Wednesday, Speaker Boehner caved in to the right-wing extremists in his party. He announced that Republicans in the House of Representatives will de-fund Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution Friday.
If the Senate does not go along, which it won’t, Republicans indicated they will not back down meaning they will likely not agree to appoint conferees to a conference committee. The net result of that is the government will have no authorization to spend money after midnight September 30th.
Furthermore, Republicans insist unless Obamacare is de-funded or repealed in the CR, they will not increase the debt ceiling in October.
The only plan for the economy Republicans agree on is to repeal Obamacare, which they will do Friday for the 42nd time.
Many Republicans have said that shutting down the government is a dumb idea. Republicans who were around when Newt Gingrich tried that say the GOP will pay a price. Some have said that it will insure that Nancy Pelosi is reinstalled as Speaker. Even the Murdock-owned Wall Street Journal said it would be a disaster for the former party of Lincoln.
Not to worry. Republicans have a fix for that. They are simply blaming Obama for the shut down.
The latest Republican talking points, evident in every statement by a Washington Republican, say that they are not talking about a government shut down. They say all they are doing is “saving the American people from the worst legislation in 50 years [Medicare]. They say it is Obama who is talking about shutting down the government.
The Constitution gives Congress the sole authority to adopt a budget and appropriate money to fund the government. Why is it that the party that wraps itself in the Constitution does not understand that?
If Congress fails to adopt a Continuing Resolution and send to the president, the Executive Branch can not spend a dime after midnight Sept. 30. Technically, without the legal authority to spend money, the Executive Branch will have to lay people off, cease sending out checks including Social Security, and essentially shut down. Republicans control one House in Congress outright and the other by the ability to filibuster. How do they think they are not to blame?
Sen. Ted Cruz is already telling House Republicans it is Obama who is threatening to shut down the government.
“Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so,” Cruz said. “At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people. President Obama... should not threaten to shut down the government just to deny those same exemptions to hard-working American families.”
Sen. Marco Rubio is putting the Republican spin on the matter as well.
“President Obama and his allies in Congress should abandon their threats of shutting down the government and instead work with Republicans to pass this proposal that would keep government open while preventing taxpayer dollars from being used to inflict Obamacare’s damage on people’s jobs, incomes, current health plans and doctor relationships,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama told MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” that it was Obama and the Democrats that want to shut down the government, not Republicans. If one repeats a lie often enough people will believe it, Republicans hope.
President Obama gave an analogy to the Business Roundtable on Wednesday. He asked them “What if a Democratic Speaker told a Republican President that unless he agreed to a 20% increase in the corporate tax, he would shut down the government and blow the whole thing up?” The president referred to the Republican move as “extortion.”
Nearly all credible economists including the Republicans who advised both Bush presidents have said that the Republican move to attach a provision to de-fund Obamacare to the CR or to the debt ceiling would be a disaster for the nation and the economy.
This is politics at its ugliest.