November 1, 2014

Republicans attempt to use a cynical ‘Defund Obamacare’ trick

Rick Manning
Guest Columnist
House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team are engaged in a cynical attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of voters on the issue of defunding Obamacare, and they are hoping no one back home notices.
The ploy is to pass a rule that allows the House to vote on defunding Obamacare in the pending Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government, but not make passage of the funding bill in the Senate contingent upon defunding the hugely unpopular health care law.
This parliamentary sleight of hand is designed to allow House members to be able to tell voters in their district that they voted to defund the law, while allowing the federal government funding of it to go through Congress without a whimper. This is not the first time the House has played this game. In 2011, they similarly “defunded” Obamacare through a vote on the must-pass federal spending bill allowing, it to pass the Senate and be signed by the President without actually having any effect on the law. The law is so bad that Congress itself recently was exempted from it.
After finally reading the law, lawmakers became afraid that they would lose their young workforce if the taxpayers weren’t allowed to subsidize their health care plans. The exemption followed and now Congress can no longer claim ignorance of the law’s impact. Failure to defund now will leave the rest of America hanging while Congress is unaffected.
Incredibly Democrat big labor support for the law is also collapsing.
Last month, the Nevada AFL-CIO passed a resolution condemning Obamacare Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the meeting.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James Hoffa, Jr. along with the heads of the garment workers union, UNITE-HERE, and the Unified Food and Commercial Workers International Union signed a joint letter to Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stating, “Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”
And the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union’s forty thousand members dropped out of the AFL-CIO over that union’s support for the law.
Yet, in spite of this massive political shift away from implementing the law, what House Republican leadership is offering the rest of America is nothing more than typical Capitol Hill game playing that has Congress’ approval ratings near all-time lows.
When the smoke clears, voters need to ask their representatives whether or not the law is still funded along with the rest of the government. If it is, then his political campaign brochure vote to defund is just that, more empty promises designed to allow politicians to claim one thing back home, while exempting themselves in D.C.
It would be more honest if members openly embraced the law that he is enabling, rather than engaging in this pathetic shell game.
Rick Manning is vice president of public policy and communications at Americans for Limited Government.

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