Paul: Gov’t shutdown “not a good idea”
posted at 10:41 am on August 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Consider this the middle ground between the defund and delay strategies. Paul, who started off talking about defunding and government shutdowns, has become more of a pragmatist of late and shifted to a delay strategy. Paul wants the House to pass a continuing resolution that defunds ObamaCare, but only to get a delay out of the eventual conference committee (via The Corner):
“I don’t think shutting down the government is a good idea,” Paul said on Fox News Sunday.
But, while acknowledging it was unlikely the Senate would pass a continuing resolution defunding Obamacare, Paul called on House Republicans to take advantage of their majority and defund Obamacare in their continuing resolution.
Then, Paul proposed, Republicans could get Democrats to compromise and agree to some changes in conference that would delay and/or weaken Obamacare.
Fox’s Bill Hemmer asked Paul whether he was really trying to have it both ways, and that’s a good question. Republicans can’t stop the Senate from funding ObamaCare, because they can’t filibuster budget bills. If the House passed a budget that defunded ObamaCare, the chances of a conference committee keeping that as status quo are nil, as are the chances that a Democrat-controlled Senate would pass it or that Barack Obama would sign it. Essentially, it’s a legislative stunt that merely delays the budget rather than ObamaCare. And since it has zero likelihood of success, its leverage approaches the same point. Besides, most of ObamaCare’s funding is now statutory rather than budgetary anyway, so the effort is nearly moot even if it had a prayer of success, which it doesn’t.
It’s better to insist on delay and stick to that point. That way, it won’t be Republicans who hold up the budget, and it will be Democrats who have to explain why delays are good for corporations and insurers, but not for consumers whose private data will be at risk for exposure.