Tea Party Republican’s Change of Heart

An unusual addition to the list of House Republicans who recognize shutting down the government over the Affordable Care Act wasn’t a good idea - Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL). From Bloomberg:

“U.S. Representative Dennis Ross, a Florida Republican, said he’d support a broad spending deal that didn’t include changes to the health-care law, becoming the first Tea Party-backed House lawmaker to publicly back off the fight that’s shut down the government for four days.”

“Ross, ranked among the House’s most conservative members by both the Club for Growth and the American Conservative Union, said he’s shifted his position because the shutdown hasn’t resulted in changes to the Affordable Care Act, which started Oct. 1, the same day government funding ran out. The shutdown also could hurt the party, he said.”

’We’ve lost the CR battle,’ Ross, referring to the continuing resolution to authorize government spending, said in an interview. ‘We need to move on and take whatever we can find in the debt limit.’”

“The view from Ross, 53, echoes that of a growing chorus of House Republicans pushing to craft a broader agreement that doesn’t include Obamacare as the cornerstone. That fight has caused a prolonged stalemate and is now bleeding into a debate over the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt limit, which must be raised before Oct. 17 to avoid a U.S. default.”

“‘We’ve got to be realistic about that and not go so far as that we do things that shut down the government to a great degree or default on our debt,’ Ross said. ‘There’s room to make sure we continue on our course and not have catastrophic events.’”

“‘There are a whole lot of other issues that haunted us at the election other than Obamacare,’ Ross said. ‘I would hope there’s at least enough of us to constitute a majority of reasonable people that realize we need to give and take.’

We applaud his decision to join Democrats’ search for reasonable people who agree that playing games with the economy over a failed attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act is reckless. Hopefully he can convince some of his Tea Party colleagues to also abandon their harmful shutdown strategy.