Defund Obamacare supporters target top Republicans
August 27th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
12 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. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Vote ALL Republicans out of office. None of them two #%*&@ about anyone but the 1% anyway!

    August 27, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Vince

    I cannot wait for the shutdown! Just like 1994 all over again. Hilary doesn't even need to run in 2016...just let the Tea Party do the work for her!

    August 27, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Dave Duty

    There isnt a plan to "shut down" the government, to push. Its a misnomer. The plan, as presented by several backing it, is to only support a budget plan that does not fund any of yhe ACA. This will not shut any part of the federal or state agencies that would be covered by the proposed budgets. You would think a reporter would hold themselves to higher standards, than to write something untrue. Live and learn I guess.

    August 27, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Eli Cabelly

    I wonder what Kentucky voters will think once they've looked at Kynect. From what I've heard they like it.

    August 27, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Pravda

    Regardless of your political views, the idea that either side would consider shutting down the government and risking putting the whole country back into a recession to get their way is just pathetic. As an independent, I am absolitely disgusted by the inability of congress to do their job. Congress needs to go without pay until they actually get to work on representing the taxpayers.

    August 27, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. george busch

    Republicans have no morals. Now it seems we can add cannibalism to their long list of undesirable traits.

    August 27, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. ARMYCSM

    I am soooo sick of them and their mess. This country is changing and there isn't a damn thing any party can do about it but live in it or die out it. There! I said it!

    August 27, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Rather_b_boating

    Jeff Brown in Jersey you might want to look and see how many 1% are Democratic Senators

    August 27, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. John Illinois

    Obamacare is nothing but giant, nightmare welfare program! No funding!

    August 27, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Dave Duty

    There isnt a plan to "shut down" the government, to push. Its a misnomer. The plan, as presented by several backing it, is to only support a budget plan that does not fund any of yhe ACA. This will not shut any part of the federal or state agencies that would be covered by the proposed budgets.
    -----------------------–
    Gawd. It's fascinating just how horribly people have allowed themselves to be misled, especially when the true motives behind it all remain hidden to them.

    I have bad news for you, Dave. You have been misled into thinking that funding the ACA is as flexible as cutting some discretionary spending. It's not. It's mandatory spending that's written into the law. Attempting to "defund" it would be a violation of the law.

    Believe what you've told, or you can look it up for yourself. Actually doing it will cause some federal and state agencies to be shut down in part or in whole.

    August 27, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Lynda Minnesota
    Proud of you Lynda, as always!!

    August 27, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. John Illinois

    The government is way too big as it is and is attempting to grab more and more power so if some agencies get shutdown....fine! No funding for the Obamacare welfare program!

    August 27, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Pam from Iowa

    does the GOP realize just how 'un-American' they have become with their defeatist actions??

    August 27, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. warnat

    people love to bash the tea party...idk why since they are the only people in politics right now DOing anything...it's fine if you don't agree with them but whining/complaining about them does nothing for your cause/side

    August 27, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Gary Street

    Let's defund everyone opposed to the ACA and are willing to put at risk the entire nation. I would start with defunding the senators and representatives putting the nation at risk.

    August 27, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. ezduzit757

    I want to start a new movement: DEFUND CONGRESS!. Let's not fund them until they do their jobs!

    August 27, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Tom

    Employers reduce hiring, cut wages, cut hours. And how is obamacare good for our country.... Never mind, it's not!

    August 27, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Tony from Oakland California

    To shut down Gov't by refusal to implement a budget based on what should be Constituionally legislated by Congress becomes an unconstitutional budget form of legislation by defunding what is Constitutional. And the TEA party is too stupid to see that. Let em' try it. Later on....they'll deny it after political defeat over it.

    August 27, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Pliny

    Where can I make a donation to the Tea Party?

    I figure that the more money they have, the more crazy they'll get.

    And the more crazy they get, the nearer they'll drag the GOP towards extinction.

    August 27, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Bubba

    The GOP should have aborted the Tea Party the second they realized how evil their offspring was about to become. Too late now. Since the TP cannot beat Obama, they have decide to attack those closest to them, their benefactor.
    Typical predatory behavior, coming from such kind-hearted Christians.

    August 27, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. ezduzit757

    As far as I'm concerned, republicans being targeted are getting what they deserve – this is what you get for allowing the loonies to run the asylum. None of you had the guts to stand up against them, you just stood by and watched and now you are being destroyed. Lol!! John Boehner – WORST Speaker of the House EVER!!!! You better watch your back, John, you're next on their menu.

    August 27, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Evelyn Connaway

    The republican party are fighting to win – not to help our country and it's citizens – they want the power to control the masses. Ignorance is an unlimited natural resource in the USA and the republican party, the 1%, the corporations who are run by greedy corrupt men and backed by the supreme court "FIVE", think the majority of us are ignorant and don't know what they are up too! But we who have watched the GOP over the years do know what is going on. From the 1980's the 1% rich, corporations, chamber of commerce, the supreme court have manipulated our government. Filled our justice system with the majority of republican judges, allowed the big corporations to write the bills and laws to suit themselves and bribed all our weak kneed politicians to go along with them and spread their radical propaganda. I heard Ted Cruz say, none of the republican senators voted for the Affordable Care Act. He was right. Lobbyist and the corporations put up bribes: A group that opposed the bill and a group that supported the bill – lots of money on the table – IT WENT LIKE THIS: The republican senators took from both groups – the amount of $94,338,189.00 MILLION DOLLARS – and all voted NO. 7 of the GOP senators took way over ONE MILLION individually – Mitch McConnell was the biggest taker, along with Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, Jon Kyl,and John Thune!!! The democrat senators took $24,277,439,00 MILLION DOLLARS -some took from both groups, some did not take any money – and all voted YES. 2 democrat senators took over ONE MILLION individually – Max Baucus and Arlen Specter (both who always played both sides
    of the house). Independent senators took $1,243,120.00 MILLION DOLLARS and both voted YES.
    The GOP didn't think the bill would pass, so they took the cash and from both groups and went away HAPPY – With getting paid all that cash to vote NO like their handlers wanted them to – but they lost! Maybe their handlers wants that $94,338,189.00 MILLION back and that's why they are still fighting to repeal ACA, so they can keep the cash!
    Talk about ethics, integrity, honesty and honor among men elected by the citizens of this country to represent them – frankly the citizens screwed up in their choice of men and it's time we get rid of them. Some have left voluntarily on both sides, some were not re-elected and I hope the rest of the greedy corrupt suckers do not get re-elected in 2014.

    August 27, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Fish

    Every morning I drink my coffee watching the Republican'ts run their anti-Obamacare ads ad-nausem wondering how deep they are in the pockets of the insurance companies. They should be labeled the Congressmen from United Health Care, Blue Cross, Aetna, etc... at least be honest on who you are working for. Ted Cruz isn't worth blowing up as with the remainder of Republicramps. They should learn that rhetoric stales quickly!!! The bones are showing on their dead horse, please stop beating!!!

    August 27, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. john

    So, the law passed the House and the Senate. The President signed it into law. It was then UPHELD by the conservative leaning supreme court. I get that the law is unpopular, but must the Tea Party turn to cannibalism in an effort to get rid of a law that passed legislation the way laws are supposed to pass legislation??? Why not work to improve the parts of the law you are against? Where is the line between obstructionism and treason? As a moderate republican, I'm ashamed to belong to the right.

    August 27, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Nancy

    Sorry "Dave Duty", but without passing a budget or continuing resolution, there will be no money sent to Federal agencies to keep their doors open. That means no money to pay utilities, payroll, supplies, etc. I am a Federal civilian employee who works in an Army hospital. Without funding, we cannot provide the health care needed to keep our troops well and ready.

    August 27, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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