Like a modern day Paul Revere riding to warn his countrymen that the British are coming, the Ohio Liberty Coalition will be riding off to Troy, Ohio, this coming Tuesday to hold a rally to warn Ohioans and others that President Obama is coming and America will change forever and not for the better unless Obamacare is defunded.
Obama is coming, Obama is coming!
Troy, a small city located in Miami County about 21 miles north of Dayton, lies within the 8th Congressional District represented in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington by John A. Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.
Boehner, who will turn 64 in November, finds himself wedged precariously between the advancing Obamacare, the nation's new managed competition health care law signed into law in March of 2010 whose operational dates for insurance exchanges and insurance policies purchased through them are Oct. 1 and Jan. 1, 2014, respectively, and tea party activists who want him to use his powers to prevent any bill that contains any appropriations related to the Affordable Care Act to not come to the floor for a vote.
Boehner sent House Members home on August 2nd for their August District Work Period but plans to be in session again on Monday, September 9, 2013.
Congressman Boehner, the 61st speaker but only the third Ohioan to wield the "People's House" gavel, has been master of the 8th District since 1991, when he matriculated from state representative to congressman. Boehner's district has been reliable Republican and safe, which accounts for his 12 consecutive terms that put the son of a Cincinnati bar owner and businessman second in line after the vice president to succeed the president.
Pull the plug on Obamacare
Ted Stevenot, President of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, whose active Buckeye membership has been estimated to be about 45,000, hopes the turnout Tuesday will demonstrate to Speaker Boehner that a chorus of voices is calling for him to use his speaker's powers to "pull the plug on Obamacare." To do that, Stevenot, a small business man from southwest Ohio who has emerged as an Ethan Allen-like leader of the Ohio tea party movement, told followers in an email that it's getting late in the day to "pull the plug on an unwanted and unpopular law" that promises to change America forever.
"We must 'speak' our opinion to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, 'No funding for Obamacare.' Let your voice be heard in Troy, OH on Tuesday, August 27th," he said. It's a Stevenot's contention that Obamacare is now opposed by a margin of 51 percent against to 39 percent in favor. Recalling that in 2011 in Ohio, a statewide vote on the Healthcare Freedom Amendment to the Ohio Constitution, which sought to preserve the freedom for Ohioans to choose health care and health care coverage, won big at the ballot with 66 percent of the vote and passed in all of Ohio's 88 counties.
According to Stevenot, speaker Boehner, because he controls the "gavel" and the "calendar" of the congressional chamber responsible for appropriations and taxes, should not allow any bills to come to the House floor that include money for Obamacare.
In the widely expected battle between congressional Republicans, congressional Democrats and the White House to pass a new federal budget, tea party groups and activists will use this coming congressional collision point to tell Boehner and other GOP leaders to grind government to a halt if need be if that means Obamacare can be derailed by withholding funding. "They will either include money to fund the implementation of Obamacare or they will pass a resolution without such funding," Stevenot said.
Boehner's PR problems
But Speaker Boehner has a passel of home-state public relations problems, not the least of which is how unpopular he is with Ohio voters, 20 percent of whom said they approve of the job he's doing compared to nearly 60 percent who disapprove of him, according to results from a recent Public Policy Poll. PPP said that even with GOP voters he's at just 37/34.
But Speaker Boehner has a passel of home-state public relations problems, not the least of which is how unpopular his is with Ohio voters, 20 percent of whom said they approve of the job he's doing compared to nearly 60 percent who disapprove of him, according to results from a recent Public Policy Poll. PPP said that even with GOP voters he's at just 37/34.
And in a national poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a Republican-leaning polling firm, Boehner draws his worst ratings since becoming speaker. Just 30 percent of Likely Voters have a favorable impression of the Ohio Republican. Marking his highest negative rating yet, 53 percent now view the Ohio congressman unfavorably.
Is a backlash possible?
What's driving Stevenot and the OLC to rally in Troy is Boehner's warning to rank-and-file Republicans in a conference call last week that using the threat of a government shutdown to stop the implementation of Obamacare could backfire on them in next year's midterm elections. Reuters reported that Boehner reminded Republicans of the political backlash their party suffered when the government shut down in 1995-1996. Boehner has long said he's against Obamacare, but he fears a shutdown of the government to achieve that goal could be self-defeating for Republicans in future political battles.
Creating more tension as September arrives, 80 House members asked Boehner and GOP leaders in a letter to trigger a government shutdown rather than fund the implementation of the health care overhaul. Political watchers say Boehner and other GOP leaders view a government shutdown as politically unwise.
Boehner bashes Obamacare
Boehner's bona fides on trashing Obamacare are strong, as he demonstrated when the Supreme Court ruled the ACA constitutional. That 5-4 ruling, he said, has strengthened the resolve of the Republicans, and the American people, to fully repeal a law that is raising costs and making it harder for small businesses to create jobs.
"There’s a lot of resolve amongst our colleagues, and amongst the American people, to stop a law that’s hurting our economy, driving up the cost of health care and making it more difficult for employers to hire new workers. The American people want this bill repealed. What they really want are commonsense steps that will empower them and their families to choose the doctor they want, at lower cost," Boehner said in remarks prepared for the occasion.
In early August, following the release of Obamacare exchange insurance rates by Ohio's lieutenant governor Mary Taylor, a Republican, that showed a rise of insurance premiums in Ohio by an average of 41 percent over last year, Boehner challenged President Obama’s assertion that the law is "working fine."
Boehner, who is known for enjoying Merlot wine and cigarettes, announced his chamber will hold a series of votes this fall aimed at ending the president’s health care law through a series of targeted legislative votes building on two bipartisan votes in the House this month to delay the law’s employer and individual mandates.
With 80 of the House's 233 Republicans signing the letter, 153 don't want to limit Boehner's options. With more room to run, Boehner can push a bipartisan bill that is supported by a ‘majority of the majority’ of his fellow Republicans, but he would need more than 60 Democratic votes to pass such a bill. Giving Democrats a major voice in its details is exactly what Stevenot and OLC does not want.
Those who turnout next Tuesday at Courthouse Plaza in Troy will be joining a gathering of "liberty-groups, faith-based organizations and other freedom-loving Ohioans" for a rally in Speaker Boehner's district to tell him to "Pull the plug on Obamacare."
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