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Apparently, House Republican leaders think we're stupid.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team are reportedly trying to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) through the House this week that funds ObamaCare but looks like it defunds it.
If true, it's a brazen betrayal. And our best intelligence says it's true.
The CR is a spending bill intended to fund federal government agencies and programs beyond the 30th of this month. It will reportedly come up for a vote this Thursday, September 12th -- two days from now.
The new Boehner ploy, known in parliamentary jargon as "deem and pass," is designed to enable House Republicans to say they voted to defund ObamaCare, and indeed passed a bill out of the House that defunds it; but by a sly parliamentary device it enables the Senate to send a bill that FUNDS ObamaCare directly to the President to be signed!
"Deem and pass" means circumventing the traditional legislative process of working out a compromise between the two chambers. Instead, the leaders in both chambers rig the game to shut out the rank and file.
"Deem and pass" enables Republicans to ensure ObamaCare is funded while telling their constituents the opposite.
Very simply, if the reports are true, Boehner and Company are trying to cut grassroots Americans out of the legislative process.
Why? Why would they want to do that? Because they fear a budget standoff with Senate Democrats and President Obama might hurt them politically, even cost them their majority in 2014. These fears are silly, in light of past experience; but apparently they've convinced themselves their majority could disappear if they stand firm for their own professed principles.
Question: If these men and women won't stand on principle, why would they deserve to keep their majority?
What good is having a Republican majority if it produces the same policies as a Democratic majority?
House Republicans have the power to deal ObamaCare a mortal blow, if they really want to. They just don't want to use that power at this time, in this fashion. It's a "difference of strategy," they say, not of goals. Except that the only "better" strategy they can come up with is to send standalone bills to the Senate to die.
The only way to win is to attach defunding to a must-pass bill. The CR is that bill.
Happily, we can stop Speaker Boehner's "deem and pass" ploy -- by bringing down the rule.
"Bringing down the rule" means getting enough House members to vote "no" on the procedural resolution ("the rule") that precedes the actual CR debate.
By bringing down the rule, we can force Boehner and Company into a negotiation, the non-negotiable element of which must be "regular order," i.e., no parliamentary tricks.
Let the House work its will. Let the two chambers negotiate. Let Congress and the President negotiate. But do not try to rig the outcome through parliamentary ploys.
If Boehner and Company refuse to allow regular order, the remedy is simple:
Bring down the rule.
The House is slated to vote two days from now.
You can help us.
Call your Representative TODAY and tell him or her: Vote NO on any CR that funds ObamaCare. Vote NO on any rule that tries to fund ObamaCare through parliamentary tricks.
Hashtags to use in connection with this effort: #DefundObamaCare #DontBlink