Senator Ted Cruz Advanced the Argument to Defund Obamacare

Did House Republicans thank him? Not exactly. In a conference call with bloggers earlier today, House Republican Conference members Sean Duffy, Tom Reed and Rodney Davis ‘acknowledged defeat’ in the effort to defund Obamacare instead setting their sights on an effort to delay the implementation of Obamacare, an effort championed by House Republican Conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers.

Suggestions included a one year delay of the individual mandate and allowing states to claim temporary exemptions from Obamacare. Congressman Davis expressed a frustration about the inability to return to regular constitutional order so as to implement true spending cuts. Another idea that was floated included tying the implementation of Obamacare to such a return so that the implementation of Obamacare would be temporarily delayed for the length of the term of each continuing resolution. Other ideas included a so-called ‘Fair CR’ eliminating special exemptions and subsidies for Members of Congress and others. 

Earlier in the week on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Congressman Duffy remarked “Thank God he [Cruz] wasn’t fighting at the Alamo!” suggesting that Cruz’s calls to filibuster the House continuing resolution in order to prevent Harry Reid from stripping language to defund Obamacare amounted to ‘surrender.’ What Congressman Duffy failed to appreciate is that Senator Cruz’s filibuster effort helped refocus the nation’s attention on many of the ills of Obamacare including the devastating effect it is having on employment. Senators Cruz and Lee never guaranteed that their strategy would cause the demagogue that is President Obama to suddenly wake up and suggest that these guys have a valid point. Rather, as successful experience litigators, both knew that if Republicans stood united with the base of their party and did not repeat the mistake of past budget battles of negotiating with themselves in public, they would be able to force President Obama and Congressional Democrats to the negotiating table and advance the cause of delaying, defunding and dismantling Obamacare, a cause the every Republican member of Congress claims to support.

Congressman Duffy seemed to express a frustration that the idea of tying the defunding of Obamacare to the passage of a continuing resolution seemed to be sprung on the House of Representatives at the last minute. What this demonstrates is that Senators Cruz and Lee are correct. Congress is not listening to the American people. How else to explain the nearly two million signatures on the national petition to defund Obamacare in less than two months. If Republican Congressman and Senators want to repeat their 2010 electoral success in 2014, they would do well to pay attention to events of the past two months and tailor their agenda accordingly.

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