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. jinx9to88

    Correction to my above statement, kentucky has 2 bases.

    August 27, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. JD

    When they feel threatened Republicans will eat their own. They are like mindless zombies that way. Just really well paid zombies.

    August 27, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. Larry in Houston

    for those of you who think the State of Ky is going to Vote 'ol Mitch out, I've got news for you.....He knows a lot of big money people in that state, period...and those big money people just so happens to be republicans with a lot of dough. And if you think Ky is a poor state, well, guess again.....with all the alcohol manufacturing, ( including wineries) and all the Horse ranches / farms / meadows / – – the horse racing is BIG MONEY in that State, believe me.....

    August 27, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Rosslaw wrote:

    Classic. The Heritage Foundation literally wrote the ACA which was in turn endorsed by the republican party in the 90's, successfully implemented by the republican's 2012 presidential candidate,
    The difference between what Heritage envisioned and what the Democrats enaced is that the ACA includes the cap on profits that health insurers can make off of their premiums. The real issue is that cap. They hide behind the mandate being an issue.

    August 27, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. MaryM

    Bye Bye republicans, you will go the way of the dinosaurs soon. You let the extremist GOPers and TPers take over your party and now you are paying the price. You allow these rwnjs to talk about shutting down the U.S. government without a thought of what this shutdown would do to the economy OR our military families OR Americas seniors citizens.

    August 27, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. itzmeman

    @carol derry – When someone prefaces their statement by stating they are not something or don't believe in something, it usually means they do! It is like someone saying, "you can trust me".

    Your theory about the Democrats being responsible for this tactic is the most absurd theory I have ever heard and the most outlandish conspiracy theory ever presented. These are the Tea Party people as this is the way they want government run. Keep trying.

    August 27, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. jimmorrisonmania

    I am so sick of this..Ok Republicans if you don't want obamacare what else do you suggest we put in its place to help Americans who have no healthcare? Republicans don't want the government controlling healthcare, but they think it is perfectly fine to let the insurance companies decide what coverage (or no coverage) you can have. This is why I can't support the Republicans on this issue. I hope they are just as fired up to repeal amnesty if it passes because adding tens of millions of new workers into a job market that already can't find work is going to hurt the country more than obamacare ever could.

    August 27, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. JY

    Wow, the tea baggers are really out of control, now wait, I stand corrected, they were NEVER in control and lack the intelligence to understand a my-way or the my-way only worked in Stalinist Russia, and Nazi Germany. In a democracy, there is give and take, not just take. Civilized societies help the less fortunate, and Mitt Romney’s family is a perfect example.
    There will be success stories and stories of failure, unfortunately more of the latter in a capitalistic economy when the rules are skewed to allow illegal and immoral acts occur, ‘caveat emptor’ is good and bad.
    Tea Baggers, please go after your puppets Wicker, Graham Cantor and McConnell, oh Mc, the man quoted more than once bragging about the GOP’s plan to obstruct, I wish you out of office, but have no say as I live not in your state. All you will accomplish is the hastening of your party becoming irrelevant, please continue because a party that acts like spoiled children with the ability to do tragic harm to the country does not belong.

    August 27, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominica mama: "I guess it is at times Lynda, I'm just sick to death of them and the damage that said tempere tantrums have and are continuing to inflict on my country. Our country."

    Oh, please don't take my meaning wrong. I too am sick to death of the hate, the vitriol, the damage, the mean spirit. I fault the entire Grand Old Party for all of it. They used these folks to get what they wanted. I am amused that they never understood that once these people were unable to bring Obama, indeed all of us, down to their level, they had no recourse but to start attacking their own. The Grand Old Party has shielded itself from the outside world. They are fast coming to understand what the rest of America has always known: you give hate free reign and it will come back to bite you.

    The only way to get past the hate is for the Grand Old Party leadership to stand up and speak out against the hate. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

    I do need a break from the hate. Seriously.

    August 27, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. MeanOldMan

    They don't know how to do anything but attack. The target is only of secondary importance. The sad part is they are elected to govern and yet most of them couldn't pass a high school civics class and have no clue how the government even works. Calling them conservatives is an insult to conservatives. What they really are nihilists as defined by Merriam-Webster "a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility" . Hardly people that should be elected to run a country.

    August 27, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Larry in Houston (who wrote):
    You'd think the world has changed dramatically, truth is, it Has in certain respects..... But killing people, and gassing innocent civilians, is an atrocity of the worst kind. Those people in Congress needs to get their priorities straight
    The world has changed dramatically Larry, while some things, alas, have not.
    Let us recall that time in history that you alluded to earlier in your post, and how long it took "those people in Congress" to get stuff together and intervene while millions died.
    At that time you had HItler looking to take over the world.
    Can the same be said of Syria's "leadership"?
    My concern is that if it took us so long to jump into the fray when millions were being slaughtered as some despot seeked to rule the world, how long will it take this Congress to make a move when we're not being directly threatened?
    Either way the situation is dire.

    August 27, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Colo001 asked:

    This is not just the GOP's fault. Obama and the left is equally responsible. You lefties have big blinders on. Why aren't you complaining about the trillions in debt that Obama has dropped on us?
    Democrats do complain about the trillions of dollars worth of debt. They lay blame where it belongs, squarely on the Bush administration. You forget that the Bush administration encouraged policies that say 50,000 manufacturing sites close up during his two terms. Manufacturing jobs dropped from 19 million in early 2001 to 11 million by early 2009.

    You forget that Bush handed over an annual deficit of $1.5 trillion for FY2008-2009. You forget that the annual deficits grew 7-9% every year Bush was in office, while annual deficits have been shrinking under Pres. Obama People with common sense know who is to blame for the high deficits. People with common sense know that it took nearly a decade to create the financial mess that we found ourselves in, and they know that it will take nearly as long to climb out of it.

    August 27, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. dh

    Repubs screaming will stop in its tracks come 10/1. The affordable rates and benefits will show the FACTS of ACA not the lies and hysteria of Ted Cruz and his ilk.

    August 27, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Data Driven

    Republican voters seem to be confused. Obamacare spending is MANDATORY. If Obamacare is "defunded", the government is already shut down, de facto. The base has the cause and effect reversed. You gotta shut down the government first to defund Obamacare, big guy. Which is why some GOPher Senators are nervous. Their financial contributors are not, though; this is what they want. And they have an army of confused rubes carrying torches and pitchforks behind them.

    August 27, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Hector Slagg

    I am so amazed of how many of you here blame the Conservatives and Republician's for all the problems in the Country. For at least the last 80 years the Liberal's and Democrats were, still are in power. So if you don't like what is happening don't blame Conservatives. The Democrats had the Congress for 40 years. So why you might want to ask, What Happened? Why is the Country worse off than it was in the 1930's? Simple. The idiot's were sold a bill of goods and now you see the results. Need a job? Hope you can flip burgers.

    August 27, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. tea party days are numbered

    hear that? it's the republican party emploding.

    August 27, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. JY

    DC = District of Columbia, no WAIT!!!!!!
    DC = Defines Corruption.

    August 27, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Hector Slagg

    Rudy NYC,
    You keep telling us it is STILL Bush's fault. So why, after 5 years has your boy not fixed it? Why Rudy.

    August 27, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Marie MD

    @dixie, some parts already in place are working just fine. No more prescription donut hole ($2K-$3K) for seniors, Holden can stay uner their parents insurance until 26 so they don't have to add health nsurance to their monthly education quota, you can't be denied care/treatment for a pre existing condition and regardless of your illness there's no filing cap.
    Companies like papa johns (good friend of the twit) and UPS are run by rich conservatives who are doin their best to squash Obamacare. States where insurance premiums have already been raised bynsurance companies are blaming it on Obamacare and are pulling the wool over your eyes. That part has yet to be implemented.
    One again the teatrolls are just full of lies and half truths! What should they care they aRe rich and congress has almost health insurance for life with a hefty pension.

    August 27, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. pkMyt1

    We have to stop appeasing these people or it will never end. The GOP doesn't want to compromise. If they are going to burn the country down then we should prepare and just let is happen. It will burn the hottest in the districts many of the GOP represent because those are the poor, poorly educated, and unhealthy folks. Maybe, just maybe the people who blindly vote for these God fearing, upstanding moral Christians will get a clue.

    August 27, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. resident

    They don't have the stones to defund a rogue agency-the EPA- whose actions have sent millions of jobs overseas over the past 43 years but they cry about Romneycare? Nothing here but theatrics, my friends.

    August 27, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Ted Cruz is a closet commie

    Impeach the GOP leadership. They can't even agree among themselves. How are they suppose to pass any meaningful legislation? What a group of overpaid, whiny, nutjobs.

    August 27, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    The GOP has truly become a hostage. Its no longer a case of the Party leaders in Congress and the Governors' mansions calling the shots, its psuedo-grassroots movements led by longtime DC insiders like Bozell who have them running scared. The spectacle of a Republican Senate Minority Leader having to issue a statement to persuade a special interest group that he is on board with their ideology shows how truly lost they are : can anyone imagine Bob Dole knuckling under like that? This, in a nutshell, explains their hideous lack of performance over the last 2+ years: it has been spent proving ideological purity and living in fear instead of tackling problems and forging deals to move the country forward. Rather than deal with the real world, the GOP has been trying to change reality, or move into an alternate universe where the absence of logic and common sense are the norm rather than the exception. Its truly sad to watch.

    August 27, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Dave

    I would like to see both consequences happen – defund Obamacare and then shut down the fed until they pass a balanced budget amendment.

    August 27, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. indigo

    When will they ever learn - Obamacare is here to stay! The big corporations fight it tooth and nail by putting state representatives in their pockets, our democratic system is thoroughly corrupted.

    August 27, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13