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February 13, 2016

Obamacare or Government Shutdown? That’s the GOP Question

With the new fiscal year starting 10 weeks from today, and the budget process on a collision course with total impasse, it was only a matter of time before talks of a government shutdown would bubble to the Capitol surface.

But the latest obstructionist threat from Sen. Mike Lee is creating a new avenue for melodrama in the process. The Utah Republican says he has already signed up 13 fellow fiscal conservatives for his campaign to prevent enactment of any spending measures that permit the government to spend money implementing Obamacare. And he’s promising he’ll searching for more budget hawks, on both sides of the Capitol, to join his cause.

“If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it,” Lee said Monday on Fox News. “We can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.”

Lee described the coming continuing resolution as the last available legislative vehicle for thwarting the health care law, because the requirement that most people carry insurance or pay a fine will go into effect soon thereafter

Ultimately, he could pull off his hostage-taking with the support of only 26 more senators beyond the group he says he’s already lined up. Whether that’s a tall order or not will depend on what percentage of the chamber’s 46 Republicans, virtually all of whom have gone on record in favor of repealing the 2010 health care overhaul, are prepared to declare that effort so important that it’s worth preventing continued routine government operations after Oct. 1.

Lee was not the only Republican to talk of a government shutdown Monday. But the other prominent warning, from the office Speaker John A. Boehner, took a very different tack from Lee’s offensive move. Instead, Boehner’s spokesman Brendan Buck sought to shift the potential blame well ahead of time to President Barack Obama.

The White House, Buck said, has issued a series of statements declaring the president “would not sign any spending bills this year unless sequestration spending cuts are eliminated — and replaced with his plan for higher, job-destroying taxes.” Such a refusal to turn those bills into law, Buck added, “of course, would mean an unavoidable government shutdown.”

The intensifying rhetoric comes as Obama prepares to give a highly touted speech Wednesday laying out his vision for the economy and how the coming budget deliberations might make it stronger.

  • repubcooks

    the anarchist gop is at it again. remember newt!

  • Joe Stanford

    There are legitimate complaints about the ACA, but being willing to shut down the government over it–to use a favorite sequester phrase–is dumber than dumb.

  • Lynn Underwood

    Which lobbyists own a piece of Sen Mike Lee

  • Jesse4

    A good government shutdown might be just the thing to remind voters of what a worthless bunch of obstructionists the Republican party has become.

    • Eli Cabelly

      Shades of 1995!

  • wildrover4

    Someone needs to explain to the Senator that the rest of the country is not as conservative as Utah. Moreover, if you are a conservative who thinks Obamacare will be a train wreck, why not let it be implemented and run against it? Otherwise, you are going into the 2014 elections with yet another government shut down and/or debt ceiling crisis under your belt. At some point the electorate begins to wonder whether you are capable of governing.

  • kyrunner

    I say take a stand and shut down the government if that is what it takes. This is the the time to draw a line in the sand and let the radical liberals know Americans want this law killed anyway possible.

    • Eli Cabelly

      The liberals aren’t the radical ones. The so-called “conservatives” are the ones that are radical.

      • quarkie009

        There is not one single piece of evidence that Obamacare is even good for this country. Obama is willing to extend the deadline for
        one year for big business and unions, but not the individual mandate; guess who is in bed with Obama…unions and big business, not the individuals. If necessary shut the government down. Besides the shutdown was put into action by the demoCRAPS, not Newt. Checks the facts, provided the truth does not hit you in the face.

        • Eli Cabelly

          I remember very plainly. My parents were pro democrat, but I couldn’t stand them. The democrats weren’t doing much of anything good, and I was on the fence regarding what Clinton was doing especially with NAFTA.

          Then the government shutdown happened, and it was spearheaded by Newt Gingrich. That convinced me that the republicans were going crazy. That convinced me not to join the Republican Party.

          Ever since then I’ve been independent. It was Newt.

        • Eli Cabelly

          As far as evidence is concerned, the early results seem to vary state by state. In blue states the results are looking very promising. In red states the results are looking dismal.

          It’s all about whether each state wants Obamacare to work.

  • ian807

    Republican conservative could have easily prevented Obamacare 20 years ago just by pushing real capitalism.

    The only additional regulation required would be transparent pricing. .
    Post prices for the 1000 most common procedures online, on the hospital walls and in each hospital room, and let the patients choose. Even procedures covered by insurance usually require a co-pay. Think prices wouldn’t go down?

    The rest would be DE-regulation. If patients could legally buy
    insurance and prescription drugs across state lines or overseas, prices
    would drop in a hurry.

    But it’s never been about the free market, has it?

  • Eli Cabelly

    Higher taxes on the wealthy and on big businesses don’t destroy jobs. That’s a myth.

  • quarkie009

    Obamacare and higher taxes are a disaster waiting to happen for the USA. Not only that but, gun control war on coal and other “fossil” fuels as well as denuding the defense of our nation will bring about the demise of America faster since there is a lot of low information voters that does not give a rat’s……….. about the corruption in all three branches of government.

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