Defund Obamacare supporters target top Republicans
August 27th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
9 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.

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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. rooroo72

    Afordable healthcar ? Give me a break it will still be Unordable healthcare !

    August 28, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Anonymous

    39% of the public approve of Obamacare Bob. No even close to 70%

    August 28, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. us1000

    american people will not let republican party to defund obamacare, instead should support for the fund to make the country strong. obama care will create more self employed small businesses as well as large businesses because of proper utilization of manpower and loss of work hours due to sicknesses. obama understands both republican views, democratic views and independent views but republicans only understand a part of republican views, which contributes mostly negative views. i think this will be under good shape if democrats can administer for another 20 years, before republicans can get political and economic trainings to run or administer the country again.

    August 28, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Xavier Johnson

    I wish all of these whiners who do not want to take individual responsibility and pay a reasonably priced health insurance premium for their health care would just grow up and quit being free loaders. The fact is that people like me who pay for health insurance should not have to bear the burden of increased premiums to fund the health care of those who can afford to pay but refuse to do so. Yet, when they get sick or injured, they show up at the emergency room and expect to be cared for on the dime of myself and others like me!

    August 28, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Dave Harris

    This really shows how out of touch the Republican party leadership is with its idiot base. Most of them think Obama is an illegal alien communist who's imposed dictatorship on them because his skin is black. Is it surprising that there are a few politicians willing to exploit the dumbest people in the country?

    August 28, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. us_1776

    The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll showed that 57 percent of Americans disapprove of "cutting off funding as a way to stop some or all of the law from being put into place." Only 36 perent said they approve of defunding.

    Kaiser has found consistent opposition to the proposal of defunding since 2011.


    August 28, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Steve

    Amazing. Most western nations now have some kind of manadatory socialized medicine. But in this country even a watered-down mdeical bill is blasted for being totally unAmerican, too expensive, etc etc. This mostly from people who have health care already. Most civilizied nations believe basic health care is a right. But in the US apparently it's perfectly ok just to spend hundreds in taxpayer money to get your cold treated at the emergency room...

    August 28, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. SomeOneElse

    Start by Repealing the 16th Amendment. Our Fed. Gov'ment is out of control and needs to be reigned in. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are to blame. We need a NEW American Party to return this country to the values it was founded on.

    The Tea Partiers have the right idea, but the name has been stigmatized by the two political parties and the MSM.

    A NEW American Party needs to be created and its candidates cannot be from the cesspool of existing politicians.

    August 28, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Puddin

    The Healthcare Act has already saved me a lot of money. I will bet a dollar to a donut that those people who object to the HCA have not even explored what is in it. Probably many are involved in the healthcare industry, and they liked the huge profits they were making before the HCA, and they didn't care that people got sick and died due to not being able to afford the cost of medical insurance. Then there was the pre-existing conditions. I know someone who got polio when he was just a little three-year-old, and he had no insurance to help with costs of being treated for all the years as he grew up into retirement.. However, such as our prior insurance plan was, it was unsustainable. The president has said if we see some parts of the HCA turns into a real problem, then it can be tweaked.

    August 28, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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