Conservative Republicans on Thursday pressured Congress to back their bid to cut off all funding for “Obamacare” through the spending process despite misgivings within their own party, calling themselves as a “coalition of the reasonable” who will be judged favorably even if key aspects of the health care are allowed to take root this fall.
An outspoken group of senators, House members and tea party activists gathered outside the Capitol to tout their emerging campaign, speaking of the need to take away the health care law’s funding when Congress attempts to pass a short-term spending plan in September. They denounced President Obama’s reforms as a “job killer,” a “huge train wreck” and a “flesh-eating bacteria” that’s managed to alienate even some Democrats and labor unions.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, said in the coming decades Americans will be dying earlier if the law is allowed to stand.
“Now is the single best time and best opportunity to defeat Obamacare,” Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican
While the coalition of conservative voices says that popular opinion is on their side, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have not signed onto the effort, with condemning the effort as futile and reckless.
They said Republicans are committed to repealing the health care law, but threatening to shut down the government over it could backfire and harm the party’s reputation.
Mr. Cruz and Sens. Marco Rubio, of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah say they’re fed up with symbolic votes to repeal the law.
They see the budget debate as their last chance to take down Mr. Obama’s overhaul before state-based insurance markets begin to enroll Americans on Oct. 1. The markets, or “exchanges,” will allow those without employer-based insurance to buy private coverage.
Conservative groups such as FreedomWorks, which is scheduling a multi-city tour of town halls to promote the defunding plan in August, stood shoulder to shoulder with the lawmakers on Thursday as dark clouds rolled overhead.
In this setting, Mr. Rubio saw an analogy.
The health care law “hangs over our economy like a cloud of certainty,” he said, “and people don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring.”