Video: Paul shifting to delay strategy?

posted at 10:41 am on August 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

“People want us to stand up,” Senator Rand Paul told Sean Hannity earlier this week about the Republican drive to end ObamaCare. “I ran on being against ObamaCare,” he continued, and called the defunding strategy pushed by his colleagues Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio “the only method at this time to do anything” about the Affordable Care Act.  However, Paul also admitted that “I may not be able to guarantee victory,” and that a delay strategy will be the likely fallback plan (via Michael Warren at the Weekly Standard):

“But what I can guarantee is I will stand up if the House were to defund it. The Senate probably won’t,” Paul said. “So the ultimate compromise is we take it away from Obama’s agenda and back towards ours, which may not be defunding it.”

“Delay it?” Hannity asked.

“You start out with defunding it in order to maybe get to a delay or maybe to get to where the individual mandate goes away since the employer mandate he’s already delayed,” Paul responded. “Why don’t we use our leverage by having the Republican House to, at the very least, get to delaying the individual mandate?”

Allahpundit described Paul yesterday as a “defunding diehard,” but this suggests that Paul is more of a defunding pragmatist. If the Senate could pass a continuing resolution that defunds ObamaCare, then he’d stick to his guns.  However, with 55 votes in the Senate and no ability to apply a filibuster on budget bills, Democrats have plenty of votes to pass a CR without any Republican assistance.  It’s not that the Senate probably won’t pass such a CR, even if the House were to insist on it, it’s that there is not a chance in the world that they would defund it — and as AP noted, Tom Coburn’s requested analysis from the Congressional Research Service shows that they can’t, not without statutory changes that Obama would veto even if the Senate passed such a bill, which Democrats wouldn’t even allow to come to a floor vote.

In the absence of a Republican majority, then, the only realistic option is to force a delay across the board.  On that score, the House would be on board, and even a few Democrats in the Senate might be convinced to follow along — especially red-state incumbents up for re-election in 2014.  Even if they don’t go along, or if Obama vetoes any attempt to delay the individual mandate and exchange subsidies, the Republicans have a winning argument in their attempt to give consumers the same break that Obama gave businesses and insurers for 2014.  Perhaps the pragmatic side of Paul also sees the win-win scenario in that fight, rather than the losing battle over a game of budget chicken that Republicans can’t win at all given the current composition of Congress.


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How much can they legally delay past 2014? Just the mandates? Or can the exchanges and their subsidies be postponed as well?

Doughboy on August 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM

How much can they legally delay past 2014? Just the mandates? Or can the exchanges and their subsidies be postponed as well?

Doughboy on August 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Congress can amend the statute any way they see fit, within the limits of the Constitution. Of course, the President has to sign the bill, too — but if it gets out of the Democrat-controlled Senate, a veto is going to be tough to explain.

Ed Morrissey on August 15, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Congress can amend the statute any way they see fit, within the limits of the Constitution. Of course, the President has to sign the bill, too — but if it gets out of the Democrat-controlled Senate, a veto is going to be tough to explain.

Ed Morrissey on August 15, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Which is why even a legalization of the current extra-Constitutional delays won’t make it out of the Senate, much less either an individual-mandate delay or a complete, including the subsidies, delay.

Steve Eggleston on August 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM

If messaged well, delay provides for a really powerful position. The administration has already made all the delays that benefit big business and Obama’s cronies. Make him then justify not delaying the damage for the little guy. Its a strong populist message.

Even if Obama manages to navigate it with the help of a propagandist media, it still reinforces the fact that Obamacare is an evil being forced on the population. The promised positives were lies and illusions, and the reality is nothing but economic fascism and higher costs all around.

I’m all for pragmatism here. Go for whatever works. If the individual mandate can be delayed until 2015, then we’ve put the piece of crap off for another year. At that point we work on getting the delays until 2016, 2017… It’s sad that we’re fighting to delay the destruction of this nation a year at a time, but that’s just where we’re at.

Gingotts on August 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM

a veto is going to be tough to explain.

Ed Morrissey on August 15, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Explain? To whom? The media?

:)

faraway on August 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

“You start out with defunding it in order to maybe get to a delay or maybe to get to where the individual mandate goes away since the employer mandate he’s already delayed.”

This may in fact be the longest tagline ever used at HA. ; ) Record?

Bmore on August 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM

“You start out with defunding it in order to maybe get to a delay or maybe to get to where the individual mandate goes away since the employer mandate he’s already delayed.”

Negotiating 101.

Too bad it’s lost on most of the rest of the GOP.

petefrt on August 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Unfortunately it looks like the best we can get is to force the Senate Dems to vote in favor of funding Obamacare and against delaying the individual mandate. Then hammer them over those votes in 2014.

Doughboy on August 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM

There is NO scenario other than delay (short of a military coup)that can work. Possibly we could legally challenge Obama cherry picking which parts of the bill to delay and which to not delay–but, last time I checked, the courts are packed with a surfeit of liberal judges likely to favor The Chosen One.

1 Both Houses of congress passed Obamacare (with bribes and kickbacks.)
2 The President (who was re-elected) signed the bill.
3 The SCOTUS (thanks to Perfidious Roberts) upheld Obamacare.
4 Only 13 of 46 Republican senators support defunding )( and -0- Democratic senators.) 41 is the minimum number needed for a filibuster. Summary: DEFUNDIMNG IS NOT AN OPTION because 72% of Republicans are against it.

The one thing we do have is 58% public support and let’s not lose this support by mounting a suicidal attack like Don Quixote tilting at a windmill. Obamacare is already the law of the land but, unlike Social Security and Medicare, this piece of legislative garbage is widely unpopular and is already stating to unravel under it own rotten structure. The more we can delay, the more public support we can gather. Then let’s take back the senate and amend this f——- thing to death. When we get a new president, let’s kill it.

MaiDee on August 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I told you weeks ago when this whole defund thing started that this was the endgame in mind.

You throw out the extreme position so you can backtrack and compromise to what you really hoped to get in the first place.

Pardon me while I go out and pat myself on the back some more.

Chris of Rights on August 15, 2013 at 11:34 AM

This guy is the future of our party.

p0s3r on August 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM

This guy is the future of our party.

p0s3r on August 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM

FIFM These guys.

Bmore on August 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Paul also admitted that “I may not be able to guarantee victory,”

Duh!

Mr. Arkadin on August 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

The republicans should be laying down the groundwork for repealing/ defunding the ACA 24/7. It’s a winning issue with voters and they need to differentiate themselves from the oncoming debacle. For the Senate Dems to take up the issue and vote on a CR at least…great election fodder. More MSM outlets are recognizing the debacle…even some unions are coming out against it. What will they do when faced with a repeal possibility?…we could be surprised at momentum gained.

The GOP needs Obamacare to be a 2014 wedge issue. A shutdown, even if temporary, is a way to do that. If a delay just past 2014 is the result of fighting to kill it…then OK…let’s make 2014 about Obamacare! Initiating a delay from the onset is BAD politics….way too weak and won’t catch the eye of disinterested voters. A govt. shutdown will.

FreeManOtis on August 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Wow, when did Rand Paul become a RINO squish???

:-D

rockmom on August 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I still don’t understand why the House Republicans didn’t take Obama to court for all the waivers he issued in violation of the Obamacare law that they passed and Obama signed into law. Instead, the GOPers are too busy infighting…Christie against Paul, McCain against Paul, Cruz, and Rep. Justin Amash, Sen. Richard Burr against Sen. Tom Coburn and the list goes on…and on…and on. Republicans better get their sh!t together before they wind up outside looking in.

timberline on August 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Paul also admitted that “I may not be able to guarantee victory,”

Duh!

Mr. Arkadin on August 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

You know what WOULD guarantee victory…a strategery whereby Chris Christie attacks Rand Paul and Palin, declares ObamaCare the law of the land, then becomes a Democrat, and then defeats Hillary for the 2016 nomination, and THEN wins, becasue 1/3 of Republicans flock to his banner and of course all the Progressives fly to his Pro-Life arms, and becasue he’s a Defense hawk, all the Progressives love him even more, and THEN he becomes POTUS and finally, Christie repeals ObamaCare.

Now THAT’S how we win, right Mr Arkadin?

I mean sure we could try that totally radical idea of running against ObamaCare and then running a Conservative, but that’s just CRAZEE, right?

JFKY on August 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Someone had a great idea yesterday: the next budget or continuing resolution or whatever, just chop it into fifty pieces, send them for votes in the senate and signatures by 0b00ba one at a time, and never send one up that has funding for 0boobaCare in it.

What could the tyrants do?

Akzed on August 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Ok. Don’t fund any part of it that is already funded. And we’ll see whether or not it can legally move forward (although, legal or not, I expect Obama to push it forward).

besser tot als rot on August 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Rand

you are a TOOL of the GOPe via Mitch McConnell on this issue

Conservative America – do we follow the WHITE FLAG of Rove, Boehner, McConnell (and Rand?) or do we FIGHT w/ the #CruzMissile, Palin, Levin & Rush?

Choose you this day whom you will follow … as for me and my house, we will FIGHT WITH CRUZ

#DefundObamacare
#DontFundIt

http://bit.ly/13sAyCs#.UflIy1aj72l.twitter … … … … …

exodus2011 on August 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM

exodus2011 on August 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM

How do we defund it…considering that “we” don’t control the Senate AND you can’t filibuster budgets?

So we shut government down, to be distinguished from the sequester, and that helps us how?

JFKY on August 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

How do we defund it…considering that “we” don’t control the Senate AND you can’t filibuster budgets?

So we shut government down, to be distinguished from the sequester, and that helps us how?

JFKY on August 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

We pass the Graves CR in the HOR (funding govt except the failed trainwreck Obamacare)

If Harry Reid and the Senate refuse to pass it and put it on the Phoney’s desk, it is THEY who will defund the govt and shut it down

and that will be the FIGHT, which the GOPe are unwilling to engage

We will win that fight in the new and social media, just like we won the gun-grab fight … with Ted Cruz leading the messaging

it doesn’t matter if the Obama-cheerleading Old Media are pumping out propaganda 24/7, we will win the fight anyway, by getting the truth through to the public outside the lapdog Old Media- remember 63% of the public want the Obamacare trainwreck stopped already

Conservative America WANTS THIS FIGHT, even if the GOPe Eunuchs do not

exodus2011 on August 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Paul is being smart here..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Paul is a spineless moron.When you are in a fight you don’t give the enemy your fallback position before it even starts.Just another GOP squish!Wonder if Rand and his Dad will be marching with the million muslim truther marchers on 9/11?

redware on August 16, 2013 at 8:23 AM