Republicans Threaten Government Shutdown With Political Games

Unfortunately, Republicans appear to be unable – or unwilling – to learn from the past.  Despite the risk that comes with playing games with our country’s economy, several Republicans are indicating they want to threaten a government shutdown in order to repeal the Affordable Care Act:  

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT): “This is the last stop before ObamaCare fully kicks in on Jan. 1 of next year for us to refuse to fund it … If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of ObamaCare, we can stop it. We can stop the individual mandate from going into effect,” [“Fox and Friends,” 7/22]

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC): “We have 64 of my colleagues on this letter and we’re asking the leadership not to bring anything to the floor that has funding for ObamaCare in it.” [The Hill, 7/23]                                                                    

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “You want to delay implementation? Don’t fund it. If we have a six-month continuing resolution, we should defund the implementation of ObamaCare by those six months … I will not vote for a continuing resolution unless it defunds ObamaCare.” [The Hill, 7/23]

And they are not alone. As The Hill notes:

Several influential members of the Republican conference are backing the controversial tactic, including Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) and Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the second- and third-ranking members of the GOP leadership, respectively.”  

Perhaps they don’t remember, but the last time Republicans urged a government shutdown, they were blamed by a majority of Americans for these reckless tactics.  And of course there’s the fact that according to a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, “Most Americans Don’t Want Congress to Repeal Obamacare.”

Fortunately, it appears there is still hope for a responsible fiscal policy, at least from some Senate Republicans:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):  “Some of my Republican colleagues are already saying we won’t raise the debt limit unless there’s repeal of Obamacare. I’d love to repeal Obamacare, but I promise you that’s not going to happen on the debt limit. So some would like to set up another one of these shutdown-the-government threats. And most Americans are really tired of those kinds of shenanigans here in Washington.” [Washington Post, 7/22]

After wasting time with almost 40 pointless votes to remove important patient protections from millions of Americans, we’d suggest Republicans get to work on the real issues facing our country, like a responsible fiscal solution that can grow our economy and protect Americans families from uncertainty.