H/T Daily Signal
H/T Daily Signal
………………………Click on image above to watch stream.
The Conservative Political Action Conference begins this morning in Washington, D.C., and will continue through Saturday, February 28.
8:40 a.m. – Dr. Ben Carson
9:00 a.m. – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
12:00 p.m. – Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)
1:00 p.m. – Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
1:20 p.m. – Carly Fiorina
1:40 p.m. – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
5:00 p.m. – Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)
5:20 p.m. – Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
5:40 p.m. – Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK)
8:00 a.m. – Newt Gingrich
8:30 a.m. – Laura Ingraham
8:40 a.m. – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
9:00 a.m. – Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)
10:20 a.m. – Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
11:00 a.m. – Sean Hannity
11:15 a.m. – Reince Priebus, RNC Chair
12:00 p.m. – Donald Trump
12:20 p.m. – Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)
12:40 p.m. – Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty
1:20 p.m. – Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association
1:40 p.m. – Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL)
4:20 p.m. – Former Amb. John Bolton
8:30 a.m. – Mark Levin
2:40 p.m. – Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA)
2:50 p.m. – Special Guest TBA
3:50 p.m. – Special Guest TBA
You can view the full CPAC 2014 conference schedule, including panel events and breakout sessions, HERE.
Stacy McCain is headed to the Republican Leadership Conference. No, they RNC has not given him a leadership role, although if they gave him one the GOP would likely do better, and would be a lot more fun. No, McCain is going to cover the event as only he can. Here is a list of those taking part, and one name stuck out to me.
Among the names already announced for the three-day event are Texas. Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Tennesssee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Florida Rep. Allen West, businessman Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
OK, let’s see here Best Damned Governor in America, Rick Perry check! Mike Lee check! Ted Cruz check! Allen West check! Bobby Jindal check! All GREAT Conservatives whom I admire immensely. Then there is a few I would not walk across the street to see or hear. Rick Santorum? A.K.A. the Whiniest Republican. Newt Gingrich? Bah! Michelle Bachman? I wonder if she is going to make up any stories about little girls who Rick Perry forced to take a Gardicil shot like she did in the 2012 GOP debates?
Then there is Donald “LOOK AT ME DAMN YOU” Trump? Seriously who invited THAT asshole? If there ever was a publicity whore it is Trump! He will say anything for some attention, and for some reason, some Republicans keep giving it to this prick. Seriously, if Trump told me my name was Doug, I would check my drivers license. This clown sets off my BS Meter every time I hear his name. This is the guy who has given to the most despicable Democrats like Weiner and Schummer year after year, and now he is Mr. Super Conservative? Yeah, and I have got a bridge in Arizona to sell you too.
MARY KATHARINE HAM
……………………….Click on image above to watch video.
CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union.
Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee introduced legislation today that would allow states to set their own standards as to what defines marriage.
On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced S. 2024, the State Marriage Defense Act, which allows states to set their own standards as to what defines marriage and protects the states from having the federal government encroach on that territory.
Thirty-three states define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
I support traditional marriage. Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens. The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington. This bill will safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for [their] residents.
How a state should define marriage should be left up to the citizens of each state. It is clear the Obama administration finds the principles of federalism inconvenient in its effort to force states to redefine the institution of marriage. The State Marriage Defense Act provides an important protection for states, respecting the right to choose for themselves how each will treat the institution of marriage under the law.
Meanwhile… A federal judge struck down Virginia’s ban on gay marriage on Thursday.
That tiny stack on top are the laws passed by Congress during the same time period.
Via Senator Mike Lee:
Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register. It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.
Senate Republicans furiously attacked Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah Sen. Mike Lee behind closed doors and leaked details of an off-record meeting to the media to harm the two senators, according to Lee.
Lee divulged some of the details of a closed-door meeting on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Friday, since he said much of it had been leaked to the media by his own colleagues.
“[N]ormally, I don’t comment at all on closed-door meetings between Republican senators,” Lee said. “It’s a pretty strict rule we follow. But one exception I’ll make is circumstances like this, where contents of the meeting were leaked deliberately by several of my colleagues and leaked in a very one-sided way. I’m happy to tell you about it here.”
I am sure these gutless Republicans would tell me “we have to win elections first”. Well, good luck winning any election if you continue to kick your base in the groin!
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., one of the leaders of a GOP “moderate revolt” on Monday, says he can never forgive Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for leading an effort to defund Obamacare as part of a budget resolution.
“This was a doomed process from the start,” King told CNN on Monday. King said he went along with a vote to defund the Affordable Care Act because he was told it would get the ball rolling and prevent the government from shutting down.
“It’s obvious now there is no end in sight,” King told CNN. “This is a fool’s errand.”
“They live in these narrow echo chambers where they listen to themselves and their tea party friends, and that keeps them going, forgetting that the rest of the country thinks we’re crazy,” King said. “I can never forgive Ted Cruz for what he’s done and the people who stood with him against their party.”
I get it. King and other Republicans believe that standing strong to principles will hurt the GOP. But really, do king and McCain and the rest think that putting politics over principles will get more people to support them? Maybe they should, for once, pay attention to who is saying the GOP will be hurt by this. The Democrats are, the media is. Do these Republicans who are so deeply offended by Senators like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz really not grasp that listening to advice from Democrats is not a wise path to travel? Has it ever dawned on them that Democrats are saying what they are BECAUSE they are afraid the GOP will unite behind Conservatism, for once?
I may not be a politician, but I know that taking advice from your enemies on how to beat them is not going to end well for you. I also know that voters are not going to flock to a party that not only shows no backbone, but attacks their own when they do.
Partners: Tea Party Patriots, Let Freedom Ring, Tea Party WDC, Heritage Action For America, Restore America’s Voice, American Center For Law And Justice, Young Americans For Liberty, Citizens United, For America, Freedom Works, Less Government, The Tea Party
A document House Majority Leader Eric Cantor distributed to all House Republicans on Tuesday, obtained by Breitbart News, confirms that he is planning to make it appear as though the House is voting to defund Obamacare while using a legislative procedural trick which would allow the Democrat-controlled Senate to strip defunding language from the Continuing Resolution.
“Many House Republicans have stated that they want to pass a CR that affirmatively defunds the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare,” Cantor wrote to House Republican members. “In addition to firmly putting the House on record, such an effort would force the Democrat Senate to confront the issue of defunding, providing Senate Republicans the opportunity to challenge Senate Democrats to join Republicans in blocking the further implementation of this awful and unpopular law.”
“Tactically, we want to engage this battle in a manner that unites House Republicans, provides as few opportunities as possible for Senate Democrats to duck the issue, and ensures that if defunding does not occur that Democrats are held to account,” Cantor added.
Cantor then laid out “The Plan” he and other members of the House GOP leadership will use allowing them to claim they support defunding Obamacare while leaving the fate of the defunding effort in the hands of the Democrat-controlled Senate.
First, he said the House will “simultaneously” consider a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the government “at sequester levels” along with a rule, or a “H.Cong.Res. that would amend the CR to include full defunding language.”
The House would vote on the CR, a vote that would include the rule and then send it to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can then remove the rule’s language after considering it. “The rule for the CR/Defund package provides that the CR cannot be transmitted to the Senate until the Senate has considered the defunding language,” Cantor writes in step number 4 of “The Plan” section of the document.
In step number 5 of “The Plan,” Cantor admits that the Senate can remove the rule language. “If the Senate passes defunding then it gets added to the CR as it goes to the president,” Cantor writes in step 5. “If they defeat it, then the Senate can consider whether they want to pass the CR. If they do, without amendment it goes to the president.”
Breitbart News reported on this plan from Cantor and others in House GOP leadership on Monday evening. After that story, a prominent House conservative source told Breitbart News that members who support defunding Obamacare are organizing and plan to whip against Cantor’s ploy.
“Expect a significant whip effort against the rule among the rank and file if they try to pull the trick on defunding,” the conservative source said.
In a statement provided to Breitbart News, ForAmerica chairman Brent Bozell denounced Cantor’s and Boehner’s ploy. “The latest move announced today by Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership is nothing more than a cheap parliamentary trick. Once again these Republican ‘leaders’ have failed to commit to defund ObamaCare by any means necessary,” Bozell said.
“Instead they are hiding behind smoke and mirrors by ‘putting the responsibility on the Senate’ to defund ObamaCare. Conservatives and the tea party are fed up with these stupid government tricks,” he continued. “Now it’s the GOP leadership playing them.”
“What they didn’t say was that the vote they will push to the Senate to defund ObamaCare is meaningless and won’t get the job done — and they know it. It is a slap — a cynical, dishonest slap — across the face of everyone who voted for them. This will cost them,” Bozell warned.
“If they do not defund ObamaCare by any means necessary the GOP will own it and they will pay a hefty political price for breaking their promise,” he declared. “To those rank and file members playing this three card monte game, I can say only one thing: Get ready for some primaries.”
Maybe not Crazy Legs, maybe not. But, you are a shameless, clueless political hack who has to pry your lips off Obama’s rear to speak.
“But they first of all referred to him, not as the ‘President of the United States’ but as a ‘liberal leader.’ They refer to the health care act of 2010 as ‘a bill.’ They refer to him as ‘Obama.’ They don’t say the ‘the president.’ They don’t say the ‘a law.’ They don’t even speak the language we normally speak in civilized political debate. They’ve changed it so much that he’s actually not really supposed to be there, and I’m not paranoid.”
THIS is why I call MSNBS, I watch so you do not have to, the Tree of Low Hanging Blogging Fruit. Matthews says the most inane things, and his guests, who are just as big a morons as Matthews go along with him. The video at the link is a classic example of how far out in left field Matthews and his followers are. First, they play a clip of Donald Trump and use HIS words to bash Conservatives. Let us set this straight folks once and for all. Trump is NOT a Conservative. He is a carnival barker, a publicity whore, a Televangelist with worse hair, and a used car salesman in a better suit. Trump is a loathsome SOB, who apparently knows what to say to get on TV. Fox seems to love them some Donald for some reason. The first time I saw Trump, my BS Detector pegged! If you are getting the impression I would not piss on Trump if he was on fire, you are getting the right impression.
Sorry for the rant, really, but I have never been able to stomach Trump. If you want to hear a REAL, GENUINE, no BS Conservative, come down to Texas, and listen to our governor. Listen to Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, or many of the bloggers like Ed and I, and those on our blogroll. Most of us are not after money, or fame, we do what we do on our time. On days off, after work, before work, and we do it because we CARE about America. But does Fox call us up? Do any big time radio talkers, who by the way talk about many things bloggers talked about a week before call us up? Hell, some of them do not even give credit for the blog they get the story from! Bet your ass Trump would do or say just about anything if there were $$$ attached, but for free? Yeah right! Maybe that is what riles me most. Folks who do it for publicity, fame, wealth, get the spotlight, usually saying the same damn things over and again while the bloggers like us, who are likely more insightful, and who bust our asses because we love America get squat!
Again, sorry for the rant. Hell I forgot what this post was supposed to be about now
URGENT! Sign The Petition To Defund ObamaCare – Join Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio And Rand Paul Today!
Health insurance rates in Georgia are rising by up to 198 percent under Obamacare, the Georgia Insurance Commissioner said in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday.
States are required by the Affordable Care Act to report new insurance premium rates for state exchanges run by the federal government by the end of July.
Commissioner Ralph Hudgens in his letter asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to extend Georgia’s deadline for reporting the insurance rates by one month to give his office more time to investigate and approve the new, higher rates.
“Georgia consumers cannot afford these massive rate increases,” Hudgens wrote to Sebelius.
The Georgia insurance department compared the cost of insurance within the exchanges to what people pay now for similar coverage, and the rates were going up for every age group, said Jay Florence, an insurance department official under Hudgens.
For an average 25 year-old male, premiums are set to rise 85 to 198 percent within the exchanges, while for a 45 year-old male, premiums will rise 40 to 100 percent, Florence said. A 64 year-old male will pay 18 to 48 percent more under Obamacare’s regime.
“The delay is simply trying to give the administration an opportunity to explain that and maybe explain what our actuaries weren’t able to determine, which is that these rates are excessive,” he said.
Hudgens requested that Sebelius respond by end of business today. As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, HHS had not responded, according to another official in the commissioner’s office. HHS did not return a request from the Washington Free Beacon for comment.
Healthcare experts pointed to several reasons that the premiums for individual plans on the exchanges are rising.
One is the “age rating,” which requires that insurance companies charge no more than three times what they charge younger people. Without this restriction, insurance companies would likely charge five times as much, which means that the restriction will lower prices for the elderly but raise them for younger people.
“That in and of itself would have a direct, almost mechanical impact on rates,” said Ed Haislmaier, a health care expert at the Heritage Foundation.
Obamacare also increases the minimum amount insurance companies must pay for procedures, driving up premiums, Haislmaier said. He compared this rule to mandating that everyone upgrade their plane ticket to first class and requiring everyone to pay for the extra space.
There are some states, such as New York, that will see price reductions, noted James Capretta, a health policy expert at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. But these are the one that have “already pretty much destroyed the individual market” through prior healthcare reforms, he said, and other states with intact markets will see price increases.
“I have no reason to question their numbers,” Capretta said. “It’s going to be a big problem.”
Georgia is not the first state to make such an announcement. Indiana has already announced that insurance rates are rising 72 percent for an individual plan and 8 percent for a group plan.
HELP MAKE THIS A VIRAL POST BY SHARING IT WITH EVERY PATRIOT YOU KNOW!
Republican Senators who have not yet committed to defunding ObamaCare.
AK – Murkowski, Lisa – 202-224-3004
AL – Sessions, Jeff – 202-224-4124
AL – Shelby, Richard – 202-224-5744
AR – Boozman, John – 202-224-4843
AZ – Flake, Jeff – 202-224-4521
AZ – McCain, John – 202-224-2235
GA – Chambliss, Saxby – 202-224-3521
GA – Isakson, Johnny – 202-224-3643
ID – Crapo, Mike – 202-224-6142
IL – Kirk, Mark – 202-224-2854
IN – Coats, Dan – 202-224-5623
KS – Moran, Jerry – 202-224-6521
KS – Roberts, Pat – 202-224-4774
KY – McConnell, Mitch – 202-224-2541
ME – Collins, Susan – 202-224-2523
MO – Blunt, Roy – 202-224-5721
MS – Cochran, Thad – 202-224-5054
MS – Wicker, Roger – 202-224-6253
NC – Burr, Richard – 202-224-3154
ND – Hoeven, John – 202-224-2551
NE – Johanns, Mike – 202-224-4224
NH – Ayotte, Kelly – 202-224-3324
NV – Heller, Dean – 202-224-6244
OH – Portman, Rob – 202-224-3353
PA – Toomey, Pat – 202-224-4254
SC – Graham, Lindsey – 202-224-5972
SC – Scott, Tim – 202-224-6121
TN – Alexander, Lamar – 202-224-4944
TN – Corker, Bob – 202-224-3344
TX – Cornyn, John – 202-224-2934
UT – Hatch, Orrin – 202-224-5251
WI – Johnson, Ron – 202-224-5323
WY – Barrasso, John – 202-224-6441
Send a message to the House as well.
H. R. 2682
To prohibit the funding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 11, 2013
Mr. GRAVES of Georgia (for himself, Mr. BRIDENSTINE, Mr. MASSIE, Mr. STOCKMAN, Mr. JONES, Mr. COLLINS of Georgia, Mr. COTTON, Mr. PALAZZO, Mr. BROUN of Georgia, Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina, Mr. PITTENGER, Mr. HENSARLING, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. MEADOWS, Mr. CASSIDY, Mr. ROE of Tennessee, Mr. LAMALFA, Mr. WESTMORELAND, Mr. WENSTRUP, Mr. HUDSON, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mr. GINGREY of Georgia, Mr. FARENTHOLD, Mr. MULVANEY, Mr. WITTMAN, Mr. BARTON, Mr. OLSON, Mr. HALL, Mrs. BACHMANN, Mr. CHABOT, Mr. CULBERSON, Mr. FLEMING, Mr. KING of Iowa, Mr. DESANTIS, Mr. HUELSKAMP, Mr. POSEY, Mr. BILIRAKIS, Mr. SCALISE, and Mr. YOHO) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, Education and the Workforce, Natural Resources, the Judiciary, and House Administration, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To prohibit the funding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Defund Obamacare Act of 2013′.
SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON FUNDING.
(a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds shall be made available to carry out any provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) or title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), or of the amendments made by either such Act.
(b) Limitation- No entitlement to benefits under any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) or title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), or the amendments made by either such Act, shall remain in effect on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, nor shall any payment be awarded, owed, or made to any State, District, or territory under any such provision.
(c) Unobligated Balances- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all unobligated balances available under the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) are hereby rescinded.
COSPONSORS (98), ALPHABETICAL:
Rep Amodei, Mark E. [NV-2] – 7/22/2013
Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] – 7/11/2013
Rep Barr, Andy [KY-6] – 7/16/2013
Rep Barton, Joe [TX-6] – 7/11/2013
Rep Benishek, Dan [MI-1] – 7/24/2013
Rep Bentivolio, Kerry L. [MI-11] – 7/17/2013
Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-12] – 7/11/2013
Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1] – 7/17/2013
Rep Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [LA-3] – 7/15/2013
Rep Bridenstine, Jim [OK-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Brooks, Mo [AL-5] – 7/17/2013
Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] – 7/11/2013
Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] – 7/22/2013
Rep Cassidy, Bill [LA-6] – 7/11/2013
Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Chaffetz, Jason [UT-3] – 7/23/2013
Rep Collins, Doug [GA-9] – 7/11/2013
Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11] – 7/17/2013
Rep Cotton, Tom [AR-4] – 7/11/2013
Rep Crawford, Eric A. “Rick” [AR-1] – 7/19/2013
Rep Culberson, John Abney [TX-7] – 7/11/2013
Rep Daines, Steve [MT] – 7/17/2013
Rep DeSantis, Ron [FL-6] – 7/11/2013
Rep DesJarlais, Scott [TN-4] – 7/25/2013
Rep Duncan, Jeff [SC-3] – 7/11/2013
Rep Farenthold, Blake [TX-27] – 7/11/2013
Rep Fleischmann, Charles J. “Chuck” [TN-3] – 7/15/2013
Rep Fleming, John [LA-4] – 7/11/2013
Rep Flores, Bill [TX-17] – 7/17/2013
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-8] – 7/17/2013
Rep Gardner, Cory [CO-4] – 7/23/2013
Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] – 7/11/2013
Rep Gosar, Paul A. [AZ-4] – 7/19/2013
Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] – 7/17/2013
Rep Guthrie, Brett [KY-2] – 7/16/2013
Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4] – 7/11/2013
Rep Harper, Gregg [MS-3] – 7/24/2013
Rep Harris, Andy [MD-1] – 7/26/2013
Rep Hartzler, Vicky [MO-4] – 7/24/2013
Rep Hastings, Doc [WA-4] – 7/22/2013
Rep Hensarling, Jeb [TX-5] – 7/11/2013
Rep Hudson, Richard [NC-8] – 7/11/2013
Rep Huelskamp, Tim [KS-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Huizenga, Bill [MI-2] – 7/17/2013
Rep Hultgren, Randy [IL-14] – 7/17/2013
Rep Johnson, Bill [OH-6] – 7/24/2013
Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] – 7/23/2013
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] – 7/11/2013
Rep King, Steve [IA-4] – 7/11/2013
Rep Kingston, Jack [GA-1] – 7/15/2013
Rep Labrador, Raul R. [ID-1] – 7/15/2013
Rep LaMalfa, Doug [CA-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] – 7/11/2013
Rep Lankford, James [OK-5] – 7/23/2013
Rep Marchant, Kenny [TX-24] – 7/24/2013
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 7/18/2013
Rep Massie, Thomas [KY-4] – 7/11/2013
Rep McCaul, Michael T. [TX-10] – 7/26/2013
Rep McClintock, Tom [CA-4] – 7/22/2013
Rep Meadows, Mark [NC-11] – 7/11/2013
Rep Messer, Luke [IN-6] – 7/24/2013
Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Mullin, Markwayne [OK-2] – 7/22/2013
Rep Mulvaney, Mick [SC-5] – 7/11/2013
Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19] – 7/17/2013
Rep Nunnelee, Alan [MS-1] – 7/22/2013
Rep Olson, Pete [TX-22] – 7/11/2013
Rep Palazzo, Steven M. [MS-4] – 7/11/2013
Rep Perry, Scott [PA-4] – 7/22/2013
Rep Pittenger, Robert [NC-9] – 7/11/2013
Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] – 7/17/2013
Rep Posey, Bill [FL-8] – 7/11/2013
Rep Price, Tom [GA-6] – 7/24/2013
Rep Radel, Trey [FL-19] – 7/26/2013
Rep Roe, David P. [TN-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Rokita, Todd [IN-4] – 7/17/2013
Rep Rooney, Thomas J. [FL-17] – 7/24/2013
Rep Salmon, Matt [AZ-5] – 7/17/2013
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Scott, Austin [GA-8] – 7/17/2013
Rep Sessions, Pete [TX-32] – 7/26/2013
Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9] – 7/26/2013
Rep Smith, Jason T. [MO-8] – 7/19/2013
Rep Southerland, Steve II [FL-2] – 7/24/2013
Rep Stockman, Steve [TX-36] – 7/11/2013
Rep Stutzman, Marlin A. [IN-3] – 7/17/2013
Rep Thornberry, Mac [TX-13] – 7/26/2013
Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] – 7/23/2013
Rep Walberg, Tim [MI-7] – 7/19/2013
Rep Weber, Randy K. Sr. [TX-14] – 7/17/2013
Rep Wenstrup, Brad R. [OH-2] – 7/11/2013
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-3] – 7/11/2013
Rep Williams, Roger [TX-25] – 7/17/2013
Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] – 7/17/2013
Rep Wittman, Robert J. [VA-1] – 7/11/2013
Rep Womack, Steve [AR-3] – 7/26/2013
Rep Yoder, Kevin [KS-3] – 7/24/2013
Rep Yoho, Ted S. [FL-3] – 7/11/2013
POLICY AND TECHNICAL
“What do you mean by defunding Obamacare?”
Defunding Obamacare means attaching a legislative rider to a “must pass” bill (debt limit, annual spending bill, etc.) that 1) prohibits any funds from being spent on any activities to implement or enforce Obamacare; 2) rescinds any unspent balances that have already been appropriated for implementation; and 3) turns off the exchange subsidy and new Medicaid spending that are on auto-pilot.
“There is no such thing as defunding Obamacare.”
That is a false statement. Congressmen who assert this are either asserting that funding is not being spent to implement Obamacare (false) or that a defund amendment cannot technically be executed (again, false). Defunding Obamacare can be done, and it has been attempted by the House of Representatives recently. For instance, in 2011, after gaining the majority, the Republican House included such a defunding provision on the continuing spending resolution (HR 1) when the bill first passed the House. The provision was later discarded in negotiations with the President and the Senate, but the effort began with promise.
“What is the urgency to defund Obamacare now?”
On January 1, 2014, Obamacare’s new main entitlements – the Medicaid expansion and the exchange subsidies – are scheduled to take effect. Open enrollment for both programs begins on October 1, 2013, at the start of the new fiscal year. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal government will spend $48 billion in 2014 – and nearly $1.8 trillion through 2023 – on these new entitlement programs. Also on January 1, Americans will be forced by their government to buy a product – health insurance – for the first time ever. Individuals and families who don’t comply will be penalized by tax penalties administered through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Obama Administration has requested over $400 million in funding and nearly 2,000 bureaucrats for the IRS to implement the individual mandate and 46 other statutory provisions in the law. Within the Administration, the blizzard of Obamacare rules and regulations continues apace. Regulators have now written over 20,000 pages of Obamacare-related rules and notices in the Federal Register. Many of these regulations will increase the cost of insurance; CBO concluded Obamacare would raise individual health insurance premiums by $2,100 per year.
“Isn’t defunding Obamacare impossible because most of the funding is ‘mandatory’ (or on ‘auto-pilot’) and cannot be amended via the annual appropriations process?”
No. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the IRS, “will incur substantial administrative costs to implement the law’s private insurance reforms and its changes to the federal health care programs.” And while Obamacare provided $1 billion in mandatory implementation funding when it was enacted, HHS projects that this is largely spent. According to CRS, Obamacare “administrative costs will have to be funded through the annual discretionary appropriations.” Furthermore, annual appropriations bills routinely carry funding limitations to block all sorts of activities (for example, the Hyde Amendment), as well make changes to mandatory spending. These latter provisions are called “changes in mandatory program spending” (CHIMPS). Even if these riders were not so common-place, the stakes of so many provisions of Obamacare scheduled to take effect would present grounds for an exception.
“Isn’t defunding impossible because there is not a specific funding stream for Obamacare? Funding is embedded throughout the federal government and not specifically designated.”
No. Congress is aware of all of the programs that fund Obamacare because CRS has provided such a list and the Appropriations Committees are well-versed in the funding intricacies of the law. However, a blanket prohibition against funding all activities associated with implementing the law is all that is needed to halt implementation. Each program does not have to be specifically defunded.
POLITICAL AND STRATEGIC
“My Congressman supports repealing Obamacare but not defund….”
It is wonderful that Congressmen support repealing Obamacare, but it’s not enough. The House has had numerous votes to repeal Obamacare, but the chances of statutorily repealing the law decreased once President Obama won a second term. Conservatives cannot wait another three-and-a-half years to begin dismantling Obamacare; they need to leverage current opportunities to defund Obamacare on “must-pass” spending bills.
“Since Obamacare is the President’s ‘signature achievement’ won’t he veto any effort to defund the program? Why should conservatives make this the focus of their anti-Obamacare efforts?”
There is a critical window of opportunity to stop the flow of funding for Obamacare from now until October 1, 2013, when the new fiscal year begins. It is during the same window that the President and Congress must pass bills to fund the government for the coming year. It is entirely appropriate for conservative members of Congress to use this opportunity to say, “No more funding for Obamacare!” and wage a serious and determined fight. If the Republican House girds for this fight – and wins the national argument with the urgency coming from a number of scheduled implementation dates and the law’s rising unpopularity – President Obama will be forced to compromise.
“If you don’t have the votes for a statutory repeal, why would you think you can get the votes to defund Obamacare?”
The Constitution grants the House of Representatives the ultimate “power of the purse.” If Congress chooses not to fund Obamacare activities for the upcoming fiscal year, the Obama Administration cannot act to implement the law. The President’s party does not control the House of Representatives, which must originate debt limit and spending bills to fund the government. And the House Republican Majority was elected in 2010, on the basis of its platform against Obamacare.
“Won’t adding a provision to defund Obamacare to a ‘must-pass’ appropriations bill lead to a government shutdown?”
Obviously, this will set up a major political confrontation with President Obama, but it is the sort of conflict that will allow conservatives in the House of Representatives to remind the American people that the worst aspects of Obamacare are about to take hold and a defunding rider is the only thing standing in the way.
If House Republicans insist on defunding Obamacare, it is possible that the Obama Administration will shut the government down. This would not be the end of the world, and it needs to be an option. President Clinton shut the government down in 1995, by refusing to sign legislation to fund the government. While most pundits in Washington DC believe that this was a catastrophic political failure for Republicans, it is a fact that the House Republicans maintained their majority in 1996, even with a popular president of another party on the ticket. And their willingness to not accept all of Clinton’s demands was crucial towards eventually balancing the budget and reforming welfare. The nation can no longer afford for conservatives to leave political leverage on the table.
“Shouldn’t Obamacare opponents focus instead on repealing pieces of the law where there is bipartisan support – for example, the medical device tax or the IPAB – in order to reinforce the fact that Obamacare is not set in stone and make its supporters take hard votes?”
Washington is filled with special interest groups lobbying everyday to secure a “fix” for the part of Obamacare that affects their industry. There is no “fix” for this law and every time Congress caves to a special interest and makes the law “better” for that group, a little less momentum exists for full and final defunding or repeal. “Fix” votes also give Obamacare supporters every opportunity to appear reasonable and willing to fix the worst excesses of the law. The grim reality is that if the opponents of Obamacare are not willing to use every bit of political leverage at their disposal – a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, mostly made up of Congressmen from safe seats with constituents who strongly object to Obamacare – to halt implementation of the law, then it will be set in stone. There is simply no more time, particularly as the massive exchange subsidies are made available and the Medicaid expansion takes effect.
Add this image to your facebook page.