Even if Republicans gain the majority after the 2014 elections, they will probably not overcome a filibuster in the Senate to pass an out-and-out repeal.
In fact, the Republicans have not had a 60 vote majority in the Senate since 1911. The time for defunding ObamaCare is right now, given that the President has already announced he is delaying implementation of the employer mandate for one year.
But if not now, when?
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) are leading the charge in their respective chambers to stop any funding bill from containing money for the implementation of ObamaCare.
One would think that given the national outpouring of support for repealing this law, Republicans (as the opposition party) would jump at this chance.
But most have remained silent. And some have offered lame arguments for doing nothing or for continuing down the path of passing meaningless bills to repeal ObamaCare — bills they know will never reach the President’s desk.
The following are misstatements put forth by these Republicans, and each one is then answered in turn.
MYTH #1: REPUBLICANS DON’T WANT TO BE BLAMED FOR “SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT.”
ANSWER: First of all, the government won’t be shut down. Most entitlements will continue. “Essential” functions will continue, under regulations dating back to the Reagan administration.
Republicans can push this even further by proposing a “prioritization” bill comparable to Senator Pat Toomey’s 2011 proposal, which would require Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, air traffic controllers, etc. to be paid, even if there are no appropriations.
Second, every penny of government spending can go forward if ONLY ONE THING HAPPENS: If Obama agrees to suspend for one year, the wildly unpopular, expensive, individual insurance mandate — just as he has already done for the employer mandate.
To recap: Obama will be in the position of shutting down the government for the sole reason that he insists on cramming ObamaCare insurance down the throats of the American people. How is this not a win-win for Republicans?
MYTH #2: REPUBLICANS HAVE LOST EVERY TIME THEY HAVE THREATENED TO SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT.
ANSWER: To the contrary, this strategy has been a political winner for the GOP in the two times they have used it.
The Gingrich shutdown threat of 1995-6 saw GOP poll numbers going up – right up until the point where Gingrich chickened out. Then his numbers plummeted.
Even though Gingrich “blinked,” Republicans kept the House in the following election and gained Senate seats. And the only reason Clinton hung onto the Oval Office is because Republicans nominated a horrific stand-for-nothing distasteful candidate as their standard-bearer.
Clinton was so chastened that he, nevertheless, signed a landmark conservative welfare reform proposal and pushed a balanced budget.
Similarly, in July 2011, when House Republicans credibly threatened to shut down the government over the debt limit, Obama’s polling numbers dropped 10 points – precisely because of that threat.
Even though Obama swept over Mitt Romney in 2012, GOP House members benefited from their intransigence over the debt limit.