EDITORS NOTE: At press time on Monday a government shutdown appeared likely.
Responding to public opinion and Congress President Obama backed off his ‘red line’ with Syria, capitalizing on an off-the-cuff comment by Secretary of State John Kerry that Syria simply give up its chemical weapons and there would be no bombs, no cruise missiles — at least for the moment. Russian President Putin jumped on it, a face-saver for the administration.
Then came the 21-hour Cruz missile filibuster highlighting the facts behind Obamacare.
The U.S. House jumped on it with support, following with a compromise to President Obama and Congressional Democrats:
Delay the Affordable Care Act for one year, eliminate the medical devices tax, and we’ll pass a continuing budget — at least for the moment, the Republican-controlled House offered.
That in response to President Obama’s comments last week, from The Hill:
“But I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay the bills it has already racked up… no one gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America just to extract ideological concessions.”
Never mind money needed by the ACA has not already been “racked up.” This is spending needed for future implementation, subject to the will of the people, i.e., the House.
Never mind the ACA is not “established law,” as says the Left. Obamacare is no more “established” than the Supreme Court Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery.
Never mind President Obama will “not negotiate” with Congress, but tweets to Iranians who persecute Christians, torture and kill thousands, and threatens Israel.
House republicans won historic gains in 2010 fueled by the promise of uprooting Obamacare. Americans realized then, and fears continue to be verified, that the so-called ‘Affordable Care Act’ was not affordable, constitutional, or workable.
The threat of the program has caused layoffs, increases in health premiums, confusion, and continued outrage from every quarter, whether by citizens, union members, business leaders, doctors, even Congress.
Many polls indicate the American people support a shutdown; parks closed, some federal workers sent home (and probably paid when the smoke clears), no new applications for food stamps or social security. Although military checks may be delayed, there would be little or no change in our current defense readiness, the mail, department of homeland defense, the justice system, welfare payments, food stamps, or food inspections by the USDA.
This latest offer by the House is not “legislative arson” or “terrorism.” Republicans want to fund the government, every current expenditure, other than an unsustainable health care program.
Republicans must now hold the line.
Despite sound bites from ‘elder’ republicans and the press, the last shutdown of 21 days in 1995 did not appreciably hurt the Grand Old Party. Overall, 8 house seats lost, but two Senate seats gained.
Nor will a shutdown be the end of “compromise” or a bad “tactic,” when there is no compromise from Democrats.
If the Republican Party wants to go the way of the Whigs, this ACA monstrosity will end up funded for all time. It will then become a “morphine drip,” as Pat Buchannan has opined, on the American people, its economy, and upon what was once the greatest medical institution on the planet.
Fund those things already in place, but not this ‘train wreck’ bearing down on the American people.
If we do not hold the line now – at least for the moment - when will we?
If we do not fight, how do we win?
Mike Chambers lives in Lookout Mountain.