Republicans in Congress say they will agree to stop the impending shutdown of the federal government only if Democrats agree to defund Obamacare. Does this strike you as a disastrous strategy?
The threat of a government shutdown intensified Tuesday as House Republican leaders moved toward stripping funding from President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative and setting up a stalemate with the Democratic Senate.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had hoped to keep the government open past Sept. 30 with relatively little fuss. But roughly 40 conservatives revolted. After a strategy session Tuesday, Boehner and his leadership team were being pushed into a more confrontational strategy that would fund the government into the new fiscal year only if Democrats agreed to undermine Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) have ruled that out, leaving the parties hurtling toward an apparent impasse.
In less than two weeks — with the nation at war and authorities investigating a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard — every federal agency from the Pentagon to the FBI is due to shut down unless Congress can reach an agreement. A shutdown would not only disrupt critical government services but also whip up a panic just as lawmakers confront the next major deadline on their fall calendar: the need to raise the $16.7 trillion federal debt limit.
It seems to me that Obamacare, once it is implemented, is going to be a disaster for the Democrats. Why would Republicans want to keep that from happening? It is the law of the land. And if they cut off funds for Obamacare, Democrats can blame Republicans for why it isn’t working.
And Republicans will certainly get blamed for refusing to pass stop gap spending, thereby shutting down the government. Ask Newt Gingrich how well that worked.