Sen. Lee on defunding ObamaCare: “We all know the government is going to get funded…”

posted at 12:01 pm on July 29, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Sen. Mike Lee took to the Sunday shows yesterday to defend his push to keep the funding of ObamaCare as an in-play political factor in the looming budget battle upon Congress’s return from the August recess. After Lee and eleven fellow Republican cosponsors’ feisty letter to Harry Reid last week, several Republicans made it perfectly clear that they are not on board with the idea, including Sen. Richard Burr calling Lee’s proposal to block a continuing resolution “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” On Sunday, however, Lee both downplayed the risk of an actual government shutdown and maintained that the federal government shouldn’t be foisting a law upon the American people that they’re very obviously not ready to implement. At about the 5-minute mark:


Look, Chris, we all know that the government is going to get funded. The only question is whether the government gets funded with Obamacare or without it? And what I’m saying is that the president has said he’s not ready to implement the law, he said that the law isn’t ready for primetime. And so, if he’s not ready, if the law is not ready, we can’t fund it. … It’s not about liberal or conservative. This is yet another instance of Washington versus everyone else. And we’ve got to stop Washington from dividing the American people. We’ve got to stop Washington from hurting the American people. … The law is bad. The law is certainly not ready to implement and we shouldn’t fund it. … The fact is that we can delay this bill, maybe we can’t repeal it right, but we can delay its funding. And if we can delay it, we can stop its consequences, at least for now. And we have to do that.

And indeed, as Stephen Hayes reports at the Weekly Standard, as his effort started to gain attention over the past couple of weeks and the media began chiming in that he was supposedly just a-hankerin’ for a hyper-partisan episode of government shutdown, support has started to wane. Senators Ayotte, Boozman, Cornyn, Wicker, and Kirk all initially agreed to sign up for what was originally intended to be the seventeen-cosponsor letter to Reid, but the five of them quietly backed off and dwindled that number down to twelve at the final tally; and the ongoing optics of it all mean that more support probably isn’t going to happen:

Sources tell The Weekly Standard that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell made clear he didn’t like Lee’s approach and the fact that media reports were suggesting Republicans were eager for a shutdown. …

Lee says he anticipated some Republican opposition to his plan but didn’t expect the intensity of the campaign to stop him. “The fact that some are pushing back as hard as they are is surprising,” he tells me. He is frustrated that some of those in leadership who are quietly thwarting his efforts haven’t come up with an alternative. When I ask him if he could describe leadership’s preferred strategy, he responds: “No. There is no plan. …”

Efforts to defund Obamacare are unlikely to succeed—at least for now. Republicans would have to have spoken with one voice for their threats to be taken seriously. Too late for that, obviously.


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End this monstrosity now…

OmahaConservative on July 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM

We need to pass it first to find out what’s in it. What a shock that this method of legislating has turned into such a mess. I figured a bill no one actually read would work out real smooth.

Flange on July 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Where is Ed?

OmahaConservative on July 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

We need to pass it first to find out what’s in it. What a shock that this method of legislating has turned into such a mess. I figured a bill no one actually read would work out real smooth.

Flange on July 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

And once one realizes the same charade is played out over and over and over, the rhetorical question “why should they draw a paycheck when they’re clearly derelict in their duties” becomes more than rhetorical.

Drained Brain on July 29, 2013 at 12:09 PM

“We all know the government is going to get funded…”

aahhh… Truth is so rare in politics. Savor it.

equanimous on July 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Where is Ed?

OmahaConservative on July 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Alaskan cruise I think?

onomo on July 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM

If we can somehow manage to put Egypt’s F-16s on hold then Ocommiecare shouldn’t be that difficult to defund.

Boehner is too busy hiding in his tanning booth or under the desk or cowering from what the NSA has on him to make the effort, apparently.

viking01 on July 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM

The GOP may have people in leadership positions, but it has no “Leadership”.

Free Indeed on July 29, 2013 at 12:18 PM

The forces arrayed against freedom are huge. Their ‘divisions’ are media, career politicans (in both parties) and the education industry. The insidious work of these interlinked powers has brought us to the brink of socialism and has twisted America into a caricature of the country we once knew.

Meremortal on July 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

This is yet another example of the GOP having no strategy, nothing to stand for, no spine…the list goes on. Obamacare is HATED by a majority of Americans. But do the Republicans listen to the people? Do they even bother making a case against Obamacare? Nope.

The most corrupt, incompetent, divisive administration in history. And what does the GOP do? They wanna talk about passing amnesty.

*sigh*

Jack_Burton on July 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM

This is a farce and it’s only making Lee and the others behind it look bad. If you say the government is going to ultimately get funded then you are giving up any leverage to get Obamacare defunded. If they are not prepared to carry through with shutting down the government then this is just a bunch of political grandstanding, and conservatives should realize that they are being played.

Mark1971 on July 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Alaskan cruise I think?

onomo on July 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM

♫♪ Watch out where the huskies go and don’t you eat that yellow snow…♪♫

viking01 on July 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

As much praise as Lee deserves for this push, I haven’t heard him specifically going on record saying he would shut the government down if need be. The only way this can possibly work is if he and others can articulate (like Mark Levin does on almost daily basis) why a government shut down would NOT be such a bad thing, and why the GOP should not be afraid to utilize this card if necessary in order to kill Obamacare. He seems to be posturing himself a little bit to avoid taking that specific stance.

cdog0613 on July 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

The only way this can possibly work is if he and others can articulate (like Mark Levin does on almost daily basis) why a government shut down would NOT be such a bad thing

Actually, from my POV shutting down the federal government is a good thing….a very good thing. An event that should occur with regularity. Maybe every summer.

hawkeye54 on July 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM

What would be unreasonable about delaying the implementation individual mandate? Nothing. The Republicans and many Democrats could make a full court press for that and should.

gracie on July 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM

I found Lee’s initial letter to be persuasive… but…

Over and over again we must come back to arguing about strategy and tactics.

In this case… the tactic of trying to withhold funding from Obamacare… is a bad one.

Mark1971 hits the nail on the head:

This is a farce and it’s only making Lee and the others behind it look bad. If you say the government is going to ultimately get funded then you are giving up any leverage to get Obamacare defunded. If they are not prepared to carry through with shutting down the government then this is just a bunch of political grandstanding, and conservatives should realize that they are being played.

Mark1971 on July 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM

1) If there is no actual threat of shutting down the govenment, then why bother? and 2) the threat of shutting down the government never, ever ends well for whoever the public blames.

In this case, the ‘blame’ would be solely on those “Republican extremists” in the eyes of the public. And the conservative cause would be tremendously set back.

You have got to think these things through.

RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

So: Government will spend as much as it damn well pleases, and we’re on the hook for it, like it or not.

This will not end well… but it will end.

*cough*Detroit*cough*

Bat Chain Puller on July 29, 2013 at 12:39 PM

On Sunday, however, Lee both downplayed the risk of an actual government shutdown and maintained that the federal government shouldn’t be foisting a law upon the American people that they’re very obviously not ready to implement.

That’s the crux of the matter. The law isn’t ready to be implemented and yet, because it bears the name of a filthy rat-eared bastard, nobody wants to call a time out.

It is perfectly reasonable to say “not at this time” unless the administration can show that the automated systems for enrollment are up and running and bug-free. That the promises of what it is going to cost are accurate and reasonable. That Americans will not be harmed by shifting requirements. That the government can ensure privacy of personal information.

Happy Nomad on July 29, 2013 at 12:39 PM

If they’re not going to repeal Obamacare, then I say full steam ahead with its implementation. I want the liberals who favor it and voted twice for their precious Obama to finally feel genuine pain from Democrat policies. Liberals have had a free ride for decades when it comes to things those they elected have forced on an unwilling population. Obamacare is at last something not even liberals can escape.

I hope they cry every time they look at their paychecks to see what they let government steal from them and everyone else.

Liam on July 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

If the GOP won’t defund Obamacare it is time to start the new Freedom Party.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

If they’re not going to repeal Obamacare, then I say full steam ahead with its implementation. I want the liberals who favor it and voted twice for their precious Obama to finally feel genuine pain from Democrat policies. Liberals have had a free ride for decades when it comes to things those they elected have forced on an unwilling population. Obamacare is at last something not even liberals can escape.

I hope they cry every time they look at their paychecks to see what they let government steal from them and everyone else.

Liam on July 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

You know they’re all low-info voters who would only blame Republicans for the pain, because blaming Republicans is all they know.

CurtZHP on July 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I called Cornyn’s office for clarification. They actually called me back!! According to Cornyn Lee’s bill is too encompassing and would interrupt checks to veterans. I told them we would take care of our own, we’re ready to shut it down.

Last week WaPo reported Obama has his administration openly planning for a shut down. It brought no discussion.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-hardens-stance-on-budget-cuts-ahead-of-showdown/2013/07/25/8894c6f6-f53c-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html

That was a trail balloon saying Obama would call any bluff not to increase the debt ceiling for reduced domestic spending. And here’s our side chewing each other over which way to go. This is April 2011 all over again

Go big or go home GOP. Get on the same page and make it the Tea Party page. It is only about survival at this point.

DanMan on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

If the GOP won’t defund repeal Obamacare it is time to start the new Freedom Party vote for better candidates.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Slightly modiefied to reflect my own squish/RINO/HA-comment section-contrarian sentiment.

;-)

RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

If they’re not going to repeal Obamacare, then I say full steam ahead with its implementation.

Liam on July 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

I want some resistance first. The Demonrats already own this but I want the oppostion to have the chance to scream against it every step of the way so that these corrupt bastards can’t use the “it was a bipartisan effort” to hide their own shame.

Happy Nomad on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

You know they’re all low-info voters who would only blame Republicans for the pain, because blaming Republicans is all they know.

CurtZHP on July 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Well, they have been conditioned to blame Republicans for decades, with continual helpful instruction and reminders from politicians, school indoctrinators and media, so its to be expected.

hawkeye54 on July 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Slightly modiefied…
RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Somewhere, in some form of english yet to be discovered ‘modiefied’ equals modified

RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

As with all entitlements once this thing is implemented it’s forever. I’ve signed the petition at dontfundobamacare.com and I urge all my friends to do the same. Yes I know it’s an uphill climb but you have to start somewhere. It’s at about 24,500 signatures right now.

neyney on July 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

You know they’re all low-info voters who would only blame Republicans for the pain, because blaming Republicans is all they know.

CurtZHP on July 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Well we had better not do anything at all, then—we had better not rock the boat—or else people might blame us. The Tale of Brave Sir Robin!

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

We already had our last chance to defeat Obamacare in the 2012 elections. We lost (or at least we did not win, election fraud is another issue). There is no non-destructive method left to halt it’s implementation.

The best we can do, and where Republican focus needs to be, is to let this monstrousity of an ill-advised piece of legislation lumber forward and make life miserable for the majority of Americans. Then use that ill will towards Obamacare to win the Senate in 2014 and the Presidency in 2016. Then repeal and replace.

NOMOBO on July 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Slightly modiefied…
RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Somewhere, in some form of english yet to be discovered ‘modiefied’ equals modified

No worries. I’m always discovering new forms of English, since spelling always appears to be in the flux of evolution in the hands and minds of often uncaring or unobservant writers.

hawkeye54 on July 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

If the GOP won’t defund Obamacare it is time to start the new Freedom Party.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

It’s long overdue for that.

Socialism has been proven to be a failure time and time again throughout history, and when the Dems keep wanting to try it in America, the GOP’s response is nothing but a big DERP!!!!

UltimateBob on July 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Slightly modiefied to reflect my own squish/RINO/HA-comment section-contrarian sentiment.

;-)

RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

LOL! If the GOP isn’t even willing to delay Obamacare for one year then obviously they have no intention of repealing it.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Slightly modiefied…
RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Somewhere, in some form of english yet to be discovered ‘modiefied’ equals modified

No worries. I’m always discovering new forms of English, since spelling always appears to be in the flux of evolution in the hands and minds of often uncaring or unobservant writers.

hawkeye54 on July 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Sounds like a good strategery to me.

viking01 on July 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

No worries. I’m always discovering new forms of English, since spelling always appears to be in the flux of evolution in the hands and minds of often uncaring or unobservant writers spell check programs.

hawkeye54 on July 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Updated for technological clarity

NOMOBO on July 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I want some resistance first. The Demonrats already own this but I want the oppostion to have the chance to scream against it every step of the way so that these corrupt bastards can’t use the “it was a bipartisan effort” to hide their own shame.

Happy Nomad on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

The Democrats and the GOP establishment that brought you Romneycare, the model for Obamacare, and refuse to defund Obamacare, own Obamacare. Let Obamacare be the final nail in the coffin of the Democrat and Republican Parties.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 1:02 PM

LOL! If the GOP isn’t even willing to delay Obamacare for one year then obviously they have no intention of repealing it.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

But the bottom line is that you can’t repeal Obamacare unless you have a Republican-controlled government.

We have the House. There is little we can actually do (that doesn’t reek of ultimately self-defeating political theatre) to affect bills that have already been passed by both houses and signed into law.

RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 1:04 PM

It’s great to be represented by a party that can be manipulated by both the media and the Democrats. I can’t figure out how we have survived this long.

Cindy Munford on July 29, 2013 at 1:05 PM

The best we can do, and where Republican focus needs to be, is to let this monstrousity of an ill-advised piece of legislation lumber forward and make life miserable for the majority of Americans. Then use that ill will towards Obamacare to win the Senate in 2014 and the Presidency in 2016. Then repeal and replace.

NOMOBO on July 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Yeah, right. And then we should all hop on our unicorns and ride off into the rainbow bridge to look for the fairy king.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Coming late to the thread, I only do 1 a a time!!

Boehner is too busy hiding in his tanning booth or under the desk or cowering from what the NSA has on him to make the effort, apparently.

viking01 on July 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM

That right there is what is ailing and stagnating America.

What has the NSA on everyone who should be doing what’s right for the country!

Has the govt got the goods and are they ‘threatening’ the opposition with it?

Inquiring minds, like mine, want to know, but will never know, just speculate… so sad… ):

Scrumpy on July 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Where is Ed?

OmahaConservative on July 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

OnahaConservative:

Doing an Inspection,of Purgatory Moderation Cove,on BanHammer Island!

(I kid)

He’s on Vacation:O

canopfor on July 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Republicans have had the power to stop Obamacare since 2010 when they took the House.

They simply don’t want to.

More and more the only difference between the two parties is just how far left they are.

Hell, we just had an election featuring the two most important individuals in pushing socialized health care on America in Obama and Romney.

18-1 on July 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

But the bottom line is that you can’t repeal Obamacare unless you have a Republican-controlled government.

We have the House. There is little we can actually do (that doesn’t reek of ultimately self-defeating political theatre) to affect bills that have already been passed by both houses and signed into law.

RightWay79 on July 29, 2013 at 1:04 PM

No, the problem is that the GOP establishment, the same one that brought us Romneycare, Medicare Part D and so many other progressive, big-gov programs, actually supports Obamacare because it increases their power over the American people and can be used to reward their cronies and punish their enemies. The R establishment supports it for the same reason the D establishment support it.

Sure, they’ll take meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare knowing in advance that the effort will fail, but they clearly have absolutely no intention of repealing Obamacare if they won’t even delay it for a single year. If delaying it for a year is too risky then delaying it forever by repealing it is far riskier still.

And here’s the thing. This may not be true in your case, RightWay79, but most of the “Republicans” who refuse to defund Obamacare are the same people supporting Al Qaeda in Syria. They’re the same ones, in most cases, spending so much effort trying to amnesty illegal aliens for their cronies instead of abolishing the IRS for influencing the 2012 election.

It’s time to get the Freedom Party started!

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM

The Sequester is going to destroy government!! Remember that one?
Liberal messaging is SO wrong all the time; why on Earth would anyone listen?

michaelo on July 29, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Mr. Burr,

Now that I see that you are OK with O’Care, I now see every reason why you should be primaried in the next election.

I know a RINO when I see one.

Turtle317 on July 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

…And most of the Republicans who refuse to defund Obamacare are the same ones that have made themselves the enemies of the Constitution and our civil rights by turning America into a stasi police state. They’re the same ones who continue to promote nation-building all over the world and by so doing helped bankrupt America. They’re the same ones that supported bailing out their cronies in the corrupt banking sector with TARP.

Freedom Party Now!

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Actually, from my POV shutting down the federal government is a good thing….a very good thing. An event that should occur with regularity. Maybe every summer.

hawkeye54 on July 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM

For all practical purposes, the government shuts down 2 days out of every week plus 10 holidays per year. And the Earth hasn’t spun off of its axis yet.

Bitter Clinger on July 29, 2013 at 1:32 PM

That right there is what is ailing and stagnating America.

What has the NSA on everyone who should be doing what’s right for the country!

Has the govt got the goods and are they ‘threatening’ the opposition with it?

Inquiring minds, like mine, want to know, but will never know, just speculate… so sad… ):

Scrumpy on July 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

You may be right. For all we know the reason the GOP’s supposed fervor to repeal Obamacare, which has now evaporated to the point where they’re not even willing to delay it for one year, is because the NSA has a lot of dirt on the corrupt scumbags in Congress and are now beholden to Obama and the Democrats.

But while that may be the case, the GOP was already a corrupt, big-gov progressive party, so that equally as plausible.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 1:55 PM

More and more the only difference between the two parties is just how far left they are.

18-1 on July 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The only difference between the two parties is the lies and empty promises they tell to fool people into voting for them.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

The GOP is not only The Stupid Party, it’s The Gutless Party.

DRayRaven on July 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

So if they can’t defund Obamacare, make it go into effect completely. It is stupid to let Obama pick and chose what works to his advantage and what doesn’t. Getting individuals hooked on another gimme program is stupid for the country but great politics for the Democrats.

Cindy Munford on July 29, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Link the CR to a delay in the individual mandate. Equalize it with the employer delay.

The country would be with you and Lee’s talking points about the law not being ready can work with this.

Zomcon JEM on July 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Liberal messaging is SO wrong all the time; why on Earth would anyone listen?

michaelo on July 29, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Because the Left is sooooo good at perpetually lying and continually dumbing down their ill educated, uninquisitive, gullible low info voter base, which has been indoctrinated to believe every thing the Left tells them as gospel, and they fall for lies nearly every time.

hawkeye54 on July 29, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Well that didn’t take long. It’s only Monday, and Lee’s already walking back the threats.

When it comes to political savvy, the Tea Party crowd makes the Republican leadership look like Machiavelli, Cardinal Richlieu, and Otto Von Bismark all rolled into one.

Mr. Arkadin on July 29, 2013 at 3:19 PM

More and more the only difference between the two parties is just how far left they are.

18-1 on July 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The only difference between the two parties is the lies and empty promises they tell to fool people into voting for them.

FloatingRock on July 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

…I’m afraid…you are 95% correct!

KOOLAID2 on July 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Do you have any idea the amount of federal agencies we fund with our taxes? Try 1300, they are listed if you google (listing of federal agencies). They are all stuffed with friends and family of our politicians. As you read through them note the titles. While your laughing, google the (number of staff for congress) again notice the titles vary but they are still appointed staff by our elected representatives. There are over 23,000 staff. A huge clue as to why our Congressman have no idea what’s in these Bills.

mixplix on July 30, 2013 at 5:28 AM