Defund Obamacare supporters target top Republicans
August 27th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Defund Obamacare supporters target top Republicans

Washington (CNN) - Conservatives backing a move to shut down the federal government if funding isn't cut off for President Barack Obama's health care law by the end of September are launching a tour starting Tuesday to put pressure on leading Republicans in Congress.

The first target of the push by Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The groups are planning a news conference in Lexington, Kentucky, Tuesday, near McConnell's offices. The Republican is running for a sixth term in the Senate next year.

The next day the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica will hold an event in Austin, Texas, near Sen. John Cornyn's office. The number two ranking Senate Republican is also up for re-election in 2014. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia will also be in the groups' sights during the tour, which is scheduled to conclude September 4.

The new push by the two groups comes after an online ad campaign against McConnell and other GOP lawmakers, comparing them to "chickens" for opposing the Affordable Care Act but refusing to commit to defunding the law.

"Sadly, there are scores of hypocritical Republicans who have just been giving lip service to voters at home with no intention of living up to their promises in Washington. How can they tell their constituents that they are opposed to ObamaCare and then vote to have those same constituents pay for it?" wrote Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin and ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell in an op-ed in USA Today.

"No one has fought harder against Obamacare than Senator McConnell and he welcomes every voice in the fight to end this horrible law," McConnell re-election campaign communciations director Allison Moore told CNN.

Tuesday's event in Lexington comes as the Senate Conservatives Fund, a grassroots group which backs conservative causes and candidates, said it was going up with a 60-second radio commercial in Kentucky that urges McConnell to oppose funding the health care law, saying "Obamacare stinks and holding your nose won't make it any better."

The group says they'll run the ad for two weeks. Another conservative organization, the Madison Project, also said Tuesday that it was going up with a radio spot that claims McConnell "is undermining the conservative effort to defund ObamaCare."

Some conservative lawmakers, including Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, are using upcoming budget battles as leverage, vowing to oppose any measure that provides funding for the federal government that includes funding for the health care law. The measure funding the federal government expires September 30, setting up another Capitol Hill budget battle between congressional Republicans and the White House.

But so far only slightly more than a dozen fellow Republican senators have signed up to support the cause, leaving it up to outside conservative groups to rally the base.

In an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that ran Sunday on "State of the Union," Cruz conceded that "we do not have the votes right now," noting that to succeed, he'd need 41 senators or 218 representatives to get behind his legislation - which would provide a year of funding for the federal government, minus Obamacare.

But the Texas Republican argued a coming "grass-roots tsunami" would bring over fellow conservatives to his side in the next month.

"I'm convinced there's a new paradigm in politics, that actually has Washington very uncomfortable. And it has politicians in both parties very uncomfortable," he said. "And that new paradigm is the rise of the grass roots, the ability of grass-roots activists to demand of their elected officials they do the right thing."

The new push by the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica comes as another conservative political advocacy group, Heritage Action for America, says it's spending more than half a million dollars to run online ads in the districts of 100 House Republican lawmakers who have not joined the drive to try to defund the healthcare law.

And Heritage Action, which is a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, one of the oldest and largest conservative think tanks, is a week into a nine-stop "Defund Obamacare Tour" of townhalls. Two progressive groups, Americans United for Change and Protect Your Care, have counter protested outside the events.

Americans appear divided on whether they want to repeal the law, which passed in 2010 along party lines when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. In one of the most recent surveys on the law, conducted last month for CBS News, nearly four in ten called for the entire law to be repealed, with 18% saying that just the measure's controversial individual mandate should be repealed. Thirty-six percent of those questioned said that the law should be kept as is, or expanded.

- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. ST

    Tea Party are acting like they own every citizen and should abide to what they tell them to do. Who told these baggers that there is dictatorship in this country? Why not go after your ringleader Cruz and demand his longform certificate instead? Are you thinking right? You are making every individual feel like throwing up.

    August 27, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. belinda

    Should we be surprised, that they would stoop to destroying our country in their self serving, greedy attempt to rule against the best interests of this country ? How do they sleep at night ? Oh that's right they have Health Care for their families. Their family members aren't going to bed suffering and in pain or in need of medication to ease the suffering. They're drinking champagne and laughing at Democratic effort,s to lessen the suffering of hard working Americans trapped in the gridlock of a GOP stranglehold fighting tooth and nail for $pecial interests. It's nothing less than disgraceful.

    August 27, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. MaryM

    These GOPTPers have destroy the once great republican party, now they hell bent on trying to destroy economic recovery. Get rid of these TPers now.

    August 27, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. jinx9to88

    "Rise of the grass roots tea party"? Where were these "grass root tea party" last election? O yeah "LOSING". Give me a break!! More smoke to be blown stay tuned to the crazies.

    August 27, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. rick7809

    I assume the "Tea Party Patriots", "ForAmerica" and "Heritage Action" are three of the tax exempt "primarily non-political social welfare organizations" according to the IRS.

    August 27, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. Phillip

    This whole debate is pointless, they don't have the votes, they're not going to get the votes, the either defund the Affordable Care Act, or stop s debt limit increase. The population/voters/taxpayers are divided, but most favor either keeping it as is, or expanding it. The ones who don't want it, are either lemmings, and don't have the common sense to realize it's going to help them in the long run, or their in a higher tax bracket where it doesn't affect them either way.
    It's a waste of time to continue to this fight this way, they need to stop obstructing and start legislating and get this country moving forward.

    August 27, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I hope republicans keep this defunding Obamacare crap up. They're digging themselves a bigger hole every time one of them opens their mouth. Those whack jobs on the right are going to rename the law BoehnerCare if Boehner doesn't defund it. You've gotta love it.

    August 27, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  8. asdf

    the Heritage Foundation attacks its own health care law!

    August 27, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. Jim

    The idiots willing to shut down the government are the best chance for the Democrats to clean up in the 2014 elections. I cannot imagine a group of dumber individuals. You think that cutting off the pay for the military, for civil servants, for the elderly is going to get you votes next election?

    August 27, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. Just a thought

    Apologies ...But either way enjoy this look now.......

    August 27, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst. Messrs McConnell, Cantor, Graham, Cornyn. Make my day and remind me who it was who first got GOPerville all worked up against Obamacare to begin with?

    August 27, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. Pete

    Republicans trying to defund the ACA risking another government shut down,sounds familiar doesn't it!!Don't republicans get it ,its law made by the SCOTUS and anything to defund it eventually ends at Pres.Obamas desk for final signature...Republicans don't have executive powers only the president does idiots and now another nail will be placed in the republican partys coffin thanks to arrogent,ignorent politicians that are trying to take down our president at tax payers expense..And my question to republicans ,posters alike what are you going to create to replace the ACA bill now in place ,completely nothing as usual because you and I know the republican reps have their government health care so who cares about you the citizens of America ,not Mitch McConnell and the republicans I can tell yah that's how stupid republicans here are!!

    August 27, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. Name

    Too bad for then because the law will never change you like it or not

    August 27, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  14. Just a thought

    Is it the main objectives of the GOP/Tea Trolls to make themselves as unpopular as possible?...look and act like complete losers? If so, they are doing a fantastic job. It must be really hard keeping your supporters when your supporters are vapid crazed right wing non-thinkers...all the GOP/Tea trolls advocate is hate for anybody who doesn't fit into their ideal america.

    August 27, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. Just a thought

    I'd say GOP/Tea Trolls have worn out their welcome with all their idiocy. Let's move on shall we.

    August 27, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Yet the radical right wants it completely abolished or they'll shut down the government."

    The radical right doesn't know what it wants. They've been lied to so many times by their own political party that they are doing nothing but flailing in the wind ... without the wind ... so to speak.

    Thus, we get nothing but their temper tantrums and foot stomping "but ... but ... but you PROMISED us" . It is quite amusing to listen to them.

    Beyond that, I have no interest in the TeaParty. It is going nowhere.

    August 27, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  17. Scott

    Even I agree, Tea Party needs to go, they have no other intention then to destroy anything they do not agree with. I do not agree with Obama Care myself, but do not shut down the goverment, sounds childish to me. They do not realize that they are destroying any chance they had to take back the Senate, and now their is a good chance they could lose the house as well.

    August 27, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  18. Mightyduk

    They would rather shut the government down than extend affordable healthcare to the citizens. The GOP is not for the people but against the people.

    August 27, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. Gunderson

    Amazing how Liberal's sold Snake Oil over the years. Want buy Snake Oil? We gonna get rich on big business. Unions get benefit's no? Where all business go/ Where? China? Who pay our Health Care? Putin Care killing jobs. Old Gunderson wish you luck getting blood out turnip. Sure, free lunch just around corner. You betcha.

    August 27, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  20. Jay

    Fact, more people who actually work are losing their benefits. Don't get me wrong, everyone should have access to medical care, but where is the line for services? What Obama and his fellow Democrats did was introduce a tax on every american citizen. And for those who work, they unfairly pay to subsidize those who do not work. Fact, if this Federal government continues to dole out gifts to people who do nothing, then before long we will have a nation of people who do nothing. Why work, the more you work, the more you are taxed to pay for your lazy neighbor. There are some who need help, and there are lots who abuse the system, a system that seems to have no oversight.

    August 27, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. Scott

    I think the GOP remains in trouble because it lacks a positive agenda. Many of these tea party people like Brent Bozell are Washington insiders pretending to represent outside interests in order to get ahead in Washington politics.

    August 27, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Tony

    Defund congressional Republicans for wasting everyone's time. Even Ted Cruz, a leading Obamacare opponent, admitted that his side does not have enough votes to defund Obamacare.

    August 27, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. Durundal

    Dont get me wrong, I support the concept of the people lobbying their representatives to represent – regardless of how disgusting I find the actions of the tea party. What bothers me most is that this vocal minority continues to throw its temper tantrums under the guise of moral and freedom loving outrage while it racks up hundreds of millions of dollars wasting time in office trying to undermine and repeal something that has not even really taken effect yet (and they already claim its killing us all heehee). There comes a point when they need to just sit down and zip it... They said there peace, the majority believes otherwise, and now lets all get back to more effective governing

    August 27, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  24. ezduzit757

    Hey Republicans, the way to get your way is to win elections, NOT hold America and our fragile economy hostage. That is just plain domestic terrorism. And the way to win elections is to present a vision people will vote for, NOT gerrymander districts and disenfranchise voters that you think might vote against you.

    August 27, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    The Tea Party does not want to govern. They want to rule.

    August 27, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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