Defund Obamacare supporters target top Republicans
August 27th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
11 months 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. us_1776

    The TEA party parasite is sucking the life out of the GOP.

    .

    August 27, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Mike H2O

    Sorry if they wanted to defund Obamacare all they had to do was win the ELECTION!

    August 27, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. HoustonOilMan

    I'll keep Obama care as it is, thank you very much. Because of it my 20+ sons have health insurance. And what is the problem with mandatory coverage anyway? I thought these bozos where all about self accountability. Better we have to subsidies the needy before they have to go to the emergency clinic where we are subsidizing them now at 10 times the cost.

    August 27, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. ironman59

    Go For It. This will simply mean the gop/teasters will be voted out of office that much sooner. Let the defense contractors not get paid, schools not get funding, big business not get their welfare checks each month. As soon as they are impacted you will see some action. This just shows that the gop/teaster are simply out to implement their taliban style agenda at any cost.

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

    Lynda Minnesota
    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Me either babe.
    Too bad and so sad.

    August 27, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. HoustonOilMan

    I should have said sons that are 20+ years old, not that I have more than 20 sons, my bad.

    August 27, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Wake up People!

    Let's try this a 4th time....
    The Michigan GOP controlled Senate votes to expand Medicaid. The Tea party has already stated that a state with a GOP governor should not support Obama's "agenda". They are
    Expecting a tie vote with the lieutenant governor being the tie breaker. They have publicly stated he will be primaried if he votes yes.

    They are turning over rocks looking for something to impeach President Obama over yet they are committing acts daily that border on treason.

    August 27, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. ditdahdit

    Truly desperate. GOPer's know that when fully implemented the ACA will benefit the average person, and leave the 'dark age' Teapublicans looking like the dupes of industry propaganda that they are.

    August 27, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. John

    I have a question for anyone out there. If the federal government has to shut down, do the members of both houses still get paid? If it does go down, I, then hope, they will get nothing as well.

    August 27, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Tea Party Thomas

    America is not going to become the SOCIALIST STATES OF AMERICA. Vote for your grandchildren future vote
    for a return to conservative values.

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

    Wake up People!
    Let's try this a 4th time....
    ------

    Oh my. I feel like I need to apologize to you, Wake Up. I ought to have known better than to pull you into my little problem yesterday by using one of your own posts to make my point.

    I can't even give a LOL shout out because "it" gets very tiring ... yes?

    August 27, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "Because of it my 20+ sons have health insurance."

    Woah...you lost count?

    sorry...had to do it...haha

    August 27, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Dave

    So all republicans don't simply walk blindly in step single file with each other like sheep to the KoolAid. There is some actual intelligent discourse within the Party. As long as once a final decision is made, they then supprt making it work, this is GOOD.

    August 27, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Arun

    And how are these Tea Party 'Idiots' groups tax exempt. To me this all looks pretty political!! Hey Darrell, aren't you going to investigate this??

    August 27, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ------------------------
    Boy? Bush had 8 years to destroy it. Republicans controlled Congress for the 12 years leading up to beginning of the Great Recession. And now you want it fixerd how fast? You ask why he hasn't "fixed it" when his opposition is doing everything within their power to make sure that he can't fix it?

    May I also suggest that you pick up a history book and read it. You seem confuxed as to how many years there has been a D or an R residing in the White House since World War II. You also seem to have forgotten that Republicans ran the Congress from 1995 until 2007, which is when the whole economy begain its' meltdown.

    August 27, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Wake up People!

    Good one Houston Oil Man!! I knew what you meant but I do know some will be confused.

    August 27, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Cnn you bash on the republicans for being against obama care but yet when the democrates where asked if they would switch to obama care all even the chosen one himself will not give up the coverage they have for obama care! just keep destroying us from the inside out obama your a joke

    August 27, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. shorething

    All I know is Obamacare and the ACA is going to prevent me from making student loan payments since the Feds are raping my pocket for healthcare costs.

    August 27, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Name

    Shutdown the government and you loose my vote.

    August 27, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    HoustonOilMan

    I should have said sons that are 20+ years old, not that I have more than 20 sons, my bad.
    -------------------------------------------------
    We knew what you meant but it was funny as heck!!
    Thanks for the chuckle!!

    August 27, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Tea Party Thomas

    America is not going to become the SOCIALIST STATES OF AMERICA. Vote for your grandchildren future vote
    for a return to conservative values.
    -------------------–
    You don't even know what Marxist socialism actually is. Research what Marx' "Das Kapital" is actually about, and in there you will find all of your so called conservative values. Go ahead. I dare you.

    Tea Party Republicans are acting like socialist dictators as it is right now. They tell you how to live, eat, sleep, dress, walk, what religion is state approved, and how much better your life is when you listen and do what they say.

    August 27, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Republicans created an insane hate-filled monster that has turned against them. Karma.

    August 27, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. JMO

    There is a difference between governing and a temper tantrum. Dear GOP, If you have an idea floating around in your head that is better than Obamacare that isn't full of conservative non-starters, put it on the table. Otherwise, go back to time-out.

    August 27, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Lynda Minnesota
    Sounds as if you're vacating the premises to enjoy some vacation time yourself! Yes?
    -------

    Well, yes, I was. But with you back, the articles, and my fellow commentors making me laugh, I may have to hold off and stick around for a bit today.

    August 27, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Anonymous

    Cnn you bash on the republicans for being against obama care but yet when the democrates where asked if they would switch to obama care all even the chosen one himself will not give up the coverage they have for obama care!
    -------------------–
    You have been lied to. You don't give up your coverage. Health insurance companies are not required to modify their existing policies, but many are doing so as an excuse to raise your rates and deductibles.

    August 27, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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