reason, and that is, they and their insider friends in the elite D.C. ruling class refuse to live under the very same Obamacare provisions that they are shoving down the throats of the American people. That is the ONLY remaining issue. The House has passed and sent to the Senate the same exact funding bill that Harry Reid and Barack Obama are demanding, but with an Amendment that imposes two additional requirements:
#1- Members of Congress, congressional staff, and political appointees (including White House staff) must enroll in the Obamacare exchanges without an employer subsidy for coverage; and
#2- there would be a one-year delay in the Obamacare individual mandate, so that individuals cannot get fined in 2014 if they don’t buy insurance.
The second point is a really a non-starter, with the IRS not having the technology or information to enforce those individual fines in 2014 anyway, so neither side should be fighting over that issue. That leaves the ONLY real sticking point: the special exemption from Obamacare for Obama, Reid and the rest of their allies in the ruling class — yes, the very same special exemption that Obama decreed by Executive Order less than three months ago, with very little media coverage. It is that simple. But for some reason, you won’t hear that simple explanation on CNN or MSNBC (or probably even FOX News), and sadly, I’m not hearing that simple message from the GOP.
Are you kidding me? The winning GOP message writes itself: Obama and Reid so adamantly refuse to live under the very same Obamacare law that they have forced on this country, that they are willing to shut down the federal government to avoid living under it, selfishly and maliciously offering up, as a political sacrifice, the families of our fallen military heroes, World War II veterans, kids with cancer, and seniors and poor people waiting for their government assistance checks. No wonder Obama and Reid say they refuse to negotiate, would anyone want to sit at a negotiating table to defend that position? Seriously, why is the GOP not repeating this message over and over again?
The House should pass the Amendment again, but this time without the proposed delay in the individual mandate, to keep the message above even simpler. And they should pass it today, so they can have a few days flooding the air waves to illustrate to the country just how low that Obama and Reid have sunk this time. For once, put pressure on Obama to defend why it was okay for him, with an unconstitutionally “legislative” stroke of a pen, to exempt himself, his staff and his political colleagues from fully living under his “signature” law.
For crying out loud, even the GOP can win that PR battle with most voters FROM BOTH PARTIES, and if they can’t, our country is beyond hope anyway.
Dave Beltrami is a lawyer and political analyst. He received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws (Taxation) degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.